NASSAU, The Bahamas – The much-anticipated calendar of events to mark the 50th Anniversary of Independence of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas was officially revealed, making easy public access to the the line-up of acivities.
The 50th Independence Commission, headed by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis, presented a 100-plus page all-inclusive digital calendar of activities, during a press conference on Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the Harry C. Moore Library of the University of The Bahamas. The prime minister delivered the keynote address.
Also present were Mrs. Ann Marie Davis, wife of the Prime Minister; members of the Independence Local Organizing Committee (LOC), other officials, and school students — a move for them to be included in the independence activities.
Permanent Secretary Jack Thompson led a ‘Moment of Silence’ for the late veteran broadcast journalist and diplomat Eldred “Ed” Bethel, who died on Monday, March 13, 2023. Mr. Bethel was a member of the Independence Commission and one of the broadcasters who voiced the ushering in of Bahamas Independence on July 10, 1973.
Her Excellency Leslia Miller-Brice, chairperson of The Bahamas Independence Secretariat, which falls under the Independence Commission, shared the activities inclusive of a list of “242 Challenges” marking 242 days between May 3 to December 31, 2023. The country’s area code is 242.
“I know for the Secretariat we can breathe a sigh of relief as we get to share this amazing calendar we have developed, reviewed, edited and edited again for over six months,” she said. “I would like to thank the hard working and innovative team of the Independence Secretariat. It is my prayer that your diligence and attention to detail is appreciated by all Bahamians as they flip through the pages and get ready for the jubilant celebrations ahead.”
Mrs. Brice also thanked the prime minister for entrusting with the secretariat the development of this calendar while ensuring that all Bahamians across the archipelago and around the world, are included.
She noted that the activities are “the Official Independence Events” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of The Bahamas.
Additionally, this 100+ page calendar includes:
- Independence activities hosted by the thirty-three Family Island Districts
- The Foreign Missions across the region and the world
- Endorsed events and activities hosted by government agencies, reputable private institutions and registered NGOs
- A specially curated list of 50 ways to celebrate Independence Celebrations
- The Official 242 Challenges which mark 242 days between May 3rd – December 31, 2023
The 242 challenge is an ‘Eat Local. Eat Fresh’ initiative, highlighting farmers’ markets, local farmers, fishermen and other local industries.
Another activity, ‘My Country, My Responsibility’ initiative within the 242 day challenge seeks to shift the culture surrounding cleanliness and sanitation of neighbourhoods, communities and public spaces. Inclusive of community clean-up activities, the Secretariat is taking a step further with community engagement exercises to involve Bahamians everywhere to do their part, show their pride in their communities.
The secretariat also encourages healthy lifestyles with a ‘Healthier, Wealthier & Wiser’ Bahamas Challenge.
Upcoming events: on Friday, March 24, the 1973 Masterclass Series will continue to recognize the life and legacy of Sir Lynden Pindling, the first prime minister of an independent Bahamas. This will be held in the Grand Ballroom at Baha Mar Resort.
And on Sunday, March 26, the Dame Doris Johnson National Women’s Unity March and Concert. The march will begin at 3pm from Rawson Square, downtown Nassau, to the Western Esplanade for a concert from 5pm to 7pm.
“This calendar celebrates our journey to fifty, our accomplishments through the years and challenges us to press on to further develop a stronger, more prosperous and united nation,” said Mrs. Brice.
“We invite you to join in all public events and activities, encourage family and friends to attend and tune in where possible. Let’s celebrate all year long with enthusiasm, pride and a spirit of gratitude.
“The Independence Commission hopes that Bahamians will be more educated on our history as a nation, that we will be more optimistic about our future and we will feel more connected as one people, united in love and service.”
For more information about the Independence activities log on to: www.celebrate-bahamas.com/calendar-of-events/