November 2001

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Volume 2  © Fred Mitchell 2000
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11th November
18th November
25th November
4th November, 2001
This Week on
Alfred Sears / PLP Candidate  BAHAMIANS FIRST.COM...
Shane Gibson / PLP Candidate  BRADLEY ROBERTS.ORG...
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.



Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the Sunday New York Times, wrote about the American campaign in Afghanistan in her column of Sunday 28 October. There was also an article by Paul Krugman also on Sunday last called TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS.  The thrust of both efforts begs the question: is the United States fighting an intelligent war?  And is intelligent and dedicated leadership being exercised in this campaign in Afghanistan by the so-called coalition?

The first cracks in the veneer seem to be showing with these articles popping up in the Op Ed press in the United States.  The Bush Administration that tried to prepare the American public for a long, shadowy and tortuous campaign is losing some support amongst the intelligentsia and the political pundits.  But the patriotic spirit is still strong and the voices are still muted.

Essentially the questions being asked are: why is this primitive country being bombed into the dust without any clearly visible results and with significant suffering by civilian populations?  Is the business community in the United States taking unfair advantage of patriotism at this time, in fact cynically helping to whip it up, and pocketing the profits?

On the fighting of the war, Ms. Dowd quotes Rudyard Kipling from the novel Kim: "Certain things are not known to those who eat with forks."

The message there is that the psychology of this war must attune itself to the events and circumstances on the ground.  Talk of ground troops, high tech war and all that in the face of an enemy, whose psychology and social values are completely different from yours, rings hollow.  It should have been the lesson the United States learned in Vietnam.  And so the word quagmire is again popping up into the public lexicon.  It also says that the leadership of such an effort must be intelligent and have it deep down in the pit of their minds, not relying on advisors.  Advisors can only help you so far.  What if this problem instead were looked at as a criminal justice problem.  You would then go and find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.  The grander themes would be put to one side for a limited effort to contain the criminal behaviour and punish it and those responsible.

As for the business community, one was, to say the least, shocked by the gall of the airline industry.  The bodies were not even cold yet, and they were on TV shopping around at the weakest moment for their country looking for money to prop themselves up.  And at the weakest moment a Government that is business dominated gave the industry without conditions 15 billion dollars in aid.  Glory be!

Says Mr. Krugman: "Cynics tell us that money has completely corrupted our policies, that in the last election big corporations basically bought themselves a government that will serve their interests."

This week we had 20,010 hits on this site for the week ending Saturday 3 November at midnight.  For the month ending Wednesday 31 October we had 112,148 hits on the site.  We had a total of 7,796 hits on the site for the month of November.

Senate photo by Peter Ramsay

11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral


Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton Thought provoking columns Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links Bahamian Cycling News Links to Bahamians on the web Politics Forum Tourism Statistics Harbour Island Site


New Providence remained 60 percent in darkness with no electricity as night fell Tuesday 6 November.  Thousands of telephones are still out of order and many struggled with no water or low water pressure in the aftermath of hurricane Michelle.  Monday 5 November, winds gusting to over 100 mph battered the island capital leaving the roads littered with trees, pieces of damaged buildings and other jetsam from the high winds.  Flooding, particularly in the south of the island, hampered travel.  Banks and Government offices remained closed, with the Police, the Defence Force and the Bahamas Electricity Corporation calling for people to remain in their homes to allow for the clearing of the roads and the restoration of utilities.  BEC estimated that most people would have electrical power within two days.


The headline in The Punch of Thursday 1 November said that there was a war going on between Bradley Roberts, the voluble PLP Chairman and Perry Christie, its leader.  They were predicting that Mr. Roberts was making a bid for the leadership.  At the weekly press briefing of the PLP, by the Chairman, he denied The Punch's story.  C.B. Moss, the PLP's candidate for Bain Town also denied the Punch's assertion that the PLP's leader Perry Christie did not support him.  He said that Mr. Christie fully supported his nomination.  Now what is happening here is that this is a disinformation campaign by the master of disinformation Dion Foulkes.  What he is doing is creating a red herring.  The report is that he paid a visit to my cousin Ivan Johnson who runs The Punch and gave him the so-called full story on his house.  The reason the house came up is because he is building a new home reportedly costing in excess of a million dollars, three stories on a hill with an ocean view.  The PLP's newspaper on Monday 29 October carried a full story about the house under the banner: SHAME AND SCANDAL IN THE FAMILY.  Mr. Foulkes was so shaken by the story that when he saw an advance copy he rang PLP leader Perry Christie to demand of him whether or not Mr. Christie supported the story.  He reportedly told Mr. Christie: "that he never thought he would see the day when the PLP's official newspaper would sink lower than the Black Belt news."  Black Belt news is a tabloid published by political activist Gorman Bannister, known for its peppery style.  Mr. Foulkes also told Mr. Christie that after the boundary exercise on which he is an FNM member, Mr. Christie and this senator would be the only ones "f…ed by the exercise".  The Punch carried the story that contrary to the PLP's position Mr. Foulkes house cost with the land less than 500,000 dollars.  They also claimed that Mr. Foulkes makes some $8,000 per month and his wife has a "good salary".  That the mortgage is $5,000 per month.  The Punch's story claimed that the house only has a partial ocean view.  This is contrary to the information that the house was being built out of pocket even though a mortgage had been secured.  The reports say the Minister has refused to draw down the mortgage because he does not need the money.  Perry Christie, Leader of the PLP, speaking at a meeting of the Montagu branch of the PLP spoke about Mr. Foulkes' house.  He said that he (Perry Christie) had been working for nearly three decades.  He had been a Minister and Member of the House.  His wife too has a good salary and he can't figure out on that salary how to build a million-dollar house.  He said Mr. Foulkes was a minister of the Government only since 1997 who left substantial debts in his last law firm, and had no huge income to think of before that, who is supposed to be living off a ministerial salary but building a million dollar home.  The criticism is obviously stinging Mr. Foulkes even though he publicly shows bravado and says he has nothing about which to worry.  Thus the disinformation in The Punch. PLP's would be foolish to answer that disinformation.

The Opposition has the majority on the Public Accounts Committee of the Bahamas House of Assembly.  The five member committee includes Bradley Roberts PLP Chair, Philip Galanis PLP Englerston; Perry Christie, Leader PLP and for the FNM Elliott Lockhart and Anthony Miller.  The Committee's report has been delayed while Frank Watson who is accused of acts of corruption puts together a defence.  It appears after the meeting of Tuesday 30 October at the House that Mr. Watson's defence has collapsed.  The Committee as we went to press was waiting to hear from Mr. Watson if he wishes to reply to any of the Committee's preliminary conclusions.  If not, the Committee is expected to report on Wednesday 7 November when the House next meets.  We expect that the Prime Minister will lean on Elliott Lockhart to do a minority report.  The other thing is the report is likely to be condemnatory in that it appears that the Prime Minister was aware of the shenanigans of Mr. Watson.  Look to Mr. Ingraham using a parliamentary maneuver to stop it from seeing the light of day.

Bradley Roberts, the Chairman of the PLP, has called for answers into how it is that scores of Mexican workers are on a local job site for the Ministry of Education's new headquarters on John F. Kennedy Drive, while Bahamian workers are sitting idly with no work to do.  Unemployment rolls are increasing every day, and there are at least 50 air conditioning firms listed in The Bahamas said Mr. Roberts.  He said there was no need for Mexican workers to be installing air conditioning systems. Click here for the full press release.

The Constituencies Commission has completed its work in a manner of speaking.  True to form, the personal spite of Mr. Ingraham has butchered the constituencies of Ft. Charlotte, Fox Hill, Holy Cross and Centreville.  The Fox Hill maneuver is an exercise of pure hate on the part of the Prime Minister and latterly Dion Foulkes.  But you know love always wins over hate.  So let them hate.  The Shirlea seat has been eliminated, in order to cause Pierre Dupuch, the incumbent, to be eliminated from politics.  Polling divisions 1 to 10 of Shirlea, only two are left; all go into the constituency of Centreville.  So what is actually Centreville is really Shirlea.  It is absolutely perverse.  We in the PLP are going to kick their asses anyway.

We again raise the question of the request by The Bahamas International Stock Exchange (BISX) to get the Government to kick in two million dollars to help them over their difficulties.  BISX that hires less than ten people wants the Government to help them because their investment in the stock exchange went bad.  Let me make this clear, within PLP circles there is no sympathy for this group.  They are the champions of the free market.  Now let them eat their free market principles.  If they don't make it; too bad.  When one thinks of the absolute contempt this group has had for the PLP.  The businesses that support it will give no political campaign contributions to the PLP.  Almost exclusively they will go to the FNM.  Why should the PLP support them at all?  But when one also thinks that down in Fox Hill, there is a man 63 years of age who is ill and unable to get around and who lives in a bus. He can't get about.  We have repeatedly told Social Services about this but they have done nothing to help.  And the Government can't help that man but must go into the coffers and give BISX, a group of rich men in a bad investment two million dollars of taxpayer's money?  They must be nuts.  They had better have a talk with Perry Christie.

Talk about funny stories.  The Attorneys for Mohammed Harajchi have served the Prime Minister with the promised writ.  You will remember that the Prime Minister at the prayer service held to commemorate the opening of the new straw market allegedly defamed Mr. Harajchi. (Click here for that part of the story).  Derek Ryan, the attorney for Mr. Harajchi, the proprietor of Suisse Security Bank and Trust, now being wound up by the Central Bank, issued the writ.  Problem is he could not find a regular process server to serve Mr. Ingraham.  Each police officer asked refused to do so.  But Rodney Moncur, the political activist, taxi driver and all round intervener was ready willing and able.  Said Mr. Moncur to The Tribune: "I know the Prime Minister well and it has done nothing to harm my friendship with him."  Mr. Moncur said that the Prime Minister was served in front of the Churchill Building.  He refused to take it personally.  Mr. Moncur said that the Prime Minister said that he could not serve a writ on the Prime Minister.  Mr. Moncur said that he replied: "Don't say that.  They are paying me well to do this."  Mr. Moncur then said the Prime Minister got into an unmarked car and asked him to place it on the vehicle.  Whereupon Mr. Moncur placed it on the floor between the legs of Mr. Ingraham.   Concluded Mr. Moncur: "I know the Prime Minister very well and it was all done in a very amicable way and with as much dignity as possible."  The writ was served on 16 October.  No word from Mr. Ingraham what he plans to do.  What I think is that he is going to say that when he spoke, he was speaking as Prime Minister and that the country has to defend him. You believe that!  Of course that is bull crap but with him anything goes.  And also by the way, there is no rule that you cannot serve a writ on the Prime Minister.

John Rolle, the Comptroller of Customs, spoke to The Tribune on Tuesday 30 October to confirm what had been speculated in the press.  He said that he was about to put a formal proposal to the Minister of Finance to reduce the Customs Duties exemption for goods accompanying travellers down from the $300 per time twice per year to $50 per time twice per year.  Julian Francis, the Governor of the Central Bank, apparently supports this move.  The rationale is misguided in that they claim that this will cause people to buy goods at home.  We want to encourage the FNM to do this.  They will truly be finished politically on this one.  It is a naked scheme to help their merchant class friends.  People should not be denied the small exemption they have.  Further, all reducing the exemption is going to do is encourage smuggling and corruption of public officers.  Further, even if the policy had the desirable affect of getting people to shop at home, the merchants cannot meet the demand of the Bahamian public either in terms of variety or volume.

Back To The Top

In response to the rapid rise in sexually transmitted disease, the Ministry of Health has announced that it will undertake a comprehensive programme on male reproductive health in The Bahamas.  This will include a programme on abstinence.  Minister of Health Ronnie Knowles says that sexual abstinence will be promoted as the first choice among young men.  Good luck to him! But the programme needs to improve knowledge about how to stay healthy.

