Senator James Turner says 50 years of Independence — a call to action

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Senator James Turner was the keynote speaker at the Central Grand Bahama Flag Raising ceremony held at the Harold DeGregory Complex on Friday, June 30, 2023. The event was a prelude to the upcoming Golden Jubilee of Independence celebrations.

During the annual Flag Raising Ceremony on the grounds of the Ministry for Grand Bahama, Senator James Turner noted that 50 years of independence is not merely a milestone, but a reminder of the immense potential within every Bahamian throughout the islands of the Bahamas.

He said the upcoming Golden Jubilee is also a call to action. A call to each Bahamian to embrace their responsibilities as citizens and to work together to build a nation that is worthy of the sacrifices made by the country’s forefathers.

“Let us not take anything for granted,” said Senator Turner, who was filling in for Minister Ginger Moxey at the annual event in Freeport on Friday, June 30, 2023.  Grand Bahama held a total of three flag raising ceremonies simultaneously – Freeport, West Grand Bahama and East Grand Bahama. Senator Turner noted that as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee, his prayer is that the nation continues to shine as a beacon of hope, progress, and unity for the next 50 years and beyond. He added that the Bahamian spirit, which is defined by resilience, generosity, and a deep love for our Bahama land, will propel the nation into a future filled with limitless possibilities.

“I want to remind you that 50 is a magical number,” added Senator Turner. “This is the time that we ought to explore, we ought to get excited; see, think, and do wonderful things. I am pleased with what our forefathers have done. I can only hope that when we step aside, others will be pleased with what we would have done.

“Today, as we raise our flag high and as it dances in the wind, let us reflect on the values that have brought our country this far and embrace a spirit of unity that has shaped our wonderful nation. As we look to the future, let us remember that the path to progress is paved with determination, innovation, compassion, sometimes some challenges, but we ought to keep moving forward.

“Let us commit ourselves to building an inclusive society, where every Bahamian has an opportunity to thrive. Let us invest in education to empower our youth, with knowledge and skills to shape a brighter tomorrow. And to protect and preserve our natural wonders and recognize that our environment is not just a resource, but a legacy to be cherished and passed down to future generations.”

Just before police and defence force officers raised the Bahamian Flag to culminate the ceremony, Senator Turner said that standing on the precipice of 50 years of independence should stir up a sense of pride, joy and gratitude in all Bahamians. On such a momentous occasion, he said Bahamians should stand united, for they are the inheritors of a legacy built on courage, resilience and a strong belief in the power of freedom. And freedom, he added, is never free.

“Fifty years ago, our great nation took its first steps towards self-governance, guided by our founding fathers and mothers, and the visions of determination were clear,” said Senator Turner. “They forged a path to independence, breaking the shackles of colonial rule, and lighting a beacon of hope for future generations. As we celebrate on the road to 50, we honor their sacrifices, their dreams and the boundless love of our country.

“On behalf of the Minister for Grand Bahama, Hon. Ginger Moxey, I’m humble to stand before you today, representing the spirit of an extraordinary island. So, whenever we celebrate, we should really celebrate.”

Senator Turner pointed out that beautiful Grand Bahama, known for its pristine beaches, vibrant culture, and industrious people, symbolizes the strength and resilience of the entire Bahamas. He added that Grand Bahama is the most multi-dimensional of all the islands in the entire Bahamas.

“Yes, Nassau has its charms associated with urbanization, but we have that as well,” said Turner. “Yes, Abaco, Eleuthera, Exuma and other islands have the laid-back atmosphere of peace and tranquility associated with the out islands. Grand Bahama also has that.

“There is only one island in this entire country that can lay claim to being a true representation of all the islands of the Bahamas and that remains Grand Bahama. May God continue to guide, protect this wonderful country of ours, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.”

By ANDREW COAKLEY/Bahamas Information Services

More photo highlights:

Officers from the Royal Bahamas Police Force and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force raised the Bahamian flag during the singing of the Bahamian National Anthem at the annual flag raising ceremony on Friday, June 30, 2023 at the Harold DeGregory Complex in Freeport, GB.