|Abaco Bahamas Home Page||The Current Issue of The Abaco Journal|
ABACO TOURIST OFFICE UPDATE
BRIGANTINE BAY BITS
BIG BIRD OPENING
TROPICAL FRUIT & GARDEN SOCIETY OF ABACO
ALONG THE ABACO HIGHWAY
MY LIFE STORY BY CHARLIE LOWE AGED 89
ROYAL PALM FRONDS
US AMBASSADOR VISITS
ARTS & CRAFTS SHOW
The nation was stunned in February by the Nassau murder of Cabinet member and Minister for Housing, Charles Virgill. Mr Virgill was killed shortly after the general election date had been announced. Three men have been charged with the crime.
Cay Gottlieb, noted lawyer, recording artist and station manager of Freeport's Cool 96 radio station, died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound at the station's transmitter site on 2nd March. It is understood that Mr Gottlieb had been suffering a bout of severe depression. Mr Gottlieb was a frequent visitor to Abaco and the brother of Marsh Harbour lawyer Frederik Gottlieb.
Olympic bronze medallist Chandra Sturrup moved up one notch and placed second to Gail Devers of the US in the Women's 60 metres final at the World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Paris.
by Kendy Anderson & Wynsome Ferguson
On 12th February a delegation of 42 investors from the Republic of China visited the island of Abaco. These men were proposed investors whose interest is boat building and yachting. They came to Abaco to see what we had to offer in those two areas and to see the way we do business in The Bahamas. The group visited Joe's Studio and Boat Yard as well as Willard Albury's Fiber Glass Boat Yard. They also had an opportunity to visit Boat Harbour Marina and Treasure Cay Marina.
Bram Eisenthal, a travel writer from Toronto, visited Abaco on 20th February. Mr Eisenthal is a freelance writer who does stories for a number of magazines in Canada. During his trip to Abaco he was given a tour of Marsh Harbour, Dundas Town, Murphy Town and Hope Town. He also had the opportunity to visit some of the major hotels, the lighthouse in Hope Town and the castle in Marsh Harbour. The purpose of Mr Eisenthal's trip was to write a story on Abaco in general and what it had to offer.
The Abaco Island Transportation Company has initiated twice daily ferry service between Guana Cay and Marsh Harbour and between Scotland Cay and Guana Cay. The company president is Edmund Pinder with financial assistance from Mr Helmut Mayerhoffer. The 34-foot boat is equipped to carry 33 passengers. The ferry service was needed because the Guana Grabber was no longer running.
The Bahamas Beach Club is a new condominium under construction on the Treasure Cay Beach. The total development will be a $28-30 million project. It is located on 10 acres of prime beachfront land between Ocean Villas and Royal Poinciana. There will be 18 buildings, each having four units, for a total of 72 units. Bahamas Beach Club is being developed by Signature Communities Ltd which has its headquarters in Naples, Florida. Mr Don Arnold is the company president.
On 7th March Thomas Kochel, travel editor of the San Diego Express, visited Abaco along with one of his agents. They had an opportunity to visit Hope Town as well as hotels and points of interest in Marsh Harbour.
Later the same day the Abaco Tourist Office, in conjunction with Burns House Ltd, hosted the winter residents to a cocktail reception at the Conch Inn Resort in Marsh Harbour. Some one hundred persons attended the event. The welcoming remarks were given by Kendy Anderson and Mr William Davis of Burns House spoke briefly. The vote of thanks was given by Wynsome Ferguson and music provided by Clint Sawyer.
It's dolphin season again and that most delicious of fish will be in abundance. This month Ellen Bird provides us with the recipes for Key West Orange Dolphin and Beer Bread.
6 (6oz) Dolphin fillets
1 (15oz) can of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp minced Shallots
2/3 cup Orange Juice
1/3 cup Sherry
1 tsp grated Orange Rind
Segments of 2 Oranges
Salt & Pepper to taste
Saut* the shallots in butter then add the flour and cook for one minute. Add the Cream of Coconut and stir until nicely thickened. Add orange juice, sherry, grated orange rind, orange segments and season to taste. Warm through.
Place the dolphin pieces in a buttered casserole and pour the mixture over. Put in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until fish is cooked.
To be sure to cook fish properly, use this method:- Total cooking time for any fish is 10 minutes for every inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part. If fish begins to flake, it's probably already too dry.
3 cups Self Rising Flour
1 to 2 Tbsp Sugar
1 bottle Beer
Grease a loaf pan and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix ingredients and place in pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is firm when tapped. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
by Jean Buchanan
How fast time flies when we are having fun in the sun. We never had a winter in Treasure Cay this year. Our weather was like spring and now in mid-March we have summer-like weather with balmy days, cool evenings and quite breezy. Good beaching days but not too good for fishing.
