Wednesday, March 30, 2011

6 stunning Grand Bahama contestants vie for Miss Bahamas 2011/12

L-R Kastachia Stuart, Sky Bahamas personel, Tempestt Stubbs, & Kerel Pinder- image courtesy of Kerel Pinder

By Lyndah Wells
On tuesday March 29th the unvieling of the Miss Bahamas contestants took place in Nassau Bahamas at the Elizabeth on Bay Marketplace and Marina  at 7 p.m. Members of the public got a chance to meet with the ladies face to face during their official presentation and sash ceremony.

 This year there are 15 contestants 6 of which  are from Grand Bahama,
 They are:
  •  Kerel Pinder - former Miss Grand Bahama 2008/09
  • Tempestt Stubbs- Miss Grand Bahama- 2010/11
  • Kastashia Stuart- who placed 4th runner in last years pageant.
  • Tomacina Culmer
  • Sharie Delva
  • Brooke Sherman 

Brooke Sherman  
Sharie Delva 

     Tempestt Stubbs- image by Barry Williams

     Kerel Pinder-image by Barry Williams

     Kastachia Stuart-image by Barry Williams

    Tomacina Culmer-image by Barry Williams
    This year’s pageant is being held under the theme “All That Jazz”, which the contestants beautifully portrayed during a photo shoot at the exclusive Old Fort Bay Club.

    James Sarles Realty teams up with leading UK Property agents Savills

    By Lyndah Wells

    Freeport, Grand Bahama- In late January this year James Sarles Realty became a Preferred Estate Agent with Luxury UK property agents Savills.
    Savills plc is a global real estate services provider listed on the London Stock Exchange. They have an international network of more than 200 offices and associates throughout the Americas, the UK, continental Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East and now The Bahamas, offering a broad range of specialist advisory, management and transactional services to clients all over the world.

    James flew to meet with the Savills team in London in February to capitalize on their unique association. "We are educating persons worldwide who may be interested in purchasing in the Bahamas that Grand Bahama has great amenities, excellent infrastucture, tax free environment, good schools and is just 30 minutes from the US, all of which are excellent selling points.

    James Sarles realty is spreading its wing and making sure that the company is gaining exposure worldwide by strong media placements. Currently JSR property adverts are placed in prominent UK Publications such as The Sunday Times newspaper, & Country Life Magazine

    In talking about the North American market James said "Canada had proved repeatedly to be a strong market for Grand Bahama because Canadians love the Bahamas. The Canada market has been thriving during the economic meltdown, the Canadian dollar is on par to the US which makes purchasing a home in Grand Bahama a viable option."
    JSR has media placements in Canadian publications such as Globe & Mail, National Post.

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Cast A - Up With People 2011, in Grand Bahama Island

    Up with People's Cast A 2011 visited the Grand Bahama Island for one week this semester and had the opportunity to stay with local families to learn about the island history and strong culture, also take part in volunteering all over the island helping organizations that are already doing great things, and finishing their visit with their spectacular show "A Song for the World" which the funds benefited the Grand Bahamas Youth Choir to send one or more of their students to travel a semester with Up with People around the word! Thanks for the amazing time Grand Bahama!

    SkyBahamas Inaugural flight to Ft. Lauderdale

    SLIDE SHOW Photos: Yasmin Popescu

     By Yasmin Popescu, Media Unlimited for The Bahamas Weekly

    Freeport, Grand Bahama - On Friday March 25, 2011, SkyBahamas made their inaugural voyage to Ft. Lauderdale Florida, from Freeport, Grand Bahama. They will begin offering services four days per week twice a day to Ft. Lauderdale from Freeport, says Mr. Kenneth Romer, CM, COO, Corporate Consultant.

    The flight left the Freeport International Airport around 10 am arriving at the SheltAir Service Center in Ft. Lauderdale 35 minutes later.

    The airline executives, along with journalists and travel agents were greeted by Mr. Steve Belleme, Business Development Manager, Broward County Aviation Department and his team, and were shown around the airbase.

    It was noted that this flight and base would be servicing only 20 passengers per flight.

    Mr. Belleme welcomed the group on behalf of the Broward County’s Board of County Commission, to the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. “We are very glad to have SkyBahamas operating,” he continued, noting that, “the Caribbean and The Bahamas are our largest markets. Freeport and Nassau are very important to us as well as the community. We are very confident the operation will be very successful and we encourage everyone to come visit us, enjoy our shopping, enjoy our cruises, enjoy the beautiful beaches that we have here and enjoy your vacation.”

    Capt. Randy Butler said they want the community to know the convenience of using the Ft. Lauderdale route to Florida, noting the hospitality of the staff at this airport. He said they are looking forward to the partnership that is being forged between the two destinations via SkyBahamas.

    While this flight is very significant for The Bahamas and Freeport and Nassau in particular, Capt. Butler says this is just the first step as they hope to also introduce flights from other islands in The Bahamas to this destination.

    “Next is Marsh Harbour, Abaco and the next phase will new be north Eleuthera and Cat Island. That has been a vacancy left by Gulf Stream airline. He also showed a spot that they are in negotiations to lease for their desk in Ft. Lauderdale.

    Representing the business community of Grand Bahama was Mr. Peter Turnquest, President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce and Chairman, SkyBahamas, who expressed his pleasure with this move.

    "We look forward to a successful and mutually beneficial relationship with this area" he stated.

    "As you know Grand Bahama needs airlift" he continued, "It need attraction and we are doing our part to help bring around that type of help needed in Grand Bahama. We are a Bahamian airline, I am a Grand Bahamian, and so we are certainly going to do our part to be cost competitive and as efficient as we possibly can be."

    Thursday, March 24, 2011

    Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament wraps up on Grand Bahama

    What a finish....'Zeus' takes the Overall while 'Juel Marie' chases with a 'Grand Slam'

    Freeport, Grand Bahama- An unbelievable flurry of fishing activity and billfish releases highlights the Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament.

