HIGH ROCK, Grand Bahama – Members of the One Bahamas Committee for Grand Bahama took their message of One God, One People, One Bahamas, to the eastern communities of Grand Bahama on Wednesday.
Headed by the co-chairman for One Bahamas, Terrance Gape, the Committee visited four schools in east Grand Bahama, staring at the McCleans Town School, Sweeting Cay School, High Rock School and concluding at the Freetown School.
It was a fitting start for the One Bahamas team at the McCleans Town School as the students there welcomed them with a warm smile and a song which message said “Love is something that you give away and you end up having more.”
“I can’t think of a better way to describe what we are all about in this One Bahamas promotion. Your song this morning ably described our mission,” Mr. Gape said.
Mr. Gape along with veteran educator, Cecil Thompson, businessman and sporting enthusiast Churchill Tener Knowles, and Co-chairman for One Bahamas, Don Cornish has been busy over the past two weeks promoting the upcoming One Bahamas Celebration on Grand Bahama.
The month of November has traditionally been designated One Bahamas Month throughout the country and a number of activities has been planned to highlight the things that bind Bahamians together as a nation and a people, such as the flag, music, dance, food and more.
In addition to school visits promoting the One Bahamas concept, the Grand Bahama Committee has planned a number of activities, the highlight of which will be National Flag Day, which is set for Friday, November 19.
On that day at a specific time, Grand Bahamians will be encouraged to take time out from their busy schedule for a Flag Raising Ceremony at the Independence Park.
Cognisant of the fact that it is a work day, the Committee will be working with local radio stations to have them play the National Anthem at the same time so that residents throughout the island and at work can embrace what it means to be Bahamian.
Mr. Gape in his visit to the schools on Wednesday, along with Mr. Thompson and Public Relations Director, Simon Lewis, stressed the importance of the flag and the coat of arms.
The co-chairman said the flag is something that all Bahamians can rally around. He noted how excited Bahamians get when athletes perform at a high level and the national anthem is played during the presentation.
“Events like that bind us together as a people. But we should also show that love for each other in our schools, homes, churches and the wider communities, year round and not just at special occasions. We must continue to elevate each other and help those in need,” he said.
Mr. Gape also noted that it does not matter if one is black or white, rich or poor, or whether one’s parents came from Africa, Asia or elsewhere in the world.
“What is important is that no matter what our origin, we live in this wonderful country called The Bahamas and we ought to respect each other and help to grow this nation,” he stated.
Continuing, he said that a lot of focus is being placed on National Flag Day because unlike Independence it comes at a time when students are still in school.
“And so we are going to transport school kids to the Independence Park come November 19 and have a special celebration showing love for self, our country and fellow men and women,” he said.
During the Month of November, the Committee has also planned a Church Service, a Fun Run Walk event, T-Shirt Day and Essay Competition.
Mr. Gape and his Committee reminded all that the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture under the direction of then minister, Algernon Allen, initiated the celebrations in 1992, with a view to emphasising the things that bind Bahamians together as a people.
The celebrations reached a high point when then Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest used his high office for more than seven years to promote the ideals of One Bahamas, and he visited every school in The Bahamas promoting One Bahamas and encouraging students to be the best and brightest.
“It is important that we continue to spread the message of love and unity among these young persons. These are the future leaders and we want to ensure that our Bahamas is in good hands,” Mr. Gape said about the school visits.
By SIMON LEWIS
Bahamas Information Services
BIS Photo /Simon Lewis