One wonders whether or not the Governor of the Central Bank is happy that the Royal Bank of Scotland is closing its doors in The Bahamas after nearly three decades in the country.  We say this not to be cheeky but because the Governor of the Bank Julian Francis has been saying some peculiar things lately.  One of which was while speaking at the American Men's Club on Tuesday 30 October, Mr. Francis confirmed that there had been a fall off in International Business companies of about 80 per cent since the new regulatory regime in The Bahamas.  The Governor said the following: "I think that is entirely desirable.  In fact that is what we wanted to happen."  We find that an incredible statement.  He went on: "We didn't think that it was consistent with good, responsible management to have during the course of a year about 60,000 companies being incorporated."  He said that the fact that IBC 's bring in only $150 in revenue to the Registrar General's office was not enough to allow the reputation of The Bahamas to be damaged.  But this of course does not take into account the knock on effects of the IBC business.  The fact that people are hired.  Professionals obtain business and make money in the country.  We can't see how it would be undesirable.  The fact is that The Bahamas has a way of life.  That way of life is punctuated by lack of regulation and privacy.  The Bahamas Government has been complicit in trying to alter that way of life and it must be resisted.   So we ask again, we don't know whether the regulatory regime is responsible for the closing of the Bank of Scotland, and the 23 persons who will be laid off by the end of November just before Christmas, but we ask the Governor of the Central Bank whether the closing of Bank of Scotland is also desirable.

The Governor of the Central Bank now says (The Tribune Friday 2 November) that he supports the idea of foreign lawyers practicing in The Bahamas in order to give internationally based clients a level of comfort with the services provided in The Bahamas.  Not one Government of The Bahamas has supported that, not even the dreaded UBP.  Right now foreign lawyers can join Bahamian law firms on work permits.  They can also work for the Government.  They can act as Judges.  They also can serve as registered associates, on a work permit.  If there is a special need, they can be specially called to The Bahamas Bar.  So there is no need to change the law.  Mr. Francis ought to think again.  Mr. Francis applauded Lennox Paton, the Bahamian law firm that recently opened a firm in London to help attract business to The Bahamas.  We support that and we also support joint ventures with law firms from outside the country, but no wholesale change in the law to allow foreign lawyers to practice at the Bar.  Bahamianization has caused so many people to get where they are but as soon as one gets to the top there is a tendency to forget how we got where we did.

The continued deterioration of the utilities in The Bahamas must be noted.  Remember it was the Governor of the Central Bank who told us that we wasted out money over the last ten years.  He was of course talking to the Government not to us broke mortals.  But the evidence is there for all to see: BaTelCo can't give you an instant connection even in The Bahamas from one phone within the island to another.  The residents of the low cost housing subdivision in Blueberry Hill have been without water for four days as of the writing of this piece.  And the problem is no one from Water and Sewerage will come to fix it.  Now the worst offender has got to be Bahamas Electricity Corporation.  A friend of ours said recently that this nation cannot progress without a reliable supply of electricity.  I agree.  It is frustrating.  The power went off for two hours at 2:30 a.m. on Friday 2 November.  And there is no reason given.  I am beginning to believe that we must take away the monopoly for the supply of power from BEC.

Back To The Top

There was a terse announcement in the press on Thursday 2 November that Jeanne Thompson who has been a practicing attorney and some time journalist since 1964 is dissolving her practice.  The practice is to be taken over by Lockhart and Munroe, the chambers of Elliott Lockhart, the MP for Exuma and also the chambers of Winston Saunders, Ms. Thompson's friend and ally.  It appears that Ms. Thompson is to join the Supreme Court bench as at 1 January.  At long last Jeanne.  Congratulations and we will miss you at the private bar.

The Eugene Dupuch Law School has said good bye to Justice Austin Davis, its first principal.  The Justice took at least a three-year leave of absence from the Bench to head the school.  Now he is back on the bench.  Things that make you go: hmmm!

The family of the late twin brother Devaughn Darling is suing Florida State University.  They are suing because they believe that FSU was in some way culpable in the death of Devaughn who died on 26 February in the midst of a football practice.  Mr. Darling had the sickle cell trait and it is believed that may have contributed to his sudden death.  Frank Rutherford, the Olympic bronze medallist of 1996 is a relative of the Darlings and has been defending the lawsuit in public.  A family row broke out.  Mr. Darling Sr. took issue with Mr. Rutherford speaking on behalf of the family and told Mr. Rutherford to keep his mouth shut.  In fact, Mr. Darling Sr. threatened a lawsuit to restrain Mr. Rutherford.  As you know in Bahamian law when a lawful son dies without a will and no lawful issue (children), the person who is the heir at law to his estate is the father if he is still alive.  Mr. Darling's divorced wife and his other two sons snapped back immediately and said that they supported Mr. Rutherford; that he was authorized to speak on their behalf.  They went further and said that Mr. Rutherford had been there when they needed him and that he had been a father figure to them. Ouch!  It appears that there are hard feelings between the sides of the family since the parents divorced.  This is an unfortunate airing of their dirty linen in public, but just one of those things we guess.  On the bright side, Washington State the new school of the other twin brother has reportedly cleared Devard for play on the school's football team.  Good luck to him!


The employees of the Grand Bahama Port Authority held a surprise party for Albert Miller, the Co-chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority.  He has had 30 years of dedicated service to the company.  The Tribune showed photos of the event. Mr. Miller has been talking of retiring but the word is that Co-Chair and shareholder of the Port, Edward St. George says that Mr. Miller can only retire when he Edward retires.  Edward is still saying that he is around until the year 2054 when the exclusive licence for the Port Authority from the Government runs out. Mr. Miller is pictured at the party in this Tribune photo.

Ed Burns is a Sheriff in Middlesex County in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He is also a graduate of the Kennedy School of Government's class of 1980.  He is therefore a classmate.  And each time, I visit Boston for one of the twice-yearly meetings at Harvard, he takes time out from his duties at the County Jail to take me around or anyone who is visiting with me.  He has a profound knowledge of the history of Boston, Cambridge and Massachusetts.  Thank you for your help this last visit.  I was in Cambridge for the annual Public Service Dinner of the Kennedy School and for one of the twice-yearly meetings of the Alumni Executive Council of the Kennedy School of which I am the Chairman.

Back To The Top

Last week, you might remember we extended our condolences to the family of our late cousin-in-law Seigfried Wilson.  He was buried in the Eastern Cemetery from St. Matthew's Church (not St. George's as reported earlier) on Saturday 27 October.  But we were shocked when we read The Tribune on Friday 2 November to read that the grave next to his had been desecrated on Wednesday 31 October, Halloween night.  The Tribune carried a picture of the Wilson grave that really upset his family.  Unfortunately there is no legal recourse for that.  But what is shocking is that in the grave next to his the perpetrators broke into the grave, entered the coffin and took the body of the person out and splayed parts of the body on top of the grave.  This is gross, disgraceful and the police believe is part of some kind of satanic ritual.  They say that Halloween this year also had a full moon for the first time in 46 years.  So one supposes all the crazies were out.

Sir Orville Turnquest, the departing Governor General, has virtually had a party every night since he announced that he is leaving office on 13 November.  He had the Leaders of political parties up for dinner on Wednesday 31 October.  We guess that was the best trick or treat night the Leaders could have.  When Sir Orville has demitted office, many people including the biased press of The Bahamas will say that he leaves a legacy of bringing dignity to Government House and also allowing the use of Government House by the common man.  No one talks about what an insult that is to his immediate predecessor Sir Clifford Darling who because he was appointed by the PLP was forced from office, and who while he was there under the FNM could not get any funds to repair Government House even after desperate pleas.  They made it so uncomfortable for him.  For example they ran him off to Canada on their first day for the opening of Parliament in 1992.  For our money the GG to end all GGs was Gerald Cash, and there was no reason for the PLP to have caused him to leave.  And for our money the legacy of the present GG will be parties and more parties.

Tommyavelli - Further confirmation of the story last week in our main website that FNM leader-elect Tommy Turnquest is set to move against his embattled deputy Dion Foulkes.  Political sources in Grand Bahama confirm that Tommy is actively seeking to sink Dion and replace him as deputy leader-elect with ousted minister Algernon Allen.  "It has all the earmarks of a classic Ingraham move," said one seasoned observer, "...the only thing is that Dion is planning to spill beans on Tommy... I predict that he won't go down alone."  It is common knowledge in political circles, though, that Dion Foulkes continues to see his election as deputy leader-in-waiting as a mere way station on the journey to the top of the FNM.  There are also now reports that in preparation for his ultimate goal, Foulkes has seized the party machinery and nothing can happen internally without his express approval.  Things that make you go hmmm!

"Don't Do It, Vikey!" - FNM Senator Edwin 'Vikey' Brown was home in Grand Bahama this past week. Vikey is said to have been canvassing supporters and trusted FNM power brokers here for advice about his foreshadowed move to try to supplant Tennyson Wells as the FNM's candidate for Bamboo Town.  The resounding and universal answer was "Don't do it, Vikey!"  It remains to be seen whether Brown will follow that sage advice.

Help For Wallace in West End - Apart from the demonstration of a bald-faced exercise in gerrymandering, the FNM's cutting of the constituency boundaries before a General Election also tells the world of their deepest fears.  Senator Obie Wilchcombe is one of those deepest fears threatening as he is to displace the FNM's representative for West End & Bimini David Wallace.  Ta-ta! Don't worry David, help is on the way.  The final 'recommendations' of the Constituencies Commission gerrymanders a large part of the neighbouring Eight Mile Rock into West End in a vain effort to protect and preserve Wallace's failing stewardship in the area.  It won't work guys, it just won't work.

Universal Disapproval - A local Grand Bahama vendor in the know tells News From Grand Bahama that he's never seen anything like it in his 30 years in Freeport.  "They still insist on calling this 'FNM Country', but every single former FNM general that I've run across is either not registered, not voting or not voting for the FNM." Wow. Even when you make the necessary adjustment for political disinformation, that's saying something.

Iris Out? - Director of Education, controversial civil servant, sister of former Minister turned FNM whistleblower Tennyson Wells, Iris Pinder is in the news again.  Mrs. Pinder, well known in Grand Bahama from her stint as principal at Eight Mile Rock High School is said to be the target of a coming attack on her position in the civil service.  Well-placed sources tell News From Grand Bahama that Mrs. Pinder is to be transferred against her will "after a decent interval" to a do-nothing job in another Government ministry.  Why? 'Punishment' for her perceived and alleged - but hotly denied - role in providing damaging inside information to her brother for his disclosure of alleged improprieties in the dispensation of Ministry of Education Contracts.  Minister of Education Dion Foulkes is still trying to sort through the fallout from those damaging allegations.

Ghost Town - At 'Our' Lucaya, it's worse that we think.  A twenty minute walk from one end of the Lucaya hotel strip to the next turned up exactly three tourists on a balmy and pleasant autumn evening.  A stop at one of the main and popular bars in the hotel revealed that the bartender could not even change a one hundred dollar bill.  The credit card machine was so infrequently used, it apparently wasn't even programmed for service.  In the midst of bowls of fresh fruit in the public areas, expensive new imported vegetation and endless but empty well-lit sidewalks faced with native stone, we ended up bartering away a gentleman's cigar in exchange for the drink.  A shocking interlude indeed.

11th November, 2001
This Week on
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
Click on a heading to go to that story; press ctrl+home to return to the top of the page.



This time, instead of moving inland, I decided that I would sit the storm out in my own flat, on the third floor of an Eastern Road building, facing the Eastern Harbour of New Providence. Last time, during Floyd, I ran inland.  Floyd that had hundred miles an hour winds did not damage at all.  Water all over the floor that I surmised came under the door sill.  Simple enough to keep that at bay the next time.  To be frank, I hardly pay attention to hurricanes at all.

Well we can't quite say it's a mistake but I didn't pay any attention to this one either.  And to the amusement of my friends, I was even surprised that a hurricane was on the way.  Of course, the darn thing picked up speed.  At first it was creeping along behind Cuba at 3 miles per hour and expected to reach us late Monday 5 November (Guy Fawkes Day, when I planned to burn Hubert Ingraham in effigy).  The hurricane's speed changed to 20 miles per hour and it came with its full force on New Providence and Andros on Monday morning around 7:30 a.m.  And did it blow.

Then at about 11:30 a.m. there was a calm.  The wind died.  The trees stopped swaying.  The sun came out. The people in their cars started surveying the events.  The Nassau Met Office, which is not usually relied on by Bahamians, told us not to venture outdoors because the eye was passing over us.  It was a wide eye of 40 miles or so.  But no, we (not me) all came wandering out.  Then came at 12:30 p.m. what has now become known as the second blow.  My father!  I should have moved inland.

Water beat in from everywhere.  No buckets could hold it.  No newspapers could sop it up.  No towels could hold it back.  And I stood at the sliding glass door, looking toward Paradise Island that I could no longer see and it looked like at any moment as if the glass door would pop out of its frame and slam against the back wall.  Guess what.  It didn't happen.  Two hours later, the wind stopped.  Gusts were up to 100 miles per hour.

