GGYA Participates In Keva Bethel Service Day

Tuesday 09th, October 2012 / 08:56 Published by

Participants in the Governor General’s Youth Award honoured the life and legacy of Bahamian nation builder, renowned scholar and community activist, the late Dr. Keva M. Bethel, in partaking in an inaugural Service Day held in her memory.

The GGYA had a strong presence among the nearly 200 persons from various civic organizations and social groups who turned out in full force for five hours on Saturday, October 6, to extend a helping hand in the cleanup and restoration of the Bain and Grants Town community.

The massive clean-up began 8am and wrapped up around 1pm. It was a fitting tribute to someone who devoted her life to community service, according to the initiative’s steering committee chair, Dr Gail Saunders.

Planning committee co-chair, Valdez Russell said the community was specifically chosen as Dr. Bethel made profound contributions there, during her role as principal and president of The College of The Bahamas. The aim, Mr Russell added, is to continue to honour her legacy by allowing persons to give back in a meaning full way to those communities.

At least one long-time resident was grateful for the effort. “It’s really a positive thing, because here it is we have persons who don’t live in our community, visit our community to clean it up,” said Ralph Bain, who has lived in the Bain Town community for almost five decades. “It really touches me to see the young folks come out to lend a hand.” said Bain.

The Keva M Bethel Service Day is the third in a series of memorial events held thus far to commemorate the life of Dr. Bethel, who died on February 15, 2011.

Previously, an exhibition of her life and work was held in the foyer of the Harry C. Moore Library. A lecturer series was also staged. Plans are also in the works to have a book written about the life of the late Dr. Bethel, who in 2009 was named one of The College’s first Scholars-in-Residence. She served on the GGYA’s Board of Trustees for over 20 years COB professor, Dr Nicolette Bethel was pleased to see such tributes being paid to her mother.

“My mother did volunteer work. She gave of her time, effort, energy and expertise all her life, so this is a fitting tribute to her and it’s also fitting that we decided to start with the communities around The College of the Bahamas,” said Dr Bethel, whose brother, Edward, expressed similar sentiments.

Dr Bethel hopes the memorial events become annual ones and that the community outreach continues on an ongoing basis. In addition to the cleanup of the Bain Town and Black Village areas, volunteers also repainted the Bain Town Park. It is expected that homes belonging to senior citizens will be painted and repaired as well. Officials said volunteers from The Bahamas Technical Institute (BTVI) are actively engaged in those renovations.

Other groups participating in the weekend event included The College of the Bahamas Union of Students (COBUS), The Royal Bahamas Defense Force Rangers, Scouts, Girl Guides, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Rotary Clubs, National Society of Black Engineers and Counseling Community Outlook, among others. Sixteen year-old GGYA participant, Heather Moutardier was happy to help. “It feels good to know that I can give back to my community.”

Tosheena Robinson-Blair
Precision Media

Caption: GGYA participants were among the nearly 200 persons from various civic organizations and social groups who turned out in full force for five hours on Saturday, October 6, to extend a helping hand in the cleanup and restoration of the Bain and Grants Town community as a part of the Keva M Bethel Service Day. Photos by Precision Media

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