Rotary Club of Freeport 4430
Since 1962
District 6990
August 2015

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Club Information

Over fifty years of service to the Grand Bahama community


Service above self.

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Ruby Swiss Restaurant
Corner of West Atlantic Dr & West Sunrise Hwy
Freeport, Grand Bahama  Bahamas
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

On Thursday, August 20, 2015, Rotarian Steve Gunn spoke to our Club about The Wheelchair Foundation. The Wheelchair Foundation is a nonprofit organization striving to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen, and adult worldwide who needs one, but has no means to acquire one. This Foundation is leading an international effort to create awareness of the needs and abilities of people with physical disabilities, to promote the joy of giving, create global friendship, and to deliver a wheelchair to the people who need it. For these people the Wheelchair Foundation delivers hope, mobility, freedom, dignity and independence.
Your support helps bring independence and hope to those who have been deprived of mobility by war, disease, accident, natural disaster and advance age. Together we are making dreams come true for hundreds of thousands of physically disabled people. You can become a sponsor for as little as $160.00. During the meeting three Rotarians pledge their support. Pictured L-R (Rotary President Othyneil Pinder, Rotaract President Cecil Williams Jr. and Speaker Rotarian Steve Gunn). Email us at or call 242-646-9165.

On August 13th, 2015, during our weekly meeting Mr. Keith Cooper spoke about West End Ecology Tours, Jr. Regatta and the Eco-Fishing Camp. the tour provides an ecology and fishing experience that is simple, pure and natural. The guest s are educated about the history of the local community, the ecology and how vital it is to protect the natural resources for future generations. West End is a quaint fishing village, the "capitol" of Grand Bahama Island and has been for generations a favorite destination for bootleggers, nature lovers, sport fisherman and sailboat enthusiasts. The area is known for migration of numerous bird species. one may hand feed stingrays in their natural environment for once in a lifetime thrill. there is something for everyone who appreciates culture, native food and abundant marine life.


On June 25, 2015 the Rotary Club of Freeport held its annual installation of new officers, where outgoing President Queen Rolle handed the gavel over to incoming President Othyneil Pinder. During his speech President Othyneil outlined the following projects for his rotary year: through a District Grant, provide computers to the Eight Mile Rock High School, through private donations provide computers to other schools/institutions in need, through private donation provide health care equipment to the Hospital Authority, continue our commitment to the Grand Bahama Youth Choir, Falcon Boys Club, Reach Out Ministries, Santa Helper , the Children’s Home and the scholarship program. The newly installed officers included Venus Miller (Secretary), Louie Allyne (Treasurer), Queen Rolle (Membership Chair), Betty Van Lew (Vocation Chair), Constance McDonald (Foundation Chair), Gina English (Fellowship Chair), Elsie Knowles (Community Service Chair), Darren Cooper (President Elect & Club Services Chair) and Len Hindley (Sargent at Arms). President Othyneil also challenge each Rotarian to "Be a gift to the world" this Rotary year through one of the avenues of service which includes promoting peace, fighting disease, providing clean water, saving mothers and children, supporting education and protecting children from the sex trade industry.

The Rotary Club of Freeport was abuzz this past Thursday as District 6990 handed down top honors to two of its senior members.
President Queen Rolle was awarded Top President of the Year for her accomplishments this year. Under her leadership the club has injected well over $25,000 into the local community including installing hurricane shutters on the GB Children's Home, renovating the bathrooms and plumbing at the new GB Centre for Performing Arts and supporting other local charities.
Assistant District Governor Mike Stafford captured the Top Assistant Governor award in the district for the second year in a row as a testament to his leadership not only amongst the local clubs but throughout the district. Mike runs the Rotary Water Plant and is Rotary's Disaster Chair for Grand Bahama as well as serving on the District F & P Committee.
Club members are very proud of the accomplishments of The Rotary Club of Freeport and encourage everyone to help others in need under their motto of “Service Above Self"

The Rotary Club of Freeport got a taste of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival on Thursday, which served as a prelude to the Kickoff Weekend set for Grand Bahama on April 17thand 18th at Taino Beach.

Bahamas National Festival Commission Consultant Ginger Moxey, in her address at the Rotarians’ weekly luncheon meeting at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant, spoke about the merits of the first ever Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival which was a created as a vehicle to market Junkanoo and Bahamian arts and culture, rebrand the country as a viable entertainment and cultural destination and create a profitable industry from which all Bahamians can benefit.


To learn more from Bahamas Islands Weekly click HERE



ImageMembers from all the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama Island came together at Taino Beach Park on Saturday, March 20 to give the community a day of family fun and showcase Rotary's continued service in the community.

James Sarles, president for the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise explained that Rotary is an International Organization with one million people around the world doing a tremendous amount of service in their communities.

To read more from Mia Whylly of the Freeport News click HERE



The Rotary Club of Freeport will host its Third Annual Free Legal Aid and Financial Consultation Clinic on Saturday, March 14 beginning 9:30 a.m. at the Circle Mall.

