Members of the Rotary Club of Freeport yesterday received a lecture on the state of the Grand Bahamian economy and what measures it will take for the island and the country to rise above the present challenges and once again prosper.

Addressing the club's weekly weekly luncheon meeting at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant, Sammy Gardiner, administrator in the Grand Bahama Of-fice of the Prime Minister, spoke on the topic, "What Is Going To Happen To Grand Bahama? We Have Given Up."

 
Members of the Rotary Club of Freeport yesterday received a lecture on the state of the Grand Bahamian economy and what measures it will take for the island and the country to rise above the present challenges and once again prosper.

Addressing the club's weekly weekly luncheon meeting at the Ruby Swiss Restaurant, Sammy Gardiner, administrator in the Grand Bahama Of-fice of the Prime Minister, spoke on the topic, "What Is Going To Happen To Grand Bahama? We Have Given Up."

Gardiner commented that upon reflection of the topic, he realized that he would have a vast pool to quote from – politicians, pastors and economic experts – words those gathered had already heard coming from persons who have never been in their positions.

He noted that they would not have experienced the devastation of three hurricanes and live with the harsh reality of living from pay cheque to pay cheque, but he has shared many of those challenges.

"I'm not going to tell you that every goal I have set I have accomplished, but I am still pressing on," Gardiner said.

Noting that the economy in Grand Bahama is no longer what it was, he said there are many persons who are suffering and praying in despair.

He added that there are people out there reflecting on the "good old days" and how things used to be in times past. However, he said those days will never return; instead, individuals should begin planning for the future.

Acknowledging that the road can sometimes be hard, he quoted by a way of advice, "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

According to Gardiner, many persons are speaking positively, but they are not carrying out the necessary actions. Talk without action, he said, "doesn't amount to much."

Despite the trying times the island is facing, he said it is up to the people to eventually spark a turnaround.

"I believe the solution to all problems has its beginnings in the individual," Gardiner said.

He asked the Rotarians to consider the club's creed and determine if it is still relevant in the present day, adding that society often becomes enslaved to tradition and ideals that we never take a moment to consider how they blend with the current environment.

"The day and the environment calls for new strategies, new definitions, new horizons for Rotarians," Gardiner said.

He questioned how many past Rotarians had worked to achieve the Paul Harris award, but have now wavered in the commitment to the group, content to sit back and brag.

"What would happen in Grand Bahama and the world if all Rotarians were to gain a spark with this new commitment?" Gardiner asked.

He noted that some persons are blaming both the PLP and the FNM for the present state of the economy, and some blame insurance companies and banks. However, he said it is time for everyone to take their lives in their own hands and "build for better days."

"It is better to prepare for growth in 2010 than continue to steep yourself in misery of 2004 . . . 2009. Ask yourself what can I learn?" Gardiner said.

According to Gardiner, the effects of the recession are far reaching and it is unprecedented. He noted that it will take everyone's efforts to spark a recovery and called on Rotarians to take the lead.

"If you want to get different results, you have to do different things. If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got," Gardiner said.