The 2014 Bahamas Handbook is hot off the press and in bookstores. The latest installment of this classic, iconic publication is a special 624-page blockbuster, full of intriguing articles and stunning photography that will appeal to everyone, from the man Over-the-Hill to Bay Street merchants and investors who keep the economy humming.
This year’s offerings include a look back at Nassau’s biggest-ever robbery–more than a million dollars in gold and silver coin was heisted in 1926 and never recovered; a shipwreck in the Abacos that changed Bahamian history in unexpected ways, and a thoughtful article on the ever-changing makeup of the Bahamian population and how that will affect the future.
Readers will read about several interesting and influential women in this year’s book–retired Chief Justice Dame Joan Sawyer, for example, who explains in an exclusive interview why she thinks capital punishment should be done away with, even though she sent several killers to the gallows. Meet Erika Gates, the septuagenarian business dynamo who turned a lifelong love of nature into a string of successful companies in Grand Bahama; and Cristina Zenato, the superstar scuba diver who has helped make the Underwater Explorer’s Society famous around the world.
Neil Sealey, an expert on geology and the energy business, gives Bahamians much to think about in an article on the likelihood of finding oil under our pristine ocean waters; Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe helps our writers review several innovative programmes designed to strengthen our number one industry; and researcher Patty Beardsley Roaker writes an interesting article on our pink parliament buildings and how they came to be built on Bay Street.
There’s much more to enjoy in this year’s Handbook, the flagship of a series of publications that have been produced continuously for 54 years by the Cacique award-winning firm, Etienne Dupuch Jr Publications. Also in the lineup are articles on scientists who are studying endangered marine creatures and birds; a quarantine station that protected Bahamians from pandemics of typhus and cholera in the days before antibiotics and vaccinations; and a story about the many celebrities with Bahamian roots who are helping to promote the country.
The reading fare is separated into sections headlined Features, History, Family Islands, Business and Grand Bahama. As well, the Handbook’s well-known Blue Pages present the country’s most important vital information and statistics, arranged in an easy-to-use alphabetical format. This is a useful compendium of everyday information on topics ranging from art galleries, business and the economy, to free trade, tax benefits for foreign investors and a rundown on the country’s national parks and wilderness areas.
The Handbook always has a strong business section and this year is no different. There’s a rundown on the controversial move to implement a value-added tax in The Bahamas, how successive governments are committed to improving the country’s roads, ports and airports; and how the newly constituted Chamber of Commerce and Employer’s Association is helping government retool the Bahamian economy.
Finally, readers can remind themselves of all the important events that happened over the past 12 months, listed in the book’s popular “Year in Review” feature. Check out the compendious Government Section, for bios and photos of the country’s movers and shakers–politicians, diplomats and top civil servants.
The Bahamas Handbook for 2014 is truly “all The Bahamas in a single book”–the perfect holiday gift for friends, colleagues and family.
Caption: The 2014 Bahamas Handbook is hot off the press and in stores. Photo credit: Jim Leggett/©Dupuch