    "Zues", a Dean Johnson 58' sport fisherman owned by Sandy Smith and Captained by Glenn Cameron from Ft. Pierce, Florida won the 32nd Annual Bacardi Rum Billfish Tournament held on Grand Bahama Island. "Zues" accumulated a grand total of 2,025 points , releasing a record number of billfish- 3 blues, 4 whites and 4 sails, a new record for release for the Bacardi Rum Billfish tournament.

    The 'Chasin Tail' wins the third Leg and wins the Bahamas Wahoo Championship.

    They were followed closely in the standings by "Juel Marie" a 54' Hatteras owned by Dugan McLaughlin of Knoxville, Tennessee. "Juel Marie" ended up releasing 1 blue, 4 whites and 3 sails to earn second place. They also accomplished the first "Grand Slam" in the 32 year history of the Bacardi, releasing 1 Blue, one white and 1 sail on the last day of fishing.

    Third place finish went to "Divine Intervention", last year's winner of the event. "Divine Intervention", a 57' Bertram is owned by Jack Widmer from Boca Raton, Florida who released 2 blues and 1 white to earn third place. The boat is captained by Karl Alvik from Lighthouse Point, Florida.

    Thw orld famous Bacardi Rum drink competition was won by Lars Vinjerud "On Ice", and the Culinary Competition was won by William Pope Langdale on "Venture Out". A good time was had by all!

    Heaviest Wahoo Chasin Tail 64.5 pounds
    Heaviest Tuna Ticket 28.5 pounds
    Heaviest Dolphin Ticket 48 pounds

    The 33rd Annual Bacardi Rum Billfish tournament will be held March 11-17, 2012.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    His Royal Highness Prince Edward Visits Grand Bahama Island

    Freeport, Grand Bahama Island: March 23rd, 2011 Photo: Lena Chandler

     Freeport, The Bahamas - His Royal Highness, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex, and Governor General, His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes visited Grand Bahama Island today and were greeted by various schools.

    Scores of school children from Bishop Michael Eldon School lined up to see Prince Edward. GGYA students from other schools on the island were also in attendance, and an awards presentation for them took place in the BMES Auditorium.

    Sunland Baptist Academy put on a Junkanoo display for the esteemed visitors.

     Freeport, Grand Bahama Island: His Excellency the Governor General of The Bahamas, Sir Arthur Foulkes, His Royal Highness, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex on March 23rd, 2011 Photo: Lena Chandler

    The Royal Highness comes to The Bahamas to support of the Governor General's Youth Award (GGYA) and the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. While here he presents the Gold Award which goes to children who are 17 years or older and show commitment, improvement, effort, 60 hours of service, and participation in Adventurous Journey (4 days, 3 nights hiking and camping covering 50 miles minimum, and is accompanied by a personal report). They must also obtain 36 points in physical recreation.
    After taking part in the Award Programme, a young person should have developed much of the following:

    His Royal Highness, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex greets school children of Bishop Michael Eldon on March 23rd, 2011 Photo: Lena Chandler
    Self belief and self confidence; a postive and realistic self image; an independent and self-motivated attitude; a sense of responsibility to others; a connection to the broader society; new or improved interests, skills and abilities; willingness to try new things; new friendships with peers and old people; an ability to plan and make the plan happen; team skills; and life skills: negotiation, research, communication, problem solving, presentation skills.

     Freeport, Grand Bahama Island: Left to right, His Excellency the Governor General of The Bahamas, Sir Arthur Foulkes, His Royal Highness, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex, and the Hon Charles Maynard, Minister of Youth, Sports & Culture on March 23rd, 2011 Photo: Lena Chandler

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Featured Listing of the Week- No.49 ShoreLine, Listing ID- 5452, 3 Bed 2 Bath, USD 1,450,000

    Nestled in beautifully landscaped gardens, beside an idyllic white beach, this luxurious Shoreline home boasts 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and 2,803 sq. ft. of beautifully designed living space with elegant decks and verandah on both floors. Shoreline, on Grand Bahama Island, is a prestigious, modern, oceanfront privately gated community.
    Just 30 minutes from Florida, and a little over 8 hours from Europe. Endless beaches of white sands lapped by clear azure seas.
    Shoreline Properties, located on Grand Bahama Island is a place to reconnect with family and friends while marveling at the beauty of your surroundings. It’s a place to walk the undiscovered white sandy beaches and reflect against the shimmering turquoise waters. Shoreline celebrates the natural wonders and timelessness reminiscent of the old-Florida living that embraces the true values of a community. Only three homes left! See listings 5082 for house #48 and 5318 for house #50.

    • Fully equipped gym and club house

    • Three tennis courts; one available for basketball

    • Residents’ bar open once a week, also available for residents’ private functions

    • Two minutes walk to the beach

    • Security

    • 'Walk in' pool features infinity edges and a waterfall and hot tub.

    • The grounds and property are maintained all year round.

    • A maid service is available on request.

    Beach access
    Condo Fees/Home Owners Fees
    Ocean front
    Island Style Homes Starting at $1.45 Million
    Just 100 km off the coast of Florida
    World-class golf courses nearby
    Gym, pools, tennis courts & club house
    Only three homes left

    Grand Bahama Home Buyers - Don't Make These Mistakes

    By Jim Reed

    There are some simple steps that homebuyers often miss when looking for a new home. Taking the time to consider these can save you thousands of dollars, time, and stress.

    1. Be honest with your realtor and lender about your credit history. Your credit, whether good or bad, affects everything from your down payment to your interest rate. Your realtor or mortgage consultant can often advise you as to how you can get credit problems cleared up or completely eliminated from your credit report before you apply for financing or make an offer on a new home.

    2. Get pre-approved for a loan before you begin your search for a new home. Then you will know in advance exactly how much home you can afford. This makes it possible for you to make an offer on your new home with confidence that enough funding is available.

