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Over fifty-five years of service to the Grand Bahama community

Freeport

Service above self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Ruby Swiss Restaurant
Corner of West Atlantic Dr & West Sunrise Hwy
Freeport, Grand Bahama Bahamas
Bahamas
Due to COVID-19 restrictions we are currently conducting Zoom meetings. Please contact the webmaster for details.
Home Page Stories
By: Denise Maycock/Tribune Freeport reporter

The Rotary Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Committee, in its recent partnership with the Grand Bahama Power Company, supplied a truck load of building materials to residents of Rocky Creek in East Grand Bahama. The small fishing village was completely devastated by Hurricane Dorian a year ago. Every single house there was destroyed, and those families are now living in temporary structures until their homes can be rebuilt.
 
Through a significant contribution by GB Power, the Rotary Disaster Relief Committee acquired building materials from Third Dimension recently. Five Star Trucking provided a flatbed truck to haul the load nearly 40 miles to the settlement. Rotarians from the five Rotary Clubs, and Rotaract members, helped with offloading the materials to every resident.
 
Click HERE to read more in The Tribune
By: Denise Maycock/Tribune Freeport Reporter

Although Rocky Creek was devastated by Hurricane Dorian, displaced residents have returned after a year determined to rebuild their small fishing village in East End. Those from the close-knit community of siblings who reside in the settlement are living in temporary structures on their properties where their homes once stood.

“We are happy to be back after being in Freeport for a year. It is not the same as it was before, but Rocky Creek is home, and we will rebuild it,” said resident Maxine Knowles. Ms Knowles is one of four siblings who lives in Rocky Creek with their spouses and children. The family’s matriarch – a native of Long Islander– who moved to Grand Bahama many years ago and settled in East End is 71.

Before the storm, the family decided to leave and take refuge at a shelter in Freeport, except for brother-in-law Paul Russell who stayed behind. He barely survived by clinging to a tree so he wouldn’t be swept away in the 20ft surge.

Click HERE to read more in The Tribune
From: The Freeport News

The Rotary Club of Miami through its foundation has pledged its full support of Project GBI Rx, which was established to provide much-needed equipment for the Rand Memorial Hospital (RMH). The club has pledged to match any and all contributions up to $50,000.
 
In a press release officers noted that in September 2019, Hurricane Dorian came to Grand Bahama and stayed. “Days of rain created high waters never seen before by an island that has seen its share of hurricanes over the years. The Rand Memorial Hospital in Freeport, the only hospital on GBI to serve 50,000 island residents, did not escape Dorian’s fury. Today, the building repairs are almost completed, but there is still a great need for hospital equipment to replace what was damaged.”

The five Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama with two Rotaract Clubs have created Project GBI Rx to help replace the damaged hospital equipment. 

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News
By: Sharell Lockhart

Times have certainly changed and along with it is the way students worldwide are receiving educational instruction, as a matter of fact, greater emphasis is placed on virtual learning in today’s COVID-19 sensitive environment. Parents are now required to purchase laptops and tablets for their children, which is difficult due to financial instability hence the Rotary club of Freeport has worked diligently to lend a helping hand.

Othyneil Pinder, Rotary Club of Freeport President proudly donated 16 Intel Pentium Core desktop computers and 12 iPads to Jack Hayward Senior High School on Tuesday October 27th, 2020 much to the delight of Principal Bronwen Smith.

According to Pinder, “The Rotary Club of Freeport in conjunction with the Mayfield Beach, Florida group are elated to present students at Jack Hayward Senior High School with much-needed desktop and laptop computers to assist with enhancing their education. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic virtual or hybrid learning is the order of the day and many parents are not able to purchase these electronics hence we thought it fitting to do what we can as an organization keen on rendering service above self to assist."
 
By: Sharell Lockhart
 
The Rotary Club of Freeport continues to render service above self throughout the Grand Bahama community and on Friday October 9th, 2020 President Othyneil Pinder proudly presented nine state-of-the-art Philips Respironics oxygen concentrators to Grand Bahama Health Services/Rand Memorial Hospital Administrator Sharon A. Williams and Medical Chief of Staff Dr. H. Freeman Lockhart.