The last two months have been very busy in Atlantis. Our evening stroll is very enjoyable as we see many lights on. Building #1 has many residents. Bob & Gerry Giles are here and Gerry's garden sure is pretty. Jim & Joanne Friedrich had a busy time entertaining some of their classmates from grade school. Rick & Ann Woodson just arrived. Hopefully they'll get in some good boating weather and be able to use Lezz Go. Phil & Joan Read are back in Building #2 along with Len & Jan Scheponick. Bill & Barbara Marshall are also in residence. Last summer Len & Jan were returning home after a visit to Canada. They stopped to visit Bill & Barbara, fell in love with the area, returned to Ohio, put their home up for sale and purchased one close to the Marshalls. Now they are neighbours year round.
Irma and Richard Prince are enjoying golf and fishing. They certainly know how to tango - they won the Sand Bank Yacht Club prize. Phil & Sally Cappello returned after a one year lapse. Phil loves fishing and Sally is enjoying tennis. Ingeborg & Alfred are here from Germany. They enjoy their daily swim and the wonderful warm weather. Ray Pearlson returned to Miami to be with Marge as she received the 'Woman of Impact' award. Marge has contributed lots of energy to community education for many years. Congratulations, Marge!
Building #4 has been very busy. Ira & Linda Friedman returned for another visit. Brigitte Aebersold and her friend Marlene were here for their annual visit from Toronto. It's much better basking in the sun than slipping and sliding in the snow and ice. Tom & Linda Eisenbran from Ohio returned for a little visit. Linda found some really nice shells to add to her collection. Carl & Christal Conrad also returned and it's nice to see such enthusiasm. They have just decorated their new condo and hope to get in some boating.
In January, my David caught a 47 lb yellowfin rockfish. Bill Carey told us what kind of fish it was and said it was good eating. I must say it was the best fish I've ever tasted. David also assisted in catching two homo sapiens. Unlike the fish, they put up no resistance to coming aboard. They could not be weighed as the scales only go up to 50 lbs!
Lorenzo & Elsbeth Simen were here from Switzerland. Unfortunately they had to go home early due to health problems. Happily, Lorenzo is on the road to recovery after being hospitalised for a week. We wish you a speedy recovery, Lorenzo!
Keith & Jackie Rusby enjoyed a month in the sun and were especially delighted when their daughter Catherine came to visit, all the way from Australia. Andy & Anne McInroy are also in Building #5. I believe it's their first visit in quite a while. Glad to see them back again. Ron & Sharon Heinzeroth are back in residence - it's mighty cold on Rockford, Illinois.
On a sad note, our friend Klaus Baldus passed away after a lengthy illness. In November, Klaus returned to Germany with Maureen to await the birth of their first grandchild. Happily, his wish was granted and he saw his grandson. Maureen is here along with the new parents and adorable baby.
Sadly, our dear friend Roy Chappell passed away in February. Doris would like to thank everyone for their notes, cards and telephone calls. They gave her comfort and strength during Roy's illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Doris and family. We will all miss Roy. Hopefully, Doris will return to Treasure Cay. She has many friends here.
Treasure Cay has certainly been the best place to be this winter. It's been very busy with lots of happy people, rarely ever a glum or sad face, lots of lights on in the units, boats in the slips and Tiki parties. We hope to see all of you real soon. 'Haste Ye Back' for fun in the sun - we miss you!
by Jack Hardy
It is now spring but we must think in terms of summer when it comes to vegetables. Most of our winter vegetables - cabbage family, lettuce, root crops, tomatoes, sweet peppers and eggplants - will not do well in the summer months.
Tropical or Florida varieties of tomato will last into the summer months, as will established pepper plants (both sweet and hot) and eggplant. The fruits will be much inferior to winter crops, however.
The best crops to plant now to give summer sustenance are blackeye peas, collards, corn, okra, sweet potatoes, Calabaza pumpkin, Malabar spinach and watermelons.
Any flowers sown now must be very heat and humidity resistant, such as cosmos, pentas, petunias, vinca and zinnias. For shaded areas, try New Guinea Impatiens. Flowering bulbs, rhizomes and tubers can be planted now. Remember gingers and heliconias like a little shade.
The most regular chore around the yard will be mowing the grass. Now is the time to establish new lawns and patch up bare areas. The two best grasses for Bahamian garden use are St Augustine, a coarse grass that sends out runners, and zoysia, which forms a dense, springy carpet of fine, sharp blades. St Augustine grass is best started from rooted suckers that are planted in a network a few feet apart over the area to be covered. Zoysia grass is started from plugs taken from an established lawn. It would be wise to buy the right tool for the job from a nursery, one that resembles a deep cookie cutter with a handle.
Zoysia grass needs less cutting than St Augustine grass but, that said, is far harder to mow. If your lawn is of manageable size you may wish to buy one of those old fashioned manual lawn mowers with the whirring cylinder blades for zoysia grass rather than a gasoline engined rotary mower. Good exercise, too. If you have a large zoysia grass lawn and money is no object you'll be best served by a motorised roller-type lawn mower such as produced by the British company Atco. If it's good enough for Wimbledon and Wembley, I'm sure it will be good enough for your lawn.
by Lee Roach
It was one of those quiet, breathless nights when it seemed the world had slipped into neutral. We had taken a group of ten people on the Double Eagle over to Nippers on Guana Cay and were heading back to Treasure Cay. The folks at Nippers had invited everyone to a free party earlier to celebrate and promote the inauguration of a new ferry service to Guana Cay and it seemed for a while that all of that quiet world had attended!
