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         Apr 2014         
President Louis Alleyne
Immediate Past President Louis Alleyne
Vice President Niel Burrows
President Elect Queen Rolle
Treasurer Niel Burrows
Secretary Constance McDonald
Community Service Darren Cooper
International Service Mike Stafford
Rotary Foundation Bert Lightbourne
Seargent-At-Arms Len Hindley
Club Administration Betty Van Lew
Public Relations Niel Burrows
Interact Liaison Betty Van Lew
Director of Wagon Operations Richard Bates
Director Vicky Martel
Membership Richard Bates
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Over fifty years of service to the Grand Bahama community

Service above self.

We meet Thursdays at 12:00 PM

Ruby Swiss Restaurant

Corner of West Atlantic Dr & West Sunrise Hwy
Freeport, Grand Bahama Bahamas

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by: Nina Laing, Freeport News Reporter

One third of young boys in local government schools are failing at in-house and national examinations, according to Deputy Director of Education – Grand Bahama, Bimini, and Cays Sandra Edgecombe.  This is a major motivating factor behind the number of students that drop out of school, she explained.

Edgecombe made these remarks while addressing Rotarians of the Freeport Club at their weekly luncheon at Ruby Swiss Restaurant yesterday.  During her address, Edgecombe said she hopes to reduce the number of dropouts by improving the academic performance of the island’s young boys.  In order to do so, she said it is necessary to improve literacy in schools, which she noted is a major objective for the Ministry of Education.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News 
Posted by Vicky Martel on Mar 11, 2014

The Rotary Club of Freeport is hoping to appeal to the public's sweet tooth for its annual Worldâ s Finest Chocolate Fundraiser.

The club has been hosting the fundraiser for the past four years and has raised thousands for its community projects in the process.

Fundraising Chairperson Vicky Martel said that she came up with the idea for the chocolate fundraiser four years ago after coming across some memorabilia from her years in high school.

" I was going through a box of old memorabilia and I found this World's Finest Chocolate wrapper. We used to sell them in high school and it was to raise money,"  Martel said.

" So I saw this and I said let me just see, because we were looking for a project for Rotary that had never been here before," 

She said she was surprised to find that after 50 years the company still manufactured the chocolate bars she remembered as a child.

After launching the fundraiser in Freeport, Martel said she was thrilled to find that the candies were so popular.

Typically, she said, the Rotary Club of Freeport orders 100 cases, with 60 chocolate bars per case. Each case includes almond, caramel, milk chocolate, crisp, and dark chocolate and almond candy bars.

The chocolates are priced at $1.50 per bar and $90 per box.

Martel said the fundraiser helps to raise about $4,000 for Freeport Rotary each year.

" After we consider we have to pay duty... we probably make $3,000 to $4,000 on it,"  she said.

" As you know, Rotary is a service organization and as a service organization, all the money that we collect we use back into the community. We have to have projects to raise the money in order to give the money."

All proceeds gained from this years fundraiser will go toward scholarships and the purchase of wheelchairs for the elderly and disabled, Martel said.

For this reason, she encouraged those who have not done so already to purchase the chocolate bars.

" Please do not procrastinate because there is a limited amount and we won't order again until next year. So if you like chocolate, get it,"  she said.

" If you buy them we can help other people. $1.50 a bar may not seem like much but it adds up. When you help us, you help other people in the community." 

Individuals interested in supporting the World's Finest Chocolate Fundraiser can purchase the candy bars from Rotarians or Bellevue Business Depot.

Posted by Louis Alleyne on Mar 10, 2014

The Bahamas National Trust (BNT) plans to develop national parks in East Grand Bahama and on the northern shore of the island, according to BNT Parks Planner Lakeisha Anderson.

Anderson served as the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of Freeport's weekly luncheon recently where she detailed the BNT's plans for Grand Bahama.

She noted that the BNT has a desire to have a greater presence within the community in order to be more effective in conserving and protecting the island's natural resources.

