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Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell Last Updated: Sep 21, 2017 - 3:59:01 PM
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Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Save Dean's Voice - Sep 21, 2017 - 12:00:21 PM

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My brother Dean has ALS.
He's only a few years older than me, and he's been dealing with the dreaded disease for 9 years. I had no clue what it was at first, and when I read, "fatal, 2 - 4 years life expectancy," I cried for days. It was Dean who had to live with it, day by day as his body changed and he began loosing his ability to do things we all take for granted.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (also known as ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or motor neuron disease) is a disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that we are typically able to move at will. Over time, as the muscles of the body break down, someone living with ALS will lose the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow, and eventually breathe..."

Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Parenting Our Parents - Dec 22, 2016 - 11:54:16 PM


I moved back to Canada from the Bahamas in late summer 2011; and before winter 2012, I moved my mother in with me. She was not thrilled about living in the Vancouver area because she doesn't like the damp climate.

"I've raised seven children; been butchered up by the doctors after being in the hospital sixteen times," she likes to remind us, even though seven of those times were to deliver babies. "Vancouver weather just makes my bones ache."

But mom agreed to move in with me anyway, and we were living in a high rise on the 33rd floor. "The bird cage," she quickly dubbed it. She loved the views, the sunrises, but hated everything else about it. All that said, mom's health improved week by week, likely due to...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
A Treasure from Sweetings Cay - Aug 14, 2015 - 1:59:10 AM

If you knew me in my early days in Grand Bahama (before TheBahamasWeekly.com), I was always taking photos no matter where I went. I am not sure if it's my desire to record my life, and those of the people I love, or the example my mother led documenting much of our lives in photos (which was rare in those days). I grew up with a wall full of photo albums all in date order, my mom was that organized.

The beauty of taking so many photos is that one day they become treasures.

I was going through my online photos the other day and came upon a Sweetings Cay album...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Meet the World's Best James Bond Impersonator - Feb 8, 2015 - 7:34:48 AM

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Arizona resident, Dennis Keogh wanted to remain active after his retirement while having fun with his impersonation of Sean Connery which he was continually developing and refining. He soon realized he could be successful as a celebrity impersonator, and has since become known as the 'World's Best James Bond Impersonator'.

A lifelong fan of Sean Connery, Keogh now has his own fans from all over the world thanks to the Internet.
In fact, Phoenix Magazine listed Dennis in its '101 Things To Do' in Phoenix where they suggest you hire Dennis for a night on the town and introduce him as your 'uncle Sean.'

Although he's never met Connery, he has studied the Bond character and Connery's work for more than 20 years...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Painting Poppies… Lest We Forget - Nov 11, 2014 - 12:00:14 PM

I heard about the poppy painting through social media via the City of Coquitlam (Canada). A few photos is all it took, along with a gorgeous sunny fall day yesterday to run out and find Blue Mountain Park in upper Coquitlam to take some photos of a community based participatory exhibit (Parkspark) that took place over the past week and will be featured today, Remembrance Day 2014.

Finding Blue Mountain Park was a delight in itself as it’s a beautiful park with solid old trees, concrete art sculptures and the only veteran memorial cenotaph in the City.

What a delight to see the poppies first hand and although I came late, a couple City workers were still on site and I was able to paint my own poppy. I was moved by the notes that school children ...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Do you need a media consultant, publicist or event promoter? - Oct 1, 2014 - 2:24:32 PM

Let me help you become known!  Get your name on Google, and into the newspapers.  I have over 8 years experience in publicity, journalism and editorial writing.  I have extensive experience in public and media relations, and write press releases on a daily basis. I have written for the Grand Bahama Ministry of Tourism, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival On Location, Atlantis II Research Vessel, and Ross University.  I have experience working with artists, doctors, musicians, chefs, models, fashion designers, filmmakers, politicians, lawyers, civic groups; and experience in liaising with local and international media houses and global organizations. I’ve worked with most types of businesses and have a natural ability to write and communicate effectively...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Why the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is so important to me - Aug 28, 2014 - 5:46:57 PM

You are probably getting sick and tired of seeing yet another ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video, but I am not.

I never knew what ALS was until my brother acquired the disease some 5 years ago.  ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease and is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which nerve cells die gradually leaving voluntary muscles paralyzed. It usually hits the hands and feet first with numbness as first signs. Eventually the person cannot walk, or move their body without aid, and gradually the person needs to be tube fed and the worst is losing the inability to talk.

