The Government High School Alumni Association held the first Phoenix Awards over the weekend. Twenty nine Bahamians were honoured for their contributions to the development of the country.

President of the alumni association, Paul Fernander spoke to ZNS News about the importance of the event. “We decided we’ll honour and celebrate some of the former students because they were not honoured over the last sixty years. So while we had the opportunity, most of them are in their twilight years and we decided this is a good time to honour them and celebrate them. As a matter of fact two of the lifetime achievement award winners past away while we were preparing for this event.”

Some of the honourees included former Prime Minister, Sir Lynden Pindling, Lady Zoe Maynard, Rev. Rex Major and Archbishop Drexel Gomez among others.

Speaking at the event was Minister of Education and Technical and Vocational Training, the Hon. Glenys Hanna Martin. She told those assembled, “as we ponder Government High we remember that it is a part of our history that education was purposely deprived to many brilliant young Bahamians at a time of oppressive, stifling policies which thwarted full human development and doused the silent dreams of generations of young people, it’s facts. What Government High School did represent however, was defiance of a narrative that people of color, in particular, were secondary in ability or inferior in talent or deficient in potential or promise. But it did more than that, it declared to those who sought to write a different script and indeed to the world, that our people were brilliant and gifted and powerful, that they could build a great nation.”

The Phoenix Awards were held at the University of The Bahamas.