Posted by Niel Burrows on Mar 03, 2014

Finances, family, corporate and criminal law are some of the topics that will be addressed at the Rotary Club of Freeport Second Annual Legal and Financial Aid (LFA) Clinic.

The information forum is set for the Circle Mall on Saturday, March 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Club president Louie Alleyne noting the importance of the clinic, which is open to the Grand Bahama community free of charge said, "It is indeed a pleasure for the Rotary Club of Freeport to conduct our Second Annual Legal and Financial Aid Clinic that will address matters concerning divorce, probate, wills, mortgages and land, employment, immigration and commercial issues.

" Partnering with us this year will be the Bank of The Bahamas, Family Guardian Insurance Company and the Bahamas Immigration Department providing expert advice to persons taking advantage of the clinic.

" Following last year's event we discovered many persons within the community are unaware of their legal rights including the processes and procedures which must be adhered to when attending to all legal and financial matters.

Posted by Louis Alleyne on Feb 27, 2014

The Rotary Club of Freeport is spear-heading its Fifth Annual Essay Competition offered to Junior and Senior High school students. 

The Competition is based on “The Rotary Four Way Test” and is considered the lifeline for Rotarians, as it is a principle by which they strive to live by in their personal and professional environment.

Rotary Club of Freeport New Generations Director, Queen Stubbs, “We would like for students to describe how the four way test can be applied to their everyday lives and demonstrate via the essay, the best use of the saying. 

“We anticipate full support of this initiative spearheaded by our Club, as a means of encouraging our children to positively expand their mindset.

The Four Way Test: Of the things we think, say, and do,

• is it the truth?

• is it fair to all concerned?

• will it build good will and better friendships

• will it be beneficial to all concerned.


The four Rotary Clubs on Grand Bahama came together on Saturday night, February 15th, to celebrate their community service works and raise funds to continue doing more in a glittering event at the Grand Lucayan.  After a four-year break from holding an annual ball the return of the event was well received with a packed crowd enjoying great food, wine and entertainment under the theme "Rotary Has Heart 2014".

The Grand Bahama Youth Choir performed stirring renditions of both the American and Bahamian national anthems, MC David Wallace kept them laughing with non-stop jokes, the Police Pop Band kept them dancing to lively Bahamian music, and as evidenced by the photo gallery everyone had a wonderful night including two exchange students from Germany and Slovakia, visiting Rotarians from Florida and a broad cross-section of the Grand Bahama business community.

Click HERE to view photo gallery courtesy of Keen i Media

by: Nina Laing, Freeport News Reporter

Rotarians from the island's four clubs converged at the Grand Lucayan Ballroom last Saturday, February 15 for the Rotary Ball, held under the theme "Rotary Has Heart 2014." 

After a four-year absence, the charity ball returned to Freeport, attracting scores of individuals from the corporate community.

The event serves as a fund-raiser to support Grand Bahama's Rotary Clubs' various community projects.

The Rotary Ball featured performances from the Grand Bahama Youth Choir and the Royal Bahama Police Pop Band.

Rotary Ball Chairman Mike Stafford said he was pleased with the overall event and attendance.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News

by: Nina Laing, Freeport News Reporter

Contrary to arguments that Value Added Tax (VAT) would have an adverse effect on the economy and livelihood of residents in The Bahamas, one banking executive suggests that many citizens can easily adjust to life with the proposed tax.

Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) Limited President Gregory Bethel said that there is a great deal of inaccurate information being spread about VAT, namely what the tax will be applied to.

While addressing Rotarians of the Freeport Club at their weekly luncheon at Ruby Swiss Restaurant yesterday, Bethel said they ought not be concerned about VAT being applied on goods, because few products will receive the tax.

Click HERE to read more in the Freeport News

By Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy & Sell

Facing challenges, hard work, sacrifice of time and resources, "Service Above Self" is a Rotarian's mandate and even more so is the role of the President of a Rotary Club.

