EDITOR, The Tribune.
My daily commute takes me along the city centre and on to my final destination, but on yesterday, I took a detour ending at Starbucks, John Bull, Bay Street and as I await my coffee, I just couldn’t help myself from overhearing a part of a conversation that a guest to our country was having on his telephone:
*I am in The Bahamas, the city is dirty, I will just get something in Starbucks then off to the ship, he said.
Now, as a Bahamian hearing this international tourist refer to our main shopping district as very dirty, sent a cold spell down my spine and then the thought arose, but isn’t he right?
Reluctantly, and yes, I supposed that he is, got my item and left, walking east along Bay Street, south side of that Mecca...reaching the CIBC Bank at Parliament Street Bay, that verge you wouldn’t believe what I saw, all of that filth, or an example of it just there near that bank, just opposite the Parliament building...those tiles had all of the kitchen grease one could imagine accumulated.
And as I tried to put it into perspective, remembering that recently there was a Bahamas Goombay showcase along that area, with the sellers of food products lining that area...but, from that longtime, why hasn’t this been noticed, well, it had to have been noticed, because t’was unavoidable, I found.
In conclusion, it appears that the authorities were not taking the tourism product seriously. They advocate and spend Bahamian taxpayers funds to advertise globally, that people should come, but the welcoming mat is anything but welcoming - why?
Finally, a noted politician has ventured to suggest that former Prime Minister Hon Hubert Ingraham had done nothing for the people.
I, we, many Bahamians have to differ with such a pronouncement...judging by the declarer’s young age, and Mr Ingraham came to power under the Free National Movement’s banner in 1992, I don’t think that she had been born yet, or so young didn’t know what politics or Mr Ingraham were?
For behold, I just keep telling people to stop pointing fingers, because so many are coming back at you...and really, the Bahamian people were wary of the kinds of politics occurring in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, austere, very simple and easy two-tier way to politicize their functions: 1. the protection of the state, 2. the utmost care about the welfare of its people, how difficult is that? Have been having problems out of both political parties for the better part of 50 years, so, none qualified to speak evil of the other.
Here were some of what Hon Prime Minister Ingraham did - he paved Charlotte, Parliament, Frederick, and Shirley Streets - those same tiles he had laid on Bay Street, even those around the Parliament building, he did the four legged highway, he paid off the balance of what was owed the Mosko family for the Hawkins Hill Immigration building, now owned totally by the Bahamian people, built the government complex in Grand Bahamas, so that the space leasing would cease. And some has him in for the BaTelCo sale, but that is unfair because, the sale was not decided by Ingraham, it was the consent of the Parliament of the Bahamas, that sold it.
But, something obviously spooked Prime Minister Ingraham to opt to sell it. One thing we knew of Ingraham, he doesn’t act on a whim, he always goes after the facts, is a very methodical and perceptive man, he is well versed and it is easy to see the high levels of his wisdom, knowledge and understanding of politics, not only in the Bahamas, but globally,I daresay - second only to Sir Lynden Pindling...Ingraham gets nod, absolutely.
But, you don’t have to take my word for it, just ask the man, he is of age, able to answer that question for himself. PM Ingraham also replaced the cast iron water pipes, water-mains along Prince Charles Drive and took quite a hit with people in opposition to it, claiming the roads were “dig-up“, but if he hadn’t gone all out to complete in one sitting, might still be tugging at it.
As we have not been able to have the main shopping district clean, kept clean by Bahamas Government maintenance departments, then award that contract to a private concern, that way we’ll see all of those tiles steamed cleaned if only twice a month, especially around the garbage bins, etc?
November 16, 2023.