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Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville reminded a gym filled with primary school basketball players that competition is the key to improvement, academically and athletically. “If you do not compete, then it will be difficult to progress and do well,” added Minister Darville. “So the same way you compete in the classroom is the way you ought to compete on the basketball court.” The Minister was guest speaker during the opening of the Grand Bahama Primary Schools Association Basketball Tournament, which featured teams from Nassau, Grand Bahama and Abaco. This year’s tournament was held in honor of the Minister and was thus called the ‘Michael Darville Primary School Basketball Tournament’, held at the Jack Hayward gym.“To all of the boys and girls who will be playing in this tournament, I say to you ‘work hard, perform to your maximum capability, compete in the spirit of camaraderie and always remember to have the right attitude.’ Remember that there are even lessons in defeat.”

He admitted to the youngsters that he himself was not a good basketball player, but he loved to see the game played well by those who are capable of playing the game. As a result, the Minister promised the youngsters that throughout the tournament, he would be popping in to look at the level of talent that existed among the young ball players.
“When the organizer of this tournament, Ozzie Simmons and his team came to me to talk about putting on this tournament, I was immediately on board and was pleased to be a part of the sponsorship for this event,” said Dr. Darville.“Especially when he told me that this tournament would feature primary school teams from right here in Grand Bahama and schools from Nassau and Abaco. This is an event that’s more than just about playing basketball. It’s an area where we can mentor young men through the avenue of sports.”

Minister Darville admitted that he had a team preference, but pointed out that as Minister, he wanted to encourage all of the teams and hope that each one got a shot at the championship title.Some repairs had to be made to the gymnasium in order to get it up and running in time to host the tournament. Minister Darville pointed out that Ozzie Simmons pushed and made sure that the necessary repairs were carried out in time to host the tournament. “So those of you who are visiting from Nassau, you may still see some signs of the devastation that had affected us, thanks to Hurricane Matthew, but we have recovered well and continue to recover,” said Minister Darville. “But you must commend us for the quality of work we have done thus far in order to get this city back up and running.”The Minister officially opened the tournament by taking a shot from the free throw line. The first shot was a miss, but Minister Darville was able to make the shot on the second attempt.



Residents and business owners in Smith's Point, Grand Bahama, were updated on work being carried out on the seawall on Friday evening during a town meeting at St. Jude's Anglican Parish Hall by Minister for Grand Bahama, the Hon. Dr. Michael Darville along with Ministry of Works engineer, Mrs. Toni Hudson-Bannister. The Minister told the Smith’s Point community that there were initial delays in getting the project started because of essential information gathering that was necessary at first. Soon after, there was the passage of Hurricane Matthew, which meant the area had to be reassessed by the Ministry of Works.

However, he affirmed that the process of building the seawall – which he started upon request by the Smith’s Point residents – is now back on track. He noted that while some seawalls in The Bahamas are straightforward, the one being constructed at Smith’s Point is not, and that the key is to do it right so that it can last for many years. On completion of the seawall, the residents of Smith's Point will have a buffer zone to be able to create more business and cultural activity in the area.

Outlining the history of the work, Toni Hudson-Bannister of the Ministry of Works in Grand Bahama said that the contract was signed and ground broken on June 24, 2016; work commenced in August. Unfortunately, the passing of Hurricane Matthew on October 6, 2016 put a stop to the work, but it recommenced January 2017.

There were a number of setbacks experienced with the project, she said, causing delays and these ranged from the condition of the soil at the site, to the maximum weight capacity of the bridge getting to Smith's Point. Following consultation with the Ministry of Works and the Contractor, Smith's Construction, taking all things into consideration, the revised completion date is now set for July 2017.


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