The wind reminded me of one of those mindless potcake dogs that we have in Nassau who bark with ferocity as you approach their yard, and cannot be controlled by their owners.  They may even nip you if they get close enough, and then their fear and anger subsides but every once in a while they growl and bark as if to leave a final impression.  And so it was with Hurricane Michelle.  We report on some of the fallout below.

This week we had 20,162 hits on the site for the week ending 10 November 2001 at midnight.  That makes a total of 27,992 hits for the month of November. Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

Senate photo by Peter Ramsay, storm photo Felipe Major

11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral


Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links Bahamian Cycling News Links to Bahamians on the web Politics Forum Harbour Island Site


The Nassau Guardian led with the headline: DEVASTATED. In the end that was a bit over the top to describe what happened during the hurricane.  Clearly both the physical elements and the people of the country along with the emergency services were used to what faced us.  Remember we have had three hurricanes in ten years: Andrew in 1992; Floyd in 1999 and now Michelle in 2001. We simply intersperse this report with pictures of the damage by the various newspapers and their photographers. Some were saying Hubert Ingraham came in on a hurricane and is going out on a hurricane.  But there was still much to be desired of our emergency services.  And once again, we were simply fortunate that there was no loss of life.  There was just some flooding in areas.  No doubt the material costs are significant but nothing compared to what has happened in some other countries in the past.  We all survived. Tribune photo by Felipe Major.

Bahamas Electricity Corporation got mixed reviews.  Some people had power throughout the hurricane.  Most of the island, however, plunged into darkness one quarter of the way into the first blow.  An investigation has now been ordered by the Prime Minister.  There is some suggestion that it had little to do with downed power lines but with the inability of BEC to provide generating capacity.  BEC’s explanation was that the pumps that operated to keep water out from around the generators broke down.  They were not sure whether it was their fault of whether it was sabotage.  But that seems to be the reason for the power failure.  BaTelCo came out smiling.  Very few problems for them.  This time, unlike with Hurricane Floyd they remembered to keep their emergency generators in good repair so that their batteries in the central telephone system remained up.  Most people had phone service throughout.  Congratulations to them.  The Water and Sewerage Corporation did not fare well.  There had been a run of bad weather that had already forced them to cut back on water, leaving some places out in eastern New Providence high and dry for half of each day.  But after the hurricane struck, some people were out of water up to the time of this uploading of the site.  But the worst of all the public corporations was the Broadcasting Corporation's 1540 A.M. national service that broadcasts a clear channel of 50,000 watts.  Useless!  Was knocked off the air in the middle of the storm and did not come on again until late evening.  Plenty of excuses but it was fumble, fumble, fumble.  That was the first time in the history of the Corporation that was started in 1936 specifically to provide weather information that the station was knocked off the air during a storm.  Lawdy be!  Hubert Ingraham, the lame duck Prime Minister, was fuming mad.  He started mouthing off to friends about regretting his new choice for Director of News.  That got to us immediately.  He didn't like the fact that the Director of News Darrold Miller spent the hurricane in Andros when the eye of the storm was in New Providence.  As for his part, Mr. Miller seemed quite unfazed by all the flap.

We said in an earlier piece how some are saying that Hubert Ingraham came into office with a hurricane (Hurricane Andrew) and now will go out with one.  But this writer talks with more frank company.  Friends said this.  The Prime Minister has jinxed the country: fire, pestilence and flood.  All we have to do now is break out like Job in boils.  And now we have wasted the seven years of plenty and are into the seven years of famine.  We should be like the brothers of Joseph, sell him into slavery.  But they also had another apt analogy from The Bible.  Ingraham is a Jonah and like Jonah we need to throw him overboard to calm the storm.  Tribune photo by Felipe Major.

When  the events of 11 September occurred in New York, every man and his brother blamed whatever tragedy and misfortune befell them economically on the World Trade Centre bombing.  In our law office we were about to put up a sign ourselves saying that due to World Trade Centre bombing our rates were going up by ten per cent.  Judge now what the affect of the hurricane will be in Nassau.  We at Gwendolyn House saw substantial flood damage in one of our buildings.  This will require  complete new carpets, a raised floor and  new furniture -- it appears.  No one knows whether or not the insurers will cover any of it.  But it needs to be replaced.   But more importantly in terms of economic fallout, is what the Government had to say.  The Prime Minister told the nation by national address on radio on Thursday 8 November that the budget that his genius Minister of Finance had so faithfully promised would be a balanced budget was blown.  He blamed the events of 11 September and now he blames the hurricane.  The Prime Minister says that the budget will be in deficit some 80 million dollars on the recurrent side.  We have been told that civil servants have been told  to expect no increments, no raises in pay.  There is to be no new hiring.  All travel is restricted for civil servants.  All in-service awards are cancelled.  And so the low level civil servant must now suffer for the extravagances in the past of the Government.  Remember that the FNM as late as the summer of this year was busy using public money to buy votes to get their new leaders in place.  But now having squandered public funds, they say that there have to be cut backs.  It is also a fact that the drop in revenue, some 11 million dollars by some accounts in the first fiscal quarter this year over last year, came well before 11 September.  Something just seems terribly wrong that the Government must now go hat in hand begging for 100 million dollars U.S.  The Prime Minister said that there are certain notes that come due from a loan to building Packing Houses, contracted by the PLP in the 1980s.  The Government has to use immediately 41 million of that 100 million to pay those due notes.  The rest will be for relief.  The Prime Minister also predicted that unemployment would rise from what he said is now 6.9 per cent.  Presumably, the Prime Minister and his Ministers will be part of that rise in unemployment early next year.  Guardian photo by Donald Knowles.

There is some confusion about the length of time.  The Prime Minister said in his statement in Parliament on Wednesday 7 November that the Grand Hotel on Paradise Island will be closed for a month.  But that is not the message that the employees got.  They were told that they are on furlough indefinitely.  The hotel says that it will take until at least until January before the repairs to the hole are done.  What repairs?  Hurricane Michelle seriously damaged the Grand Hotel, two years and some after the serious damage of Hurricane Floyd.  The hotel had already been suffering with occupancy rates as low as 11 per cent since the 11 September attack in New York.  The employees have been told that they can either pick up their final package or take their chance with the furlough.  There is a real tale of woes going around the constituency of Fox Hill where many Grand workers live.  People are behind on their mortgages and light bills, after months of working two days a week.  The workers are unhappy that the Union does not appear to be able to assist as they expect.

St. Agnes Anglican Church lost its former Rector Archdeacon William Thompson one year and a half ago.  It was a great loss.  Now we have to face the indignity of the desecration of the sanctuaries of the main altar and the side chapel of Our Lady.  This was on the day of the storm 5 November.  During the eye of the storm, when there was a lull, members flocked to St. Agnes by the score to see for themselves the evil damage that had been done.  No one has yet been arrested.  This has the community concerned coming especially on the heels of the desecration of a grave in the Eastern Cemetery just a week ago (see last weeks story click here).

You can always tell when the politics of the country is getting too hot.  All the executives from the times of those old British Governors in the 19th century did it.  The UBP did it.  Pindling did it!  When the House of Assembly became too rowdy, they simply prorogued the Parliament for long periods of time, until passions cooled.  In these times, they don't prorogue Parliament, they just have long recesses.  And so Hubert Ingraham who promised that he would pass the labour bills into law by Labour Day 2000 and has failed to do so; who promised to pass the inheritance bills into law before the end of the year and has failed to do so; who is now circulating proposed amendments to the constitution (no joke), has now sent the House into recess until 21 November.  The talk is that this is to allow the heat to cool down on his Minister of Education Dion Foulkes.  Mr. Foulkes is under the threat of allegations of corruption in the awarding of contracts to delegates to the FNM convention to elect him Deputy Leader designate.  The talk in FNM circles is that it is absolutely shameless how the Prime Minister and the Minister of Education are trying to set up Creswell Sturrup the Permanent Secretary to take the fall for the awarding of the contracts.  They also want to ditch Director of Education Iris Pinder, the sister of the dissident FNM MP Tennyson Wells, saying that she leaked the information on corruption to her brother.  Further, Dion has jumped on the plane and gone to be with Daddy in Europe.  Arthur (excuse me “Sir”) Foulkes is now in Britain.  He received his tap on the shoulder with the Queen's sword to become officially a knight on Friday 9 November, the same day Sir Tiny, the Governor General, was bidding old Queenie an official good bye. The younger Foulkes was told to stay out of Dodge for two weeks, and don't come back until the House meets.  When the House meets it will deal with the constituency boundaries.  Guardian photo of Minister Foulkes and Permanent Secretary Sturrup at a recent news conference by Patrick Hanna.

The meeting of the Constituencies Commission scheduled for Monday 5 November at 4 p.m. was postponed because of the Hurricane.  But the majority on the Commission called a meeting together on Wednesday 7th November, shortly after the meeting of the House of Assembly on that day.  The House had to sit and listen to Hubert Ingraham drone on about the effects of the hurricane and what relief the Government promised for the people.  Mr. Ingraham has become a bit of a joke these days.  He was on national radio and TV on the morning that the storm hit giving the weather forecast.  So now in addition to Chief Inspector Ingraham running the murder investigation into the death of two tourists (remember that in September 2000), we now have Chief Weatherman Hubert Ingraham telling us in a national address where the eye of the storm is going to be and at what time.  A Prime Minister obviously has nothing better to do.  So the House adjourned at 3 p.m. and the Commission met at 4 p.m. The result is a cobbled up compromise that the PLP’s member Bradley Roberts signed with the clear understanding and undertaking by the majority on the Commission that it would not be disturbed by the Prime Minister pursuant to his powers under the Constitution.   Almost as soon as the deal was struck, word got out that Mr. Ingraham promised to change the deal as soon as it gets to him.  Well we will all see by 21 November.  The Constitution says that if Mr. Ingraham proposes changes, he should give a statement as to why he is proposing to modify the Commission's report.  Two interesting side notes to the Commission's activities.  Commission member Supreme Court Justice Ricardo Marques warned Commission members that in future they must act in the best interests of the electorate and not of the parties that appoint them. He said that even though they are appointed by their parties, they are Commission members and must act in the best interests of the Commission not of their parties.  Things that make you go: hmmm!  But the interesting one was Tommy Turnquest who felt that there had been a breach of the security of the Commission's proceedings because Larry Wilmott, the Chair of the PLP Fox Hill, made the point in his petition with 10 other Fox Hill residents that he had seen the proposals to change Fox Hill.  Mr. Turnquest thought that there ought to be an investigation of that breach in security.  Things that make you: hmmm!

Back To The Top

With the fact that the constituency boundaries will not be settled until at least 21st November, that effectively means that barring an aberration, the general election cannot be called this year.  If the boundaries were settled on 21st November it would take some time for the administrative machinery to change the issued cards to their new constituencies and polling divisions.  But even if all that were done, there must be at least four weeks for nominations and a campaign.  That will mean a Christmas election.  Unlikely, say the pundits.  So they now think that it will be run out to the end, as the PM said, on or before 14 March 2002.  Remember that if he does not dissolve Parliament by 8 April 2002, Parliament stands automatically dissolved.  Some talk amongst FNM die-hards that they ought to use the emergency powers under article 29 of the constitution to put off elections for another two years.  They will use 11 September as the reason.  Bad idea.  Thumbs down!

The Leader of the Opposition Perry Christie, raised a Methodist by his late mother, in the Rhodes Methodist Church was there.  Rev. Raymond Neilly has been installed as the head of the Methodist Church of the Caribbean and the Americas, known as the West Indian Methodists on Sunday 4th November.  You will remember that there was a split in the Methodist Church in The Bahamas that is still working its way through the Courts.  The Bahamian Methodist Branch is headed by Rev. Charles Sweeting.  But none of the bitterness of the split was in evidence as the splendid but simple ceremony to induct the Rev. Neilly took place.

Rats, they didn't do it!  Last week, we reported here how the Comptroller of Customs John Rolle recommended to the Government, supported by Central Bank Governor Julian Francis, that the customs duty exemption for travellers with accompanied baggage be reduced from $300 twice per year to $50 twice per year.  The Prime Minister speaking to the nation on Tuesday 8 November said that he had given it careful consideration and decided that even though the Government needed the revenue they would leave things as they are.  We were hoping that they did it.  Politically they would have been finished.  But I think that they are just waiting until Christmas is over and then the hammer will come down.