When I learned my older brother Dean had ALS, I was shocked… when I sat down at the computer to do research, I then became devastated... 
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Bahamians meet Bahamians in Vancouver, Canada - Jul 31, 2014 - 11:45:06 PM

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It's only been a few months since Nassau born Chris Lowe of Vancouver started the "Bahamians in Vancouver" facebook group page in hopes of finding other Bahamians in the area.  When he did, it saw instant results, as within 24 hours the page had over 40 members.

Those that could attend made it to the first meetup within the first month
hosted at the home of Gareth and Nina Hanna,  and a second meetup was scheduled for July 27th at the Caribbean Days Festival in North Vancouver.  The event is organized by the Trinidad and Tobago Society of B.C., and it encourages other nations of the Caribbean to come together. The event is over two days formally but the Society hosts many other events throughout the year...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
My angel wore lipstick and perfume - Jun 13, 2014 - 8:40:31 AM

It was a typical evening  in Grand Bahama Island in the early 2000s. I’d met up with friends for drinks at Count Basie Square.  It was a hot sultry night, one where even the slightest breeze felt like a kiss from God.

I was in survival mode. Survival mode because I’d been dealing with a separation, which was a pretty big deal when you are living in a country where you are a foreigner. I had just finished working for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean II and III, and I was trying to sort out my next move.   Surviving as a single mom with four children, amid the nastiness and pain of separation and divorce was taking its toll on me...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Vincent McDoom faces the biggest loss of his life - Jun 1, 2014 - 2:04:51 PM

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St. Lucian born Parisian fashion celebrity, Vincent Mc Doom,  has just been through one of the toughest times of his life! Two family tragedies hit  within 24 hours, and he had to choose between leaving a Paris fashion event he was responsible for, or return to St. Lucia to attend his mother's funeral.   Adding  to the painful double loss, his brother was also seriously ill.

The famous actor, fashion icon, and Top Model judge last spoke to his mother on May 11th for Mother's Day.  "I called to wish her a happy Mother's Day as I do every year, and tell her that I love her," he said. It was during that phone call that his mother, Victoire McDoom told her son that she had not been feeling well.  She passed the phone on to his sister, Cyrina, whom she'd been residing with...

Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
My Thoughts on International Women's Day - Mar 8, 2014 - 10:37:56 AM

International Women's Day is upon us once again, and it's the perfect opportunity to reflect on the importance of the female component on this planet. It's interesting to note that there is no International Men's Day and I would have to think, that's because perhaps one is not necessary (?).  There is a great need for an International Women's Day to express all that is required to change when it comes to the treatment of women throughout our world.
Having three daughters, makes this all the more meaningful for me. I want for them a world that treats women respectfully no matter their colour, creed or gender.

As a planet, we have still such a long way to go. In some regions I feel  we've actually gone in reverse, as to what were once more liberated nations...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Christmas Nostalgia - Dec 24, 2013 - 5:17:09 PM


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My mother’s smell is the last thing I embrace as I take my excited but weary self off to bed. She’s been in the kitchen all night preparing food for the next day. My home is nothing but Christmas perfection! My mother reigns supreme at creating ambiance. The tree is stunning and the presents at its base come out at least four feet because of our large family of nine persons. Christmas carols play continuously on the stereo.

I’ve just finished watching “Scrooge” on the TV with my older brothers, and although it scares me so, I love it annually. I make my way through the kitchen and into the family room, which is dimly lit to show the tree and lights around the windows. The outside cold is unfelt by me in my cozy home of family memories. I walk past the candy tree – a fantastic favorite each year...

Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Walk a mile in my moccasins... - Nov 13, 2013 - 9:32:18 PM


Being of Native American heritage, I use in my title a native saying that represents an interesting idea. Although quite obvious to some, it means that one should try and imagine placing themselves in someone else’s shoes to get a good accurate view of that person’s life in hope to bring understanding of that person. Another way of looking at this idea is to simply say, "view with compassion."


But what is compassion and why should we have it? Compassion explained in the dictionary is , “pity aroused by the distress of others, with a desire to help”, and pity is described as , “feelings of sympathy for the sufferings of others”.

 

I think many of us do at least have feelings of gratitude with what has been given to us, no matter how grim our own lives can be at times...

Sports
(Video) Donnie Knowles' contribution to sports in The Bahamas acknowledged - Nov 1, 2013 - 1:30:18 PM

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Coach Donnie Knowles, has been honoured for his contribution to sports in The Bahamas by the Kamalamee organization.  Although I could not be at the honouring event at the Regency Theatre on October 27th, I was asked to provide remarks, and a video presentation of same.