Designed to assist persons in the Grand Bahama community, who cannot otherwise afford proper legal or financial guidance, Rotary Club Community Service Director Louie Alleyne revealed, "Once again we will be offering to the community free legal and financial clinic consultation through this annual event, which would provide attendees with a wide cross section of criminal and civil litigation advice and fiscal consultation.

To learn more from Sharell Lockhart of the Freeport News click here



Veteran educator, Terry Goldsmith, recently shared his concern over the rising level of violence in The Bahamas, during the Rotary of Freeport’s weekly meeting at the Ruby Swiss restaurant.

Goldsmith, a qualified youth worker and Education Welfare Officer, has lived in The Bahamas for almost 50 years and taught in schools throughout the country, including New Providence, Long Island, Cat Island, San Salvador and Grand Bahama.

“My concern is the lack of respect of young people who have never been taught self-dignity and self-worth. The corruption, robbery, the murders and, above all, the increase in gun violence is so prevalent throughout this country,” said Goldsmith, noting that much of it is by disrespectful and uncontrolled violent young men..


click HERE to read more from Mia Whylly of the Freeport News



East and West Grand Bahama Economic Development Regulations were the subject of Ministry for Grand Bahama Assistant Permanent Secretary (APS), Conrad Jones’ presentation during the Freeport Rotary Club recently.

Jones shed light on Duty-free Exemptions open to businesses established in communities outside of the Freeport Area, thanks to Government’s amendment of the Tariff Act.


to learn more from Sharell Lockhart of the Freeport News click here 



On behalf of the Rotary Clubs in Grand Bahama; namely the Rotary Club of Freeport, Rotary Club of Lucaya, Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise and the Rotary Club of Sunset Grand Bahama I wish to extend our deepest sympathy and condolences on the passing of Sir Jack A. Hayward Kt. O.B.E. to his family, loved ones and the management and staff of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited. Sir. Jack was a member of the Rotary Club of Freeport from its early days and was made an Honourary Member of that club.

Sir. Jack was a great man and a great Rotarian, and always supported Rotary in Grand Bahama in all its endeavours, notably Rotary's first project on the island - the Rotary Field - which is today known as the YMCA field, and especially charitable fundraising.

His passing is a great loss to Rotary in The Bahamas and indeed to Rotary worldwide.

Mike Stafford
Assistant District Governor
Rotary District #6990




Look at the Past Presidents of the Rotary Club of Freeport; all these Men and women have rendered service to our community through rotary and continue to be committed to the ideals of the organization, even after 53 years. President Queen chose to honor the Past Presidents of the Club, during the anniversary celebrations. They were hosted to special eats and drinks, and a tribute in song.



It is the intent to have a new president at the helm of Rotary Clubs every Rotary year.  This allows for variety in new leadership during the period beginning July 1st through to June 30th of the following year.  It is every president’s desire to establish a signature project and be remembered by that specific project.

President Queen Rolle and the membership of the Rotary Club of Freeport planned and executed a successful  fundraiser which took the form of a wine and cheese tasting earlier this month.  The goal was to earmark proceeds from this event to funding hurricane shutters for a building at the Grand Bahama Children’s Home (GBCH), and on Saturday, October 25th, the Rotary Club of Freeport realised that goal when the first of the shutters were installed.

Click HERE to read more




Rotarians on Grand Bahama Island have embarked upon fulfilling the mandate of the Rotary International President, Gary C.K.Huang, to 'Light Up Rotary' and what better way to portray this ideal than to welcome visitors to the island.

The Rotary club of Freeport partnered with Freeport Harbour to produce signage welcoming guest to our shores.

"We chose to share this initiative with all the Rotary clubs on the island by including them in the signage so that the greater message communicated is that Rotary has become a household name on Grand Bahama and all Rotarians share in the vision for our organization and the passion of our District Governor, to offer 'Service Above Self'," said club president Queen Rolle.

Click HERE to


Most countries with failed economies are operating on the Value Added Tax (VAT) System, Consultant H. Rudy Sawyer said Thursday. Sawyer made this claim at the Rotary Club of Freeport’s weekly luncheon at Ruby Swiss where he served as guest speaker. In spite of that finding, though, Sawyer noted that a failed economy is not necessarily the future that Bahamians should come to expect. Concerning the outcome of the January 1 arrival of VAT, Sawyer said it is a “wait and see” matter; one that cannot be accurately predicted. However, he said, the outcome should not be feared by the Bahamian public, either.

To read more from Niaa Lang from the Freeport News click here



The Bahamas is not experiencing a crime crisis, but a social crisis, according to Reverend C.B. Moss, leader of Bahamas Against Crime.

Moss served as the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport’s weekly luncheon on Thursday where he addressed the escalating rate of violent crime in The Bahamas.


“Crime is not the problem,” Moss said. “Crime is the manifestation of the problem. When you see crime, so many things have already gone wrong. Crime is just the evidence of those things gone wrong.”


He claimed that the majority of the Bahamian population is looking at the “crime issue” in reverse; seeking to fight crime has become the focus instead of tackling the issues that exists on a social level.