We neglected to offer our congratulations to Samuel Rahming on his being called to the Bar of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.  The Bahama Journal published a full photo of Mr. Rahming with others who were called to the Bar on Friday 26th October.  Mr. Rahming is pictured in this Bahama Journal photo with Chief Justice Sir Burton Hall and others.  But we also want to say congratulations to two former journalists who now join the legal fraternity: Pauline Seymour, formerly with The Tribune and Mavis Johnson-Collie (pictured at right in Bahama Journal photo), formerly with the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas.  Mrs. Collie is also the wife of former Senator and now candidate (Mayaguana Acklins Crooked Island and Long Cay) for the FNM Sidney Collie.  Mrs. Collie worked with me at ZNS when I was Director of News there.  He husband had kind things to say even when I had fallen out with his party.  Journalism is a natural route into law and then politics.  It is a well worn path by now: Jeanne Thompson, Kendal Wright and myself all started out with journalism as a first love. When I changed professions, I was deeply disappointed in myself at having failed at being able to make a decent living as a writer.  But the indignity of always having to bury your opinions in the face of an employer's views was simply too much, particularly for someone headed into politics.  Law is still the cheapest, fastest way for a Black Bahamian to get into politics.  Thems the facts.  Archdeacon William Thompson told me to get over it and do it.  Which I did.  When I was called to the Bar, I said that I found becoming lawyer infra dig.  That did not go down to well.  But one man was not fooled for a moment.  In an editorial, the late Sir Etienne Dupuch took me to task.  He was able to prick easily, and the bait was the fact that his brother Eugene Dupuch started out as a journalist well before becoming a lawyer.  I said in my statement that I was moved to follow in the steps of Eugene Dupuch.  This infuriated the old man Sir Etienne who said that he was not surprised that I had to call upon a Dupuch to hang my hat.  Not so, of course, but good writing.  The part I laughed at was when he called me the Chief Garbage Collector down at The Herald.  I used to be the Editor of the PLP’s newspaper The Herald, a paper that the Elder Dupuch reviled as a gutter rag.   It was good fun and nice to remember an old adversary.  Good luck to all the new lawyers.

Back To The Top

Nehemiah Heild, the former lead singer of Bahamen, on hits like ‘Gin and Coconut Water’ and ‘Going Back to the Island’, launched a solo career after leaving Bahamen three years ago.  Mr. Heild is featured on the front page of The Tribune's weekly entertainment magazine Da Vibe Friday 9th November edition.  Mr. Heild talks about his new direction including a solo album released last year,  and new album that he is working on in part a tribute to Smokey 007.  Mr. Heild has also been working for the last three years as a back up singer for Lenny Kravitz.  Mr. Kravitz, the rock singer of mixed racial ancestry, has Bahamian roots.  His mother now deceased from U.S. TV's ‘The Jeffersons’ fame was Roxey Roker.  She had Exuma roots.  Mr. Kravitz keeps a second home in Eleuthera.

Clarence Rolle, formerly a reporter with The Tribune, is to star in a new play called ‘The Hold-Up’, directed by Ian Strachan.  Mr. Strachan who was featured in an article in the Nassau Guardian by Janice Mather on Friday 9th November, has apparently quit his job as the Artistic Director of the Dundas Centre For the Performing Arts.  We predicted that it wouldn't last long.  And it appears that it didn't.  Don't know why he wanted to go that route but he is now onto other things.  This time it's the play ‘The Hold Up’.  It seems that the play and his insistence on it being performed on the Dundas' stage in part led to his departure.  The Board didn't like the idea.  They thought it was negative and didn't think that it was funny.  So said Mr. Strachan.  Mr. Strachan said he thought it simply made them uncomfortable.  He ought to watch Bunel’s film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1973).  But Mr. Strachan is not to be deterred.  He is going ahead with the play.  The article doesn't say who its author is.  But we found out that the Plays and Films Control Board, a body that should be abolished, had plenty to say and suggestions about changes to make.  Mr. Strachan rightly rejected them as attempts at censorship.  The play has a C rating which means (ooh!) that only adults can see it.  Nassau Guardian photo of Clarence Rolle.

Women appear to have been in the ascendancy over the last thirty years in The Bahamas.  The figures show that women are succeeding in academics, in the business world, and not in prison, where there are 39 women today with 1500 men.  But after the hurricane of this week, the impressionistic evidence would give a sociologist lots of food for thought.  The same observation has been made in the clear up after the World Trade Centre bombing in New York.  Clearing up and cutting down is a man's work.  And as you travelled throughout the island of New Providence following Hurricane Michelle, there were groups of men, young men, out in the streets with cutlasses and chain saws clearing up the mess, cutting away the fallen trees.  There seemed to be a certain atavistic pleasure in it.  Some of the sociologists have said that part of the reason for the slipping of young boys is that there is no longer the traditional physical role necessary to give men a sense of self worth.  Perhaps, these sociologists ought to study the phenomenon of the clean up after the hurricane. Tribune photo of Thomas Pratt chopping a fallen tree by Omar Barr.

She is the quintessential Valley Girl.  Her friends and family were all there.  The tributes came fast and furious from those friends and family.  She danced with her son Tyrone and her father Leon.  She is Linda Rahming-Fitzgerald.  She celebrated fifty years on Friday 9 November at a big bash at Montagu Gardens, the former home of Finance Minister Sir Stafford Sands on East Bay Street. Well happy birthday!


Rev'd. Dr. John Errol Cleare MBE JP, the late Pastor of New Bethlehem Baptist Church on Independence Drive, died last week at the age of 76.  He died suddenly.  He had just retired one month ago as pastor of the church that he founded and built.  The funeral service is going on now at New Bethlehem as we upload.  Wendell and I worked as young lads at the Bahamas Tourist news Bureau.  My condolences to Mrs. Cleare, Wendell and the whole family.

Back To The Top

The Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest demits office Tuesday 13 November at 10 a.m.  While it is not confirmed, it is widely believed that Dame Ivy Dumont former Minister and FNM leader in the Senate is to act in that position until the new administration can appoint a substantive replacement after the General Election.

Commissioner of Police Bernard Bonamy confirmed to the press this past week that he is to officially demit office on Wednesday 21 November.  Mr. Bonamy was recently called to the Bahamas Bar as an attorney-at-law.  It is expected that Mr. Paul Farquahrson who has acted as Commissioner during Mr. Bonamy's absence will be appointed to the substantive position.

Michael Halkitis PLP Candidate for Adelaide married yesterday Saturday 10 November.  Details next week!

Frank Rutherford was an Olympic medallist in 1992 not 1996 as we said last week in our story on the Darling twins.

Exit One More Bahamian - The Driftwood Group, owners of Resorts at Bahamia have let go another Bahamian and replaced him with a foreigner.  This time it a warehouse manager.  The job of keeping track of the hotels' inventory has been in Bahamian hands since the old days when the property was called the 'Kings Inn'.  Word is that the replacement is yet another relative of one of the principals of the company.  This is the same Resorts at Bahamia which is constantly championed by the former Minister, now Ambassador for Investment David Thompson, FNM representative for the Marco City constituency in Grand Bahama... Go figure.

Raised Eyebrows - There is a cadre of the old faithful element of the UBP, now supporting the FNM in Grand Bahama which stays in close touch with correspondents to this site.  This past week, they were curious at talk of Dame Ivy Dumont being asked to act as Governor General after the current GG demits office next week.  "Between her and Geoffrey Johnstone, Barrie Farrington, Hugh Sands and one or two others, you would believe that there is no one else in the country loyal to our party who is capable of doing anything", said one.  Another of the group observed "For heaven's sake, Ivy's already been retired about four or five times and has numerous pensions."  Out of their own mouths.

Fury Over Speech - Dedicated political observers in Grand Bahama who used to support the FNM Government are furious over the proposal for the Government to borrow $100 million.  Some quotes: "Who borrows money to put on standby?....  He gave the straw vendors money out of the Public Treasury when he couldn't pay teachers here [in Grand Bahama] for work already done... For the love of God, let Sir Lynden rest in peace. It's been almost 10 years since we've been in Government.... Cut back? If he wants us to cut back, he could start with some of those Parliamentary Secretaries who don't do anything... And every time we go to Nassau all you could see is brand new Cabinet cars..."  Out of their own mouths.

Niggardly Behaviour - Students and faculty at Freeport Gospel Chapel School have been left to wonder what happened.  The Grand Bahama Port Authority has had the road paved to the front of the school but left a side road used to exit the school rocky and unpaved.  One parent called News From Grand Bahama to ask "How could the Port, supposedly a 'quasi government' be so niggardly?... I guess these new people who've taken over don't see things like the old crew who at least would never be caught in a situation like this."

Accidents Which Don't Have To Happen - There is a major crossroad in Freeport at the corners of East Sunrise Highway and Sergeant Major Drive through which school traffic to at least three institutions must pass.  For several hours each school morning and afternoon, the area becomes a hazard.  There is a caution light which the Port Authority says cost some $70,000, but it does little to help in this instance.  For more than 18 months, letters and calls of complaint have been made to the various authorities but nothing has happened.  A police officer or some human traffic direction is needed for the hours surrounding school drop-off and pickup.  The Department of Road Traffic knows.  Local Government knows.  The police know.  The MP for the area, also incidentally the Minister for Public Works, knows.  Come on guys.  Each week more and more serious accidents happen there with people trying to sneak out from the stop sign when traffic backs up.  There has already been serious injury.  Those responsible should act before there is loss of life.

18th November, 2001
This Week on
John Carey / PLP Carmichael...  
Alfred Sears / PLP Fort Charlotte... Bahamians First.Com / PLP Grand Bahama
Shane Gibson / Golden Gates...  Bradley Roberts / PLP Grants Town...
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Shortly after the corrupt election of the Leader designate and Deputy Leader designate of the FNM was finished, the lame duck Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham announced that his putative successors Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes were now in complete control of the party apparatus.  Tommy Turnquest affirmed this.  No one believed it.  But we all knew that it was necessary because of the allegations against the Turnquest/Foulkes combination that they were two little boys, puppets being controlled by the puppet master Hubert Ingraham.

On Sunday last, Tommy Turnquest and this Senator attended the Remembrance Day ceremonies to pay tribute to the heroes of World War II and others who had fallen in the service of our country.  Mr. Turnquest was in a confident and affable mood.  He told this Senator that after all the bad things that had been written about himself and Dion in this column he expected to see something good about him this week.  He quickly added that he did not read this column but that people always told him what was said in it.

The reason he felt he deserved some praise was that in the Constituencies Commission, he agreed to certain changes to the constituency boundaries that he believed affected the Fox Hill constituency in which I intend to run.  Instead of the FNM beating me by 576 votes, the margin was reduced to 356 votes.  Great! Thanks a lot.

Remember now Mr. Ingraham had said only weeks earlier that when he is finished with the boundaries, the PLP will only be able to win one seat and that is Grants Town.

Mr. Turnquest almost had me convinced but since we were just out of church, I reserved judgment.  I didn’t have long to make up my mind.  During the week, Mr. Turnquest repudiated the agreement between Bradley Roberts, the PLP’s representative on the Commission and the other FNM member Dion Foulkes.  Messrs. Foulkes and Turnquest pledged that the Prime Minister would not disturb the changes that they had agreed to in the Commission.

It turns out that they could make no such promise.  The Prime Minister has informed the Leader of the Opposition that he will make substantial revisions to the boundaries again, because Mr. Foulkes and Mr. Turnquest   “went too far”.  He intends to shift Yamacraw, Centreville and Fox Hill to ensure the defeat of the PLP’s candidates in those three seats.

So much for the word of Tommy Turnquest.  And now Mr. Turnquest has to ask himself and answer for himself to the nation: is he his own man?

This week, we had 22,970 hits on this site for the week ending 16 November 2001 at midnight.   That brings a total of 50,892 hits on this site for the month of November.  Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

Senate photo by Peter Ramsay

11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral


Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links Bahamian Cycling News Links to Bahamians on the web Politics Forum Harbour Island Site


Funky's Trivia:  The difference between Hubert's leadership of the FNM and Cecil's is that at least Cecil voted for the FNM once...