    Jully Black delivers powerful performance in Grand Bahama

     All photos Courtesy of The Bahamas Weekly.

    Freeport, The Bahamas - R & B singer/songwriter , Jully Black (pronounced ‘Julie’) delivered a powerful and passionate performance to the delight of the locals and tourists gathered at the Count Basie Square, Port Lucaya Marketplace in Grand Bahama on March 17th, 2011. This was her first performance in the Caribbean.

    Ms. Black sang about 6 songs and opened with the R & B song, "Seven Day Fool" which was first recorded in 1961 by Etta James. Black re-recorded it in 2007 and it was produced by Black Eyed Peas' drummer & songwriter Keith Harris. She premiered one song which have never been heard in her native homeland Canada called, "Crown Me" which will be out later this year when she releases her new album. Each song she delivered, Black had the audience right with her, never loosing any momentum from one great song to the next.

    The Juno Award winner was also in town to film segments for CTV's eTalk, Canada's most watched entertainment news program in which Ms. Black is a Celebrity Reporter.

    During her concert, which was filmed for eTalk, the audience was on their feet dancing and singing, while many of the local children remained up at the foot of the stage mesmerized by her performance. Black even came down into the audience at one point and let local and visitors dance with her while she sang. After the show she took all the time needed to satisfy those that wanted to meet her and obtain her autograph.

    The trip was made possible in conjunction with the Bahamas Tourist Office in Toronto and was facilitated locally by the Grand Bahama Ministry of Tourism and the Bahamas Film and Television Commission.

    While on island for almost a week, Black enjoyed the many sites and cultural activities the island has to offer and was reunited with a niece who is a local school teacher.
    Jully Black has collaborated with, and written for many notable Canadian, American and International artists including Nas, Missy Elliot, Saukrates, Choclair, Kardinal Offishall, Destiny's Child, and Sean Paul.

    Stay tuned for a video interview with Jully Black from

    Saturday, March 19, 2011

    Authentically Bahamian Marketplace open at GBIA

    The Authentically Bahamian Vendors Marketplace was officially opened yesterday, giving three Bahamian vendors another avenue through which to have their authentic Bahamian products showcased.

    The store was opened Friday at the Grand Bahama International Airport, assuring the vendors direct access to tourists as they touch down on the island.

    James Turner, director of commercial and business development for Hutchison Port Holdings shared that with the current state of the economy, the airport company decided that it wanted to do something that would help Bahamians with excellent products to get exposure.

    "When we look at the cost associated with this type of space we know that many of the folks would not be able to afford it immediately, but we know that if we present their products and give them an opportunity they can only go up from there," he said.

    Turner said that the company decided to utilize some of its premium space, convert it free of charge and allow the vendors to display their goods.

    So far, he said, the undertaking has been getting a positive response.

    "You begin to see the type of products that our people can produce and when given an opportunity they just begin to shine."

    Lorraine Gibson, who will be displaying her products as Lorraine's Jams and Jellies said, she is pleased with the exposure her products will get now that they are available at the airport.

    Gibson said that this opportunity is something that the vendors needed.

    She said that the products she makes are all natural.

    "I make Bahamian jams and jellies out of native fruit. They are all purely natural, with no preservatives," Gibson said. "I pick the fruit myself and I prepare the fruit. There is no dye or anything."

    She added that they come in a variety of flavors from seagrape, tamarind, guava, mango and gooseberry.

    Cynthia McKenzie said that she would be displaying her specialty, sand jewelry and other products ranging from vases and other products made with sand.

    She said, she has been in business for five years and while it has been going well at the different outlets, a new one was welcomed.

    "I thinks it's a very good opportunity for the tourists to have something locally made," McKenzie said.

    She shared that she recently began making leaf jewelry.

    "I'm picking up leaves and turning them into treasures," McKenzie said.

    Sophia Rolle, proprietor of Jubilee Bath and Body said that products ranging from body lotions, shower gels, bath salts, perfume oils, handmade soap, clutches, bags and jewelry would be among the products that she would be making available to the public.

    "We are thankful for this opportunity given to us to display our products here," she said. "We appreciate it and we just want to thank everybody who is involved in this project. We thank them for giving us this opportunity to display our craft."

    Rolle shared that the company uses natural products, including sea salt from Ragged Island and coconut oil from Andros.

    Philip Carey, airport director shared that the new store would give the vendors maximum visibility and virtually no cost.

    "We are here to assist and we have developed this area and hopefully it grows and we get other persons seeing this and getting involved and this program can grow," he said.

    Carey added that store would give tourists and residents one location to get authentically made Bahamian products.

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Grand Bahama Goes Flash Mob Crazy at Port Lucaya

     By The Bahamas Weekly News Team
    Freeport, Grand Bahama Island - What was likely the very first flash mob to take place in the country of The Bahamas took hundreds by surprise at Count Basie Square in the Port Lucaya Marketplace on Thursday, March 17th as tourists and locals were out in the spirit of not only Spring Break, but St. Patrick's Day.

    Flash Mob in Count Basie Square at Port Lucaya on March 17th, 2011 just after 6pm. Photo: The Bahamas Weekly

    A group of over 100 persons from all walks of life, ranging from children to grandparents, and who had been practicing for only 4 weeks under the direction of local Grand Bahamian choreography, Julion Collie in a 3 minute dance routine starting with one person and building to the full group. One or two tourists even tried to step in.

    According to Wikipedia, a 'flash mob' is a term coined in 2003 to denote a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and sometimes seemingly pointless act for a brief time, then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment and/or satire. Since 2003 many have taken place all over the world, and one need only Google the term to see many available for viewing on YouTube, etc.

    The difficulty with any flash mob is to keep it secret, and in particular on an island - this was not an easy task! Dubbed 'the best known secret' on Grand Bahama, those that knew or found out by surprise experienced a little piece of history. The Count Basie Square was a bustling place with people starting St. Patty's day festivities and with a weigh-in going on with a local fishing derby taking place as well.

