Categorized | National News

Prominent Couple Gives Back

A prominent couple has found an innovative way to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

Responding to a public appeal for financial support to help advance the work of the Urban Renewal programme, Franklyn and Sharon Wilson yesterday donated $1,000 for each year they have been married – a total of $40,000.

The Wilsons’ only request was that the money be applied to initiatives that would impact residents of their childhood neighbourhoods – Ross Corner and Feaste Alley.

“We are aware of the biblical admonition that when you give, keep your mouth shut. We are not here not mindful of that….But, just listening to the Urban Renewal Band, I understand why they wanted it [the money],”Mr. Wilson said during a press conference yesterday at the Southern Recreation Grounds in the Bains and Grants Town constituency.

“The other point is, if we are going to save our country, we have to connect more, one with the other. Let us not fool ourselves. All of us had better days playing around all these corners. Chances are that you had a better time growing up than your children have today. So, if you really want to give your children some of the growing up you knew, urban renewal is the logical, sensible vehicle to do it. So let us recognise urban renewal as important.”

He continued, “This has nothing to do with politics or the shirt you wear. This is about people. Secondly, if you are in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and there is an organisation that is dealing with people and you know it’s headed by Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt and Algernon Allen, you know they’re not going to waste the money.”

Mr. Wilson also promised to “dig a little further to find a little more.”
National Security Minister and Bains Town and Grants Town MP, Dr. Bernard Nottage said the Wilsons’ generosity is a good example “for those who can afford it.”

“I want to thank both of you for the selflessness. Obviously, you hear what is being said,” he said
“In these communities that surround us, there is a lot of work to be done and this urban renewal vehicle is so powerful… We have to rebuild and renovate our communities.”

Prime Minister Perry Christie agreed, adding that Urban Renewal is a cry for a better life, more opportunities for those who are without.

His comments came only hours after transferring Permanent Secretary Diana Lightbourne to the Cabinet Office to become the chief executive of Urban Renewal.

“She has been instructed to move immediately to put the administrative team into appropriate accommodations and to have the appropriate staffing so that their work can be done more effectively,” he said.

Speaking directly to the Wilsons, the prime minister thanked the couple for how connected they are to their pasts and how much they understand that what they are doing is helping to make the future stronger.
“I really applaud you for that,” he said.

Co-Chair of the Urban Renewal Programme, Mrs. Pratt said the Wilsons’ donation comes at a time when officials are in the process of ordering $20,000 worth of equipment for the Urban Renewal Band.

The prime minister urged the band to produce a CD “as soon as possible.”

The Wilsons are not the only ones who have reached deep into their pockets to give back.

Mrs. Pratt said a Floridian couple has donated 35 computers, 100,000 books and 300 boxes of clothing to urban renewal.
“Their aim is to equip all the centres with computers and a library,” she said.

“…There are so many companies, organisations and individuals who are giving to Urban Renewal. So, every time, there’s something negative published about Urban Renewal, there’s more coming in because we are touching the lives of people.”

Written by Jones Bahamas

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