Hubert Ingraham has taken the art of political cartography beyond science to a form of high art.  He is a socialist at heart, and he likes nothing better than to emulate the late Prime Minister Lynden Pindling, sitting on the floor to redraw boundary lines.  Given his inner sense of insecurity and the need to show Perry Christie who is the boss, he can’t help himself.  He is busy trying to ensure that each of his enemies is eliminated from the political map.  He has a personal hate for Fred Mitchell that is irrational beyond reason, telling his friend that he hates “his fake New England accent”. What’s a “fake New England accent”? He hates Perry Christie, can’t forgive him for being a Nassau boy and putting the name Christie first in the old law firm they owned together: Christie & Ingraham.  He hates his own party members Lester Turnquest, Pierre Dupuch and Tennyson Wells.  He now hates Speaker Italia Johnson.  The list of hates is endless, and so the master cartographer is going to redraw the lines already submitted in a report by his two puppets Dion Foulkes and Tommy Turnquest on the Constituencies Commission that now sits on the Governor General’s desk.

When the Constituencies Commission last met to conclude its business, the Commission agreed to certain changes that had earlier been proposed by the majority.  By the lobbying of the PLP’s Bradley Roberts, five constituencies were changed from the original map proposed by the Prime Minister’s puppets in the Commission.  Those changes affected: Fort Charlotte, Grants Town, Centreville, Fox Hill and Yamacraw.  The Prime Minister was furious and immediately threatened to revoke the changes when the report comes to him from the Governor General’s desk. He has the power to do so under the constitution.  Bradley Roberts immediately fired off a letter threatening to revoke his cooperation and issue a minority report if the Prime Minister troubled with the boundaries again.  Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes had promised that the changes would not be disturbed.  Tommy Turnquest fired back a letter to Mr. Roberts, clearly written for him by the lame duck Prime Minister saying that he had no idea that Mr. Robert's signature was: “worthless”.  Mr. Roberts fired back that both Tommy and Dion should look in the mirror and they would see a picture of what worthless is. Please click here to visit Mr. Roberts' website for the exchange of correspondence on the constituencies over the past week .

The day after all the false pomp and pageantry - something that the FNM is good at, (false pageantry and false history), Darrold Miller, the talk show host was back in Nassau, after sitting out Hurricane Michelle in Andros.  He hosted a talk show to hear from the public praise for Dame Ivy Dumont, the now acting Governor General.  Dame Ivy replaced outgoing Governor General Orville Turnquest, who will forever be known as the partying Governor General.  Following the announcement of his departure from office, there must have been a party every night at Government House.  Mr. Miller got what he was asking for on his radio show.  There was every thing from pure unmitigated hatred for Dame Ivy Dumont to contempt for the Government for choosing her.  The Government was obviously so stung by her unpopularity that they had to issue a statement on Friday 15 November showing that she was not getting all the pension benefits that were being claimed around the town.  The host Darrold Miller got so frustrated at one point that he started cutting off callers and telling the audience: “If you can’t have anything positive to say, don’t call this show, call the other one.”  It was amazing.  Guardian photo by Donald Knowles.

What many of the callers to the ZNS talk show asked was: How much more is this woman going to get from Hubert Ingraham?  What has she done so for him to appoint her to something again?   Good question!  You will remember that this is the same Dame Ivy who served as Hubert Ingraham’s hand picked Secretary General of the FNM in the pre 1992 period.  Then she inexplicably was chosen as the Leader of the Senate from August 1992 to January 2001.  Then after faking a retirement from the politics last January, he appointed her to the $30,000 per year job as Chairman of the Public Service Commission, a bad choice because fresh from politics, she was going to influence the choice of FNMs to government positions.  The position also came with a car.  Dame Ivy is 71 years old. Now she is Acting Governor General at $75,000 per year.  The Government was quick to point out that she will only get the salary, no pension benefits.  But even FNMs are outraged at the appointment.

So stung was the Government by the criticism of Dame Ivy Dumont as Governor General that the Cabinet Office issued a statement relating to the monetary arrangements surrounding the appointment of Dame Ivy to the job.  According to the Cabinet Office after 37 years in the Public Service she retired as Deputy Permanent Secretary with a pension of $9,187.50 per annum in 1978.  That has now grown to $12, 833.20 per annum.  After eight years of service from 24 August 1992 as Minister she was entitled to a pension of $10,254.60 per annum.  But while she is Governor General she will receive neither of those pensions.  And the Cabinet Office said that she does not get a national insurance pension to which she is entitled.  Further, she will receive no remuneration for the position of Chair of the Public Service Commission from which she is now on leave.  We believe that someone ought to take the issue to court of whether she can serve as Acting Governor General while holding the substantive post of Chair of the Public Service Commission, there being a full blown case of a conflict of interest.

Sir Orville Turnquest has now retired from public life or so we think.  You can never tell with FNMs.  He told the press this week that he plans to start a new career as an historian.  He would then join Sir Clifford Darling who is writing a history along with Patty Roker of his political life.  Sir Orville is living temporarily with his son the Minister Tommy in the mansion that he gave Tommy on Harrold Road.  He is doing repairs to a new home for himself and Lady Turnquest on Skyline Drive, near the home of former policeman Courtney Strachan.  As to the bit about writing a history book, we always say that if you want your legacy to be protected, the thing to do is write it yourself.  But left to us, we would say that while there was a lot of pizzazz at Government House and plenty partying while Sir Orville was Governor General, we shall remember him for his discrimination against this Senator.  I serve as the Opposition Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and despite repeated requests by the Leader of the Opposition, when official presentations and rituals took place for arriving foreign diplomats, this spokesman was routinely ignored.  This is clearly contrary to the conventions of the constitution.  It was one example of discrimination against the PLP while he was Governor General. The other is the fact that Government House during his tenure often seemed to be used as a staging platform for FNM policies and programmes.

People wondered what all the crowds were on Harrold Road Thursday 15th November.  It looks like a big crowd showed up to the Harrold road mansion of Tommy and Shawn Turnquest.  It seems Tommy was celebrating his birthday and all the minions were persuaded to come and celebrate. We wonder who paid for this party?

At the funeral for the Late Bishop John Cleare on Sunday 11 November, the principal speaker was Bishop Neil Ellis of Mt. Tabor Full Gospel Baptist Church.  He was explaining the structure of Christian prayer as taught by Christ in the gospel of Matthew, aka, the Our Father Prayer.  Said Bishop Ellis at one point: “There are persons who are appointed in this world to tempt you and Christ was saying to us that we must forgive them.”  Janet Bostwick who was sitting opposite me in the church raised her finger and pointed at me and said: “I forgive you”.  I said the same thing back to her.  The point is this.  Mrs. Bostwick is the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  She has simply been hopeless in the job, de-energized and constantly asleep at the wheel.  But her response in church gave me a clue as to what the problem of the FNM is about public criticism; they take all this stuff personally.  The fact is that she is the Minister of Foreign Affairs and she has to keep the Opposition and the country informed of what she is doing.  That is a public responsibility.  My responsibility is to shame her into doing so, when she does not.  I need neither her forgiveness, nor does she need to like me.  Don’t care!  Just do your work.

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Tongues are wagging this week in the FNM about why Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson was not at the ceremony to see fellow Long Islander Ivy Dumont sworn in as Governor General.  Mr. Watson was up in Freeport playing tennis.  The word is that Mr. Watson is totally pissed at the Prime Minister.  First he is being put to the wolves, i.e. the PLP led Public Accounts Committee of the House of Assembly.  The Committee is expected to report to the House of Assembly on Wednesday 21 November.  Frank Watson should get ready to resign.  Mr. Ingraham has not moved to protect him.   But friends of Mr. Watson are saying that Watson is seeking to distance himself from Mr. Ingraham.  Mr. Ingraham has told friends that he has changed his mind again and will no longer run for his north Abaco seat come the General Election.  And he has also said that when he goes Frank is going as well.  Frank is putting out the reply: “Ingraham can’t speak for me.”  And it appears that C.A. Smith and Janet Bostwick are saying the same thing to Mr. Ingraham.

We were in Long Island again this month for a one-day visit.  The reason for the visit was a legal case in Clarence Town, the Island’s capital.  But if afforded me an opportunity to visit with PLP allies and some other old friends there.  One new found friend and of course a great place to eat was the restaurant owned by Reginald and Annie Minnis.  Their daughter Denise Minnis is a regular reader of this column and I thought it would be great just to show her this senator with her mom and with our PLP candidate Ron Pinder who was in Clarence Town for the visit as well.  Mr. Pinder is interested in agricultural issues and we were afforded an opportunity to get a briefing from the Manager Maurice Minnis of the packinghouse at Clarence Town on the current state of agriculture in Long Island.  Agriculture is suffering in Long Island as result of a disastrous flood, followed by Hurricane Michelle.  The banana crop has suffered. Bananas have a double whammy in that the disease black sigatoga has devastated the crops there over the past five years.  Further, the island has not properly recovered from Hurricanes Floyd and Lily– all over the past decade.  But the worst problem said Mr. Minnis is the fact that the young people are abandoning agriculture for other vocations like construction and fishing.  We also note that in Long Island there is a real estate boom going on.  Generation land is now being parceled up into subdivisions and sold off. That means that agricultural land is being lost to residential uses.  So farming suffers again. The PLP supports increased subsidies in agriculture because it will assist in the development of our economy and help preserve family island communities. Our other photo shows Michelle Fox, law clerk at this firm heading into the Court House at Clarence Town. Photos to be uploaded later.

Last week we reported that Sir Arthur Foulkes was formally made a knight at a ceremony of investiture on Friday 9 November.  The date was wrong.  In fact, the formal investiture took place in London by Her Majesty The Queen on the same day that Dame Ivy was made Governor General on Tuesday 13 November.

Despite the fact that he has made a monumental cock up of the Air Traffic Control system in The Bahamas, C.A. Smith continues to enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister.  The two of them are just as hopeless together.  The last time we saw C.A. Smith in the flesh was when he appeared with his mafia from the Department of Civil Aviation at the official opening of a conference of international air traffic controllers.  I thought he was a brave man to show up to the ceremony on Thursday 1 November.  What he showed up for was what he got.  ATC Union chief Roscoe Perpall told his audience with old C.A. sitting in the front row how worthless C.A. and his Government were.  And they all sat there with stoic faces while they got slapped around.  After the speechifying was over though, C.A. and his crew ran out of there like bolts of lightening.  It was delightfully good to see their discomfort and unease.  Mr. Smith reportedly sent a message to the air traffic controllers that if he had been thinking of doing anything for them, all bets were off.  For that alone he should be jackass of the week.  But we want to add this.  No doubt, C.A. was feeling his oats, after crowing that he was responsible for the restoration by the American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of the Nassau International Airport to category one status.  Bahamasair and all Bahamians were relieved.  At the same time, private air charters with Bahamian registrations can now fly into the US.  So C.A. must have been too giddy to realize what he was saying at the opening of the Grand Bahama children’s home on Friday 16 November.  During the speech he spoke of children as rejects and misfits.  This was inappropriate and offended many who were there.  And for C.A. who has been told by the PM that he has to go as a Member of Parliament to talk about rejects... Now for all of the above, C.A. Smith is our JACKASS OF THE WEEK.

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Dr. Bernard Nottage, who was elected as a PLP, now holds the constituency of Kennedy.  The seat is to be the subject of a three-way fight, with Kenyatta Gibson for the PLP and we thought Ashley Cargill for the Free National Movement.  Now the word is that Tommy Turnquest, the putative leader of the FNM has told Ashley Cargill that he is not going to be the candidate. This after ten years of keeping the FNM going in there.  Mr. Cargill is to make way for a popular labour leader.  Needless to say Mr. Cargill’s family is traditionally PLP and we welcome him to our ranks if he wishes to come.

The Bahamas Financial Services Union has been formally recognized as the bargaining agent for Barclays Bank.  This was granted by the Minister of Labour Earl Deveaux.  Mr. Deveaux had been stalling for weeks making a decision.  The employees felt that the Government was stalling to assist Barclays at getting rid of the Union.  Barclays as you know is in merger talks with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). They are creating a new entity for the Caribbean called First Caribbean.  The merger is still subject to regulatory approval.  The employees were afraid that if the recognition did not take place before the merger that they would have to start all over again.  The CIBC employees did not participate in the effort to unionize.  A march to pressure the Government was led by the Union through downtown Nassau on Thursday 15 November.  This Senator together with the attorney for the Union Alfred Sears and labour leaders Shane Gibson and Obie Ferguson joined the march and rally.  The PLP supports the unionizing of Barclays and the banking sector.  The PLP says that no person can be transferred to a new entity without his or her agreement.  Our photo shows the workers at a rally on Wednesday 14 November on the steps of the General Post Office in Nassau.