    The idea was the brainchild of Laurie Tuchel, a resident of Grand Bahama and co-founder of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation. Prudence Gallagher, owner of Bandelero was the event co-organizer. The flash mob was directed by Jackie Dack and the film direction was done by Paul Mockler and David Mackey. Although many clips will be sure to be found online by many bystanders in attendance, an official video will be announced soon and will be made available on,, and via other media house websites.

    The Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation presented all the participants with a bright blue wrist band that says, "GBI Flash Mob 2011" as a keepsake.

    Organizers wish to thank the many flash mob participants who brought a huge sense of enthusiasm and fun to the community of Grand Bahama.
    See MORE photos on The Bahamas Weekly Facebook Page

    GBPAS Comedy Show Delivers a Rich Mix of Humour in Sold Out Third Annual

    The 4 visiting comedians arrive in style via Brice Limousine Service. Each comedian donated their time to assist the Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society. Left to right: Big Daddy Tazz, Kyle Grooms, Gina Brillon, and Ricardo Aleman. Photo: The Bahamas Weekly

     By The Bahamas Weekly News Team

     Freeport, Bahamas - The Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society hosted the third comedy show in three years and their 2011 production was said by many to be the best one yet! The event ran two nights, both selling out at the Club House at the Grand Bahama Yacht Club.

    A rich and varied mix of comedy was provided by the three visiting headliners: Gina Brillon, Kyle Grooms, and Big Daddy Tazz. MCing the event was local funnyman Trevor Russell along with American comedian Ricardo Aleman who each year assists in lining up the high caliber entertainment. "I had a great time. This was our best year, and it will keep getting better! said Aleman.

    Gina Brillon, the first female comedian to appear in Grand Bahama at these series of events, gave a slice of life in stories from her home in New York as well as touching on her Latino heritage. "I had a blast! The show was amazing and so were the people! I was treated like royalty and who doesn't like that!" said Brillon.

    It feels good to give back! Comedians of the 3rd annual GBPAS Comedy Show from left to right standing: Kyle Grooms (New Jersey), Gina Brillon (New York), Ricardo Aleman (New York), and Trevor Russell (Grand Bahama) and seated is Big Daddy Tazz (Winnipeg). Photo: The Bahamas Weekly 

     Returning to Grand Bahama was Kyle Grooms of New Jersey who once again pleased the crowd with his Barack Obama impersonations and references to being a 'non-threatening' black man due to his need to wear glasses. "I love performing in The Bahamas! The hospitality, the food, and the energy from the crowd was top notch. I felt like Barack Obama," said Grooms.

    Two sold out performances were enjoyed by all those that attended at the Grand Bahama Yacht House's Club House. Photos: The Bahamas Weekly

     Bringing down the house was Canadian, Big Daddy Tazz who not only is a hilarious comedian, but a motivational speaker. Tazz reflected on many funny family stories, as well as life in Canada. "The hospitality and friendliness of Freeport was second only to the amazing crowds and the magic breadbox at Pelican Bay Hotel! I wish all at the Performing Arts Society and its supporters bright blessings, warmest wishes and silliness," said Tazz.

    Dalia Feldman, Founder, Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society gives thanks at the end of another successful comedy show to assist the youth in Grand Bahama. Left to right: Big Daddy Tazz, Kyle Grooms, Gina Brillon, Dalia Feldman, Ricardo Aleman, and Trevor Russell. Photo: The Bahamas Weekly

     Funds generated from the shows will go toward the youth involved in the performing arts in Grand Bahama.

    The comedians enjoyed their stay in Grand Bahama sponsored by Pelican Bay Hotel, and were able to see some of the sites and enjoy the beaches before heading back to their busy work schedules.

    Two of the comedians, Ricardo Aleman and Big Daddy Tazz made a visit to Lucaya International school, where they spoke to a the Grade 5 Class who happened to be studying the Performing Arts and stayed longer to speak to an assembly of the school's high school students. Big Daddy Tazz does motivational speaking on bullying and was able to incorporate this into his talk.

    Comedians Ricardo Aleman and Big Daddy Tazz speak to the 5th grade class about the performing arts at Lucaya International School on March 14th. Photo: Dalia Feldman, GBPAS 
    Comedians Big Daddy Tazz and Ricardo Aleman visit Lucaya International School to talk to the children. Aleman's nephews attend the school and one of them was studying the Performing Arts. Big Daddy Tazz also spoke about bullying. Photos: The Bahamas Weekly

     The Society wishes to thank the comedians who donated their time for the third annual show; its major sponsors for this event, Thayer's Natural Remedies, Pelican Bay Hotel, American Airlines/American Eagle, Grand Bahama Yacht Club, The Bahamas Weekly, Keen i Media and Mackey Media; the restaurants who fed our funny people, The Grand Bahama Yacht Club, The Garden Cafe, Agave and Banana Bay; the businesses who sponsored our ads, provided discount services, or services in kind or sold tickets, Sunny Isles, Coldwell Banker-James Sarles Realty, Macal Electronics, and Bahamas Island Info, The Seventeen Shop, Island Java and Antoni's Pizzeria; and the many GBPAS members and sponsors who keep the society alive!

    See more photos at:Grand Bahama Performing Arts Society on Facebook

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    Government seeking to stop beach erosion at Smith Point and flooding of Fishing Hole Road

    Works and Transport Minster the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured here along with Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company as they walked the beach at Smith’s Point Left to right are Bradley Armbrister, administrator for East, Grand Bahama; Norman Tynes, Ministry of Works; Mr. Grant, and Mr. Lee. (BIS Photo /Simon Lewis)

    FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – The Government of The Bahamas is seeking the support of the China Harbour Engineering Company Limited in finding a permanent solution to the vexing problem of beach erosion at Smith Point, Grand Bahama and the continued flooding problems at the Fishing Hole Road.

    Minister of Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant traveled to Grand Bahama Wednesday morning, accompanied by Alex Lee, marketing officer for CHEC, to view the scope of works needed at both sites.