On our way to the club some of us stopped off and paid a visit to where our dear friend Oswald Roberts was buried (Remember Ozzie's Bench on our corner, coming soon?) I don't suppose it's possible that I heard his quiet voice saying, "Have fun and have one for me!"
Mike Roberts and his crew, including Johnny, were doing a great job of serving the huge crowd of customers (except for some character who was behind the bar, getting in everyone's way and insulting the visitors with his crass behaviour and foul language. Who was that guy?) Thanks again to Mike and the ferry people. All of our guests enjoyed your hospitality, especially the first time visitors from Europe!
I was the designated boat driver (no drinking - yet!) and halfway back across Abaco Sound I noticed what a gorgeous night it had turned out to be, not a bit of wind and the water like glass. Since everyone else on the boat was in full party mode, with the tape player turning on its usual charm, I decided to stop the boat and engines to see what would happen. I'm sure you've heard that sometimes the best of times happen without any planning. Well, this was certainly one of them!
The moon had not yet appeared and without any surrounding lights there were so many stars visible - including the Milky Way - the sky looked like it was white-washed with a brush. We also saw numerous satellites, which the folks from Germany could hardly believe for they had never seen that kind of night sky. I held a hand light on the bottom for a few minutes and noted that we had absolutely no drift out in the middle of the Sound. I had never seen that before. I also noticed we could see the red light on the radio tower at Treasure Cay. Since I knew the boat could find its own way home from there, I finally joined the party.
We stayed in that one spot for over three hours enjoying the experience, arriving back at the villas some time after 2 am. No one complained about being up so late. If any of you can find a way to do this sometime, it's simply wonderful. Guana Cay is a great place to boat to and a great place to visit.
One of the oldest of plants, sharing its history with the cycads, is the leathery leafed Zamia. There are several varieties of Zamia that grow in the Abaco bush and the Florida Coontie is also a Zamia.
Zamias remain compact in growth and are good subjects for small gardens. They like sandy soil and full sun and have good salt tolerance. Zamias are grown from seeds that are produced in aggregate cones that form at the base of the plant. Indeed, the name Zamia is Latin for Pine Nut. The seeds are about an inch long and covered with a bright red coating.
The one drawback to Zamias in the garden is that they are slow growing. They do, however, add great texture to a tropical garden and are perfect for low maintenance specimen plantings.
Thank God the silly season is over. Wives can start sleeping with husbands again and office personnel can get on with work instead of politics.
We have a month of politicking every five years, which is quite enough. Pity the poor Americans who have to put up with almost two years of Presidential bickering every four years and Congressional husting every two years. Something is very wrong there. A month is quite long enough.
After being in The Bahamas for almost 30 years I was proud to be granted citizenship. That pride was quickly deflated when I heard for the first time that ugly phrase 'Paper Bahamian', to differentiate from a 'True-True Bahamian'.
Citizenship, for those not born in The Bahamas, is a gift. It is not earned. There is, however, a rigid screening process and Paper Bahamians have to prove their suitablility. Definitely something to be proud of, I would say, not something to be scorned. Unlike True-True Bahamians, I chose to apply to become a Bahamian.
I voted in my first general election in The Bahamas this year. Nobody, strange to say, seemed interested in my vote. None of the candidates or their agents knocked on my door. Nobody grabbed hold of my ear to convince me I should vote their philosophy.
In past elections when I could not vote, I was given tee shirts by the dozen. I could only wear them to go crabbing at night, of course, but the thought was there. This year, with my vote up for grabs, I couldn't get a tee shirt for love or money. Not even a paper tee shirt. It was only after I had voted and walked around town wiggling my purple thumb that, by a strange and convoluted process, I finally acquired one.
Now that I'm eligible to be hammed and turkeyed by politicians at Christmas, they're doing away with that custom too. Bad timing, Grumpy.
Although only in its early twenties, The Bahamas is showing great maturity. In 1992 the government changed hands in an orderly manner. The recent general election was conducted on both sides with dignity and focus on the issues. It all came down in the end to: "Are you better off now than you were five years ago?" It appears most Bahamians are.
There was doubt in some people's minds because the most noticeable advances had been made in the Out Islands while the majority of votes were in the hands of Nassau seats. The Out Islands have seen significant improvement in infrastructure and facilities and there was little doubt the majority there would support the FNM if they appreciated the effort made by Mr Ingraham's government to bring them fully into the Twentieth Century before the Twenty-First arrived.
Mr Ingraham made some bold brush strokes in his first term of office. He pushed through Local Government for the Out Islands after it had been kept on the back burner for over 20 years. Local Government was always something that was coming and it took many people by surprise when it 'done reach'. Perhaps those people had better listen to what our remarkable Prime Minister says. Unlike many politicians, he tells it like it is.
