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Editorial: A Shadow Of Its Former Self

It ought to be the crown jewel of The Bahamas. Instead, it’s not fit enough for its new occupant to live in.

We’re talking of course about Government House, which should be the finest of surroundings to welcome dignitaries in the appropriate setting – and live up to being the biggest moment of some people’s lives in being recognised by the incumbent Governor General.

It should be. But it’s not.

The now former occupant, Dame Marguerite Pindling, lived in her own home outside of working hours, and the new person in the job, CA Smith, will live in a home rented for him by the government at a cost of $9,000 a month.

Opposition leader Philip ‘Brave’ Davis was quickly on the attack of course. The government didn’t pay rent under his watch, he said – well, they didn’t need to as Dame Marguerite has a substantial home in New Providence, unlike the new man.

“Government House should (have) been repaired a long time ago and I’m advised that the roof is still leaking (and was leaking) for the last four years or more,” he roared. Now, let us think, who was Minister of Works four years ago?

Clearly the words of Dame Marguerite at her farewell speech calling for unity didn’t sink in very far.

We also think he misses the point when he complains about the rent – now obviously it is something that would be better done without if Government House was up to scratch, but the fact that the premier venue in the land is looking a bit ramshackle is the real point.

CA Smith can smile all he wants, his smile won’t cover up the peeling paint, or that leaky roof, or the stained carpets or balconies that could do with a little refurbishment.

Should the refurbishment have been done earlier? Yes. Should we applaud that it is happening at last? Yes.

That $9,000 a month is a relatively small budget item for the accommodation of the holder of the top office in the land – all the same, we’ll be glad when it’s no longer needed, and The Bahamas can be proud of Government House once more.

Jeff Lloyd is living in hope

Speaking of repairs – we think Jeff Lloyd might be somewhat optimistic in thinking school repairs might all be completed within the tight six-week window of summer.

Already, he’s talking about people working “ 12, 14, 15-hour days and seven days a week, that’s just the nature of it because look here today is July 2”.

Not only does that not sound safe for workers but we wish him luck with that in a summer already shaping up to be one of power outages and load shedding. Why, just today there was another island-wide power outage – workers aren’t going to be using power tools in that.

For some schools there is a reasonable excuse for time being so tight – no one could have foreseen the fire at Huntley G Christie school in Nichols Town, Andros, last month, and the same holds true of the fire-damaged area in Anatol Rodgers Senior High School.

But if your plan starts with working 15-hour days seven days a week, then your plan is designed to fail.

Every year, the schools seem to face such a rush to be ready for the first day of term – is there really no smoother way to do this?

Mr Lloyd was also optimistic about reaching a deal with teachers over a new industrial agreement.

But as union leader Belinda Wilson said before she went on holiday that she would advocate for a 20 percent pay increase, we suspect his hopes of satisfying teacher demands are a long way short of reality yet.

Good luck, Mr Lloyd, on both counts.

Comments

birdiestrachan 5 months, 1 week ago

The PLP cannot be given a pass and the FNM even less. Because they were the Government for two years. They had two years to repair the house. and there was no rush to make CA Smith Govoner and charge the taxpayers $9,000 per month rent.

The Editorial page can in no way justify this lack of planning nor can the FNM Government

The FNM Government may be the darling of the press. But does it help the Bahamas? No, it does not. There is a just God and his justice will prevail,

Poor people are suffering.

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K4C 5 months, 1 week ago

A Shadow Of Its Former Self is what Nassau and Freeport have become, ramshackle run down, broken-down, worn out buildings tell the tail, there is no more Bahamian flavor to be seen anyplace, this all started 46 years ago, and there is no one politician that is prepared to say, lets start over

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Greentea 5 months, 1 week ago

That would take vision and courage- both in extremely short supply here.

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sheeprunner12 5 months, 1 week ago

The physical state of Government House is sending all of us a deeper message ...... its purpose and role is obsolete.

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Well_mudda_take_sic 5 months, 1 week ago

A Shadow Of Its Former Self

Funny - that's what many of us say about the quality of The Tribune's investigative work behind its reporting.

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The_Oracle 5 months, 1 week ago

We undermine the rule of law, edifices, structures, but replace them with nothing. Anarchy is quickly filling in the void. No worthy leadership leading by example. Finger pointing, without the necessary mirror. We are all guilty of national negligence, with some guilty of national malfeasance.

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 1 week ago

9000 is a small amount for accommodations according to the FNM government and their elite supporters. he needs a place to serve tea and entertain.

Never mind there is a shortage of beds at the hospitals for poor people to lay their heads And the people should be grateful to the FNM after two years when they did nothing to repair the Government house,

How hypocritical of them all.

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birdiestrachan 5 months, 1 week ago

Nine thousand a month could buy many beds. The FNM Government can find money to do everything they want to do.

they could have made him Govoner after they had repaired the place and buy beds for the sick.

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TalRussell 5 months, 1 week ago

How much Imperialists red shirts governor general can the Colony of Out Islands afford?
I was laughed at when while back this comrade had posted on these same hereto Tribune pages that un be's known's populaces there was a second residence which governor general livid-in besides atop Mount Fitzwilliam, yes, no..............and, in equal fairness it does speaks volumes about the financial thriftiness respect Comrade Sister Marguerite demonstrated by not billing PopulacesPublicPurse for monthly rental charge $6,000, yes, no.......... did keeping extra burden $6,000 rental expense guarded secret away from populaces play role in why governor general might have had good reason announce he own appointment ahead we beloved Queen and prime minister, yes, no........comrades, this is not made up but playing out front entire populaces Colony of Out Islands......history repeats itself when the only former governor general live outside official residence just happened be the Duke Windsor, former King England, yes, no..........make new governor, royalty.....

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ReallyRUSure 5 months, 1 week ago

Don't try to whitewash the outgoing GG's decision to live in her private residence as a noble act!! Nowhere else in the western world does an individual reside in a publicly funded residence in perpetuity as the Pindlings. That residence was built with PUBLIC funds and should be held as the incumbent PM residence!

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sheeprunner12 5 months ago

Now you talking .......... Explain how it was "public funds"

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