                Celebrating 52 years in existence on Grand Bahama, the Rotary Club of Freeport's (RCF) Past Presidents took to the podium recently at the Club's weekly meeting, to tell of their experiences during their year as President. The first Rotary Club to be established on the island in 1962, RCF has inducted 50 different business men and women of this community to take on the responsibility of leading the organization in service to the community, The Bahamas and the world over.

                The mandate of a Rotary Club President is to ensure their Club functions effectively by:

● sustaining or increasing membership base

● implementing successful projects that address the needs of their community and communities in other countries

● supporting the Rotary Foundation through both program participation and financial contributions

● developing leaders capable of serving in Rotary beyond the Club level

Photo: L-R are: AG Mike Stafford; Bert Lighbourne; Secretary Constance McDonald; Ron Carter; Wilbur Outten; Paula Harris; Roger Pinder; Leonard Hindley and President Louie Alleyne.

by: Sharell Lockhart, FN News Reporter

The Rotary Club of Freeport has partnered with Lydia Grant, a retired Ministry of Health employee with over 35 years experience in elderly patient health care, to establish the Grant’s Retirement Home & Elderly Day Care Center in the heart of the Hawksbill community.

According to Rotary Club of Freeport president Louie Alleyne the club learned about the retirement home from its community service director Darren Cooper, who felt the it is a necessary project for the service organization to embark on.


Click HERE to read more ...

by: Nina Laing, Freeport News

Grand Bahama Rotarians will host the 2014 Multi-district International Conference for districts 6990, 6960, and 6950, District Governor Ellen Blasi told The Freeport News yesterday.

The conference was last held in Grand Bahama 13 years ago.

Upon her installment as District Governor, Blasi said she made it a personal goal to bring the conference back to the island.

"This is a three or four-day conference with some Rotary training and some Rotary fellowship and we bring in speakers from some of the big names from the Rotary world. I knew when I was selected governor that I was bringing the conference to The Bahamas,"  she said.

According to Blasi, local Rotarians can expect to be joined by about 500 Rotarians from Florida when the conference is held in May.

Click HERE to read more ...

Posted on Aug 22, 2013

by: Ashley Penn, Freeport News

Former educator, Andrea Thompson, raised concern regarding literacy in The Bahamas as she addressed the Rotary Club of Freeport yesterday during the organization's weekly meeting at the Ruby Swiss.

Noting that literacy in the government school system has its challenges, Thompson said that often times students are left behind due to a difference in learning styles.

"As an educator, when you have 35 children in a class, it's very hard to get to each and every child. In many of the government schools we have amazing teachers, but you have to gear towards that middle child, because what happens is the child that is remedial or learns at a different pace is left behind,"  she explained.

Click HERE to read more ...

Posted by Louis Alleyne on Aug 20, 2013

From Bahama Islands

The Rotary Club of Freeport embarked upon its road safety and environmental friendly campaign August 16th after awareness was heightened over a series of accidents that took place within our Islands of the Bahamas, including Grand Bahama.

“We thought the causes could be attributed to the irresponsible use of vehicles on our streets by drivers, as they are often observed texting and driving, or disobeying the speed limits. Hundreds of students utilize our streets daily to get to and from school, and we know from the Road Traffic reports that within seconds of taking our eyes of the street, the results could be fatal,” said Club President Louis Alleyne.

It was also considered a wonderful opportunity to promote the good work that Rotary does not only locally, but all over the world. To accomplish this initiative, the Rotary Club of Freeport sought partnership from a leading charter bus service - H. Forbes Charter Bus Service.

Click HERE to read more ...


Posted on Aug 18, 2013

From Bahama Islands

Rotarians from the four clubs on Grand Bahama welcomed inbound exchange students Katarina Supkasupakova from Slovakia and Katrina Wohltmann from Germany to Grand Bahama on Sunday, August 18th.  The two young ladies will be spending a year living with host families on the island and attending high school. 

Grand Bahamians Alana Russell and Alexis Degregory are also participating in the Rotary student exchange program and will be spending the upcoming year in Germany and France respectively.

Click HERE to read more ...

