Minister Pintard: ‘Independence is about empowerment’

Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard addressed the 48 th Anniversary of Bahamas Independence Ecumenical Service at the Community at Heart Tabernacle (Church of God of Prophecy) on Sunday, July 11, 2021. Minister Pintard pointed out that Independence was really about empowerment. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon. Michael Pintard said Independence of a nation is really about empowerment. “Our forefathers and mothers, when they were making the decision for this country to become independent, they were thinking in terms of the empowerment of our people,” Minister Pintard said during the 48th Anniversary of Bahamas Independence Church Service, which was held on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at Community at Heart Tabernacle, Church of God of Prophecy.

“The fact that we are as talented as anyone else, anywhere else and we deserve as we sit at tables of the world, to sit not as subjects, but as equals,” he added. “They were thinking about a people who ought to take responsibility for their own development, and they knew that if this was to happen, it was important that we had quality education and opportunities, not just to work, but to own and that we must build institutions that would humanize us as a people.

“So, on this occasion, as we remember their sacrifices and the thoughts that went through their minds, we rededicate ourselves to encouraging Bahamians to appreciate that on this side of glory, we are the chief architects in designing the future and the destiny that we want as a people.”

Min. Pintard said that on the occasion of the 48 th Anniversary of Independence, he and his Cabinet colleagues in Grand Bahama have rededicated themselves to being agents of God’s work to revive the nation of The Bahamas. He said all of the present government ministers, on behalf of the Government of the Bahamas, intend to work even harder, one family, one community, one island at a time. He expressed appreciation for members of the clergy and Christians throughout The Bahamas, whom he said at various times have either stood or knelt in prayer, standing in the gap on behalf of the entire nation.

Government Ministers attending the 48 th Anniversary of
Bahamas Independence Ecumenical Service on Sunday July 11, 2021, were (from
right) Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources, Michael Pintard; Minister of
Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Iram Lewis and Minister of State for Finance
and for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson. (BIS Photo/Lisa Davis)

“It was that act, beyond anything else that has helped to tear down many of the strongholds over this country,” said Minister Pintard. “I say that because we know that this battle is not just in the flesh, but in the spirit realm. So, we want to say ‘thank you’ and we thank God for you. As law and policy makers and public administrators, who are gatekeepers, along with members of the business community and civil society, we pledge to not only guard our borders and to guard our resources, but to work every day to guard the lives of the people of The Bahamas, whom we love dearly.”

The Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources noted that The Bahamas has come a long way since Independence, 1973. “I know that we’ve gone through some valleys, but we’ve also climbed some mountains together,” he said. “One of those valleys lies in the fact that the Bahama Islands sit in what is called the hurricane belt and that means every few years there is the great possibility that we could get hit with a hurricane. But each time we have demonstrated an incredible resilience as a people and none more
than right here in Grand Bahama, and through God we’re still here and we’re still standing.

“We’ve climbed some mountains together. We’ve done some incredible things as a people and not because of the size of the nation, but because of the nature of our hearts. In tourism and financial services, we were pace setters and world leaders.

And we understood inexplicably back then – and we need to bring it back — that excellence in service was not the equivalent of servitude. We were able to deliver because we understood that we would be properly remunerated when we were exceptional and Bahamians are exceptional.

“Our people have become substantial owners of this economy. The truth of the matter is sometimes we dwell on all that is wrong, rather than count those milestones that we have crossed. The truth is we were once locked out of that house where some of us serve and now we dominate both upper and lower houses and control the levers of powers in this country and internationally, as you look at the various multilateral organizations, the truth is Bahamians’ voices are being heard and our vote resonates. We are making a difference.

“Grand Bahamians please know that every initiative that we have put in place to lighten the burden, ease the tension or to sow seeds of hope, we have designed with you in mind. Until the economy rebounds and people return to work, we have an obligation to stand in the gap and provide where we can and to be honest with you when we are unable to do that. We dedicate ourselves to helping to open doors for our children to excel here at home and abroad.” Also in attendance at Sunday’s service were Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, the Hon. Iram Lewis; Minister of State for the Ministry of Finance and for Grand Bahama, Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, along with government administrators and ministers of the gospel from a cross-section of Grand Bahama.