Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis pointed out, on March 2, 2023, that he had said, on “any number of occasions” that it was important for Bahamians as private citizens and as a nation to memorialize the life and work of significant personalities in their lives, in the life of our family and in the life of the nation.
“In so doing, we protect their legacy, defend their good name and pay the ultimate tribute to them,” Prime Minister Davis said, at the Renaming and Rededication Ceremony for the Edwin ‘Smiley’ Bastian Corporate Center. “Today’s renaming ceremony of the former Citibank and Scotiabank building to the Edwin ‘Smiley’ Bastian Corporate Center is an example of a grateful son memorializing his father in tribute to all of the intangible attributes transferred to him that have collectively shaped his character and his value system.”
“For those who may not know Edwin ‘Smiley’ Bastian, His Excellency Sebas Bastian is a chip of the old block, therefore, Smiley continues to live through a son who dearly loves and honours his father,” he added.
Prime Minister said that the person in whose honour this building was being named, the late Edwin Emmanuel ‘Smiley’ Bastian, was a “good Andros man from the quaint and picturesque settlement of Stanyard Creek”.
“Family members fondly remember Smiley as a very engaging people’s person who understood the value of making everyone feel special,” he said. “This quality embellished and strengthened his entrepreneurial spirit at a very early age.”
Prime Minister Davis added: “From shining shoes on the weekends and working as a bar boy at the British Colonial Hotel after school, to owning and operating the well-known steak and bar at The Four-Way-Inn in Englerston, a beloved watering hole and popular grill spot, Smiley was an entrepreneur at heart.
Prime Minister Davis noted that Mr. Bastian was also a member of Rotary Club of South East Nassau and a multiple recipient of the Paul Harris fellowship award, a testament to his unwavering commitment to economic development and community leadership.
“So as it turns out ladies and gentlemen, this spirit of entrepreneurship was one of the intergenerational attributes Smiley would pass on to this son and years later, a number of young business persons and our nation are significant beneficiaries,” he said.
“Smiley was also a political activist and an ardent supporter of the progressive movement and cause, serving as the Chairman of the Yellow Elder Branch of the Progressive Liberal Party under then MP for Yellow Elder and Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Clement T. Maynard,” he added.
“For his meritorious and dedicated service, the party bestowed upon him its highest honour, that of Stalwart Councilor.”
Prime Minister Davis said: “In our 50th anniversary of sovereign nationhood, let us all in our own unique way commit ourselves to celebrating and memorializing the significant contributions and legacies of our brothers, sisters and loved ones because the institutional memory this national practice creates will only serve to deepen our culture roots and strengthen our national identity as Bahamians.”
By ERIC ROSE/Bahamas Information Services
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