A Valley Girl has been appointed Director of Social Services by the Government of The Bahamas in the Ministry of Housing and Social Services.  Ms. Zonicle who is a contemporary of this Senator has been appointed with retroactive effect from 1 February.  Ms. Zonicle has worked for 30 years in the welfare and rehabilitative services of the Government of The Bahamas.  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida Memorial College in urban services and a Masters Degree in guidance counseling from the University of Miami.  Congratulations to Ms. Zonicle.


Desmond Bannister thought to be headed to a career as an FNM Member of Parliament, has decided that would not be an obstacle to his running again to head the Bahamas Amateur Athletic Association (BAAA).  Mr. Bannister was elected the head of the sporting body, now known as the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations, the same acronym (BAAA). He will serve for three years.  Bahamian athletes credit Mr. Banister with leading the organization through its most successful period with the winning of several Olympic and World medals. Congratulations to him!


One of the last official duties of outgoing Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest was to lay a wreath in the Garden of Remembrance on Sunday 11 November.  The number of Bahamians who fought in World War II has dwindled significantly.  Most Bahamians do not bother to pay attention to it.  But it remains an important reminder of us all of what the price of freedom often entails.  The Governor General is shown in this Nassau Guardian photo laying a wreath.

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Richard Dean was his proper name.  And when we were boys, he was already a legendary dancer and entertainer.  He had the name Sweet Richard.  He has long been dead but the name still has a magic ring for a certain generation.  The Nassau Guardian featured a story on Thursday 15 November about Sweet Richard at the instance of his son Dexter Thompson who is the spitting image of the man.  They carried a photo of Sweet Richard and one of Dexter Thompson.    He danced for the tourists at dockside and as a street performer.  He was often under arrest for disorderly behavior.  He carried a parrot with him.   He performed at the Cat and the Fiddle, the Silver Slipper, the Lemon Tree and the Montagu Beach Hotel. He died by choking on piece of steak while on a trip to the United States in 1964 at the age of 34.  Dexter Thompson, who is a classmate from eastern Junior School, is reviving his father’s image.  The Guardian said that he is releasing a video on his father’s life.  We wait to see it.

The former President of the Bahamas Baptist Missionary and Education Convention was in hospital during the week beginning 12 November.  He was involved in a traffic accident in Exuma, and had to have an operation in Doctors Hospital to relieve pressure on his head.  He is reportedly doing well.  Kindest Regards to him!

The Bahamas Government is predicting an 80 million dollar budget deficit for this fiscal year.  This comes after predictions of a balanced budget by the Finance Minister William Allen in the annual budget debate in June of this year.  The situation looks to be getting worse as the Tourism Impact Survey of the Chamber of Commerce, the Bahamas Hotel Association and the Nassau Tourism Development Board indicates that some 2,020 people will be laid off as a result of the contractions from the attack on the World Trade Centre. The survey does not reflect the number of people who are already on reduced days at hotels.  Some persons in middle class areas of New Providence are already three months behind on their mortgages and can't keep up with ordinary bills.  Doesn’t look good and the Government has failed to aggressively tackle the problem.

The Governor of the Central Bank Julian Francis and the Attorney General Carl Bethel have been using the closing of the Al Taqwa Bank to demonstrate to the U.S. that we now have a strict regime in The Bahamas for the performance of banks post the OECD blackmail demands of last year. The latest is that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has relaxed its deadline for compliance with the tax initiative to February 2002.  The Bahamas simply needs to tell these people go to hell.  But that’s another story.   It turns out that there is a far less sinister side to the closing of the Al Taqwa Bank.  The Registered Agent for the Bank Sean Hanna of the firm Arthur D. Hanna & Co says the bank simply closed because it went into voluntary liquidation.  The reason is that the Bank’s proprietors decided that they did not want to comply with the physical presence laws of The Bahamas following business reversals in South Asia.  The FNM simply can’t get it right.

The boy group ’N Sync played a concert in The Bahamas Thursday 15 November at Atlantis, Paradise Island.  Mobs of Bahamian teenage girls and boys mixed with tourists at the concert, which was taped by CBS television and is to be rebroadcast at 10pm on Thursday 23rd November on CBS stations across the U.S.

From Bad To Worse for C.A. - This was not a good week for Minister of Transport & Local Government C.A. Smith.  Last Sunday 11 November on a local call-in radio show caller after caller lambasted the Minister, repeatedly complaining about his lack of representation and accusing him of being the champion of foreign business.  Said one caller, "You don't seem to stand for issues that mean anything to the Bahamian people, only those who come here to make their money over us."  C.A. was virtually speechless, reduced to thanking the various critical callers for their 'observations and frankness".  The PLP's Ann Percentie, hot on C.A.'s heels as candidate for Pineridge, looked on during the debacle.  Also on the radio show was Velma Smith of the CDR.

Who Were Those Callers? - After the show C.A. seemed shaken to the core.  Friends of the Minister tell News From Grand Bahama that C.A. recognised many of the people who called in to criticise him and "He didn't realise that dissatisfaction was at such a level in the community... the true picture is that he is in trouble in Pineridge and the identity of some of those callers suggests that the party leadership itself is moving against him."

A Signal For C.A. - As Family Island election co-ordinator for the FNM, it was C.A. Smith's job to introduce the Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham during a ceremony Friday 16 November at the Grand Bahama Children's Home.  Not only did C.A. insult the gathering with talk of rejects and misfits (see story above), but he was chastised by his leader for giving a speech at all.  When he was finally allowed to the podium, the Prime Minister said that it was his understanding that C.A. was only supposed to be introducing him, not giving a speech.  But he guessed he was attempting to campaign.  With that the Prime Minister exchanged a serious and meaningful look with his Minister, only then to burst into hysterical laughter.  Sounds like a signal to us.  We think C.A. Smith's days as the presumptive FNM candidate for Pineridge are numbered.  According to one seasoned political observer, "C.A. is fast becoming untouchable. He has nanny on his shoes."  We say a full apology is in order to those children.

C.A. Stays Away - C.A. Smith was another important personage with ties to Long Island who did not attend the swearing in ceremony of Dame Ivy Dumont as Governor General (acting).  C.A. was reportedly busy in his Pineridge constituency trying to immunize his leading campaign generals against defection.  C.A. has reportedly told friends that he doesn’t want to end up like Maurice Moore, who is known in Grand Bahama as 'first born of the FNM'; a man without influence in his own party.

Where Is Dion? - The word from several sources usually in the know is that deputy FNM leader elect Dion Foulkes has become persona non grata in the FNM.  News From Grand Bahama as asked to help locate Mr. Foulkes who has not been seen at any of the public gatherings here to support his leaders.  An informant in the Ministry of Works says that Minister Ken Russell is upset at the handling of contracts for which Mr. Foulkes is under fire.  "Ken thinks he is a stubborn little fellow who should have let those contracts be handled by the Ministry of Works... it never would have ended up like it did."  Sources further tell News From Grand Bahama that the Minister of Education Foulkes will not be let anywhere near contracts to repair schools damaged by hurricane Michelle.

Tommy Just Doesn't Have It - FNM leader elect Tommy Turnquest on Friday 16 November called a meeting for all the poll workers and generals at the FNM headquarters in Freeport.  The party's leader-elect was a full ninety minutes late for the meeting.  By the time he got there, many people had left and many others who remained passed the time by sniping at Tommy's suitability for the post of leader elect.  Said one, "this ain' no church business where you could just pass on the as well his pa should have stayed on Government Hill and saved the Bahamian people money because the boy just don't have it."

'Vikey' Resurfaces - FNM Senator Edwin 'Vikey' Brown two weeks ago was around his hometown of Grand Bahama canvassing FNMs for support in a run against Tennyson Wells for Bamboo Town.  After getting a resounding 'No, don't fool with that' Vikey laid low for a while.  He was nowhere to be seen.  Friday night at FNM headquarters those who did stay the hour and a half to wait for Tommy Turnquest gasped in shock.  There was Vikey, toting Tommy's briefcase!  Things that make you go hmmm!

25th November, 2001
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This week the Commissioner of Police (Acting) Paul Farquharson became the substantive holder of the office of the Commissioner of Police.  Bernard K. Bonamy retired from the job and the police force on 21 November amidst much pomp and pageantry. There was an official handing over ceremony on Thursday 22 November. There was a banquet on Wednesday 21 November.

Now, there is an interesting thing about ceremonies in The Bahamas, perhaps ceremonies anywhere.  The public aspect of the ceremony does not necessarily reflect the truth of the occasion or shall we say the truth behind the occasion.  What remains unspoken is often more important than what is spoken.

There is no question that Bernard K. Bonamy is a smart and competent man.  So is Paul Farquharson.  But each brought different styles to the job. And in the midst of the hurrah over Mr. Farquharson, people forget that when Mr. Bonamy took over the Force 14 years ago, there was the same sense of excitement that a 43 year old had taken over the Force.  He too did high profile walkabouts that the present Commissioner says he will continue.  We also forget that even as Mr. Bonamy’s popularity plummeted on the Force in the face of a rise in crime, not the fault of the Commissioner, much of the change brought about on the Force today is Mr. Bonamy’s doing.

We must also remember that for changes to be brought about by the Commissioner, he needs the cooperation of the Government.  Hubert Ingraham’s Government thought of him as a PLP and refused to cooperate with many of his initiatives.  It was known two years ago that notwithstanding the Constitution they were trying to find a way to force him out.

Mr. Ingraham himself adverted to the problems in his address at the banquet saying how Mr. Bonamy had been criticized for being aloof.  But Mr. Bonamy came the closest to speaking the truth when he admonished the Force at the official handing over parade not to bad mouth the new Commissioner.  He would know since that was a feature of the last years of his tenure both within the Force and in the Government.

We report on the handover below.  But what we wish to say here is best wishes to these two fine public servants: the incoming Commissioner and the outgoing one.  We wish them both well.

This week we had 22,263 hits on this site for the week ending 24 November at midnight.  That makes 73,147 hits on the site for the month of November.  Thanks for reading and please keep reading.

Senate photo by Peter Ramsay

by Kendal Demeritte
To the 'Dream Team' - Shadows will fall all over town, I know you are leaving ANY DAY NOW....  To Algernon Allen - A disciple for good, may God bless his caring heart SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL...  To the PLP - Stand, Step Now, Handle It, as she steadily goes ALL THE WAY.

11th Review of the Judiciary
Mitchell Address to Senate: Why the PM is the way he is
Mitchell speech to PLP Convention 2000
Pindling & Me - A personal retrospective on the life and times of Sir Lynden by Fred Mitchell
Address to the Senate Budget Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to the Senate Clifton Cay Debate / Haitian Issue
Address to PLP Leadership meeting in Exuma / Haitian Issue

Address of Sean McWeeney / Pindling  funeral
Gilbert Morris on OECD Blacklist
Fred Mitchell Antioch College speech
The funeral coverage

For a photo essay on the funeral of Archdeacon William Thompson. Click here.

Professor Gilbert Morris on the country's blacklisting  Coverage of Sir Lynden's death & funeral


Site Links
The PLP Position on Clifton Canadian contacts Reg & Kit's Bahamas Links Bahamian Cycling News Links to Bahamians on the web Politics Forum Harbour Island Site


Hubert Ingraham never ceases to amaze you.  There is not one occasion when he can act the role of a statesman and not that of a pig in a poke.  The occasion we are talking about that demanded statesmanship was the handing over ceremony of the Commissioner of Police Bernard Bonamy to the new Commissioner Paul Farquharson.  The occasion demanded that no partisan political comments be made.  But in the middle of an address in which Mr. Ingraham laid out the qualifications of the new Commissioner and his promotions, he reminded his audience that more than half of the promotions for the new Commissioner came since 1992.  His grinning hyenas in the Cabinet thought it was funny. But to us it is strange remark since, in our system; the Commissioner of Police is not a political appointment.  It requires consultation by the Prime Minister with the Leader of the Opposition so that the person can enjoy the confidence of both sides.  So why insult the man with talk of ‘we gave you the promotions’.  The only point is whether or not Mr. Farquharson is objectively qualified to be Commissioner.  Shame on you Mr. Ingraham. Donald Knowles' Guardian photo shows Mr. Farquharson, the new Commissioner, taking the salute following the handover.  Also shown is Felipe Major's Tribune photo of the passing over of the ceremonial sword of the Commissioner who is also the Provost Marshal.

