Clubs & Societies June 16th, 2023


Eleven of the Charter Members of Pi Upsilon Omega.


The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Pi Upsilon Omega Chapter in Grand Bahama celebrated its 36th anniversary of sisterhood and service.

The organisation held a number of events to mark this significant milestone, under the theme, “Strength and Durability Through the Years”.

A virtual mental health webinar, featuring Dr Kelafo Collie, MD, was held on May 25 to promote mental health awareness and provided helpful resources to those struggling with depression and anxiety.

Pi Upsilon Omega Chapter has also launched a Pretty Pad Drive to assist young girls with access to feminine products.

Liyah Forbes, public relations officer, said the initiative highlights the sorority’s mission and its impact on women’s lives in the community through service and outreach. She said personal hygiene kits will be presented to young women and girls.

Donations of supplies can be dropped off at Kelly’s Freeport Customer Service Desk, or monetary-kind can be made to the Chapter’s Fundraising account at RBC Freeport Branch Code #05285, Account#1705359, or online to http://www.fygaro.com/en/payments/da6e441a-8adc-a5d6-3a09457509c0/buy-now.

President Yvonne Pearson said: “God has been good to us, and we want to continue building on the foundation established by our charter members.

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is the oldest Greek-letter organisation founded by and for African-American women. The sorority is committed to service and works to provide assistance and support to communities in need.

In May 1978, 18 college-educated Bahamian women formed the Pi Upsilon Omega Chapter on Grand Bahama.

For over three decades, sorority members have been actively involved in community service and outreach - providing scholarships to local students, hosting educational workshops, planting trees to reduce our carbon footprint, and participating in various community initiatives to promote health, wellness, and education.

“I am so proud of Pi Upsilon Omega and their service to the Freeport, Grand Bahama community for the last 36 years. They have certainly shown ‘strength and durability’ by living up to our founders’ mission to serve all mankind,” said Carrie J Clark, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, International Regional Director.

With the theme, Soaring to Greater Heights of Service and Sisterhood, the 2022-2026 administration led by International President Danette Reed, has six initiatives: Strengthen Our Sisterhood: Empower Our Families; Build Our Economic Wealth; Enhance Our Environment; Advocate for Social Justice; Uplift Our Local Community.


Scenes from a service to celebrate 43 years of guiding on Sunday at St George’s Church.


On Sunday, June 11, at 6pm the Sunflowers, Brownies, Guides, Rangers and their leaders – Miss Louise Barry, Mrs. Karen Coleby, Mrs. Pamela Deveaux, Mrs. Bryinda Russell and Mrs. Renate McWilliams gathered with a large number of parents, former guides, former leaders and parishioners to celebrate 43 years of guiding at St George’s Church. In the fall of 1979, Canon Dudley Strachan, the Rector of St George’s enlisted the service of Miss Lottie Knowles, a former Guide and Sunday School teacher to begin guiding in the parish. Miss Knowles started the Brownie Pack. Shortly thereafter, in January of 1980, Miss Knowles invited her friend and former guide, Miss Louise Barry to begin a Guide Company. Brownies and Guides were enrolled by Mrs. Beryl Higgs, Eastern District Commissioner on the 9th June, 1980. While Sunflowers and Rangers groups were established later, the Brownies and Guides have functioned consistently over the years.

The spirited service was led by Cleomi McPhee, a Ranger Guide. The Associate Priest, Father Ivan Eldon gave the homily. He commended the leadership of the Units for their commitment to the programme and to ensuring that the girls were afforded the opportunity to participate in activities relating to the Promise and Law. He challenged the former guides to assist the current leaders and to let their light shine as examples for others to follow.

Over the years, the 36th Nassau Guides are well-known and have built a strong positive reputation. They not only travelled internationally to conferences and camps, but have also become successful professionals in their own right.

Former girls and young women participated in the Service, Omari Downs provided a violin solo, and Sunflowers, Brownies, Guides and Rangers received awards for their contributions and achievements over the year. The Units presented the church and Camp Discovery with First Aid kits.

The Bahamas Girl Guides Association invites other churches, groups, schools and communities to begin Sunflowers, Brownies, Guides and Ranger groups. Begin with finding suitable leaders who will be trained and supported in the programme implementation.

Contact 322-4342 or email bggassociation@yahoo.com for more information.


ROTARY Club of East Nassau: Some members of the ENRCCT committee with new awardees. Pictured from left, Joanne Smith, Rafique Symonette, Adam Darville, Corinne Laville, Robert Lotmore, Franny DeCardenas, Philip Cumming, Mayuri Deka and John Robertson.