Posted by Mike Stafford on Aug 16, 2013

A Keen i Media production

Economist Zhivargo Laing speaks at the Rotary Club of Freeport on August 15, 2013 about the implications of VAT on the Bahamian economy.

Click HERE to view

Produced and presented courtesy of Keen i Media Ltd.
Released under the Creative Commons attribution/no derivatives license.
Copyright ©2013


Posted by Mike Stafford on Aug 15, 2013


Former Minister of State for Finance, Zhivargo Laing, addressed a large crowd at the Rotary Club of Freeport meeting on Thursday, August 15, at the Ruby Swiss restaurant on the hot topic of Value Added Tax or VAT.  Text of his speech below:

Mr. President and other executives of the Rotary Club of Freeport, members and guests, members of the media, good afternoon.  I was invited by your president to speak to you about the Value Added Tax (V.A.T.), which, if the Government meets its deadline will be a feature of our tax system commencing in July of next year.  I will not be long I promise but I will try to be clear.  My talk today will seek to answer five questions, namely:

  1. What is V.A.T.?
  2. How does it operate?
  3. Why is it an issue in The Bahamas at this time?
  4. What is likely to happen?
  5. What should happen?
Click HERE to read more ...

Photo: President Louis Alleyne (L) and ADG Mike Stafford (R) thank Zhivargo Laing for his informative presentation. (Photo courtesy Derek Carroll)

Posted by Mike Stafford on Aug 13, 2013

By Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy & Sell

Senior GIS Technician at Grand Bahama Port Authority, Elise White, conveyed the positive contributions of Geographic Information Science/Systems (GIS) in The Bahamas and the world during the Rotary Club of Freeport's meeting recently.

Having obtained her undergraduate degree at York University, Toronto, Canada, White majored in geography with specialization in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing.

GIS, she noted, helps answer questions and solve problems by looking at collected data, by mapping where things are in the world, quantities and densities, finding what's inside and what's nearby.  By integrating hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information, one can easily understand, question, interpret, visualize and share data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and tables. 

Posted by Mike Stafford


Attorney Carey Leonard presents his views on the impact of VAT on businesses in The Bahamas, with particular emphasis on the effect it may have on businesses located in Freeport, Grand Bahama.  Presented at The Rotary Club of Freeport on July 25, 2013, and provided courtesy of Keen i Media Ltd.

Click HERE to view.


Posted by Mike Stafford

By Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy & Sell

The Rotary Club of Freeport recently installed a new slate of officers for its 2013/2014 year.

The Board consists of Richard Bates, Membership Director; Len Hindley, Chief Sergeant-at-Arms; Darren Cooper, Community Service Director; Constance McDonald, Secretary; Louis Alleyne, President; Neil Burrows, Treasurer; Vicki Martel, Director and Chief Fundraiser; Bert Lightbourne, Foundation Director and  Betty Van Lew, Vocational and Club Service Director. All of whom have committed their time and resources to the betterment of their communities and the world through "Service Above Self".

Mike Stafford, new Assistant Governor for Rotary District 6990 and member of the Rotary Club of Freeport implored his fellow Rotarians: "Each of you has been charged with a very specific task to perform to make this Club even stronger and in turn assist this community and the Rotary world at large. The theme for Rotary International this year is 'Engage Rotary, Change Lives'. I ask that you all remember this as you perform duties and realize that this is not a position you perform once a month at a board meeting or once a week at a Club meeting but everyday as a Rotarian."

Posted by Mike Stafford

From the Freeport News

As concern regarding the implementation of VAT slated for 2014 continues to rise, local attorney at law Carey Leonard addressed the Rotary Club of Freeport yesterday and said his main goal is to inform the public of the harmful effects it will impose on the state of the country.

Carey compared VAT to a tropical storm within the business sector as he noted there is an array of issues.

He said, "Tropical storm new customs management regulations is on us, new accounting reporting requirements for companies, IBC's, trusts and partnerships were the first four Acts of 2013 and they have now become law.

