Chairman of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) Ian Fair is a Trustee of the Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) and a Fellow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s World Fellowship. Therefore, it was his esteemed pleasure to address this year’s GGYA recipients on Grand Bahama Island.
Gathered for the annual presentation, 103 silver and 118 bronze awards were presented to successful students from high schools throughout the length and breadth of the island. In his remarks, Fair drew on the theme of this year’s 40th Independence anniversary, ‘The Bridge to the Future…The Journey Continues’. “Undoubtedly, our nation’s future success lies in the quality of young persons that we are now grooming to carry on after us,” he stated. “Therefore, programmes such as the Governor General’s Youth Awards are paramount in molding the future leaders and citizens of tomorrow.”
The 26-year-old, self-development programme is geared towards young persons, ages 14 to 25 years-old and requires participants to demonstrate progress in four key areas: physical recreation, community service, skills and adventurous journey. GGYA offers three awards: bronze, silver and gold, with each level requiring an increasing commitment of time. Thus far, over 8,000 Bahamians have passed through the programme.
Describing their participation as a journey into personal discovery and character building, Fair commended the candidates for going beyond the required hours in community service. Diametrically opposed to daily news headlines of youth involvement in crime and other negative pursuits are refreshing feature stories showcasing achievements of many GGYA participants he commented. “Local periodicals are often filled with profiles of some of you who are actively involved in community efforts – whether assisting as volunteers at the Rand Memorial Hospital, or engaging in coastal clean-ups. Also, we marvel at the feats you’ve accomplished in your quest to meet the necessary skills and physical fitness requirements,” he added.
The GGYA programme is an affiliate of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award programme. Over 140 countries currently participate and since its inception, some 8 million entrants have participated worldwide.
“This Award concept is one of individual challenge. It presents to young people a balanced, non-competitive programme of voluntary activities which encourage personal discovery and growth, self-reliance, perseverance, responsibility to themselves and service to their community,” said Fair in conclusion. “Therefore, we at The Grand Bahama Port Authority pledge our continued support of such a worthwhile initiative and wish each of you recipients Godspeed towards achieving your goals.”
By Deidre Rahming