I met Donnie and Mary Knowles the first year I moved to Grand Bahama in 1998. I fulfilled a life-long dream of playing soccer when I joined his team The Predators in the Grand Bahama Football League, which sadly, no longer exists. The Predators were undefeated in the GBFL and Knowles took them to 5 national championships.

What was his recipe for success? Well some say it’s because he always had the best players, but in actual fact...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Lost in Laundry - May 23, 2013 - 6:43:13 PM

I miss hanging laundry... There is something so right about hanging clothes out on a line on a sun-filled day. There is nothing like the fresh smell of clothing that has aired-dried out in nature.

My mother hung clothes for 9 of us and so I spent a lot of time watching her do so as a child, or helping her by handing up socks and underwear at the bottom of the basket. In one of our homes we had an opening on the side of the house, so mom didn't have to go outside, as the pulley mechanism was right in the house... that helped on winter days. I recall her pulling clothes in that were frozen stiff.

When I lived in The Bahamas I would put on my bikini to hang the laundry...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
I now 'know more' about Idle No More - Apr 10, 2013 - 11:00:21 PM

My white skinned, dread-locked beautiful girl has felt the stings of racism, in her own country as well as The Bahamas, yet she seeks to understand it and make change.

This week I went to visit a peaceful protest where my daughter Loryn attends university here in British Columbia, Canada.  According to their Facebook event page, it involved "various students and community members speaking to Idle No More topics as well as traditional drumming and singing throughout the day."

The Simon Fraser University (SFU) press release stated, " The Idle No More movement may not be front-and-centre in national media coverage right now, but that doesn’t mean Aboriginal students, staff and alumni at SFU have forgotten about it.  The global grassroots movement aimed at getting the Canadian government...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Death, Grieving, Healing: In Memory of My Father, Curt Whachell - Mar 22, 2013 - 4:20:44 PM

My father passed away at 87 years old on March 11th, 2013. I'd seen him twice this year before a visit just one week prior to his death.  He was doing so well those first two times, that the last time I saw him, was when it finally sunk in that my father was actually going to die. Until then, I naively never felt it possible.

I'd always felt blessed that all of my loved ones were alive around me, while so many families deal with sudden deaths, accidents and sickness. The whole idea of death and dying waited until now to visit my psyche.

My father lived a full and rich life. I have no regrets regarding our relationship, and have no thoughts or words left unsaid to my father, as we had a relationship...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
My Pecha Kucha Experience... - Mar 14, 2013 - 11:45:11 AM

Pecha what? I remembered thinking... I was contacted via Facebook by a new friend from the same city I live here in Canada.  "You seem to have a lot to say," he said, "I think you'd be perfect to speak at this event".

Pecha Kucha (Japanese: chit-chat) is a presentation methodology in which 20 slides are shown for 20 seconds each (six minutes and 40 seconds in total - timed - you cannot pause). The format, which keeps presentations concise and fast-paced, powers multiple-speaker events called Pecha Kucha Nights...
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Reflections on International Women's Day 2013 - Mar 8, 2013 - 11:06:07 AM

Another year rolls by and I reflect on the plight of being female on this planet. How have we developed, and what progress are we making? I am not reflecting on equality here, but rather basic needs of all humans; to be loved, fed, sheltered and protected.

We claim we live in an advanced society, yet atrocities against girls and women are at an all time high. Human trafficking, child brides, the sex slave trade, and honour killings or violence against women due to cultural
norms is still a bold challenge we all face on this planet.

Yet there are those sisters who have risen above many odds to be where they are today. More females are holding top titles in jobs where important decisions affecting others are being made.
Columns : Robbin's Nest - Robbin Whachell
Slow Down for Christmas - Dec 20, 2012 - 10:56:17 PM

I seem to have a more difficult time each year getting into the spirit of Christmas. I am not sure if that is because the youngest of my four children is now sixteen, or the ever present commercialism that puts me off in such a way, that I attempt to have no part in it.  My eldest and I joke that it should be called 'Giftmas'.

I feel almost justified about going easy on the holiday season now as I feel I gave my children idyllic childhood Christmas'. Something I grew up with. Before moving to The Bahamas we lived in a log home in North Vancouver on the ocean at the base of a mountain, and it was a picture perfect scene each year. When we moved we carried all our Christmas heirlooms with us. I ended up getting rid of most of them when we returned to Canada, all save the baby ornaments that were bought for each child in their first year of life, each containing a baby photo...
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