From: Bahamas Information Services
“For the government, the granting of citizenship represents the highest recognition and privilege that a government can bestow upon an individual,” said Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey, whose comments came during swearing-in ceremonies for 14 individuals to become Bahamian citizens.
The event took place on Thursday, November 25th 2021 at the Bahamas Union of Teachers Hall. Also on hand for the event were Minister of Labour and Immigration, Hon. Keith Bell and Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, Hon. Obie Wilchcombe. During her address and charge to those being confirmed for citizenship, Minister Moxey noted that the right to citizenships is treasured and tightly guarded by Bahamians and not something to be taken lightly.
“Our Constitution, the supreme law of our land underscores the sacred place that citizenship holds in our country,” she added. “Unlike in other countries, in the Bahamas, citizenship is not necessarily conferred automatically to people who are born here. The Constitution provides for an entitlement to citizenship upon registration for certain categories of persons. The granting of citizenship is therefore, a very serious matter. Not only for us in the government, but also for you, our new citizens.
“And for you, I am sure that your decision to renounce your citizenship rights in some other country, in many cases, the land of your birth, to pledge unqualified allegiance to a new country and all which that act symbolizes, requires I imagine, a great deal of personal courage.
“There are also some of you, particularly those who may have been born in this country, for which the act of conferment is long overdue. It represents the end of a frustrating time of uncertainty and waiting and the beginning of a new life as citizens of this country, which you clearly love and which you have chosen to call home.”
In accepting the individuals as citizens of The Bahama, Minister Moxey said care was taken to determine their good character, personal resources, skills, talents and their demonstrated involvement in and concern for the community. In meeting that standard, she reminded them that citizenship in the Bahamas would grant them complete civil and political rights and full protection under the Constitution and laws of The Bahamas. However, she pointed out that with such privileges come obligations, responsibilities and expectations.
Some of those obligations, responsibilities and expectations, she said, include unconditional loyalty and allegiance to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, respecting and upholding the laws of the land, upholding the country’s national institutions, respecting and contributing to its social and cultural developments and contributing meaningfully to the economic, political and peaceful development of The Bahamas.
“The Bahamas is a unique country and our greatest resource is our people,” said Minister Moxey. “And through a combination of hard work, diligence, hospitableness, ability and commitment to service, we have taken advantage of our God-given climate and location to make this archipelago of once barren cays and rocks, a mecca for tourists and investors and for our people to provide a standard of living, envied by many.
“With your newly attained Bahamian status, I expect that you will bring your special talents, your resources, your culture and your values to contribute to the process of building and strengthening our nation. This nation is only as strong as its people. And the strength of our people is measured individually by our hard work, commitment and dedication and collectively, by the extent to which we cooperate and work towards common goals and the betterment of our Commonwealth.
“So, on behalf of the Government of The Bahamas, I wish to congratulate you and to welcome you as the newest citizens of our Commonwealth. May God bless you and may God bless the Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”