    Also accompanying Mr. Grant was an engineer from his Ministry based in New Providence as well as officials from the Ministry of Works on Grand Bahama.

    Addressing the media Wednesday morning at Smith’s Point, home of the popular Fish Fry, Mr. Grant said that the Government’s Infrastructure Crusade involves seeking to better the life of Bahamians.

    “We have received a number of complaints from the residents of Smith’s Point about the continuous erosion of the beach here, and so I have come this morning with Mr. Lee from the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for them to have a look at what we are challenged with, and for them to make some recommendations on the way forward, be it a sea wall, or some other mechanism that they as professionals deem necessary,“ he stated.

    He reminded media personnel and local residents participating in the walkabout that only last week the Government of The Bahamas signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CHEC that would involve projects in Exuma, Abaco and Eleuthera. He said on those islands they would be looking at constructing ports, bridges and bypass roads.

    FISHING HOLE ROAD – Minister for Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured, right, along with Mrs. Verna Grant, Member of Parliament for the Eight Mile Rock Constituency; Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company and Norman Tynes of the Ministry of Works as they view the scope of work needed at the Fishing Hole Road on Grand Bahama. (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)Mr. Grant, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for the Lucaya Constituency added that when the company has completed their investigations, “they will make recommendations to us on the way forward, and the Government will have to make a decision on what it is going to do here at Smith’s Point,” he stated.

    FISHING HOLE ROAD – Minister for Works and Transport, the Hon. Neko C. Grant is pictured, right, along with Mrs. Verna Grant, Member of Parliament for the Eight Mile Rock Constituency; Alex Lee of China Harbour Engineering Company and Norman Tynes of the Ministry of Works (BIS Photo/Simon Lewis)

    Continuing he informed that they will also be doing an evaluation of the Fishing Hole Road which he said has caused many challenges for residents over the years, particularly during adverse weather conditions.

    While the Minister could not give a startup date for the two projects he said that “we have to wait until the investigations are completed, but we seek to move expeditiously as the infrastructure crusade continues to march throughout The Bahamas.

    The Works and Transport Minister was also pleased to inform that work to the sea walls at Williams and Russell Town and Sunset Village in Eight Mile Rock have been completed and that his Ministry is coming up with some creative designs to further enhance the two areas which has become a popular entertainment and food area for residents and visitors.

    With respect to the Sunset Village which was destroyed by hurricanes a few years ago Minister Grant said that he has seem preliminary plans with which he was very impressed.

    “I look forward to the final plans and sharing them with residents of Grand Bahama. We hope that Sunset Village could be transformed into a major tourist attraction, one that the people of Eight Mile Rock and indeed the people of Grand Bahama would be proud of,” he said.

    Also, he said that a part of the upgrade to Sunset Village will be the construction of a pavilion with a band stand and proper bathroom facilities for the site, along with newly constructed booths that will be up to the health standards that we are expected of as a progressive country.

    With respect to Williams and Russell Town he said that “we are very, very pleased at what has taken place there. You are aware that the sea wall is completed, we have a bathroom facility, paved the roads and we need now deal with the landscaping.”

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    Casual Cal's Bumpin' Big Show Circus is back! Coming to four islands in The Bahamas this year

    (left to right): Andrew Forbes, Circus Administrator, Donna Jones, Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce Director, David Wallace, Circus Event Organizer, Charles Pratt, GBPA Commercial Manager and James Vega, Circus School Coordinator. Cal's Big Bumpin Circus shows start March 27th to April 5th. (Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)

    FREEPORT, Grand Bahama – Soft Productions, the Grand Bahama Port Authority, and the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday that they are bringing back Cal’s Big Bumpin' Circus to Grand Bahama, Nassau and now Eleuthera and Abaco.

    At a press conference held at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce David Wallace, event organizer, announced plans for the return of the successful circus show. “We are very excited to announce that the circus is returning to Grand Bahama on March 27th thru 29th and to Nassau on March 31st to April 2nd. This year we will also be adding in Eleuthera and Abaco shows on March 30th and April 4thand 5th respectively,” noted Wallace.

    “I am also very pleased to tell you that we will be bringing back some of last year’s favourite acts, the Rubber Band Man, the high wire act, as well as a few new ones that include a magician, ventriloquist, and a trampoline jumping clown,” said Wallace. “We are also going to shine some light on our own Bahamian talents, Juice Unit, a local Grand Bahama dance team. The group will join the show this year and will also tour with Big Cal in the US.”

    Wallace noted that tickets are already on sale for the shows and that they will have both matinees and evening show times. “We have a great family package for our premier night in Grand Bahama, 2 adults and three children for $60, discounted from $100,” he stated. “Tickets range from $15 to $30 throughout the islands and full details and all ticket outlets can be found on their website at”
    Sponsors help bring the Circus to town - Speaking about the return of the circus, Donna Jones, GB Chamber of Commerce Director noted that, 'The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce is pleased once again to support this positive opportunity for wholesome family entrainment on Grand Bahama and in our sister islands. We congratulate the organizer for having the foresight and commitment to once again host this event.' (Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)Donna Jones, GB Chamber of Commerce Director, also spoke about the return of the circus “The Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce is pleased once again to support this positive opportunity for wholesome family entrainment on Grand Bahama and in our sister islands. We congratulate the organizer for having the foresight and commitment to one again host this event.”

    Wallace is hoping that bringing the circus back will also give a nice boost to the local economy on all islands the circus will visit. Wherever possible the circus is utilizing local companies to make the event possible. “We rent event locations, we use local companies for lighting and sound equipment, we use local vendors for food sales, we hire temporary staff for event management, hotel rooms, etc … it’s a win, win for all!”