The floating voter, the one whose ballot is not tied to one political party or the other, must have been impressed with the FNM's first term of office - which Mr Ingraham delights in calling 'my watch'. His government made some mistakes in the early days - the re-routing of downtown Nassau traffic comes to mind - yet quickly acknowledged those errors of judgment and made adjustments. The master stroke of licensing vehicles by the owner's birthdate instead of April Fool's Day was an example of the FNM government's pragmatism. It is clear that The Bahamas is a far more respected member of the international community than ever before.
The Prime Minister is on record as saying he will only serve two terms of office. Good thinking. As Tennyson said: "The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils Himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world." It is crassness to think The Bahamas has only one man per generation - or one party - capable of directing the nation's welfare.
Many people will most remember Mr Ingraham in years to come for his effort to ameliorate the political divide between FNM and PLP. Polarisation is the normal basis of politics but Mr Ingraham, once a PLP minister, declared there would be no favouritism in the awarding of government contracts or in the treatment of individuals because of their political allegiance.
Whether we are PLP or FNM, we are all brothers and sisters. Now the election is over and we've all had our say, we can work together for five years. It is illogical to work against a government and its policies then declare them unsatisfactory. We must work for our government and support it. Only then can we vote for or against it with a clear conscience.
The nation has made its choice and given the Free National Movement government of Hubert Ingraham an overwhelming mandate. Every Out Island seat, with the exception of that held by Progressive Liberal Party leader Lynden Pindling, fell to the FNM. The whole of Grand Bahama became FNM territory. Out of 40 seats, the FNM won 34 and the PLP 6.
On Abaco, the attempt of Felix Sawyer to unseat his cousin, Prime Minister Ingraham, in the northern constituency proved somewhat quixotic. Maybe not even legally possible because of residential qualifications.
The battle for the southern constituency of Abaco was earmarked early on as a race to be watched. Two incumbents - Robert Sweeting and Edison Key - vied for the seat. Edison Key took out a series of prime back-page advertisements in the national newspapers to state his case. In the end there was only one issue on Abaco: Are you better off now? Edison Key threw down the challenge and Prime Minister Ingraham took it up. In the end, Robert Sweeting won a surprisingly comfortable victory in the south.
Both parties held energetic rallies during the month preceding the election but it was clear that, on Abaco, there was more confidence in the FNM camp. On Nomination Day the PLP supporters marched an danced past the FNM Centre and there was little more than light-hearted banter between the partisans. The rallies of 6th and 7th March in the Marsh Harbour area clearly set out the differences. The PLP rally at Abaco Central High School had all the major speakers on the platform to rise, one after the other, and speak their piece. Unfortunately, most of them left for a bathroom break at the same time.
The FNM rally at Yamaha Park had its speakers escorted onto the platform like contenders for a World Heavyweight Championship. They were then left alone to deliver their message. The television screen at the side allowed a close-up view of an otherwise distant figure. Very effective, very professional.
The disbursement of thousands of dollars to civil servants and the sudden surge of mechanical behemoths creating smooth roads out of tracks in Central Abaco - plus a resurfacing of the Airport Road in Marsh Harbour - obviously played a part in the outcome. If you've got Aces, you don't lay Jacks.
by Suzanne Young
Since Christmas the fortunate residents of and visitors to Treasure Cay have enjoyed perfect weather. The mood was reminiscent of the days when we used to joke about the same boring, gorgeous weather. Everything reflected the enthusiasm of the people. The Spinnaker was busy and getting good reviews. The Coco Bar served many sun-loving beachers and kept the mood of celebration with popular beach barbecues on Monday nights, accompanied by Chris Russell's own special entertainment, which is also a feature of the Tipsy Seagull during the week and on weekends.
Here at Mariner's Cove the pool was the centre of activities for the sun-worshippers and rumour-mongers, among them Judy and Corky Solether and Mary Lynn Banning, as well as the Kays, Bill Althans, Marvel Moore, Lucy Beckwith and many others. Meanwhile, Jerry Moore was probably holding court at his horseshoe pits and Mac Beckwith was slaving away in frigid Rochester, NY, preparing for the day when he could head south to continue his regimen of golf, jogging and swimming laps in the pool.
Mary and Paul Albery have become regular residents at Mariner's Cove. They arrived a month early for their duties at the Community Church.
Dolores Lukenda, the Martha Stewart of Mariner's Cove, has pampered her friends with her culinary expertise at one big cocktail party, small parties and an impromptu get-together for her daughter's birthday. Art is the straight man for his wife's fantastic sense of humour and is also the proud father of Cindy, a delightful young lady who likes to restore old houses, doing most of the work herself.
Mariner's Cove is fortunate to have renters who have become regular visitors who we hope will return for many years to come. Among them are Breck and Sandy Brown from Rockford, NJ. They have been coming for years like Paul and Marsha Merlo, who have finally succumbed to the charms of Treasure Cay and bought a share in Mariner's Cove.
