On July 15, 2014, the Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) published a list of real estate agents and brokers in its Gazette, naming persons who were no longer licensed to practice in the Bahamas. Almost 70 names were on that list and one of them was Bishop Walter Hanchell. Subsequently an article was written by Tribune reporter Natario Mckenzie with captioned photographs of three members of BREA and published on July 17, 2014. One of the photographs was that of Bishop Walter S. Hanchell, a long-time member of BREA, who was out of the country at the time the story was printed and was fully paid up as a member.
Bishop Hanchell returned to Nassau on July 29 and was outraged, disappointed and shocked that the Board of Directors of BREA would do such a despicable act to its members. Bishop Hanchell stated, “I have been a member of BREA for thirty years and have always paid my dues. I am appalled at the treatment members are receiving. A simple telephone call, email or a friendly reminder to members would be much better than embarrassing them publicly in the media. I have received a written apology from Carla Sweeting, president of BREA. The letter states in part “The Board humbly apologizes for any inconvenience and embarrassment you may have experienced.”
For the record, this apology has not been accepted. Too much damage has already been done. My attorney has advised me to take immediate legal action against the Bahamas Real Estate Association for what they call ‘an oversight’. I have received calls from well-wishers who find it incredible that something like this could happen. I stand with my fellow realtors, who too have been affected by this totally unnecessary and insensitive procedure and wish them the best in rebuilding their businesses. These are challenging times and we do not need people representing us who seem to not have the best interest of members at heart. The damage done to my character and business is inexcusable. There will be consequences.”