From: Bahamas Information Services
A COVID-19 Vaccination Volunteer Luncheon was held Sunday, October 17, during which the government thanked individuals who dedicated their services to the national vaccination programme aimed at fighting the COVID-19 virus. The event was held in the New Providence Room, Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar where the guest list was headed by His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Cornelius A. Smith,
Governor-General, who brought remarks of appreciation. The Governor General offered “profound thanks and gratitude” for the services to theBahamian people during what he termed “ an unprecedented crisis.”
He noted that in March 2020 the country faced a major health and economic crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We needed volunteers and you sprung into action and rendered service,” he said. The Governor General praised the volunteers for being “an incredible example of what is means to be our brother’s keeper.”
Also delivering remarks were: the Hon. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness; the Hon. Myles Laroda, Minster of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, who represented the Prime Minister; the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis, Leader of the Official Opposition; Dr. Merceline Dahl-Regis, Chairman, Bahamas National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee; Lindsey Cancino who spoke on behalf of Volunteers, and Ed Fields, Deputy Chair, Bahamas National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee, who served as Master of Ceremonies.
Bishop Delton Fernander opened the event with a prayer. Also present was Usha Pitts, Chargé d’Affaires, US Embassy, Nassau. The Royal Bahamas Police Force Pop Band provided entertainment. Speaking from ‘the heart,’ the Minister of Health and Wellness recalled “fighting for his life” as a COVID-19 patient, and thankful for the care he received in hospital. He also recalled visiting the vaccination centres and meeting the beautiful and dedicated people serving the country. Many of the volunteers are members of Rotary Clubs, and other non-governmental organizations.
“You worked tirelessly in your capacities to permit the vaccination centres to operate in an organized professional and dignified manner,” the minister said. He added: “I thank each of you for the ongoing commitment despite the challenges. You continue to remain committed to the cause. I thank you for your gift of love… as we fight this invisible enemy that has come to our shores….” On behalf of the Prime Minister, Minister of State Laroda, too, thanked the volunteers who sacrificed their time for the benefit of all Bahamians. “Our country is grateful and better off for your efforts,” he said. In thanking the volunteers, Dr. Dahl-Regis, referred to them as “a global force that managed a global pandemic.” She remarked that the community at large benefits from the volunteers’ expertise and organizational skills.
They all came together as “One Bahamas. As one Unit”; and the country is extremely grateful for their services, she said. The Bahamas National COVID-19 Vaccine Consultative Committee launched the vaccination exercise in March 2021. Centres were opened at Loyola Hall on Gladstone Road, Kendal G. L. Issacs Gymnasium at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre, Church of God of Prophecy on East Street, St. Anselm’s Church on Bernard Road, The University of The Bahamas, University Drive, and eventually, on the Family Islands. As of 16 October 2021, a total of 119,172 people were fully vaccinated.