It has been a pleasure to get acquainted with Dick and Vera Graham whose names were familiar to us as owners for years, but who for the first time have been able to come in the winter for a nice long stay. Vera expressed what so many of us feel about the richness of our contacts with the people of Treasure Cay, for they represent many geographical areas and nationalities.
No one city has ben more represented this year than Medford, OR, the home of Ralph and Nancy Quincy. If all their friends back home are like Dusty and Nancy Kline, Jim and Donna McKee, and Bob and Charlotte Karl, Medford should be on the list of the top ten best places to live.
The Butsons, Tom and Elizabeth, made one of their short visits. They can't spend much time here but they take an active interest in the workings of Mariner's Cove.
We hope Jane Dixon will enjoy a good long rest and rejuvenation after helping ailing relatives who benefitted from her caring attention. The same goes for Jenny Parsells. We all remember Art for his gentle manner and interest in doing more than his share for our complex. Anything he saw that needed doing, he just did. Now he is confined to a wheel chair, but out of sight is not out of mind. We miss him. We're glad to see you back, Jenny, for a short break.
Another pair of popular renters are Stig and June Jenson from Alpine, NJ. Stig can be seen every morning working out in the pool doing what he can to make the best of a chronic back problem. He is a model of patience and determination.
Gail and Tony Palmentari have a new pet goat. She is 5 months old Angelina Annabella who takes the place of Daisy Mae who just died at the age of 26.
There is a horseshoe tournament coming up pretty soon in our back forty, according to Ed and Marlene Fayak. Marlene has assumed the responsibility of acquiring the trophies to be presented at the party following the festivities.
Our very popular and much loved manager, Paula Thompson, and her husband Reg Knowles, have taken up residence at Mariner's Cove. We hope Paula and Reg will like being so close 24 hours a day as much as we enjoy having them here.
While Hildegarde snickered in the background, Sal Indelicato told me he wasn't here in December because he didn't have any money. Poor Sal!
Ed and Nina Beaver are now official owners, having bought Midge LaCorte's condo.
Too bad for all the girls who weren't here: they missed a handsome trio of young men from Toronto. John and Karla Scheel's son Jason brought his friends Alistair Stewart and Hahn Choi. They packed all the good activities into a week starting with Monday night at Chris the Burners beach barbecue, went to Green Turtle Club on the Youngs' Snap Two, loved the happy hour at the Tipsy, took advantage of sun-filled days on the beach, rented mopeds and rode bicycles out to the blue hole. They want the girls to know they'll be back next year. Is it no wonder that we all say we'll be back next year!
by Edna Bird
The Beach Villa Owners Association held its Annual Meeting at the Community on 4th March. It was established that a quorum was present as there was a very good turn out.
Bruce Barth, President of the Association, gave a summary of its activities and its progress with getting signatures on the petition with regards to a change in the Amenities Committee. This petition was developed at the request of the Bahamas Government and is proceeding to gain favour with many homeowners. So far there have been only two objections.
Next to speak was Deputy Island Administrator Jack Thompson. He was his usual amenable self. He told us how busy he was preparing for the imminent general election. He then took questions from the floor. One question he was asked was whether one could tote hand guns in Abaco and the answer was a very firm no. There seems to be no prohibition of mace or pepper spray. He then offered us any assistance we might need and asked to be excused as a plane was waiting to take him to Harbour Island.
The meeting then proceeded, very ably chaired by our President, Milton Fehrenbach, and followed the agenda as presented at the door. All Directors were present. A request to re-zone Lot 29, Block 165 Beach Villas into three separate parcels of land was approved. As there were no new nominations from the floor two new Directors, Bob Bird and Jim Feeney, were acclaimed.
The Manager's report indicated that things are in pretty good shape. Tile which was too slippery was delivered; it has been replaced and soon the Office and the Laundry will have new tile floors. A contract to pave the parking lots and roadways is soon to be let and should take place in August when the fewest number of owners are present. If you leave a car on these parking lots when you are absent, please leave a key with David Sands as they will need to be moved.
One item of note was that there was a break-in at one of the Villas. It took place around 4.30 am through a screen door. More caution is advised about leaving these doors open. Entrance was gained via the screen but the owner shouted at the burglar and he took off. The other crime of note was the fifth theft of an aeroplane at our airport.
Otherwise a good time has been enjoyed by many friends and neighbours around the area as we all revel in the wonderful weather.
Abaco's own poultry farm, Abaco Big Bird, was officially opened on 22nd February by Minister of Agriculture Pierre Dupuch. The farm has been in operation for over two years and provides all of Abaco's chickens as well as shipping to Freeport, Nassau and Eleuthera.
Owned by Lewis Pinder and his two sons, Rudy and Buddy, the venture was proclaimed a great success by Minister Dupuch who congratulated the entire Pinder family. Rudy Pinder is the General Manager and sister Kandy Pinder is the Bookkeeper.