With the battle against COVID-19 continuing to rage on globally, both Williams and Dr. Lockhart noted that the donation could not have come at a more opportune time, as medical professionals fight around the clock to help patients, who contract COVID-19 to recover and survive. “Today, we are here with our health partners the Rotary Club of Freeport that are donating to us medical equipment that can assist with healthcare concerns across the spectrum. We are pleased to be the recipient of nine oxygen concentrators and, we thank the Rotary Club for their continued support of the Grand Bahama Health Services and the wider community,” stated Williams.
By: Denise Maycock/Tribune Freeport Reporter
 
A grand welcome home celebration will be held for the 30 displaced children of the Grand Bahama Children’s Home, who will be returning to Grand Bahama on Friday, October 2. The International Federation of Women Lawyers Grand Bahama Chapter (FIDA) and the Rotary Clubs of District 6990 have partnered to welcome the children back, with a grand procession throughout the streets of Freeport.
 
Hadassah Swain, FIDA regional vice president for North America and the Caribbean, said the children would be welcomed under the theme ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’. She said the yellow ribbon symbol became widely known in the 1970s as a reminder an absent loved one would be welcomed home on their return.
 
Click HERE to read more in the Tribune
From: The Freeport News
 
The Rotary Club of Freeport held its recent weekly meeting via Zoom and was delighted to welcome Rupert Hayward, Executive Director of the Grand Bahama Port Authority Limited (GBPA) and the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF), as special guest speaker. Hayward, an active and vocal champion of Grand Bahama, shared an overview of the work the GBPA and the GBDRF have done to support island residents since the devastation of Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19.
 
Presenting to over 40 members via the online service, Hayward gave an overview of the work done by the GBPA after Hurricane Dorian to restore the island, discussed ongoing work to rebuild the utility system which was severely impacted, as well as reviewed the amazing quantity of donations that came through GBDRF. “The GBDRF were on the ground from day one working with our partners like Nexus Global and Amazon to help reach and feed over 45,000 Grand Bahamians, from east to west. We then utilized our GBPA geo-mapping system, to successfully identify hundreds of storm-damaged properties and teamed up with various local and international partners including the Bahamas Red Cross, SPB-USA, and yourselves (Rotary).”
 
President of the Rotary Club of Freeport Othyneil Pinder noted: “It is heartening to understand the full scope of support the GBPA, in its service to Freeport’s businesses and residents, has provided since the passing of Hurricane Dorian.
 
Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News
Dear Fellow Rotarians,
 
As I reflect on the 2019-2020 Rotary year, I must say that it has truly been my pleasure serving as your Area Governor for the Island of Grand Bahama.
 
You have taught me the true meaning of being “connected” in Rotary. The United States has a motto: “E pluribus unum,” which means “out of many, one.” We exemplify that motto, for we are no longer five individual clubs in Grand Bahama, but are one BIG Rotary family, and for this I am very thankful, for you have created this unity, this connection.
 
Hurricane Dorian
 
The Northern Bahamas (Grand Bahama and Abaco)  was severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian, the worst hurricane in its history, a category 5 with wind speed of up to 220 mph and 23 ft water surges, wreaking havoc on the second and third revenue-producing islands in The Bahamas. It provided the greatest example of Rotary “connectedness” in the history of Rotary in The Bahamas.
One year ago the Northern Bahamas (Abaco and Grand Bahama) suffered extreme devastation from Cat 5 Hurricane Dorian. In this video documentary survivors recount those terrifying times while Rotary and others sprang into immediate action to provide relief.
Click HERE to view on Vimeo if do display above.
Members of Grand Bahama's Rotary Clubs joined together to deliver a truckload of pet food and supplies to the Humane Society of Grand Bahama on July 23. This donation was made in honour of our beloved fallen brother, Richard Bates, who was a great supporter and friend to the HSGB.
 
Even in these difficult times, and after sustaining severe damage from Hurricane Dorian, the Humane Society of Grand Bahama is still doing a fantastic job caring for our island's animals.
 
