Min. of Youth, Sports and Culture among 10 men honored for their contributions to building youth

Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Mario Bowleg was honored by the Diamond Eagle Foundation for his work with young people during his time as a basketball coach and presently as Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. Making the presentation was Founder of the Diamond Eagle Foundation, Bridgette Farrington. At left is Norris Bain, Deputy Director of Youth, Sports and Culture (Northern Bahamas).

Prior to accepting an award for the positive work he has done among the youth of the nation through basketball during his many years as a coach, Minister for Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Mario Bowleg encouraged other men to continue to do their part in helping the nation’s boys become contributing men of society.

“It is not just about what we have achieved to date, but the legacy that we will leave for the young boys who will grow into men tomorrow. In the spirit of unity and progress, let us remember the principles that have shaped our nation, ‘leave no man behind’,” Minister Bowleg said on Saturday night, October 14, 2023, at the Diamond Eagle Youth Ambassador Awards, that was held at Pelican Bay Resort.

“As we continue on our path of success, let us extend our hands to uplift those around us, ensuring that the opportunities and blessings that we have received, are shared by all.”

The Youth, Sports and Culture Minister was one of 10 men honored by the Diamond Eagle Foundation for the work they have done in helping to positively lead young people along the path of success. The awardees comprised men of various endeavours, including sports, education and community building.

The 10 honorees were: former businessman, sports enthusiast and track and field contributor, Basil Neymour; Basil Christie (who worked tirelessly with Special Olympics); Hezakiah Dean (a respected and dedicated educator for many years); Captain Fernley Palmer (longest serving leader in the Boys Brigade); Canon Harry Ward (for religious education); the late Alpheus “Hawk” Finlayson (sport/track & field); Ricardo Deveaux; Pastor Erik Danny Clarke (religion); Anthony “Huck” Williams (culture/Junkanoo); and Minister Bowleg (basketball coach and Minister of Sports).

Special honor and recognition was given to the Father of the Nation, the late Sir Lynden Pindling, and to former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie.

“These awards reflect the collective efforts that have paved the way for our journey, and I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for all of those who have contributed to this moment,” said Minister Bowleg.

“As we come together to celebrate the remarkable achievements of our fellow awardees, it is crucial to recognize the Diamond Eagle League Foundation’s great work and tireless efforts in fostering and recognizing excellence within our country. They have shown us that good things can indeed come from the men in our country. And we stand here today as living proof of that.

“I extend my sincere congratulations to all of those, who like me, have been honored here today. Your dedication and contribution have made an indelible mark on our beloved Bahamas. Your recognition is well deserved.

“Together, we represent the diverse tapestry of excellence. Each thread contributing to the rich fabric of our nation.”

Minister Bowleg admonished the awardees and the organizers of the Diamond Eagle Foundation that as they celebrated the past accomplishments of those who were honored, to remember that it was still only the beginning of the journey that lies ahead in helping more young people.

He noted that adults share the responsibility to become role models and leaders of the nation and leave behind a trail of inspiration for future generations.

“I encourage all of us – my fellow awardees, and others – to continue to be the man that The Bahamas needs. It is our collective responsibility to lead by example, to support one another and leave no one behind on this journey of progress and unity. It’s not just about us, it’s about the future of our country. It’s about the young boys who will turn into the men that The Bahamas will need in the future.”

Saturday’s awards ceremony was the first in four years, having been disrupted by Hurricane Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic. Since starting in 2016, the Foundation, which is headed by Bridgette Farrington, has honored men for their dedication and commitment in helping to build the youth of The Bahamas in various fields.

Source: Andrew Coakley/BIS

Captain Fernley Palmer, who is presently the longest serving president of the Boys Brigade worldwide, was honored by the Diamond Eagle Foundation for the decades of service and guidance he provided to thousands of Bahamian boys over the years. Ninety-three-year-old Palmer has served as president of the Boys Brigade for over 70 years. The award was presented by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Mario Bowleg (second from left) and Founder of the Foundation, Bridgette Farrington.