Abaco Big Bird employs 40 people and produces 30,000 Arbor Petersen chickens each month. When processing starts the farm can handle 3,000 chickens a day. Fifteen people are employed in the processing stage.
Rudy Pinder thanked all of his staff for making Abaco Big Bird so successful, particularly Sheila Martin who hires the processing team and Lionel Johnson who is the Supervisor of the yard crew.
The Tropical Fruit and Garden Society of Abaco travelled on 22nd February to the deep south of Abaco to visit Ferris Pierson's garden in Sandy Point. Over 70 members were treated to a delicious and substantial lunch at Oeisha's Resort prepared by Ferris's wife, Donna, and Society members Marie Donker and Linda Doak.
The meeting was held in glorious sunshine on the Piersons' lawn and started with the regular plant auction. Ferris Pierson then spoke on his techniques for growing vegetables in sandy sea front lots. He led members around his large vegetable garden which had only been started in mid December but was already producing. The members were very impressed with the large number and quality of vegetables that ran from asparagus to zucchini. It was the finest vegetable garden in The Bahamas that any of the members had seen and included varieties such as white acorn squash that were new on the market.
The March meeting was held at the Community Centre in Treasure Cay. This was a first time occasion and 30 attended a lively and informative meeting. President Emeritus Joe Kern spoke on fruit trees suitable for the Treasure Cay area with particular emphasis on those that fruit during the winter months. Master gardener Ferris Pierson of Sandy Point gave the company tips on growing great vegetables and looking after flowering shrubs. Agricultural Officer for Abaco, Simeon Pinder, was also due to speak but was unfortunately unable to attend.
by Bill Durrell
Until the mid fifties there was no Great Abaco Highway. Dirt logging roads criss crossed much of the Abaco mainland. They were carved out so the cut timber could be hauled to waiting ships. There were a number of locations along the shores where the water was deep enough to accommodate the transport vessels and barges. If you wanted to go from Coopers Town to Marsh Harbour you travelled by boat, often powered by sail. Forget walking. The bush was impenetrable. School in all towns and villages, except Marsh Harbour, stopped at eighth grade.
The road linking Crown Haven to Sandy Point was constructed in the late fifties by Owens Illinois, a company doing the logging on the island. In the early nineties the road was paved. Many who travel this road today have no first hand knowledge of the days when driving at even forty miles per hour spelled certain disaster for the sturdiest of trucks and automobiles. Before the paving this writer travelled the Abaco Highway in Steinbeckian fashion and reported his adventures in a series titled "Down The Abaco Highway."
There are many established watering holes along this road that are worthy of mention. Three that will be covered today are like anchors located at either end and one new establishment which can found somewhat in the middle.
Pete and Gay's Guest House is located in the village of Sandy Point adjacent to the town dock. The proprietor, Reuben Dean, a little frail and well into his seventies, still holds court in the lounge area of his establishment. Always a man ahead of his time, Reuben had the first running water, first bathroom, and first place a person could buy lodging for the night in Sandy Point. His wife, Glacie, rules the kitchen. Eight rooms are ready for overnighters and are often booked by appreciative sportsmen hunting the elusive bonefish on some of the most beautiful flats on the island. Sandy Point is a settlement well worth seeing and a stop at Pete and Gay's will enhance the visit. Next door is the Seaside Inn, Restaurant & Bar which offers a step back in time to the days when Key West was vacated by Hemingway and his like. Leslie Adderley is the proprietor, ably assisted by his beautiful daughters. Calling ahead is advised if you want to eat at either place. Quenching your thirst requires no advance notice.
At the other end of the island, at Crown Haven, is the Chill Bar-Restaurant. Sort of like Noah waiting for the flood, the Chill Bar is waiting for an onslaught of customers. Maybe they will appear to fill the place and maybe they won't. Owner, Lorenzo Butler, known to all as "Bookie", doesn't seem to concerned. We had a great lunch, well prepared and presented even though the advice of calling ahead wasn't followed. Both the makings for lunch and the cook, Bobbie Russell, appeared shortly after we arrived. The setting is great and quite an unexpected find. Calling ahead if one wants to be fed is advised.
The drive to Crown Haven weaves through several small villages located on the northern part of the island. They are far enough away from the influence of tourism and development to have slowed down the inevitable changes. Driving through this area brings question to the advantages of progress.
Close to the halfway point of the highway near Marsh Harbour, snuggled in a corner of a hard to miss tangle of wrecked cars, old junks and who knows what else, one can find Kipco's place. Kipco is a tall figure of a man who can perhaps best be described as a Bahamian Rastafarian. Well spoken and bordering on eloquent, this grand figure of a man is an ongoing flow of entertainment.