    Helping make it all possible are the circus co-sponsors which include Kerzner International, Colina, Royal Bank of Canada, Dominoes, as well as local ticket sponsors Borco, Grand Bahama Power Company and many more. On hand at the press conference was returning sponosor Grand Bahama Port Authority representative Charles Pratt who noted, “that GBPA is proud to lend their support to the return of the circus. We applaud the innovative and persistent efforts of the organizer to bring this event to The Bahamas and to help make it an annual event for all. One that showcases positive entertainment and uplifts our spirits too.”

    This year's Big Cal's Bumpin Circus will showcase many new acts, including a ventriloquist act, (Photo courtesy of Big Cal)

    Through last year's shows Wallace felt he had really fulfilled his main goal of bringing smiles to so many young Bahamians. “In fact last year the circus was such a draw that the Eluetheran All Age School and the students parents chartered the Bohengy ferry to come and see the show. So, because of this, we are going to them this year and hope to expand to more islands next year.”

    New talent to be showcased at Big Cal's Circus - This year's Big Cal's Bumpin Circus will showcase many new acts, including a ventriloquist act, high jumping clown, a magician, and all new high wire acts. The show will also see the return of the very popular rubber band man and showcase the talents of local dance troop Juice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Big Cal)As time draws near to the event Wallace and his team are working diligently to spread the word about show dates as well as soliciting sponsors to help disadvantaged local children enjoy the show too. “Its all about making them smile and sparking their imagination,” beamed Wallace. “So come on out and enjoy a great time.”

    Business owners taking advantage of downtown Freeport's prime locations

    PROUD BUSINESS OWNER – Hercules Knowles basks in the joy of opening his new pastry shop in the heart of downtown Freeport.

    FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) has seen a considerable increase in the number of applications for new businesses in the downtown area, this according to GBPA’s Manager of Customer Relations, Nicole Colebrooke. “New GBPA-sponsored initiatives have greatly impacted occupancy levels in the International Bazaar, and now we are experiencing renewed interest from commercial applicants in Freeport’s city centre,” she shared.

    As earlier announced by GBPA-President, Ian Rolle, the Port’s business license application has been greatly streamlined with a reduction in required documentation. Additionally, the approval process has been reduced to a mere 48 hours in most cases for Bahamian applicants.

    Businessman, Hercules Knowles, was amazed at how quickly his GBPA application was approved, allowing him to open up a bakery in the newly opened Downtown Welcome Centre. “The Port Authority helped me tremendously,” Knowles expressed. “They gave me an opportunity, told me what to do and helped me step-by-step with everything. The business license application process was very easy. I was surprised myself.”

    Opened since November of last year, ‘Raspberry’s Pastry Shop’ boasts an assortment of beautifully decorated cakes, tarts, breads, muffins, giant cookies, pies, etc., to satisfy anyone’s sweet-tooth. Ideally located in the Welcome Centre next to Freeport’s bus transit station, Knowles’ pastry establishment caters to locals and tourists alike. He described this prime location as an opportunity of a lifetime. “I’m in the right spot. Also, being in the heart of downtown, I feel like I’m a part of the revitalization that’s taking place,” he added.
    BAKING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS – Entrepreneur, Hercules Knowles’ wide selection of delicious desserts are a recipe for business success. The multi-purpose Welcome Centre is an integral component of the Downtown Turnaround project launched by GBPA in 2009. Primary aspects of the 1495 square foot handicap accessible structure include a Royal Bahamas Police Force and Road Traffic Division dual-satellite station, a Welcome Centre, restrooms and a snack shop.

     BAKING HIS WAY TO SUCCESS – Entrepreneur, Hercules Knowles’ wide selection of delicious desserts are a recipe for business success.
    Knowles’ pastry shop currently employs 7 persons and is opened daily except Sundays. Its proprietor views this as an opportunity to give back. Recalling his entry into pastry-making when he entered the hospitality industry in the early 1980s, he expressed gratitude for the initial training he received from a foreign chef.

    With years of experience under his apron and a yearning for business ownership, Knowles would not be deterred in his entrepreneurial efforts. “Owning a business is a challenge. It may be hard at first and you will have a few challenges but you have to stick with it. Nothing good comes easily and today, I can say I’m beginning to enjoy the fruitage of my labour,” the young businessman said as he sought to encourage others interested in moving up from employee to employer.

    Management change at Grand Bahama Power Co.

    FREEPORT, Bahamas – Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC) announced today that R. Alan Kelley, CEO, Grand Bahama Power Company has resigned from the company effective March 16, 2010 to pursue other opportunities in the US.

    Mr. Kelley joined GBPC in December of 2009 and led the company under the direction of former majority owner Marubeni/Taqa.

    Emera Executive Ray Robinson will continue to lead the organization in his role as Executive Chairman of GBPC and will begin the process to recruit a new CEO immediately.

    “We thank Mr. Kelley for the contributions he has made to the business over the last 15 months,” said Mr. Robinson. “I look forward to working more closely with the GBPC team to revitalize the utility for the benefit of the citizens of Grand Bahama and The Bahamas.”

    About Emera: Emera Inc. (EMA-TSX) is a growing energy and services company with $6.3 billion in assets and revenues of $1.6 billion. The company invests in electricity generation, transmission and distribution as well as gas transmission and utility energy services. Emera’s strategy is focused on the transformation of the electricity industry to cleaner generation and the delivery of that clean energy to market. Emera operates throughout northeastern North America, in three Caribbean countries and in California. More than 80% of the company’s earnings come from regulated investments.. Emera shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol EMA. Additional information can be accessed at or

    About GBPC: Grand Bahama Power Company Ltd. is a totally integrated utility company serving the island's 45,000 residents and commercial establishments from east to west. The company employs over 200 Bahamians and has one of the lowest electricity rates in the Caribbean. For more information about Grand Bahama Power Company please visit:

    Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information: This release contains forward-looking information and should not be read as a guarantee of future events, performance or results, and will not necessarily be an accurate indication of whether, or the times at which, such events, performance or results will be achieved. Emera disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under applicable securities laws.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Brides Magazine names The Bahamas in best honeymoon destinations

    As a professional Wedding & Lifestyle photographer I was extremely pleased to see this list pop up on the acclaimed Brides Magazine
    I know that the couples I meet  who travel here to Grand Bahama for the perfect destination wedding are always happy they came and they do come back for more, referring friends and family for their weddings and honeymoons.

