Resident: ‘Over 90% Support Ferry Project’
This letter is addressed to the people of The Bahamas regarding the Resorts World Bimini’s development from a Biminite’s perspective. I was born a Biminite and have always held Bimini very dear to my heart. I moved away from Bimini as a teenager to seek a high school and hence a college education like many of my colleagues at that time, to find something different from fishing, conching or salvaging. This actually led to me being away for some 38 years off and on. I have now returned to my homeland (Bimini) and have now opened my own business, but I can tell you that Bimini is alive with full employment. Resorts World Bimini will continue to bring employment, and as a Biminite who is back home permanently, I want to say that I do not have any issue with the development which is being undertaken by Resorts World Bimini, and I will go ahead and say neither does 99 percent of Biminites.
Through the years, the people of Bimini have done a very good job in educating their children by sending them abroad to institutions of higher learning, and many of us have gotten this education, only to return home to basically nothing resulting in non-usage of their education and getting into mischief, and so I pose the questions: Shouldn’t we be able to have the opportunity to come back home to work in the skills we were educated in? Why can’t we have the right to determine our own fate without outsiders coming in to determine our fate/destiny for us? Are we that dumb and stupid you think? Sir/madam, I recently returned back home to open a consumer electronics business, because this is the field where my discipline resides. I came back home basically because of the opportunity that is being presented due to the Resorts World Bimini development. I am quite sure that many other Biminites will return also, because there is now something for them to do besides fishing, conching and salvaging.
A lot of outsiders, such as the Bimini Blue Coalition, who have been speaking against the development of Resorts World Bimini, are not Biminites, and to tell you the truth, I have not heard much negative talk from the most important people, which are the people of Bimini. Shouldn’t the people of Bimini’s voices be heard on the topic of this development?
These outsiders who are trying to stop this project are talking a lot of foolishness with their doom and gloom.
Most of these persons on these coalitions have already made their money and don’t give a darn about the poor people who are just trying to make it day by day. The Bimini Blue Coalition, which has decided to go to the Privy Council having been defeated by The Bahamas’ Supreme Court, is not from Bimini and is made up of 99.9 percent of persons who are not Biminites but appear to love the publicity they are getting to the detriment of Biminites.
I will tell you that over 90.5 percent of Biminites approve of this project and only ask of the developers that Biminites are treated fairly and that these developers do what they say they would do to preserve our ecosystem, which many Biminites believe they will do, and further, to be trained in all phases of the development with some preferences; nothing more, nothing less. Look
There are miles and miles of reef in Bimini and since the development, specifically the jetty, is only a very small area, many of us don’t see this as a big issue that the Bimini Blue Coalition is making it out to be. Additionally, the property they are building on is much higher than what was there before, making the areas less likely to flood than before.
And so it makes many of us Biminites wonder if they would like to see us Bimini natives once again living in huts and begging to put food on our family tables or dealing drugs. This jetty is needed. The entire development is needed, and so they should stop their nonsense, stop creating fear in our community and stop trying to take bread out of our mouths.
I believe that instead of the nonsense that this coalition is betraying, it should be more concerned that the owners of the development stop the indiscriminate firing of Bahamians on the job without notice, and that the foreign executives at Bimini take a course in Bahamian culture. Many of us also believe that the government of The Bahamas should come clean with the citizens of Bimini through public meetings on whether it is giving the Capos and Malaysians more of our land in Bimini. We need to know what’s the deal with this entire project, and we should be repeatedly informed through town hall meetings on the progress of this development.
Actually there has not been one town meeting held by the government informing the general public of the development taking place in Bimini, and we need to hear from the government. We are also concerned that there will soon be a riot with workers up Bimini Bay if they don’t start paying their staff on time and coming up with a solution to treat Biminites fairly.
As you can, see none of the things mentioned in the above paragraph relates to a small piece of reef being dug up. So why persons from as far away as California, along with the Bimini Blue Coalition are trying to disrupt progress, only God knows. I remember when they were digging the channel that the nay-sayers were saying was going to destroy the conch, the bonefish, the turtle and all kind of foolishness.
Lastly, a vast majority of Biminites would like to say this: If these entities, the blue and the green coalitions, are successful in stopping the projects in Bimini and spend hundreds of thousands to do so, they should also be prepared to give all the residents of Bimini, which numbers approximately 2,750 persons, the cost of revenue lost for stopping this development.
We Biminites are not prepared to live in huts, steal or sell drugs just to put food on our family tables. Fishing, conching, salvaging and being a boat deck for the rich and famous is just not going to cut it any longer with us, and we say to the Bimini Blue Coalition to resist from trying to take food out of our mouths.
By: E. Rex Grant, BiminiBimini, development, environment