Prime Minister, Dr. the Most Hon. Hubert A. Minnis officially opened the Edmund Moxey Youth and Community Center, Thursday evening, November 15, 2018, committing to keep alive the legacy of cultural icon Edmund Moxey. The former Jumbey Village was buzzing for the Official Park Renaming and Opening of the Edmund Spencer Moxey Youth & Community Center, a partnership of the Inter-American Development Bank, through funding, and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme. “What a wonderful celebration of the Bahamian spirit! What a wonderful celebration of the Bahamian imagination!” said the Prime Minister of the historic event. Located on Baillou Hill Road near National Insurance Board headquarters, the center sits in the middle of what is described as a hidden treasure. It’s an 80-acre park, home to a shallow clear pond, a rich variety of natural flora and fauna and red mangroves that provide an important habitat for birds and other wildlife. “This unique facility encompasses high-quality youth, community, and sports facilities,” the Prime Minister said. “This community center and park pay a fitting tribute to Edmund Spencer Moxey, a national hero, pioneer and visionary.”
The Prime Minister further envisioned that facilities like the Edmund Moxey Youth Center would help provide young people with a safe space to do homework, to take part in sports activities, and take part in social development and intervention programs, including job skills training and conflict resolution initiatives. “This center and its unique location in the Edmund Moxey Park will also provide extensive opportunities for experiential learning, possibly similar to programs offered by international groups such as Outward Bound,” he said. The Prime Minister pointed out that Jumbey Village was the brainchild and passion of Edmund Moxey. His vision was to create a cultural center and hub that would feature, record and demonstrate many aspects of Bahamian traditions, such as native foods, the intricacies of bush medicine and treasury of talents in the visual and performing arts. He also wanted to empower Bahamians economically. “Edmund Moxey showcased Bahamian culture in a way, and on a scale, that no one had before, or has since,” the Prime Minister said.
He added: “A part of his mission was to present our country’s talents and traditions to visitors and to draw them into the daily life of the black majority in the heart of Over-the-Hill. But his greater mission was about developing a people, offering Bahamians a tangible sense of our intrinsic worth and dignity.” The Prime Minister recalled that political obstruction led to Ed Moxey’s dismissal from Cabinet and the eventual destruction of his “beloved” Jumbey Village. “Despite this, Ed Moxey’s enduring legacy will always be Jumbey Village, a living demonstration of the Bahamian spirit and imagination.” According to the Prime Minister, the youth center and park named in Ed Moxey’s honor serve as an enduring reminder of his legacy. In this vein, The Edmund Moxey Cultural Week – November 11-17 was organized by a special committee and spearheaded by Executive Chairman of the Public Parks and Public Beaches Authority and St. Barnabas MP Shanendon Cartwright, and Mr. Serfent Rolle. The special events of this week culminating with a revival of Moxey’s Coconut Grove Festival. The Prime minister commended Mr. Cartwright and his team for the extensive tribute.
Featured inside the center is a mural of Ed Moxey and his iconic thatch-roofed ‘Granny’s Hut.’ The mural was designed by John Cox, and executed by art students of the University of The Bahamas. On the grounds is a statue of Ed Moxey, created by Bahamian sculptor Andret Jon. “I have always dreamt of mural, sculpture and other art installations throughout New Providence, chronicling our journey as a people,” the Prime Minister said. He said he always believed that the large wall space opposite Mortimer Candies on East St. Hill could be transformed into an extraordinary mural, featuring various aspects of The Bahamas; a dream he hopes to make a reality. “Initiatives like these help to ensure that heroes like Ed Moxey and the history of our country live on in our national memory and in the Bahamian soul. Our heroes and history offer new generations a strong sense of community and pride in what it means to be Bahamian,” the Prime Minister said. He then affirmed his government’s commitment to improving quality of life and expanding opportunities for residents Over-the-Hill; and he noted that the Citizen Security and Justice Programme, managed by the Ministry of National security, plays a significant role in the government’s overall plan for youth development, which includes social inclusion and intervention programs and entrepreneurship and enterprise initiatives. The Edmund Moxey Youth Centre is one of three facilities already refurbished under the CSJP. Centers are also operational in Fox Hill and Quakoo Street. More centers are planned under the Programme. These centers will be managed by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture, providing a much-needed permanent home for the ministry’s dynamic youth and culture programmes. The Prime Minister thanked his colleagues, public officers, private citizens and the family of Edmund Moxey for organizing the historic event.