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News : Bahamas Information Services Updates Last Updated: May 4, 2021 - 10:36:36 AM

Nassau Village URC Computer Lab gets name change
By Matt Maura
May 4, 2021 - 10:25:50 AM

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Honouree, Mr. Kermit Smith receives his certificate from Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell. Also pictured (from left) are: House Speaker the Hon. D. Halson Moultrie, and Mrs. Almetha Smith. (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

Nassau, The Bahamas – The computer lab at the Nassau Village Urban Renewal Centre will henceforth be known as the Kermit Smith Computer Lab and Educational Centre, it was announced recently at a somewhat emotional ceremony.  The story behind the honouree is an intriguing one, of how a man who once roamed the streets and admittedly “did not care about anyone else but myself,” turned his life around for the good of himself, his family and his community.

The honouree, while thanking Urban Renewal officials “for their kind words and gesture” in ensuring that the Computer Lab and Educational Centre would bear his name for generations, downplayed his contribution, telling his audience that the honour was an indication of “the power of God” in, and over, his life.

“The Minister (Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell) in his remarks spoke about me being a hero, but I am no hero,” Mr. Smith said. “Life was not good for me early on. I did not finish fourth grade; I lived a life of drug abuse – alcohol, cocaine and marijuana; there was a time when I did not care about anybody.

“You may see tears streaming down my cheeks and the reason for that is that God has been good to me. He has changed me and has allowed my life to be an example to others, has allowed me to use the gifts he gave me to contribute to the community and to people’s lives in a positive way to the point where I am receiving this honour today. I want everybody to know that my life is an example to others of how, once they put their trust in God, he will pull them through,” Mr. Smith added.

Minister Campbell applauded Mr. Smith for being an example of how positive change can have monumental impact on society at-large and small communities such as Nassau Village.

Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie A. Campbell (at right), and honouree, Mr. Kermit Smith, participate in a plaque unveiling ceremony naming the computer lab at Nassau Village Urban Renewal Centre the ‘Kermit Smith Computer Lab and Educational Centre.’ (BIS Photo/Matt Maura)

“Nassau Village has had some recent incidents that have gotten media attention. Unfortunately, those were negative incidents, but there is good in Nassau Village; there is good that is being done in Nassau Village, and good will continue to be done in Nassau Village,” Minister Campbell said.

“Mr. Smith’s story is one of how a man turned his life around and made positive contributions to his community. His life is one that will continue to be blessed because he sought not to be selfish, but to rather share his life’s struggles and stories, to share his experiences, to share his personal treasure with others within the community so that they may benefit.

“The Computer Lab and Education Centre now bears his name because he was selected for the honour by the people he serves. That speaks volumes because it is often said that a prophet is not necessarily accepted in his own home. Today, is your reward for the work that you have done in your community, for your community,” Minister Campbell added.

Minister Campbell said partnerships and volunteerism are equally key to the success of the Urban Renewal Programme throughout New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.

“Urban Renewal is about people helping people, but the truth of the matter is that while our staff go above and beyond the call of duty and do an excellent job that is worthy of praise, they cannot be successful without the help of the many volunteers, they cannot be successful without the help of community-minded persons such as Mr. Smith who not only donate their time, but also their talents and treasures all in an effort to make their communities better,” Minister Campbell said.

“Oftentimes, however, these community builders are overlooked. It is for this reason that I think it is important that we name something tangible after our unsung heroes so that everyone who comes thereafter would know; everyone who passes through this computer/educational centre would know, that Mr. Kermit Smith passed by, that Mr. Kermit Smith made a contribution, that Mr. Kermit Smith left a legacy; that there is good in Nassau Village,” Minister Campbell added.

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