"You must have not felt the effect yet ... there are six or seven Bills out for review, all to meet the EPA and WTO. The new Intellectual Property legislation is forming. Hurricane Value Added Tax will arrive in 2014, leading up to The Bahamas ascension into the WTO, and for sometime after it there will be a requirement for new legislation and new regulations to enable The Bahamas to comply with all its treaty agreements."

Leonard noted that his underlying goal for the fast approaching ordeal is to impart knowledge to the public.

"The main goal is really to continue the education of the general public on Value Added Tax and more particularly the World Trade Organization," he said. 

Click HERE to read more

Click HERE to read the White Paper on VAT

Posted by Mike Stafford


by Owen S. Arthur, M.P.
Former Prime Minister of Barbados

In my recent address, as part of the celebration of Bahamas’ 40th Anniversary of its Independence, I called attention to the fact that the environment within which the development of Caribbean societies takes place has been subject to dramatic transformation.  

I further stated that countries which failed or showed themselves as being too slow to adapt to their changed environment run the risk of falling behind in the race to development, and, at worst, of becoming failed societies.  

This address today draws upon that perspective in offering an opinion on the likely impact of the introduction of a Value Added Tax on the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.  

While the focus will be on issues related to the possible impact of a Value Added Tax, it would seem that justice can only be done to this subject if it is discussed within the context of a broader and interrelated set of issues.  

Click HERE to read more


Posted by Mike Stafford on Jul 04, 2013

From: Bahama Islands Info

The Rotaract Club of Freeport installed its new board of officers for 2013-2014 on Wednesday, June 26th at the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce. In attendance were members and distinguished Rotarians from the various Rotary Clubs in Grand Bahama, along with family and friends.

The new board officers received certificates and pins, dignifying their various positions that will be carried out in the club. Representatives from the Rotary clubs of Freeport, Lucaya and Sunset commended the club on it past services and efforts, as well as extended words of encouragement for a successful future.

Outgoing president, Justin Missick, expressed his gratitude in serving as club leader for the 2012-2013 year. 

Posted by Mike Stafford on Jul 05, 2013

by Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy and Sell

Follow your dreams ... when God gives a vision He always makes provision," says Mrs. Marva Moxey, the first Bahamian to obtain a law degree in Australia, a country ranked eighth in the world for higher education.

Sharing her educational experience abroad with members and guests of the Rotary Club of Freeport's weekly meeting, she explained, "In 2011 I took my 12-year-old son with me to Australia. At age 48 I was going back into the classroom as a student, changing careers."

The lawyer and mediator said, "I knew this journey was going to be different since I had to rely on other people's experiences and did not have a clue where we were going and what to expect. My attitude was: it was a new and exciting adventure. I took the necessary steps with the help of Bahamian couple Portia and Dr. Ricardo Hamilton, whom I had never met.

"I was taking five law classes and I had to work and pay my own way through school. Days were full. I needed to pull through. I never looked back and God, faithful as He always is, opened doors for us the entire time we were there. He provided for us and put the right people in our path."
Posted by Mike Stafford on Jul 05, 2013

by Sonia Walker-Russell / Bahama Buy & Sell

Along with being vastly intelligent, Lancelot Darville, a Rotary Club of Freeport scholarship recipient, is a delightful, business minded young man who will be a force to reckon with in the future business world of The Bahamas.

His track record began here on Grand Bahama. In October 2009 he was chosen as Youth Parliamentarian and Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly for The Bahamas Government. In 2008 he was Interact Club President of the Year for Rotary International and awarded the Powerful Speaker Award by the Catholic Board of Education.

2013 graduate of Northwood University, Florida, where he spent four years, Darville was chosen from among his peers as Valedictorian and Summa Cum Laude.

