By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
TRIBUTES and well wishes were extended yesterday to Basil V Rahming, deputy controller at the Road Traffic Department, on his retirement after seven years of stellar leadership and in his role as chairman of the Grand Bahama Road Safety Committee.
People from a wide cross section of the community spoke highly of Mr Rahming and his passion for road safety and the wellbeing of citizens.
He also served for many years in the Royal Bahamas Police Force and retired as Assistant Superintendent of Police, second in command of the Grand Bahama District.
A “thank you” reception was held at the Administrator’s Office where among those paying tributes were the presidents of the Rotary Clubs of Freeport and Lucaya, J R Fraser of the GB Road Safety Committee, Tammy Mitchell of GB Disaster Consultative Committee, Troy McIntosh of Grand Bahama Port Authority, and Kurt James, of the Weather Department.
Ms Mitchell thanked Mr Rahming for his many years of dedicated service to the community. “He has dedicated his life and time to the people of not just Grand Bahama, but the Bahamas while serving as a police officer and as a Road Traffic official,” she said.
“It was during Frances and Jeanne I really got a full dose of how it was to work with Mr Rahming. During our time in the EOC when hurricanes were on top of us, Mr Rahming kept law and order, assisted with telephones and ensured that we were taking our rest breaks and making sure that everything was properly documented, all the while he was up for almost 24 hours,” she recalled.
Randy Thompson, of Pharmchem, said that Mr Rahming was instrumental in assisting the company with getting their driving simulator programme for high school students off the ground. “Back in 2007 we were connected and brought together by very tragic accident on this island. And we at Pharmachem took a look at what we could do to help the community as most accidents can be avoided and we looked at a programme primarily for young kids in high school. We decided to acquire a driving simulator and invited Mr Rahming to help us with it, to take it to the schools.”
Mr McIntosh, City manager of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, said that Mr Rahming was always concerned about ensuring that the streets were safe. “He would call me and send me an e-mail about where speed limit signs were needed,” he said.
Mr Fraser stated that the GB Road Safety Committee was able to achieve many of its goals when Mr Rahming came on board as chairman. He noted that the Committee’s signature initiative, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Lucaya, “The Courteous Driver of the Quarter Award”, was implemented. The Road Traffic Victims’ Day was also initiated and is now observed every November.
“He did not stop there and at our monthly meeting he proposed that we arrange to speak with school kids during assembly. After partnering with the police traffic division we visited a number of schools on the island and he was instrumental in numerous requests of the Grand Bahama Port Authority relating to street crossing,” Mr Fraser said.
ASP Kenwood Taylor, officer in charge of the Traffic Division, paid tribute in song to Mr Rahming.
Mr Rahming thanked everyone for the tributes, and for supporting him over the years. “You are persons who have been the wings beneath my wings and raised me up. Many of you were there when I was at police headquarters during the eight years when I served as deputy to then ACP Greenslade,” he said.
“I spent six years at the Road Traffic Department and as chairman of Road Safety Committee, and we were able to accomplish a lot through partnering with the community. It was a pleasure to serve the community of Grand Bahama in all the capacities I have had the privilege to serve, especially the Road Safety Committee.”