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Are We Still Celebrating 50 Years of Independence?

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – We got the impression that this entire year would be filled with grand events that would “wow” us continuously and truly keep us in celebratory mode. Let me be one of the first to say publicly, that is not happening. 



As I See It

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On July 10, 2023, The Bahamas will celebrate its 50th anniversary of Independence. Our little country has reached two scores and ten and no matter how many hills and valleys we have gone through, the masses are still proud to be Bahamian. 

On January 19, 2023, The Bahamas saw the launch of its 50th anniversary of independence logo and theme in Parliament Square. The logo presented as gold, adorned with the country’s national bird – the flamingo – and the number fifty. The theme: “One Nation. Our Legacy. Our Future”. The event was a grand one to say the least and I quite like the logo. More people should have been there to see it. 

I must say though, for such a grand opening of “events” at the logo/theme launch everything seemed to fizzle after that. Firstly, the public relations on these celebrations are sorely lacking. Bay Street was “breezy” on January 19, even though barricades were set up for a Junkanoo-type crowd. And, where were the school children? No one knew of this event until about two days before.

Having such an event on a Thursday night was not the best idea. Why not a Friday or Saturday when most people don’t have to go to school or work the next day. That’s the one thing, but to me the most important thing is when is the official list of events going to be presented to the Bahamian people?

The Bahamas 50th independence logo
The Bahamas 50th Independence Logo and Theme

We got the impression that this entire year would be filled with grand events that would “wow” us continuously and truly keep us in celebratory mode. Let me be one of the first to say publicly, that is not happening. 

I’ve inquired about the list of events in high and low places and more recently I was told that the highest signature in the land needs to sign off on it and has failed to do so thus far. I have no idea if this is true or false, but what I do know is that this is now March and it does not look good. 

We also saw “242 Day” recently which came in like a slight spark which was outed in short order. Again, who knew “242-Day” was coming and where were the school children?

Because I am so unimpressed by the way in which this year of celebrations is being handled, I can’t help but wonder about the experience or where-with-all of those planning it. There are so many talented Bahamians out there who have proven themselves in planning awesome events for this country – events that are unforgettable. 

So many Bahamians come to mind that would have started a slew of grand, properly organized and properly promoted events beginning January 1, 2023, making us feel in our very souls what we are celebrating. In fact, the News Year’s day Junkanoo parade could have kicked off the celebrations, with each group depicting something good that happened over the 50 year period. 

The Bahamas flag

Some of these Bahamians I speak of are Linda Stubbs, Pat Mortimer, Bobby Pinder, Cyprianna McWeeney and George Smith. Those names represent just the tip of the iceberg of glorious organizing and décor talent and knowledge of the Independence “product”. 

In my snooping, I’ve learned that none of them were asked to assist  (George Smith is actually named as a committee member, but I’m not sure if he is active) and most of the people involved in putting on the events that have occurred so far were not even born in 1973. In my most humble opinion, one should have a keen sense of what the overall event is about when organizing celebrations like this. 

What has happened to the PLP grand style of events and the major PR splashes that accompany them? The Progressive Liberal Party is known for the most fantastic, memorable, glamorous events ever. The FNM is a little more conservative, but not the PLP. The PLP’s events are ones to remember, always.

If this committee is failing in its efforts, then some official needs to step in and appoint those who can get the job done. A reputable public relations firm needs to be called in to start the ball rolling with publicizing these national events so that every Bahamian can attend and be a part of them. Call Joan Albury at The Counsellors Ltd. and ask for assistance. 

I think this committee should be revamped and the list of events, if they exist, released to the public forthwith. Well, that’s how I see it anyway. 

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