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Bahamians Celebrate 41 Years of Independence –Looking Forward To A Brighter Future

Compared to many other countries, 41 years of independence is not a long time. But for a small country like The Bahamas so much has been accomplished over the past four-plus decades, definitely worth celebrating. From achievements in sports, culture, finance, health and politics, among others The Bahamas, although just a dot on the map, has demanded the world’s attention wherever it was represented.

In honour of this year’s 41st Independence Day celebrations, The Bahama Journal took to the streets to get the views and opinions of how some proud Bahamians about how they feel then nation has improved over the years.

Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell: I think about my mother dying in 2009, and my father’s death in 2001, if they came back today they would see a profoundly different place than it was from the time they would have gone. You can well imagine and also see what being around since 1973, what 41 years have brought us. For example, you were born in a country where you weren’t a British subject so you’ve been Bahamian all your life, that’s a great joy. For example when I was in high school as a student in 1969/1970, the great debate was about actually being an independent country and some said no, but now of course we know it has worked rather well. There are challenges, essentially the ship is sailing under our own steam, but it’s been forward movement.

Olivia Kemp: I can speak to my generation, where I feel like we’re on the cusp of being that generation that’s going to have to take the reins. Independence for me, means I always have to lift up others my age. It may mean something slightly different than the generations before, the realisation of ownership of oneself to better the community.

Maxine Pratt: how I feel about the independence is that people don’t know what they have and they don’t acknowledge their independence. What we do in Jamaica, we celebrate, we get excited and to me I love your independence. That’s a time when everyone must get together, know their culture and get to know each other. Celebrate your independence!

Geo (bubbles): Independence is remarkable time of the year. We followed the first independent nation, it’s not right after, but it eventually came. Many aren’t able to brag about independence, that we are free, and we don’t depend on many other countries. We have to get our politics right though, because although we are independent we are still enslaved.

Yvonne Knowles: Independence is a very proud moment for us. It’s something that I’m very proud of. It’s something we decided 41 years ago and is something I thought Bahamians really needed at the time. It gives us a proud moment and it makes you feel as though you should go ahead and do more for yourself. We all should be as one, looking after each other, not all the animosity.

Anella Gilbert: Considering all the trouble that’s happening in other countries around the world, The Bahamas when you compare it with what’s going on, we’re doing pretty good.

Lashae Stubbs: It makes us look at how far we’ve come as a country and how far God has brought us.

Veteran Educator and Cultural Enthusiast Arlene Nash-Ferguson: Independence is a very special time of year for me, it’s a time when we remember the birth of our nation, it’s a time when we recommit ourselves to building our nation, and it’s a time when we celebrate those nation builders before us. It’s a time to also reflect from whence we came. I pray that we begin to return to that and re-seek the values that brought us to that point.

Markel Bonamy: For such a young nation, it means that we have the ability to be in charge of our own destiny. Whether it’s in business, social or whatever we want to do we have self determination as a country and we can make things happen. It means a lot to me as a Bahamian knowing that the sky is the imit.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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