While quenching my thirst at the newly licensed bar and restaurant (no food was evident), a man known as Jumbo entered the scene. Storytellers are a breed apart and Jumbo is one of the best I have encountered. Vacillating between spellbound attention and tears of laughter I listened, enthralled, to his yarns and jokes for over an hour. I heard bits of black Bahamian history woven into his tales that made me aware there was much to learn about this culture that has never been written down in the books available about The Bahamas.
by Charlie Lowe (age 89)
My daddy's folks' parents came from Scotland and my mother's folks came from England and my wife's folks' parents, one from England and one from Ireland. They came from South Carolina to Green Turtle Cay in 1783. They were some of the American Loyalists. When America fought Britain for independence, they would not fight against the King of England. The property on Great Abaco by the old airport is 220 acres of land that my great grandfather Benjames Saunders bought from the British government. That was 176 years ago and we've only sold 15 acres. I am farming on the land same as my great grandfather did.
My father's name was Jerome and my mother's was Alice. They had ten children: six sons - Basil, Cecil, Harold, Charles, Williard and Floyd - and four daughters - Geneva, Nellie, Naomi and Pauline. Seven died. Two sons and one daughter are alive: Charles, Floyd and Nellie. I have two sons and one daughter, six grandsons, five granddaughters, three great granddaughters and two great grandsons.
I remember the First World War. I was six years of age when it started and ten when it ended. My daddy was a farmer and during the war we were all right for food. You had to farm to get by during the war. The freight boat would make two trips per month to Nassau and when she returned to Green Turtle Cay she would bring a few barrels of flours. If you went to the store, you were only allowed a few pounds for each family. If you had small children, you would bake a couple of loaves of bread for them and the adults would have to eat sweet potato bread, cassava bread or corn bread. It was no other way out. It was lots of sea food around at that time. Fish was three cents a pound. Now it is $1.50 a pound.
During the winter we would go to the farm and spend a month or two for my daddy to do his farm work. It was so many bugs in the summer he would go from day to day to reap his produce. I remember at the farm on Sundays my mother would say "Come in the house. We are having prayers." My parents were the best. We had fruit near the house and our parents would not let us pick any on Sundays.
In those days there were no sodas around. So, if we wanted something sweet we would chew a sugar cane. I remember when our daddy was coming to Green Turtle Cay to buy grocery or see his produce. Before he would leave for Green Turtle Cay he would a mark a certain area in the grove and he would say: "I want this area cleaned when I get back." Sometimes he would be gone five or six hours. I was in no hurry when he first left but when it was time for him to come back I had to make sure it was finished.
I remember on Saturdays he would bring a bundle of sugar canes from the farm. It was three of us and our daddy would divide the sugar cane between us. We were satisfied the way our daddy did it. We grew lots of sugar cane on an island by the name of Monjack. We crushed the sugar cane by a wooden mill made by my grandfather. We made syrup out of the juice. My grandfather made sugar at Monjack. He had to turn the mill by hand. My daddy had a horse that pulled the mill around. Later, my daddy ordered an iron mill from the United States. My father and I grew lots of watermelons. Sometimes we would bring a sailboat loaded with watermelons, sugar cane and other fruit to Green Turtle Cay for the market.
I was eight years old when I started school. I did not want to go. The teacher sent the police for me and when the police came down the main street, I went the back street. When I was in school we had books come from England called Royal Readers. We did not have the grades the way you call them today. We had small books with three or four letter words. When you knew how to read out of those books you passed to the first grade, primary it was called. We had books up to the 6th grade. When you passed the sixth year they said you were in standard 6A, and when you passed the seventh year they would say you were in standard 6B. If you passed the eighth year you were in standard 6C, and so on.
The inspector would come from Nassau once a year to inspect the children. The worst day I had in school all my school years, the inspector examined me alone. The reason he did it, we were ready to go to the farm early next morning and the inspector came late that evening before. My daddy asked him if he would do him a favour and examine me early the next morning so he could make an early start to go to his farm. He was kind enough to do what my daddy asked him. If you are in your class with other children you can hide behind some other child. But I was alone and it was not pleasant, but I made it okay.
When the inspector would walk into the school the teacher would calm down. The teachers were not allowed to use the cane that day. On a normal day the teacher would send one of the big boys to cut a bundle of switches and if you got two or three cuts in your hand on a cold day that sure hurt, so everyone was afraid of the cane. I left school when I was 14 years of age.
When I was 15 years of age, my brother-in-law wanted my daddy to move to Palm Beach. So he came to Green Turtle Cay. My mother and my brother and two sisters went to Palm Beach with our brother-in-law. Our daddy did not go with us. He had a horse and he had to get rid of him before he could leave. We arrived in Miami on Saturday and on the Tuesday the law was passed that no more aliens would be allowed. We stayed in Palm Beach for about two months with our sister. Then we had to come back to Green Turtle Cay. My sister always blamed that red horse for us not being in the United States.
One of my brothers was mate of a dredge in Miami. I worked on the dredge with him for a few weeks. They had street cars in Miami at that time. A couple of nights we went ashore to the bridge and took a street car down town to go to the show. I remember some of the songs those girls were singing still. It was no port of Palm Beach. At that time Riviera Beach was just a fishing camp. The people that settled Riviera went from Guana Cay and Marsh Harbour.