The Prime Minister at the handing over ceremony on 21 November 2001 of the Commissioner of Police told the nation that because of the economic situation in the country all promotions in the Police Force, as are all promotions in the civil service, are on hold.  He claimed that when the economic emergency is over, the promotions will be made.  So that means that particular jobs in the police force will go wanting because the Government can't or is unwilling to find the money to pay for those posts.  Seems dishonest to me but anyway.  Mr. Ingraham said that when the time comes, 106 constables will be promoted to Corporal, and 40 corporals to Sergeant.  There was a bet to a buddy of mine on when the economic emergency will be over.  No doubt it will be sometime in February just as the elections are called.  Mr. Ingraham in 1997 attempted to politically bribe police officers by giving them a pay raise on the day that they were going to the polls.  The night before the election, he shouted out from the public platform: Remember the money!  Remember the money!  Now for next year’s election, it will be a new twist: Remember the promotion!  Remember the promotion!

Paul Farquharson, the Commissioner of Police is 52 years old.  His appointment to the post makes him the fourth Bahamian Commissioner on the Force and the second Commissioner of Police appointed since independence.   He first came to public notice as the Aide-de-Campe to the then Governor General Sir Gerald Cash.  Following Sir Gerald’s retirement, he had a meteoric rise on the Force.  He is known as a thorough man, with an even temperament and has the loyalty of his men.   The Commissioner's post is a constitutionally protected one.  If he remains in the post until retirement, then he will retire in the year 2009.   His Bahamian predecessors: Salathiel Thompson, Gerald Bartlett and Bernard K. Bonamy.  Said Mr. Farqhuarson: “Today is the proudest day of my professional life as a police officer… The foundations have been laid and the building materials are being assembled.  Whether we go on and build rock-solid structures, skills and relations; and thereby reap the real successes in policing which are possible for all Bahamians, is a matter of choice.”  Bahama Journal photo.

Last week, this column predicted that Hubert Ingraham would lay the draft boundaries order on the table of the House of Assembly at its meeting on Wednesday 21 November.  No dice.  The insiders said that the report that was sent to Government House just a week earlier had not yet found its way to the Prime Minister's office.  The big question is, what took them so long?  But now we understand that on Wednesday 21 November, the report had at last found its way to the Prime Minister from Government House.  Mr. Ingraham has now started his knifing into the boundary lines contradicting what Commission members Tommy Turnquest and Dion Foulkes had agreed.  The whole idea is to make sure that this candidate does not win in Fox Hill and to damage Perry Christie beyond repair in Centreville. That constituency is reportedly being designed for Loretta Butler, the granddaughter of the late Sir Milo Butler who defected to the FNM earlier this year.  Mr. Christie is expected to switch to the Grants Town seat and Bradley Roberts to the Bain Town seat.  The latest word is that the report will be laid on the table next week at the meeting of the House on Wednesday 28 November.  We live in hope.  This would suggest that there will be no General Election this year.  The Parliamentary Registrar has told the PLP that it will take about a month to change all the voters’ cards to reflect new constituencies and polling divisions and another month to distribute the cards.  If Mr. Ingraham remains rational and sane then that would suggest a March 2002 election.  Now the question: will he remain sane and rational?

The Public Accounts Committee, the only Committee of the Parliament dominated by the PLP, is expected to report tomorrow 26 November.  The Committee has reportedly completed its report condemning Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson and is now on to the work of investigating the claims against Minister of Education Dion Foulkes.  Mr. Foulkes is alleged to have dispensed contracts from the Ministry of Education in exchange for votes at the special convention of the Free National Movement in August of this year.  The Committee is also investigating another allegation against a senior Government official.  It is alleged that a contract was dispensed to a female former officer of the Free National Movement by the Ministry of Works at the Direction of another ministry.  The contract was not put to tender, and the bid of one company accepted.   The firm reportedly had no office, no track record, and was owned by two principals who hand wrote the 175,000-dollar bid.  This was mandatorily reduced by the Ministry of Works to 120,000 dollars.  One of the principals is said to have a child for the public official.

Freeport, Grand Bahama is all abuzz at the report that Edward St. George, one of the principals of the Grand Bahama Port Authority has sold his shares in the Hutchison Container Port at the Freeport Harbour.  The report is that the Port facility expanded too rapidly into phases two and three, resulting in massive losses.  The principal shareholder Hutchison asked for a fresh injection of capital from Mr. St George. He refused and they offered to buy him out.  So said so done.  Now Hutchison is in a row with Mr. St. George over the use of the logo that Mr. St. George reportedly insists belongs to the Port Authority.

Dame Ivy Dumont, the Acting Governor General, appointed in the midst of controversy on Tuesday 13 November, was barely in the job one week when she at 71 years of age spent two nights in Doctors Hospital for observation.  The reason given was that she had chest discomfort and it might have been her heart.  Dame Ivy’s explanation to The Tribune was that she was suffering from dyspepsia.   Anyway the story is that she is alive and well and out of the hospital.  But the Christian Bahamas has a funny way of expressing things.  We were sitting at lunch and a friend who is a Christian (born again) told the story of a colleague who had done him a bad turn on his former job.  The man now has colon cancer.  Said the friend: Isn’t God Great?  Yes indeed he is.  But this columnist was forced to make the comment that instead of a Christian God, he appeared to have an Israeli god, viz.  that one in the Old Testament that exacts vengeance on his enemies.  Not the one in the New Testament that taught us to turn the other cheek.   So without saying so, you can imagine what the sotto voce commentary was on the hospital stay of the Dame.  But from this side, we wish her well and a quick return to good health.  Genuinely, we disagree with her politics but we wish no one bad health.


This Senator as Opposition spokesman on Labour held a press conference on Monday 19 November to decry the layoffs in the country, being falsely grounded on the events of 11 September in the United States.  The full press release can be read by clicking hereTribune photo.

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The extra Parliamentary party, Bahamian Democratic Movement (BDM) has a new Party Chair.  He is Samuel Bain, a classmate of mine from the Class of 1970 at St. Augustine’s College.  The announcement was made by the Party and reported in The Tribune of Thursday 22 November.  Mr. Bain replaces Kenneth Andrews.  Said the party’s release: “Mr. Bain brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our party.”  The appointment and the comment are interesting.  Mr. Bain ran unsuccessfully as an independent in the Englerston constituency for the seat vacated by former Speaker Sir Clifford Darling who was headed for Government House in 1991.   But more important is the strategy that it appears that the BDM is employing.  They seem to be learning sense.  Cassius Stuart was especially stung by the criticism at the recent forum of political leaders at the College of The Bahamas for talking incessantly about how his party was a party of young people to the exclusion of those over 30 years of age.  Ad nauseum.  How he expected to get elected on such a platform was beyond most people in the room.  Mr. Bain’s appointment now seems to have countered the criticism and perhaps given the party a broader appeal.  He is 49 years old.  But we would still like Mr. Stuart to join the PLP.  Tribune photo.

The Government is announcing loan after loan.  The press reported this week (The Nassau Guardian Thursday 22 November) that Citibank has agreed to float a loan of 16 million to Bahamasair if the Government guarantees the loan.  This is to allow Bahamasair to pay off its debt to the Internal Revenue Service of the United States (IRS).  The Prime Minister also announced that he would be proceeding on Monday 26 November with a further resolution to borrow 40 million odd dollars to pay off monies owed on packing houses built during the PLP administration.  He said the Government needs the money to raise 41 million dollars urgently to solve a potential cash flow problem.  Interesting that it’s the Prime Minister who is announcing all of this.  What has happened to the genius Minister of Finance William Allen?

There was a speculative story in the Tribune Thursday 22 November that Lady Pindling is to be the PLP’s choice for Governor General.  They quoted Bradley Roberts, the Party’s Chair, as saying that while he did not know who the choice would be, Lady Pindling would be a very gracious Governor General.  The PLP has made no decision as to who will serve as Governor General.  The Party’s Leader believes that it is a post that requires consultation with the Leader of the other party.  It is a safe bet that PLP’s choice won’t be Dame Ivy Dumont.  Mr. Christie has discounted no one, nor chosen any one.  It will be his recommendation to the Queen that will carry the day, no doubt after consultation with his Cabinet.  In general a Prime Minister should try to be conscious of choosing figures that enjoy the broad support of all the Bahaman people.  Our impression is that Lady Pindling does not want a job, but we believe that given her status as the widow of the founding Prime Minister of the nation, the new PLP Government ought to ensure that her physical circumstances and stature is such that she has a comfortable existence for the rest of her days.

People are saying that the real reason that the Government cut short its House meeting on Wednesday 21 November was the demonstration by taxi drivers for changes in the security arrangements at the Prince George Dock.  Drivers mobbed Members of Parliament as they arrived to protest the silly arrangement at the dock.  In this preoccupation with security, we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  If the security arrangements frighten the tourists and cause economic collapse for our people, then what security will there be needed and to protect whom?  The Bahamas Government is blaming the US government and saying that it’s because the US says it must be that way, it is that way.  The walk for the tourist is too long.  Further, some taxi drivers made a living off taking tourists the short drive from the boat to the city.  All of this has stopped.  The Government refuses to budge and they keep blaming the Americans.  This incenses Bahamian patriots who argue that The Bahamas under Hubert Ingraham is abjectly supine to the US government.  The driver's complaint is that in being blocked from direct access to the ships, they have to compete with ferryboat operators and hair braiders for business. It is a madhouse.  And it terrifies the tourists at a choke neck at the dock with all the competing frenzy.  Further, the distance away from the boat is a disincentive to tourists to come to the city. Late word is that the drivers have now gone to the real bosses of the country at the US Embassy in Queen Street to try and work out some arrangement.  Said one protest sign: ‘We put steak on the FNM’s table and the FNM took bread off of ours’.  Bahama Journal photo by Kishno Jones.

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The Bahama Journal has reported that the United States Senate has confirmed J. Richard Blankenship as the new Ambassador to The Bahamas.  Mr. Blankenship will take up his post in The Bahamas shortly, relieving Charge D’affaires Dan Clune who has been the senior US diplomat in the country since the departure of Ambassador William Schecter in March 2001. Tribune photo.

Larry Farrington has opened a new branch of his appliances and tools store Robin Hood.  The new facility is located in a huge warehouse and repair building on Harrold Road.  It is the second branch joining the first branch on Soldier Road.  The marketing concept is buying in bulk and selling at low prices.  It is an amazing feat.  His prices are at US prices and lower.  They are able to buy from the US store Staples catalogue and sell at 10 per cent over US list prices.  We expect to make a visit on Christmas Eve.  It is likely to be Carnival.  Go visit the store.  Mr. Farrington has a new partner: the Freeport Concrete Company, headed by Hannes Babak.  Mr. Babak said that Freeport Concrete, a publicly traded company, wanted to expand its base of activities to homeowners instead of to the professional trade.  He is opening a new store in Freeport on Thursday 29 November.  The marketing concept is that of the legend of Robin Hood, robbing the rich and giving to the poor.  Well not robbing in this case but the imagery of Robin Hood was present at the store’s opening, including Viveca Watkins, who was the MC at the official opening on Thursday 22 November dressed as Maid Marion.  This columnist hammed it up for the cameras in a photo by Jessica Robertson.  The other photo by Jessica shows Mr. Farrington with this columnist.  Good bargains to be found in tool sets, TVs stereos, air conditioning and more.  Good luck to them all.

A Bahamian student was shocked at the University of Buckingham in England, a few days after the outgoing Governor General Sir Orville Turnquest reported to the Queen that he was leaving (9 October).  He thought he saw the familiar Bahamian face on his campus coming out of a Buckingham dormitory and headed to his official car and driver.  No he was not seeing double.  It was indeed Sir Orville who confirmed that it was indeed him, then promptly jumped in his car and left.  No visit with the other 49 Bahamian students on the campus, no announcement and no explanation.  The students were mystified.  Things that make you go: Hmmm!