    Brides magazine has just released its annual list of the best places for honeymoons. The survey was conducted through the Signature Travel Network, a group of more than 6,000 travel agents in North America. The full findings are available in the March issue.

    And the No. 1 destination for honeymoons? Hawaii, followed by French Polynesia and Fiji. And the biggest mover on the full list, named as the up-and-coming place? Belize.

    Here's the full list:

    1. HAWAII


    3. FIJI

    4. ITALY

    5. BALI

    6. BERMUDA


    8. GREECE


    10. FRANCE

    I can be contacted via my SITE or email for wedding/engagement enquires

    Grand Bahama Athlete Wins Gold And Sets Record In Texas

    Former Tabernacle Baptist Academy Falcons quarter miler Demetrius Pinder captured a gold medal Saturday, the final day of the NCAA Division One Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas.

    Pinder, the NACAC U23 bronze medalist, representing Texas A&M, won the men’s 400m in 45.33 seconds, which beat the old facility record of 45.69 set by Michael Bingham in 2009.

    “I’m happy I got the win, because I worked so hard every day,” said Pinder in an interview on his schools’ website. “It finally paid off. To be a senior and set a record is a big achievement for me. I really didn’t have a race strategy, I just wanted to go out there and run and do what I have to do, stay strong mentally and it came through.”

    Pinder also carried Texas A&M to victory in the men’s 4x400m relay.

    Pinder shot into the lead on the second lap of his team’s relay, when A&M took charge on its way to a winning time of 3:04.24.

    It was Pinder, who had excellent times and whose running style infused the crowd with a jolt of adrenaline.

    He rocketed forward during the pivotal stretch of the final race, giving A&M a going away present for the second national indoor championships it has hosted.

    “It was so crazy,” Pinder said of the noisy crowd of 4,487. “It made me happier and kept me going; it was an excellent day for me. I am just happy.”

    In the 400 meter final, fast start and a strong finish pushed Pinder in the lead. An extra gear made sure he never lost it. A Georgia runner, who closed within a step of the Aggie leader, pressed Pinder for the lead on the backstretch of the second lap.

    And then Pinder left.

    He surged forward and raced the finish to win in setting a new record for the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

    “The 400 set me up mentally for my 4×4,” said Pinder, whose 1,600 relay split was 44.94. “It got me strong, mentally. I had a bad season in the beginning but I finished strong and I’m very proud of that.”

    The entire Island of Grand Bahama is also proud.


    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Statement from Bahamas' Prime Minister on the Earthquake & Tsunami in Japan

    Nassau, Bahamas - Prime Minister Ingraham said this morning that the Government and people of The Bahamas join with citizens around the world in expressing profound sorrow at the terrible loss of life and the human tragedy resulting from the catastrophic earthquake and horrific tsunami impacting Japan beginning yesterday afternoon.
    He had no doubt that the thoughts and prayers of all Bahamians are with the victims and their families as they endure the pain of the dreadful natural disasters that continue to impact Japan this morning.

    Prime Minister Ingraham recalled that Japan is always amongst the first of the developed countries to respond to international disasters with help and assistance. He said that The Bahamas was happy to learn that the world community at the level of the United Nations and indeed in capital cities of the developed countries with the ability to respond have signaled a readiness to lend whatever assistance is required by Japan to recover from this terrible disaster.

    The Prime Minister recalled that The Bahamas had only this past January concluded a Tax Information Exchange Agreement with Japan. On that occasion he had the opportunity to meet with the Japanese Ambassador accredited to The Bahamas, H.E. Ambassador Hiroshi Yamaguchi to discuss the mutual interest of both governments to broaden and enhance relations.

    The Prime Minister said that he would extend condolences to the Government and people of Japan from the Government and people of The Bahamas over the tremendous loss of life and destruction from the disaster.

    Grand Bahama Power Co. to lease additional generators for improved reliability

    Philcher Grant-Farquharson / Grand Bahama Power Co.

    FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Since the recent acquisition of the majority share holdings of the Grand Bahama Power Company by Canadian based company Emera, the question on the minds of the residents of Grand Bahama has been what changes will the company bring to improve the quality of service on the island.

    And, with the summer months fast approaching, the operating challenges that impacted the company last year May are a not so distant memory for customers. Even with Emera’s much touted announcement in December of plans for the construction of a new generating plant, residents are inquiring about what will be done in the interim to address the issue of reliability.

    To that aim, we, the Grand Bahama Power Company, are pleased to announce that our company, through Emera, has entered into a contract with Aggreko, a global leader in generator rental, for the leasing of an additional 35 MW of supplemental generation for our customers.

    The additional 42 units are expected to be on island in early April and fully operational by mid-April. When combined with the 10MW of temporary generation we acquired from Aggreko in June of last year, it will result in a total of 45 MW of supplemental generation for the island. What this translates into for our customers is improved reliability.

    Executive Chairman of the Grand Bahama Power Company, Ray Robinson, also remarked on Emera’s commitment to making short- term and long-term improvements to increase the overall level of reliability experienced by the customers of Grand Bahama Power.

     Future site of supplemental generation.

    Future site of supplemental generation“We realize that the level of reliability that the residents of this island have been experiencing is nowhere near the standard that it should be. We also recognize that waiting for a new diesel plant to be operational by mid-2012, in order to see significantly improved levels of reliability and stability is not a viable option for the customers of Grand Bahama Power. For those reasons, I am very pleased to put in place an interim solution that will not only provide an immediate solution for a drastic reduction in customer interruptions, but will provide economic and employment opportunities for Bahamians in operating and maintaining the additional units. Emera and Grand Bahama Power remain committed to ensuring that outages are reduced for all customers of the Grand Bahama Power Company.”

