By GEORGE SMITH
“The leader should be the servant of his people, purposefully seeking to uplift them and their lives. He must lead with wisdom, resolve and valour.”
THE delegates came from all across the archipelago. Like the true patriots they are. Black Bahamians, white Bahamians, Asian Bahamians, Haitian Bahamians, European Bahamians, they came to repair their beloved SS PLP.
They came to replace the broken planks and to right the rudder.
They installed a new mast and set new sails, with the single-minded purpose of charting a new course.
With patience and pride, late into the night, the delegates selected a new captain and crew. I am extremely proud that the delegates selected a fellow Exumian, Chester Cooper, as first mate. After accomplishing their mission, the delegates packed their bags and proudly and orderly returned to their homes with renewed optimism of a brighter future. I congratulate each and every one of the delegates who participated in this historic convention.
Now with renewed purpose, Philip Davis must begin the process of wide consultation in preparing plans which will propel the country onto the progressive course to a prosperous, stable and peaceful enlightened nation, with the people at the heart and centre of its plans and strategies.
Mr Davis is expected to reconnect the party to the time-honoured values, traditions, core principles and fraternal spirit which sustained the PLP in government for 25 years from 1967 to 1992.
This re-energised PLP must now enlist the best minds available in exploring and finding workable solutions to the major problems facing our nation. Crime, health challenges, education, economic growth and empowerment, the environment and rescuing and motivating our young people to pursue productive lives, free of crime, are but few of the many challenges that the PLP must boldly embrace, with renewed energy and purpose.
Great emphasis should be placed on managing our natural resources, including oil, aragonite and public lands, in creating opportunities for ordinary Bahamians to enjoy the economic empowerment that has persistently evaded us.
The problems of Grand Bahama require special attention. Solutions must be found by closely examining the amendments that must be made to the Grand Bahama Port Authority along with the full involvement and engagement of the residents of that island.
We must also recommit ourselves to transforming our Family Islands into centres of excellence, fully cognisant of the unique attributes and cultural differences of each island, in order to realise the potential of all who reside within our archipelago.
Together, we must assess what kind of nation we envision for the Commonwealth of the Bahamas and what progressive steps must be taken to achieve that vision.
All who dream and hope for more productive lives for all of our citizens should look anew at the PLP, embrace the possibilities of our true potential and inspire all Bahamians to become fully engaged, ensuring that we all actively participate in the unfinished agenda of nation-building.
With a new captain and first mate at the helm, bolstered by an army of dedicated Bahamians as the supporting cast, we must all purposefully contribute in ensuring that the Bahamas continues the dream of becoming one of the best nations on earth.
– George A Smith is a real estate broker and consultant. He was a member of Parliament for 29 years, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister and a member of the delegation at the London talks on independence. He was chairman of the secretariat that directed the programme for independence, and a Progressive Liberal Party Cabinet minister for 11 years.