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Over fifty-nine years of service to the Grand Bahama community
Freeport

Service above self

We meet In Person
Thursdays at 12:00 PM
Q-Lounge
Oak Street, across from Dolly Madison
Freeport, Grand Bahama
Bahamas
We meet every other Thursday. Please contact the webmaster for dates.
Home Page Stories
Last October 23rd, a flurry of e-mail back-and-forth touched off an effort to transport 25 wheelchairs to the island of Grand Bahama. Stephen Gunn, from the Rotary Club of Freeport, had received requests for wheelchairs for individuals and families impacted by the devastation wrought by Hurricane Dorian in September of 2019.

Efforts had been put forth to supply hundreds of wheelchairs, but the process, from funding to actually getting a container of wheelchairs to Grand Bahama, would take months - if not half the year.

Click HERE to read the full article in the Wheelchair Foundation newsletter. The article is on page 10 but we are including the complete newsletter because it is all worth reading!
By: Denise Maycock/The Tribune 

Phase two of the Sweeting’s Cay Home Repair Project is underway to repair 14 homes damaged during Hurricane Dorian two years ago. The project — which is being spearheaded by the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama, in partnership with TK Foundation — is expected to be completed over the next five to six weeks.
 
Phase one of the project was completed last week when nine newly built homes were turned over to residents on the cay. The first phase was funded at a cost of nearly $600,000 by the TK Foundation.

Rotarian Billy Jane Ferguson said Rotary is changing lives. “We still have persons living in tents (on Sweeting’s Cay), and the plan is to help them,” she said. “We are hoping the donors will also come on board with phase three.”

Click HERE to read more in the Tribune
By: Jaimie Smith/The Freeport News

With Phase One of the project completed, the Sweeting’s Cay Home Project was a great success thanks to the partnerships of Rotary International, the TK (Torben Karlshoej) Foundation, Team Sea Grape and “countless” others who made the vision a reality. On Friday, May 21, nine Sweeting’s Cay residents and family members were handed the keys to brand-new homes on the quaint cay, the first phase of an ongoing project.

Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe, Member of Parliament (MP) for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, spoke on behalf of MP for East Grand Bahama, K. Peter Turnquest, who was unable to attend the event. “Member of Parliament K. Peter Turnquest stated that he wishes to thank the TK Foundation, particularly Ms. Diane Pindling, who reached out to him as the MP for this area, offering your assistance in a time a need; subsequently, leading to the formation of a team that he considers to the best, led by Area Governor for Rotary District 6990 Billy Jane Ferguson and Rotarian Darren Cooper. He also mentioned Jimmy Smith and his team who made the day’s events possible."

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News
By: Freeport News Reporter Jaimie Smith

The coconut capital of Grand Bahama, the eastern community of Pelican Point, was severely impacted by the destructive Hurricane Dorian back in September 2019. As result, many of the beautiful coconut trees that lined the streets of the quaint settlement were destroyed and uprooted. To assist with the restoration of the coconut trees, this past Saturday, March 13, the Rotary Club of Freeport in partnership with the Rotary Club of Eleuthera made a special visit to the settlement, bearing gifts.

The donation was a number of fruit trees inclusive of coconut trees, to replant within the community.

Rotary Club of Freeport Past President, Mike Stafford, explained how the initiative came about. “We are here in the beautiful Pelican Point, which is the coconut capital of Grand Bahama. As you know, before Hurricane Dorian there was nothing but coconut trees out here; however, the storm really devastated the area. If you look down the beach now you can only see a few coconut trees, whereas there used to be hundreds of them."

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News
By: Jaimie Smith/The Freeport News

K. Peter Turnquest, member of Parliament for East Grand Bahama, recently got a first-hand look at the housing project in Sweeting’s Cay being funded by the Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama and its international organization. In the first phase of the project, nine homes are being constructed for Sweeting’s Cay residents, who were displaced as a result of the historically devastating September 2019, Hurricane Dorian.

Many of the residents of Sweeting’s Cay, which lies off the coast of East Grand Bahama, were forced to relocate while others remained, living in makeshift tents on their properties. On Friday (February 5) Turnquest expressed how pleased he was to see the progress that the civic organization was making in assisting Sweeting’s Cay residents to return home.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News
By: Denise Maycock/Tribune Freeport reporter

The Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama have embarked on the Sweeting’s Cay Home Repair project to rebuild homes on the cay, where residents have been living in tents and displaced for the past 18 months since Hurricane Dorian. Nine homes will be constructed during the first phase of the project, which is being undertaken and spearheaded by Rotary through funding provided by a private donor, the TK Foundation.

Rotarians travelled to Sweeting’s Cay on Monday, January 11, to officially announce the project to residents there who were very excited and eager about it. Nearly every structure was destroyed on the cay during the storm in September 2019.

Click HERE to read more in The Tribune
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.