    Alan Kelley, President and CEO of the Grand Bahama Power Company, revealed that the preemptive measures taken were necessary to ensure that the company would be in a better position to meet the load of the island, especially during the summer months.

    “The supplemental generation not only represents improved reliability, but has some other beneficial implications for our customers. Due to the overall efficiency and better heat rate performance of the units as compared to the combustion turbines, our customers can expect to see a stabilization of fuel surcharge rates that tend to be more volatile with the usage of less efficient units. The rental units will eliminate the need to run the combustion turbines.”

    It is our goal to restore Grand Bahama Power to a utility that the residents of this island can be proud of and that really lives up to the slogan, Keeping Grand Bahama’s Future Bright.

    35 Permanent Jobs Secured for Former Our Lucaya Workers; Sandals Job Fair to Offer 100 Posts

    Freeport, Bahamas - Thirty-five of the former employees of the Our Lucaya Resort have now secured immediately employment through the Ministry of Labour’s one-stop-shop initiative held Monday, and within two weeks the Sandals Resort will hold an open job fair on Grand Bahama for 100 positions available at that property, Labour and Social Development Minister Dion Foulkes announced Wednesday in Freeport.

    Additionally, officials of the Baha Mar development have agreed in principle to engage a significant percentage of its workforce from among applicants from Grand Bahama.

    Minister Foulkes said: “I met with Robert Sands, the Vice President of the China State Construction Company, Baha Mar’s project manager and my senior officers this morning in Nassau. They have agreed in principle to engage 15 percent of the total complement of workers at Baha Mar, from Grand Bahama.”

    There are currently 450 Grand Bahama applicants, 150 of whom are prepared to move to Nassau, have accommodations and are prepared to work, the Minister added.

    The thirty-five immediate and permanent jobs secured by the former Our Lucaya workers Monday are also within the private sector: 22 hired by Sandals Exuma, eight by Bimini Big Game Resort and five by Colina.

    The one-stop-shop initiative brought together a variety of government services under one roof to assist the employees laid off from the island’s largest resort property over the weekend.

    Of the over 150 former workers who participated in the initiative, 144 registered in the Department of Labour’s Skills Bank and signed up for the National Insurance Unemployment Benefit.

    Ninety-one (91) persons applied for Social Service benefits, 45 persons received immediate on-site assistance in the form of food stamp vouchers, and 16 persons signed up for the Government-sponsored apprenticeship programme being held in conjunction with the private sector.

    Via this programme, persons will understudy posts in participating companies, and the Government will subsidize their salaries during the six-month apprenticeship period.

    Five private sector companies have agreed to partner with the Government in the programme: the Grand Bahama Port Authority, the Freeport Container Port, BORCO, the Freeport Habour Company and the Grand Bahama Airport Company.

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Downtown Freeport Gets New Businesses

    Freeport, Bahamas – Over 30 new businesses have opened in Freeport’s downtown area from June 2010 through to mid-February. President of The Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) Ian Rolle, describes these figures as encouraging. ‘The success of the Downtown Turnaround Project can be seen in the increase of new businesses in the city centre. The revitalization has brought about a new spirit, which has led to renewed optimism amongst storeowners,” he said.
    Rolle further noted that along with the usual retail establishments catering to clothing, hair or footwear, downtown is beginning to attract a new breed of entrepreneurs, including florists, pastry artisans, event planners, lawyers and property management consultants.

    “We’re definitely excited at the numbers and the shift in products being offered. GBPA sought to ‘make it happen’ and now business owners are running with their entrepreneurial ideas,” he added.

    By GBPA

    Freeport, GRAND BAHAMA-The new downtown commercial growth is reminiscent of what has taken place in the International Bazaar since GBPA introduced its one-year business license exemption. Prior to the hurricanes of ’04, ’05, the International Bazaar had 85 businesses in operation. At the end of December 2009, less than 30 businesses were open. Now, with the license fee waiver in effect, new tenants are applying regularly and over 65 businesses are in operation.

    New owners in Freeport’s downtown are excited about their own turnaround. Proprietor Denyse Lowe, opened Petal Party Ltd., two days before Christmas and describes sales thus far as phenomenal.

    “When we opened, there were no phones, signs on the door, or advertising but we did extremely well through just word-of-mouth and a lot of foot traffic,” she explained.

    In fact, it was downtown’s high customer volume that attracted Lowe to her new premises. After considering other commercial areas on the island, she chose to set up two stores in the Seventeen Centre, a location she firmly believes in after enjoying a successful Christmas and Valentines. “For persons considering opening up in the downtown area, I’d tell them not to be afraid. There is a lot of activity, it’s busy and the feel and atmosphere are changing,” she advised

    The floral aspect of Petal Party Ltd. has taken off, employing one staff member along with Lowe. Her joint tea house venture is due to open by the end of March, when she plans to employ an additional three persons. Despite the effects of a recession, Lowe said she was not deterred in her entrepreneurial efforts. “People love flowers and are always requesting them for various occasions so we knew there was a niche to be filled. Our floral arrangements and products are different and very appealing and I think if you’re really passionate about something and enjoy what you’re doing, it shows in your work.”

    The new business owners are proud to participate in returning downtown to its former commercial glory and a primary venue for other community activities. In commenting on the city’s civic importance, President Rolle stated, “ Research has shown that downtown festivals have and continue to provide the venue for the gathering of people and vibrant expressions of art and culture. As evidenced by the ‘Angels of Hope’ Christmas Concert held in December, business owners and residents are thrilled with the transformation that has taken place downtown and are eager for cultural events and related activities to return to the city’s centre.”

    To this end, the Downtown Turnaround Project committee and other governmental and non-governmental agencies have begun initial discussions about planning upcoming activities for the downtown area. “We are excited about the city’s re-development thus far and look forward to increased growth,” Rolle expressed.