A Finance major, he was an amiable role model at the all business school, being voted President of the Student Body and asked to return as President the following year.
Posted by Matthew Rolle on May 08, 2013

By Sonia Walker -Russell

The decline in visitors to the island of Grand Bahama is a direct affect of 'bad' customer service, laying the responsibility to deliver exceptional customer service at the feet of us all, says six year Senior. Manager of The Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association and Marina Operators of The Bahamas (MOB), Ms. Shamine Johnson.   "If I was to take a poll, there would be far more negative exchanges of customer service experiences on this island than positive ones. A recent labour survey conducted by the Inter Development Bank (IDB) and the Department of Labour showed that there is a decline in visitor arrival to our island - a direct result of our customer service. I could say 'we need to address this issue', but I pose this question: who are the we and what are we prepared to do about it?"


Posted by Matthew Rolle on Nov 06, 2012

In preparation for Tropical Storm Sandy's ills, the Rotary Clubs of Grand Bahama jump started the recently completed Water Relief Plant to ensure that Grand Bahama residents would not be without drinkable water during or after the storm. Rotarians came together full force and put teams in place to distribute water to those in need.

According to Mike Stafford, Assistant District Governor elect, and past President of the Rotary Club of Freeport, the plant was activated on Wednesday and Thursday utilizing the standby generator to save on electricity and then re-activated early Saturday morning.


To Read More of this Article From Sonia Walker-Russell of The Bahamas Buy & Sell, click on the link below page 28

Posted by Mike Stafford on Oct 29, 2012

Grand Bahama Emergency Water Relief Foundation re-cap of Hurricane Sandy activation, October 24-28, 2012.


During the approach of Hurricane Sandy the RO machine was run for 9 hours on Wednesday and 8 hours on Thursday, which put about 5,000 gallons of water in the tank. This was done utilizing the standby generator filled with donated fuel to reduce any electricity bill.

Thank you to Mr. Tony Miller (Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunset) and Freeport Oil Company (FOCOL) for the donation of fuel and for their anticipated continued support of the plant.

Hurricane Sandy impacted Grand Bahama for much of Friday and into the evening and early hours of Saturday.

The plant was re-activated early Saturday morning and Rotarians began to assemble and sanitize and fill the one gallon jugs which had been collected and stored in the plant throughout the year (about 500 of them).

Posted by Mike Stafford on Oct 29, 2012

From The Tribune -

FREEPORT - Hurricane Sandy caused severe flooding on Grand Bahama that resulted in one casualty, and left the airport, several residential subdivisions and settlements, and some roads underwater.


PRIME Minister Perry Christie surveys a damaged dock on his trip to Grand Bahama yesterday. (Photo/Peter Ramsay)

Although Sandy brought little rain, her strong winds produced dangerous storm surge along the island’s north shore.

Posted by Mike Stafford

click here to view video recorded by Keeni media
Posted by Mike Stafford on Aug 01, 2012

The island of Grand Bahama has suffered a great loss with the passing of legendary businessman and noted Rotarian Harold Sonny Waugh.

Eighty-four-year-old Waugh was born in Nassau in 1928 and established a name for himself in Grand Bahama through a series of business ventures.

In 1965, Waugh introduced Grand Bahama to premier construction services with the opening of Waugh Construction (Bahamas) Limited located on Shelly and Milton Streets.

An impeccable businessman with a passion for his country and community, Waugh joined the Rotary International organization in 1972.

Waugh exemplified the Rotary Club's motto "Service Above Self" and his efforts within the club both in The Bahamas and internationally afforded him the distinct privilege of being known as Mr. Rotary.

to read more from Sharell Lockhart of the Freeport News, click on the below link
Club Events
Water Plant painting preperation Rotary Water Plant
Apr 26, 2014 10:00 AM
District Conference 2014 Grand Bahama Island
May 01, 2014
Home Hospitality Night for District Confrence Super Top Secret
May 01, 2014 06:00 PM
Rotary Leadership Institute Devry University
May 17, 2014 08:00 AM
ROTARY CONVENTION 2014 - Southland Event Powerhouse Museum
May 31, 2014 05:30 PM
2014 RI Convention Sydney
Jun 01, 2014
Rotary Club of Freeport instalation Jun 19, 2014
Wine & Cheese Oct 04, 2014 07:00 PM
Rotary International District Confrence Cruise Nov 13, 2014
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