Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Frankie Campbell presented members of the Board of Directors, Administrators, staff and children at the Bahamas Association for the Physically Disabled (BAPD) School with the key to a “brand new” Caterpillar Generator.
The ceremony took place Thursday, February 21, 2019. Minister Campbell was accompanied by Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Mr. Michael Foulkes; Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Sherrylee Smith; Director of Social Services, Lillian Quant-Forbes; Executive Secretary to the Secretariat of the National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Maria Kelley; and Gillian Bethell, Assistant Director, Disability Affairs Division, Department of Social Services.
BAPD President, Charlotte Albury accepted the keys to the generator on behalf of the Association. Ms. Albury took over the reins as President of the BAPD from her father, the late Sir Durward Knowles, who served in that capacity from February, 1991, until his death in February, 2018. Ms. Patricia Francis, Board Member, also participated in the ceremony.
“The presentation of this generator should ensure that there is uninterrupted service for the children at this facility whenever there are interruptions in service,” Minister Campbell said. “I extend my gratitude to all of the persons who work directly with the children on a daily basis here; grateful for the Board of Directors, the Administrators and also the parents who have seen the need not to keep their children at home, but to expose them to all of the opportunities available to them here.”
Registered as a non-profit charitable organization in 1973, the BAPD exists to provide the best possible service to the young in the community of persons with special needs. This is achieved through the provision of a Daycare Facility, Special Education, Physical Therapy, and Computer Training in an environment dedicated to promoting self-esteem, improved social skills and functionally-independent living wherever possible.
Its driving force was Miss Phyllis Aldridge, who saw the need to help the Physically Challenged Children, as well as adults, of The Bahamas. Sir Durward was appointed President in 1991, serving in the post until his death in 2018.
Ms. Albury said the turn-over ceremony marked a significant milestone for the facility. The ceremony took place just days ahead of the one-year anniversary of Sir Durward’s passing.
“This just could not have happened on a better occasion with Saturday marking the one-year anniversary of my father’s passing. We miss him daily. Being able to help the children of the community — and for those who are living with a disability, not to have them locked up inside the house, but be able to come out and experience what life has to offer, was so very important to him. I was on the committee with him for so many years and so I know that he is smiling down from heaven today knowing that we are continuing with his good works.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to us and the children that are here because now when there is an interruption in the service, having a generator on property will just make their day so much easier — to continue with their lessons, to continue caring for them, to continue to make their lives better,” Ms. Albury said.