‘Deserving Bahamians’ To Be Honoured With Bahamian Awards
“In a former term as Prime Minister, I appointed the National Cultural Development Commission with the mission to organise and formulate a wide range of policies and positions on cultural matters, Prime Minister Christie said during the ceremony in Rawson Square, Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
He added, “The framework for a National Honours system that was passed then, and this year will be brought forward again.”
The Prime Minister said the public honouring will not only draw the necessary attention to recipients, but it will also be the best way that a grateful nation can show its appreciation.
He said the wishes of the National Heroes Committee, led by its chairman, Father Sebastian Campbell, that for years has called for the country’s heroes to be honoured nationally and for a National Heroes Park, will see its desires granted.
Prime Minister Christie also announced that this year, Parliament will be moved to lift up Majority Rule Day, and once and for all, move it beyond debate and question and make it a national holiday.
Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis; Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell; Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe; other Members of Parliament; Senators; senior government officials; Dame Marguerite Pindling and Co-chair, National Independence Committee, Charles Carter attended the launch.
The Prime Minister said the theme for the year of celebrations is “The Bridge to the Future… The Journey Continues”.
“This theme suggests a transition, a crossing over and a progression and a connection to our past. It is forward looking, but acknowledges that we are continuing a great work.
“Throughout The Bahamas and the world, Bahamians should treasure this milestone, acknowledge the journey that brought us here and celebrate.”
Prime Minister Christie said among its other planned events, the National Independence Committee is working with The College of The Bahamas on hosting the 40th Anniversary Independence Conference.
He explained that the conference, which will be held June 12 – 14, and is open to the public, will do much to help further educate and examine what the future of The Bahamas can be.
“The aim of the conference is to examine the context and construction of the Bahamian nation; investigate the challenges emerging in the post-independence period; discuss contemporary social, cultural, economic and political issues that have emerged since 1973; and explore future prospects for nation building and development.”
The Prime Minister also noted that in planning the celebrations for the Anniversary, the committee felt it was critical to host events that will showcase our arts and culture.
“I have said before that it is important to the development of our national identity and to the deepening of our Bahamian culture that our artists have a high level of support.
“We often enjoy and celebrate what other nations in the world have offered us and we forget that we have produced many cultural icons who have influenced them.”
Prime Minister Christie said the country has recognised Sir Sidney Poitier for his contributions, which helped to sensitise and educate a new generation of Bahamian youth who were unaware of his national and global significance.
He added that persons such as Joseph Spence, Roxie Roker, Bert Williams must also be recognised.
The Prime Minister said this year the nation will pause and as a united people, celebrate 40 years of being independent Bahamians.
“What makes this special is that we will celebrate with those who worked feverishly to usher in Independence.
We must see the gift in this.
“Rev. Philip Rahming wrote in the Pledge of Allegiance that we are “one people united in love and service.” I truly hope that this year, as we cross the bridge to the future we cross it as one Bahamas.”
The Prime Minister and Mr. Carter at the conclusion of the ceremony unveiled the official 40th Anniversary Independence Logo created by artists Kishan Monroe and Addis Huyler.
By Llonella Gilbert
Bahamas Information Services