National Tree Flourishes on Road to 50 Celebrations

Minister of State for Education and Technical and Vocational Training with students and staff at H.O. Nash for their tree planting on International Arbour Day

Fifty Lignum Vitae trees will addorn green spaces throughout the country as a part of the Road to 50 celebrations. 

Lignum vitae tree planting kicked off this Friday past as a part of International Arbor Day. Arbour Day, which translates into “tree day”, celebrates the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees. International Arbour Day is typically celebrated on the last Friday in April, and the appreciation of trees and forests in modern times can be largely attributed to this special day to honor and appreciate them.

H.E. Leslia Miller-Brice, Chair of the Independence Secretariat, led tree planting ceremonies at the Royal Bahamas Police and Defence Force bases, Sadie Curtis Primary School, and other locations in the capital, while similar ceremonies took place at other schools and institutions. The Lignum vitae planting ceremonies are a part of the Road to 50 Legacy Projects to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bahamian Independence. 

This project, launched on International Arbour Day, aims to increase awareness and appreciation for the national tree of The Bahamas. and to ensure that “50 years from now, generations will come and bask in their shade”.

The word “Lignum vitae” is Latin for “wood of life” due to its historical use as traditional medicine for the people of the Caribbean. It was used for the treatment of arthritis,couching, gout, syphilis and chronic rheumatism and is used in blood purifying compounds.

The Independence Secretariat is proud to announce the first annual national jubilee day on March 5. In commemoration of the 50th Independence Anniversary, schools across The Bahamas will host a special assembly in celebration of the golden jubilee, reflecting on our nation’s accomplishments and renewing their commitment to positively contribute to the wellbeing and future of The Bahamas. Government agencies, private entities and NGOs are encouraged to host activities that afford attendees opportunities to reflect on the nation’s legacy and renew their commitment to the nation. 

May 15 will mark the Sir Milo Butler Community Dinner. On May 16, the Independence Secretariat, in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development, Department of Gender and Family Affairs willhost “Generation Next: National Young Men’s Empowerment Seminar”. 

The National Church Service and Memorial Procession will be held on May 21. In preparation for the official celebrations in July, the nation will pause to give God thanks and praise in a National Church Service followed by a memorial procession to honor “our forefathers and foremothers who have contributed to our nation’s development and progress”.

May 21 also signals the Independence Flag Relay. In the 50-Day “Countdown to 50”, an Independence Flag Relay will be held throughout The Bahamas. 

Finally in May, Bay Street will come alive with the “50th on Bay Festival”. Bay Street will buzz with live chef demonstrations, artisans, food, beverage and confections. Pedestrians will enjoy this exciting street festival with live performances by bands, acoustic performance, dancers and performance art showcasing Bahamian talent and entertainment.

Source: Felicity Darville

H.E. Leslia Miller-Brice with a contingent of students and staff at Sadie Curtis Primary School participating ion the Road to 50 celebrations

H.E. leslia Miller Broce and Commissioner of the Royal Bahamas Police Force Clayton Fernander share the celebratory shovel as they plant a Lignum vitae at police headquarters

Officer of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force and the Independence Secretariat join to plant a Lignum vitae at the RBDF base for International Arbour Day

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister Mykles Laroda and NIB officials planting a Lingnum vitae tree

Princess Margaret Hospital staff have another national tree to add to their shade green spaces thanks to the Road to 50 celebrations