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Today in History: July 5

NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The Bahamas Games, a Wimbledon gold medal and a change of leadership in the police force. See what events took place on this day in history.

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NASSAU, BAHAMAS – On this day in Bahamian history, in 1989 the first Bahamas Games was opened in Nassau, Bahamas. The games were held from the 5th to the 10th of July under the theme, “A celebration of love and unity.”

Under the guidance of former Sports Minister Peter J. Bethell, The Bahamas first ever Golden Jubilee Games was formed.

The games were intended to be a joy filled national event meant to uplift, unify and uphold the athletic and sporting spirit amongst Bahamians.

These games were essential in helping us discover new talents throughout our nation, allowing athletes from different islands to show their prowess in an olympic style event.

Then in 2009, Bahamian athlete Mark Knowles and his German partner Anna-Lena Grönefeld won the mixed doubles title at the world’s most prestigious tennis tournament in Wimbledon.

Mark Knowles is a well known Bahamian athlete who is famous for winning multiple doubles championships including the 2002 Australian Open, the 2004 U.S. Open, and the 2007 French Open.

He has represented The Bahamas in singles and doubles a the prestigious Davis cup for more than 13 years and has also made it to the quarter finals in the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

He runs a tennis event in The Bahamas called the Mark Knowles Celebrity Tennis Invitational which has raised over 1 million dollars. He also participated in numerous charity events such as the Team Tennis Smash Hits event which raised over $500,000.

Then in 2011, The Bahamas government banned shark fishing throughout the country. The ban was approved by former Agriculture Minister Larry Cartwright due to the overwhelming demand for their fins in Chinese cuisines.

A seafood company announced it planned to export shark meat to Hong Kong, which immediately raised concerns amongst the environmental community.

The ban was welcomed by environmentalists as they listed the many ways sharks balanced the ecosystem and how activities such as shark diving brought considerable revenue to The Bahamas each year.

And finally in 2022, after serving for two years and decades more on the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Paul Rolle stepped down from his position and appointed Clayton Fernander as the ninth Bahamian Commissioner.

Fernander was the third son to his parents Minerva Butler and Wellington Fernander who originated from San Salvador.

From an early age, Fernander showed fascination with the intricate works of police and in 1982 after graduating from C.C. Sweeting Senior High, he was enlisted into the Royal Bahamas Police Force.

Starting off as a traffic division investigator, he had a tremendous impact on the force and was transitioned into the Criminal Investigations Department on May 21, 1984.

Fernander ended up making huge marks in criminal investigations for 28 consecutive years climbing his way to be “essentially” the lead detective in The Bahamas.

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