Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling received 11 of the Governor General’s Youth Award (GGYA) Board of Trustees and National Council members who paid a courtesy call Friday, April 7, to discuss the youth program’s 30th anniversary and its change in leadership.
Former Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest has stepped down as chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Licensed real estate broker, John F Bethell has been tapped as his successor. Mr Bethell is president of Bethell Estates Ltd, a company engaged primarily in real estate development and sales.
He has served on the GGYA’s Board of Trustees since the program’s revival in 1987. Mr Bethell is also a past president of the Bahamas National Trust, having served on the BNT’s council for many years.
Dame Marguerite congratulated Mr Bethell on his new post and thanked Sir Orville, in absentia, for his leadership over the last 10 years.
Open to all young people aged 14 to 24, GGYA enables youths to demonstrate self-development within an international recognized framework. It’s an affiliate of the UK-based Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, the world’s leading achievement award for young people.
Dame Marguerite enquired about the international connection and praised the program for its growth and stability.
She highlighted the program’s popularity. Up to press time, over 1,900 persons were registered for the Award program that has a presence in 27 government schools, 25 independent schools, two uniformed organizations and the University of The Bahamas.
Thirty years, 10,000 participants and 8,107 awards later, the program which promotes service, skills, physical recreation and adventurous journey is synonymous with nation building. GGYA maintains 52 units on eight islands.
According to Dame Marguerite, the experience of traveling on a mail boat for hiking practice and expeditions which help to qualify participants for an Award, provides invaluable insight to youths about life in The Bahamas in the old days, prior to air transportation. Those Family Islands trips, she said, endow the young with greater appreciation for the country.
Seated from left to right Rosamund Roberts, secretary to the board; Susan Glinton, public relations officer for the management council; Jack Thompson, chairman of GGYA’s National Council; the Governor General; Mr Bethell; Nancy Kelly, board member and Everette Mackey, the National Council’s treasurer.
Pictured standing from left to right are William Birchall, member of the Board of Trustee; Susan Black, member of the Board of Trustee; Dr Sophia Rolle, member of the management council; Denise Mortimer, GGYA’s national executive director and Ricky Chea, member of the Board of Trustees.
Photo by Precision Media