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Bridging Gap To The Young

By DANA SMITH

dsmith@tribunemedia.net

A NUMBER of prominent people gathered at RM Bailey Senior High School for the Bridging The Gap symposium, an event organised by the school in honour of Majority Rule Day.

Event organiser and RM Bailey guidance counsellor, Rev Christopher Roberts, said the event came about because he has "always been concerned, working in the system, about the apparent lack of appreciation among our students for what it means to be Bahamian".

He said Bridging The Gap is meant to explain the Majority Rule "fight" to students and show them "what it meant to us then and what it means to us now."

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Cynthia 'Mother' Pratt

St Cecilia MP, Cynthia "Mother" Pratt, former National Security Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister, was one of the speakers. She said it was because of Majority Rule that it is possible for her to be where she is today, and related a similar message back to the students.

"I shared with them the fact that Majority Rule made it possible for them to be able to sit where they are today and one day, can become a leader if they so desire," Mrs Pratt said. "The sky is indeed the limit for them and it is because of our forefathers who fought for justice and fair play."

She acknowledged that students generally do not have an interest in history, explaining it's because they "don't know where we've come from."

Mrs Pratt continued: "Let me just say I feel that we have not done a good job in really sending the message and explaining to them history and that's why they have very little interest.

"Because we have not done a good job in dictating to them what really happened, and where we have come from, and where we are today ... that has to be changed. That's what I'm trying to do, teach our children our history."

Lady Pindling, widow of the first Bahamian Prime Minister, the late Sir Lynden Pindling, offered students a history of how the Bahamas gained independence.

She told The Tribune: "We just happened to be the instrument at that time when Majority Rule came into being, so I'm very proud."

Lady Pindling told students to "show pride in themselves and in their country" and to "do their best and strive for the hills."

"We were British subjects prior to independence," she said, "and after independence we became proud Bahamians - owning our own passports, our own flag, our own coat of arms - and we are somebody. We're Bahamians and that alone should make us very proud, today."

The other speakers included: Elwood Donaldson, William Thompson, RubyAnn Darling, Leonard Archer, Arlington Miller, A D Hanna, Italia Johnson, Cherly Albury, Arlington Butler, and Drexell Gomez.

Each figure visited a classroom and spoke to tenth grade students on the significance of Majority Rule.

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