The Progressive Liberal Party wishes to congratulate the Grand Bahama Children's Home Committee for the construction of its new facility in Grand Bahama, which was officially opened on Friday 16 November.  The Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Perry Christie was unable to attend but he wished to indicate publicly his support for the work of the Committee and more importantly the care of the children in the Home.  Mr. Christie asked a high-level delegation of PLPs to arrange to visit the Home and the delegation did so on Wednesday 21 November.  The delegation comprised this Senator, Opposition Spokesman on Labour, Foreign Affairs and Immigration; former Senator Pleasant Bridgewater, candidate for Marco City and Stephen Plakaris, candidate for Lucaya and a member of the Juvenile Panel.  The tour was conducted by Mrs. Paula Marshall, Asst. Deputy Director, Department of Social Services; Mrs. Dorothy Lightbourn of the Grand Bahama Children's Home and Senior Welfare Officer, Mrs. Karen Stubbs.  The Home was impressive and on behalf of the PLP, we offered congratulations to the Children's Home Committee, the Department of Social Services and its staff on the yeoman's service to the country by them.  We said that Lady Henrietta St. George, who is the Chair of the Committee deserved special mention not only for her work in organising the general fundraising effort for the Home, but also for her substantial personal contributions to the welfare of Bahamian children.  Senator Bridgewater said that she was impressed by the facility and encouraged Bahamians to support the fundraising effort to ensure that the quality of care continues.  Mr. Plakaris said that he was proud to be associated with such a fine facility in Grand Bahama and pledged his support.  A report of the visit has been given to Opposition Leader Mr. Christie.  Mr. Christie has promised at the earliest opportunity to visit the Home so that he can see for himself. From left are former Senator, Miss Pleasant Bridgewater, Mrs. Karen Stubbs, Sen. Mitchell; Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Plakaris and Mrs. Lightbourn.  PHOTO BY GRECHRIS

We reported two weeks ago (click here for that story) on the controversy surrounding a play by Charles Huggins and produced by Ian Strachan that caused Mr. Strachan to no longer be the Artistic Director of the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts.  We commented then that we thought it was a bad fit from the start for Ian Strachan to take a formal job like an artistic director.  Just not in his nature.  He can’t survive in a formal structure.  But anyway he did it, and now as we predicted, it has ended badly.   There was a rant about it in The Nassau Guardian on Thursday 22 November by Mr. Strachan himself.  A strange piece indeed.

    For a man of such high education, it appeared to be a shameful piece of unnecessary, prejudiced invective that one is not certain where it places him strategically except even further outside the mainstream and unable to attract capital and a central audience that he needs to succeed as a playwright.  At this rate, this will be no Bahamian Neil Simon it appears and certainly (at this rate) no August Wilson. The greatest successes clearly operate at the middle not at the fringes.  And it is clear that what Mr. Strachan wants more than anything else is to be accepted as an important talent in the country by the Bahamian middle.  Yet what he does flies in the face of the ways of the middle and then he expresses surprise that he is not accepted by them.  He appears also to be someone who refuses to consult or take advice before he acts or cultivate useful allies; who goes into a sulk at the merest slight.

    The rant that appeared in The Guardian reveals a deeply troubled person, not in any pathological sense but someone not comfortable with himself, lashing out in all directions, without regard for whom he hurt or did not hurt.  This is not the kind of stuff that should be coming from a thirty something year old man.  This is the stuff of a teenager.  Some excerpts:

    “There are two ways I can explain this controversy over Charles Huggins ‘The Hold Up’ and my unexpectedly short tenure as Administrator of the Dundas.  One is simple; the other is complex.  The simple explanation is that Patti Roker - that white light that has come to save us from our darkness - has a grudge against me because I have been critical of that pathetic award show, The Dansas, in which mediocre actors pat themselves on the back while the television audience falls asleep in its stew fish.  She probably also knows that the work I want to do flies in the face of the contented, sappy, irrelevant Broadway charades groups like the Operatic Society want to waste people’s time with.  The objections she voiced are all poppycock...  The complex answer requires that we discuss the animosity, paranoia and siege mentality of the homosexual artists who have dominated the Dundas for so long, making life difficult…

    [He goes on to say that the Dundas should become part of the College of The Bahamas, that way young people would get theatre training]  But if we did that wouldn’t those same cultural style campers come barging into the College demanding their place at the table?  Perhaps we can appoint a ‘Consultative Committee for the wasting of Sensible People’s Time and the Promotion of Puffery’ so they won’t feel left out…

    "I left the Dundas because I refused to be disrespected and treated unprofessionally any longer.  I took a fifty per cent pay cut and left a secure job teaching abroad to work for the Dundas because I love my country and love theatre, but I came home to have the Dundas gang talk nonsense and waste my time in meeting after pointless, small minded meeting… But ultimately I was too Black and too Straight for them to stomach.  I was a young man who needed to keep his AYM (angry young man) persona in check as Sean Hanna, annoyingly put it.”

    You will not be surprised that some people are threatening to sue.  The piece was unfortunate.  Guardian photo.

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Philip Galanis and Paul Clarke, one formerly and the other a present partner of Ernst and Young in The Bahamas are still parties to a lawsuit in the US District Court in Arizona.  Both Mr. Clarke and Mr. Galanis sought to have the suit thrown out on jurisdictional grounds.  Their application failed.  The suit alleges that funds in the care of Ernst and Young were improperly invested.  It has caused considerable political heat for Mr. Galanis who is the PLP’s Member of Parliament for Englerston.  He continues to survive, however.  The matter is a civil action and not a criminal one.  And we all know that paper will hold still for people to bring any civil suit against you.


The first Bahamian Anglican Bishop Michael Eldon was fêted to a banquet in his honour on Friday 24 November.  The Bishop this year celebrated his 50th year as a priest and now his 70th birthday and thirtieth year as Bishop and the diocese itself is celebrating 140 years as a diocese.  The Archbishop of the Province, Bahamian Drexel Gomez, led a concelebrated mass with his fellow bishops of the West Indies province on Thursday 22 November at the Christ Church Cathedral in Nassau.  We show Stan Burnside's Tribune cartoon in tribute to the Bishop as we add our congratulations.  The Bishop is a faithful reader of this column.


Because of our closeness to the United States, we increasingly celebrate Thanksgiving Day, the American holiday, in The Bahamas.  Many Bahamians travel to the United States for the holiday.  Many have their own turkey and stuffing here in Nassau.  The hotels in The Bahamas are filling up again, it seems.  The occupancy rates reported in the Nassau Guardian on Friday 23 November are:  Atlantis Paradise Island 98 percent; Sandals (Cable Beach) 70 percent; Nassau Marriott (Cable Beach) 70 percent and Radisson Hotel (Cable Beach) 92 percent.  At Paradise Island, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force band put on a display of marching and music for the visitors and the Nassau Guardian photographer Patrick Hanna was there.

Our special correspondent in Andros writes this week: The ‘Immediate Response’ team was here a few weeks ago and promised roads and some other things.  Since the hurricane are these promises still in place?  How can a loud Prime Minister cut Local Gov't budget and say ‘no new spending’ then go to Abaco with an 11-million dollars contract?  Sir what is going on?  South Andros was long forgotten but we are not crazy.  We are seeing and hearing everything.  I think this is why we have a substandard telephone system and don't have Cable yet.  Today we are punishing in South Andros...  The Road Traffic Supervisor went off the island on three weeks vacation last week leaving no one to carry on gov't work.  How can the Administrator and Chief Councillor sleep while this is going on?  The police residence is not fixed yet.  What seems to be the problem?  Everytime some big investors or Cabinet Ministers are in town only certain persons are informed.  Is this right?


The photo by Felipe Major of The Tribune on Tuesday 20 November showed a happy pile up of youngsters of the Junior Softball Team at St. Augustine’s College, Fox Hill.  Lionel Ferguson pitched a one hit shut out to lead St. Augs, aka the Big Red Machine, to their seventh straight private schools junior boy’s championship.  To my alma mater, congratulations.  We hope the boys learn their academic lessons with similar deftness.

We have been told that Aquinas College is to move to a new campus off Gladstone Road in the near future and the size of the school is to increase.  The campus for the Roman Catholic High School is now located in the Palmdale area of New Providence that has become a traffic nightmare.  The auditorium donated to the School by merchant Joseph Garfunkel has been sold and the campus is reportedly up for sale. We were kidding His Grace the Roman Catholic Archbishop that he is expanding the church buildings by leaps and bounds.  It is a good sign of a healthy and inspired congregation.

With all the major problems in The Bahamas that need attention, it never ceases to amaze one how in The Bahamas matters that are really de minimus can receive so much animated attention.  And so it is with the attack on the Harry Potter movies.  Harry Potter is a pubescent hero, in the tradition of the Hardy Boys, who is now being accused by parts of the religious community in The Bahamas of promoting sorcery.  Please!  We hear it’s an excellent movie and that it has caused young children to take an interest in reading.

A son was born to Tribune staff reporter Samora St. Rose and his wife Shakeera on November 14th at the Princess Margaret Hospital.  Mother and 7-pound Shamar Chaka St. Rose are doing well.  Congratulations to the proud parents.


We have reported that Sir Arthur Foulkes was formally made a knight at a ceremony of investiture on Tuesday 13 November.  We thought you might like to have a look at the photo, by Peter Ramsay.

Driftwood's Bahamians Disappearing - More unsettling news from Driftwood Group's Resorts at Bahamia.  Sunday 25th November Rooms & Reservations Manager Jeff Hepburn was reportedly fired.  This makes Mr. Hepburn only the latest in a long and growing line of Bahamian managers let go or hounded into resignation by this hotel property.  Driftwood is developing a reputation of firing Bahamians and replacing them with owners' family members.  Only recently, there were reports of a similar fate for Resorts at Bahamia's Warehouse Manager.  Mr. Hepburn was a faithful employee of the hotel for some twenty years, working in many 'back of the house' areas and winning promotions under each successive administration of the property.  He is well respected in the industry for his competence.  We cannot imagine what the rationale could be for this act, but we shall be watching to see who his replacement is.  The area of Rooms and Reservations has been in Bahamian hands at various hotels for generations.  This latest outrage is a marker of the depths to which Freeport has descended for professional Bahamians in tourism and other areas.  The prevailing view is that this country is being sold; lock, stock and barrel.   Now comes word that Resorts at Bahamia is able to behave so flagrantly because they are under the protection of a very high level Government Minister who is said to have shares in Resorts as well as other business interests in Grand Bahama.  To those similarly affected in the tourism industry, we say time ain't long.

C.A. 'Stenches' - FNM Pineridge MP C.A. Smith is now reportedly singing the same tune reported from Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson last week; that he can't and won't be moved and that he will decide when he leaves active politics.  Hmmm!  Just for good measure, Minister Smith is said to be a 'new man' working his (soon to be former?) constituency with vim and vigour.

Labour Troubles at Island Construction - A flashback: During October, here is what News From Grand Bahama had to say: 'What’s Going on Here? - Fact one.  The Government is spending 40 million dollars on new roads.  Fact two.  In the High Rock constituency in Grand Bahama where Minister of Works Ken Russell lives and which he represents in Parliament there, is a major, high quality producer of rock and gravel products.  Fact three.  That company, which has exported road building rock and gravel to elsewhere in The Bahamas and into Florida has been forced to put its workers on reduced hours because of a downturn in business.  Fact four. The Government is importing rock and gravel for the building of Bahamian roads from Canada.  What's wrong with this picture?'...  Now Minister Russell's actions have borne fruit.  The company was forced to issue letters 28 November to its staff reducing salaries by twenty percent.  Staff took a wildcat strike for a day and a half.  When they returned, they were locked out and told that they were dismissed.  Negotiations between the company and the workers continue.

Another Sunday, Another Crash - The crash and burn of FNM candidates is becoming a weekly spectacle in Grand Bahama on the COOL 96 radio call-in talk show 'Meet The Candidate' hosted by Deandre Hamilton.  Last time it was C.A. Smith who had to face the ire of his constituents.  This past week it was the turn of David Wallace, FNM MP for West End & Bimini.  As one FNM general said to another that Monday morning "Boy we get mash up again last night".   Voters called in to say that they were disappointed at David Wallace's representation of West End & Bimini and disappointed with  his lack of knowledge in matters of concern to the area.  At one point during the show,  Senator Obie Wilchcombe, the PLP's representative for the area had to tell Mr. Wallace what had become of the West End fire truck.  Senator Wilchcombe also revealed that during the recent hurricane warning, shelters were not properly manned nor open in time.  It was not a good night for Mr. Wallace.

EMR Fire, David to the rescue - A ten-room house in Eight Mile Rock known as 'the barracks' burned to the ground early Thursday morning 22 November, leaving five families homeless.  FNM MP David Wallace immediately started a relief committee.  Normally this would be good news, but the last time Mr. Wallace ventured into the fire relief area, that time in Bimini, the results were not promising.  Perhaps he would have learned his lesson and simply alerted the Social Services people and encouraged others to help?