To read more from Nina Laing of the Freeport News click here



by: Nina Laing, Freeport News Reporter

Members of the Grand Bahama Youth Choir (GBYC) and other youngsters interested in performance arts will soon have a place to explore and hone their talents.

This according to GBYC Director Kevin Tomlinson, who after serving as guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport’s weekly meeting, revealed that the Grand Bahama Port Authority has granted his choir access to the Luis De Torres Synagogue.


Tomlinson added that the “wonderful congregation” of that synagogue has also approved the choir’s use of the building as a center for creative growth.

Tomlinson said he is thrilled with the idea of opening a performing arts center and said he anticipates that many residents both young and old will benefit from the facility once it has been officially opened.


He noted that the building would undergo restoration beginning this weekend as members of the Rotary Club of Freeport and Rotoract have volunteered to partake in the remediation process.


Click here to read more from the Freeport News




The Grand Bahama Performing Arts Centre will be a place where young people can develop and express their artistic side. It will be a vital place of growth, and contribute significantly to growth of the local and national community.

Click HERE to view.

You can support the Grand Bahama Performing Arts Centre through the Rotary Club of Freeport or contact the choir at

Special thanks to Nat Bernstein and the Jewish congregation of Freeport, and the Grand Bahama Port Authority.

Video produced by Keen i Media Ltd (



By: Ashley Penn, Freeport News Reporter

The various Rotary clubs on the island inclusive of the Rotary Club Sunset, Rotary Club Lucaya, Rotary Club Freeport and Rotary Club Sunrise held a collective meeting recently to welcome the newly named Rotary International Presidential aid for 2015/2016, Dr. Barry Rassin.  Rassin was able to tour the island and the various projects that the respective clubs have embarked on in an effort to make a meaningful contribution to society.

President of the Rotary Club Freeport, Queen Stubbs said this visit provided the opportunity for the newly named Rotary International Presidential aid to see what she and her team have done.  “We thought that since he was in town, why not introduce him to some of the projects that the Rotary clubs have done on the island,” she said.

“We saw there was a need so today we’re having a joint meeting with all of the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama.  We have Dr. Barry Rassin out of Nassau who has been named the Rotary International Presidential aid for 2015/2016,” Rolle continued,” Rolle added.

Photo:  'Doctor of Rotary' - Barry Rassin (third from left) with (from left) RCF President Queen Stubbs, Sunrise Club Deputy Membership Billie Bowe and James Sarles, President of Rotary Club of GB Sunrise.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News



By Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy & Sell

At least 100 more disabled persons on Grand Bahama and neighboring islands will soon be able to get around a little easier, thanks to the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama and the Rotary Wheelchair Foundation.

One hundred new wheelchairs were brought to the island recently, 18 of which have been donated thus far. Three of these were presented to local residents July 10th on Grand Cay, Abaco, noted Stephen Gunn, Rotary's GBI Wheelchair coordinator and Rotary Club of Freeport (RCF) member.

"We went to Grand Cay and gave out three wheelchairs: one to the clinic there that didn't have any; one to Freddy Miller who has no legs and one to Peter Gardiner who can't really walk or do much for himself."

This most recent community service operation is a joint effort of all the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama which include the Rotary Club of Freeport, Grand Bahama Sunrise Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Lucaya and Grand Bahama Sunset Rotary Club.

According to Gunn, the wheelchair effort is not new, but has been an ongoing project for the local non profit organization.


It was a standing ovation and generous donations for the talented young performers in the Grand Bahama Youth Choir as they performed to a packed house during the closing banquet of the Rotary Multi-District Conference at the Grand Lucayan Resort on Saturday night.

Over 300 Rotary Club members and guests from Florida – as far away as Sarasota to Key West – along with some 60 local Grand Bahamians were vocal in their support as choir leader Kevin G. Tomlinson took the youngsters through their paces.

Click HERE to read more from



By: Nina Laing, Freeport News Reporter

After a near 11-month stay in Grand Bahama, Rotary Youth Exchange Student Katrin Wohltmann will bid her host families, friends, and the Rotary Club of Freeport farewell next week.  The 17-year-old native of North Bremen, Germany arrived on the island on August 18, 2013 and will leave on Saturday, July 12.

While addressing Rotarians at the Freeport Club's weekly meeting on Thursday, Wohltmann said her time spent in Grand Bahama has been informative, transformative and truly enjoyable.  " It's the most amazing experience. It's life changing. I've gotten to see and experience so much new stuff. Everyone should get this experience,"  Wohltmann said.

She said she was first introduced to the Rotary Youth Exchange after her siblings participated in the program some years ago.  After some research, she said she was eager for the opportunity to become an exchange student as well.  Wohltmann chose an exchange a trip to The Bahamas over Argentina and Paraguay, noting that the opportunity to visit this country does not come around very often.

During her stay, Wohltmann lived with two host families Richard and Monica Bates and Erik and Rebecca Russell and attended Bishop Michael Eldon School (BMES), where she was in the 11th grade.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News



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