As the Rotary Club of East Nassau celebrates 60 years since it was chartered, one of its goals is to raise $60,000 for the East Nassau Club Charitable Trust (ENRCCT) which is a scholarship foundation that supports tertiary education for local students. The ENRCCT has been instrumental in providing scholarships in purely academic pursuits for nearly 30 years.

This unique fundraising effort has a twofold purpose: it recognises recipients for their contribution to the community, much like what Sir Durward did throughout his life; and secondly, it provides a donation of $2,500 that is made to the ENRCCT Foundation in their names. The recognition is presented to individuals who have shown a similar commitment to making our world a better place.

One of the first recipients at the 60th Jubilee celebration on May 6 was Rotarian JR (James Ray) MacDonald, who has worked assiduously in the background changing lives here in The Bahamas. Through Baker Construction, he has been passionately involved in cultivating promising track athletes from the Bahamas by securing full ride university scholarships for them. In the past 15 plus years, over 100 talented kids have benefitted from this support.

Our second honorary at that event was Francisco (Franny) DeCardenas who is a consummate Rotarian and who gives so willingly that he is an inspiration to others. From his work with the BAPD on the wheelchair drive year after year, Franny has always been all heart. He is a great fundraiser because you know that if he’s asking you to help support a cause it’s a worthwhile initiative that he has already given and committed significant time to ensure its success. Franny also uses his vocation as a way to support our club and countless charities. Whether by helping donate garbage bins for the ENRCCT charity auctions each year or donating dumpsters at the Scouts Cleanup Day, Franny as Managing Director of Bahamas Waste is always a true socially responsible corporate citizen.

Since retiring from Deloitte, our third recipient, Geoff Andrews, has dedicated his time to many not-for-profit organizations, serving on their boards and the board of several private companies. Geoff now serves as President of the Bahamas National Trust, Treasurer of the Governor General’s Volunteer Bahamas, and is a board member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau, St. Andrew’s International School and Baha Mar Foundation. He is a past Chairman of the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Center. Always willing to extend his accounting services, he seems to be the ‘longest serving treasurer’ of East Nassau and has been a pillar of the club for many years.

A Sir Durward Knowles Humanitarian Award was also given to Laura Kimble, the Chairperson of BAARK!. From the organisation’s inception, Laura has initiated and implemented multiple programmes to further their mission of spaying and neutering cats and dogs in an effort to reduce the number of homeless animals. Known as Operation Potcake, the spray/neuter clinics have taken place in several Family Islands, partnering with vets and volunteers to stabilize animals populations there. BAARK! also has a strong education component that teaches responsible pet ownership.

This was an especially significant 60th anniversary award for the club as Laura’s grandfather, Alan Kimble, was a charter member and treasurer of the Rotary Club East Nassau.

Rupert Roberts, long time member of RCEN and Super Value founder was recognised for having given to Rotary over countless years in the form of groceries, financial aid and support to those less fortunate in our community. His generosity has made him a worthy recipient of the Sir Durward Knowles Humanitarian Recognition. Accepting the award on his behalf was Super Value Food Store’s company president, Debra Symonette.

Lastly, ENRCCT honoured two of its members who have given endless hours of their time and service above self in keeping the foundation going. Past Presidents Mayuri Deka and Philip Cumming were both awarded Sir Durward’s and $5,000 was given to the scholarship fund in recognition.

RCEN continues to raise funds for ENRCCT scholarships which is presently supporting 17 students continue or complete their tertiary education. Anyone wishing to make a donation can contact enrccharitabletrust@gmail.com for more information.


Toastmasters recently unveiled renowned speaker, media personality, and corporate CEO, Lisa Nichols, pictured, as the keynote speaker for its 2023 International Convention, held at the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Resort and Convention Center in Nassau, Bahamas, August 16-19 and as a hybrid event. Nichols has a global platform that reaches over 80 million people in more than 170 countries, and her social media following is more than 1.9 million.

Nichols’ goal – her mission, her passion – is to jumpstart people who feel stuck, people who know they can achieve something but are intimidated or overwhelmed by where or how to begin. She sees herself as the ignition to help people reinvent themselves, to create second chances, and to get up after failing.

Nichols will deliver her keynote presentation, “Jumpstart Your Greatness,” from the main stage on August 16. Nichols hopes her speech will inspire and empower Toastmasters’ members to overcome obstacles or challenges they might be facing in any aspect of their lives.

“We couldn’t be happier that Lisa Nichols will help us to kick off our highly anticipated 2023 International Convention,” says Matt Kinsey, Toastmasters’ 2022–23 International President. “Lisa is a dynamic speaker with a great message that is sure to inspire our members.”

To learn more about the 2023 International Convention, and obtain a complete schedule, visit toastmasters.org/events/2023-international-convention/hotel-travel. The public is welcome to attend.


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