Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect/Youth Service
Treasurer
Secretary
Fundraising/Director
Foundation Chair
Social Media/Director
Public Image
Grants/Website/Director
Immediate Past President/Club Administration
Membership
Service Projects
Sergeant-at-Arms
Club Information

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
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.
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
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

By LEANDRA ROLLE/The Tribune

A NATIONWIDE volunteer programme is to be launched by Governor General CA Smith on Monday in an effort to foster a culture of volunteerism in the country following Hurricane Dorian.

The initiative, “Volunteer Bahamas - A Call to Action”, was announced during a press conference held at Government House yesterday. Officials are hoping it will be “the largest movement of volunteerism” in the country. Speaking at yesterday’s event was Volunteer Bahamas chairman Barry Rassin, who noted the importance of having a national volunteer movement, especially in the wake of Hurricane Dorian. “The value of volunteerism of the power of volunteers cannot be overestimated as was evidenced in The Bahamas post-Dorian,” he said.

Click HERE to read more in the Tribune

By: FN Reporter Abria Cooper
 
Students of Bishop Michael Eldon School (BMES) were officially installed as members of the Interact Club, the youth arm of the Rotary Club of Freeport at the school’s campus on Wednesday, March 4.
 
President of the Freeport Club Lorrine Miller led the moderated the ceremony, where she thanked the students for hosting the club and congratulated the newly installed members before they were pinned as official members.  “The Freeport Rotary Club if the oldest club in The Bahamas,” she said, adding that they celebrated their 59th Anniversary this year.
 
Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News

By Freeport News reporter Abria Cooper

Members of the Rotaract Club of Freeport (RCOF) continue to serve the Grand Bahama community through school outreach initiatives. The club recently made toy donations to the Hugh W. Campbell Primary School and the Lewis Yard Primary School on their campuses.

The club adopted Hugh Campbell along with the Lewis Yard Primary School and therefore, decided to present the playful items to each school to confirm their commitment to the institutions. “We wanted to ensure that students at the school felt the love on Valentine’s Day and decided to donate toys to the school. At the Rotaract Club of Freeport, we understand that play is an important part of human learning and development,” said RCOF President Keturah Babb.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News

Tents, mattresses, sheetrock, roofing supplies and so much more. Rotary is on the ground on the island of Grand Bahama with assistance in every neighborhood, from day one until now, nearly 6 months after Hurricane Dorian.

Click HERE to view on YouTube if video does not display above.

By Marina Gottlieb Sarles

The Storm

Waiting for a hurricane like Dorian—a Category 5 with winds gusting over 200 mph accompanied by a sea surge of some 22 ft—was, in and of itself, an anticipatory trauma. Stress levels erupted as my husband, Jamie and I thought about the future and the losses the storm might bring. Preparations and television reports showing the constant ‘cone of uncertainty’ disrupted our daily life creating high levels of anxiety. Did we have adequate water and food to sustain us? How long would we be without power? Did we have enough gas? What about our shutters and the generator?

And running under all this frenzied planning was a constant current of fear of the unknown. How would we survive this physically, financially? How would our community survive? Would it ever bounce back? Would we have to leave if our island became a war zone? Where would we go? There was no way to stop the distressing existential thoughts. Just keep moving. Finally, when the last towels were stacked near the windows and doors and our documents and valuables packed in a waterproof container—the preparations were complete.

However, nothing, and I mean nothing could have prepared us for the devastating impact of this particular storm.

Click HERE to read more in The Bahamas Weekly