People Matter!

AuthorDerence A. Rolle Davis
Derence Rolle Davis
In the era 1970-1990 which I deem the “rapid evolution era”, The Bahamas
emerged as a nation, developed its national symbols, national anthem, and its
national flag. A national stadium was constructed on the site of the old car
racetrack at Oakes Field and called the Queen Elizabeth Sports Stadium in
honour of our Head of State. It would later be called the Thomas A. Robinson
Sports Stadium in honour of our first internationally recognized athlete. Some
may refer to this period as the “Nationalist era”. The development of National
Insurance Board (NIB); Central Bank of The Bahamas; Royal Bahamas Defence
Force (1979); COB (1974), are all national institutions developed during this era.
The Bahamas enjoyed an infusion of cash in the economy through our
largest numbers in tourism and the largest trans-shipment route for the illicit
drug trade. These two sources of income produced for the first time a robust
economy. We experienced the greatest importation of goods and construction of
homes was at an all-time high, which is a clear reflection, under the most basic
economic principles, that the economy was in fact growing. As a result of this,
the mind-set has changed. People moved to the city of Nassau thereby depleting
the Family Islands, formerly called the Out Islands a term adapted in the 1970’s,
both are used interchangeably.
People now moved from those areas in Nassau “over-the-hill”— Bain’s
and Grant’s Town and Mason’s Addition, to name a few. Second generations
moved into newly constructed subdivisions, as they were called. Two such
examples were the “Yellow Elder Subdivision” and “Big Pond Subdivision”.
Later Garden Hills, Jubilee Gardens, Elizabeth Estates and other government
subsidized housing projects were developed. Housing projects became more
common and houses in neighbourhoods now had separation of homes by fences
and walls. Very often people did not know their neighbours. I would opine that
this was influenced by European culture mainly and fuelled by our geographical
proximity to the Americas, in particular, who had developed grandiose plans to
provide adequate, habitable housing called “the projects” or “the ghetto.”
Many of the changes were subtle yet bold and the making of a transition
of proportions yet determined. The year 2008, was wrought with changes.
One of the more important sources of information was that of The
Auditor General who revealed that a sum in excess of Three Million ($3 million)
dollars was missing from Ministry of Housing. Ministry of Housing represents
the opportunity for people to invest in their own homes. The Ministry of
Housing facilitated the government’s initiative to provide low-income housing

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