Big "paws up" to them.
Video from ZNS Bahamas Northern Service
 
Residents in East Grand Bahama are closer to getting back into the fishing industry thanks to a project spearheaded by the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama. ZNS news reporter Megan Shepherd tells the story.
 
Click HERE to view the video on Facebook
NASSAU, Bahamas -- From being the first relief group on the ground in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, to coordinating massive relief efforts in The Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian, and spearheading the world’s efforts to eradicate Polio, Rotary Clubs have long been on the frontlines of humanitarian efforts across the globe. These efforts are supported not only by hardworking volunteer Rotarians, but also by partnerships with some of the world’s largest corporate entities.
 
At its June 19 virtual meeting The Rotary Club of East Nassau was proud to accept, on behalf of the Bahamas Rotary Clubs’ Rotary Disaster Relief Fund, a $228,000 donation from KPMG for Hurricane Dorian relief efforts in Grand Bahama and Abaco.
 
“We’re so appreciative of our corporate partners like KPMG”, said Barry Rassin, immediate Past President of Rotary International and a member of the Rotary Club of East Nassau. “Financial donations of this magnitude can have such a tangible impact on relief efforts, particularly when paired with an all-volunteer organization like Rotary. We are in a unique position at Rotary to ensure that every penny goes directly to where it’s needed most, and not towards administrative expenses.”
 
Click HERE to read more at RCEN.org
By Tanya Smith-Cartwright/The Tribune
 
Rotary International to spend approximately $10 million on the recovery of the island of Abaco, immediate past president, Barry Rassin has told The Tribune. Along with the $10 million comes a promise of Rotary staying with Abaconians until their lives return to some semblance of normalcy.
 
“A disaster comes in parts,” the Rotarian explained. “First there is ‘Immediate Relief’. Rotary Clubs in this country were unbelievable. They all stepped up to provide immediate relief. We worked with the airport, with registering individuals, we were on the boats that went to Abaco to bring in the evacuees. Each club adopted a shelter in the early days so they could help the shelter with whatever they needed like food and supplies.
 
Click HERE to read more in the Tribune
Thank you to Bones Bar, located at the Pelican Bay Hotel, for their thousand dollar donation to the Grand Bahama Emergency Water Foundation aka the Rotary Water Plant. Hurricane season is here and the water plant stands ready to assist should the need arise.

It is with great sadness that the Rotary Club of Freeport marks the passing of Past President and Past Area Governor Richard Bates on May 11 after a roughly year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Richard was involved with Rotary in nearly every aspect. He and his wife Monica attended numerous International Conventions and hosted countless exchange students from around the world. Richard's boat trips to Peterson's Cay were a highlight of every RYE student who was ever lucky enough to visit the island of Grand Bahama. He enjoyed introducing them to Bahamian food and culture.

Richard was also the keeper of the Rotary Wagon - a fixture at every Junkanoo parade. He loved to include Rotaract in manning the wagon and taught them the vital skill of cotton candy making. He also coordinated Rotary grilling burgers at the BASRA swim race, Humane Society dog show and many other community events. In addition, Richard spent many hours at the Rotary Water Plant and was always on-hand to assist after every hurricane with whatever needed done.

He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. May he rest in peace.

By: Leandra Rolle/The Tribune

A portable water plant has been installed on Abaco, bringing 10,000 gallons of potable water a day to residents. The salt water reverse osmosis plant was donated by several non-profit organisations in the country.

Rotary Clubs of The Bahamas, in partnership with PureH2O and their Critical Path Foundation, had the water system installed in Treasure Cay in an effort to provide free clean water for anyone who needs it on the island.

Click HERE to read more in the Tribune

From: The Freeport News

Fresh off a collaborative campaign with the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) which provided over 100 appliances to residents on the island, the Grand Bahama Disaster Relief Foundation (GBDRF) and local NGOs are continuing the work of completing repairs to homes damaged during Hurricane Dorian, in communities across the island.

During Dorian’s two-day rampage on Grand Bahama, as many as 2,000 structures on the island received varying degrees of damage, with 1,500 of these within the City of Freeport. Over the past several months the GBDRF undertook a phased approach to home repair efforts, working closely with GBPA and teams from Rotary International to execute repairs.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News