Many years ago my brother Harold was crawfish inspector at Grand Cay. My brother Floyd was there also. We operated a grocery store. We lobstered, fished and turtled also. I remember when there were only a few small thatched huts in Walkers Cay. Now they have a hotel and marina. I have shark fished at Sandy Cay, Grand Bahama. One day we caught a ray which measured eleven and a half feet wide. My wife and I sailed on a boat with a man and wife and son awhile. His name was Ernest Scheulty. He bought shark skins and shipped them to New York. I built a house in Marsh Harbour, sold it for $10,500 and it sold not long ago for $60,000.
I worked in Nassau as a carpenter 62 years ago. I farmed at Hill Creek for a while, moved house from Hill Creek to the mainland near Treasure Cay Airport, moved from there to Green Turtle Cay, moved from Green Turtle Cay to the mainland near the Ferry Dock, bought lobster for two seasons as far as Crown Haven, ran ferry boats for five months and worked for customs.
by Betsy Bracey
The migration has begun. What was a sleepy village last week has burgeoned into a fast paced resort town. Our swimming pools and docks are filled with enthusiastic little people and our chaise lounges with colourful big people, the predominant colour being red!
It was super to visit with Patsy Anderson, over from Perth, Australia, for a few weeks, and to welcome back Jan Burchfield, the first family member down for their annual March get together. Fabrizio and Paola Ghersel arrived from Limena, Italy, for a month of sand and sun while Carl Durante flew across from Hutchinson Island for a week of golf and visits to long time, seldom seen friends. Carl has owned property on Abaco since the mid sixties but rarely comes down these days. It was a treat to see him looking so well and after 27 holes, I can promise you, playing so well. He's the only person I know who comes home with more golf balls than when he starts!
We sometimes forget to mention our regular residents so let me say, for those of you who wonder how they are, that Joyce Turpin is as energetic as ever, still hostessing her early evening get togethers and having a lovely time with Blossom. Mort and Kay Kaplan are very fit and golfing all the time. Kay sure can hit a ball straight! Bud and Nan Camferdam are happily settled and playing host to a multitude of grandbabies. Bud doesn't seem to have a free toy or a free minute. Nan and George Gregory have had great sailing weather this winter and several side trips to reef islands where they enjoy meeting up with long time sailing buddies and winning their fair share of inter-island races. Director Bill Glasgow and Jean still make their Sunday brunch trip taking along a bevy of friends, while Director Jerry Hill and BJ hold up their end with boating, fishing and lots of golf for Jerry.
We are blessed with marvellous weather and great fishing. One couple went deep sea fishing on their first afternoon in town and hooked into a marlin which didn't release them for two hours. My friend couldn't move her shoulders for days but said it was worth it. Besides fishing we have many owners taking advantage of our much improved golf course and scoring better than ever now that the greens are smooth. The tennis crowd had to post sign-up sheets once again and, with such lovely weather, are able to play all day long.
We were delighted to have a real honest to goodness tennis champ in our midst this month - Martina Navratilova. Martina is a nine time singles winner at Wimbledon, a four time winner of the US Open and holder of 167 career titles (more than any man or woman ever) and a perfectly delightful person, as are her mother and father whom we were pleased to meet. The courts of Royal Palm have never before hosted a parent of tennis royalty but Janna Navratilova, a fine player in her own right, graced our courts as guest of Kathleen Draper and they had lots of fun.
Royal Palm Director Andy Colson chaired the biggest and best golf tournament our course has ever seen on Saturday 15th March. The Ides of March was not bad luck for Andy who invited Martina to play and - guess what - she said yes and proceeded to win the prize for ladies' longest drive! We all wish we had seen that one. We hope Martina and her folks, along with 16 year old Katie - the smallest puppy dog that ever was - will visit Treasure Cay frequently.
The next several weeks will be the busiest of the year at Royal Palm and we hope that you are among our visitors.
Representative students from schools in central and south Abaco met at Abaco Central Secondary School, Murphy Town, to observe presentations by Bahamian and US drug enforcement agencies under the theme 'Say "No" to drugs - Let's promote healthy lifestyles'. An earlier programme had been held at SC Bootle Secondary School in Coopers Town for schools in northern Abaco.
A helicopter from the DEA landed on the school's track and field area as the US Ambassador to The Bahamas, Sidney Williams, and party entered the school gates to be welcomed by Principal Royann Swain.
The programme was introduced by the District Superintendent for Abaco, Jackson McIntosh. Speakers included Katherine Stewart-Gibson of the US Embassy, Special Agent Steve Mitchell, ex-Patriots and Redskins footballer Rickie Harris, and the Ambassador. Also in the panel were Senior Island Administrator Everette Hart and Deputy Administrator Jack Thompson.
Rickie Harris, who is now a football coach at Howard University in Washington DC, told of his addiction while a professional football player and spoke on 'Drug Awareness and the Educational Imperative'.
The highlight for the students was a line up of children and adults to be inspected by a black Labrador from the K-9 Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Teacher Peter Sexton and student Tecuma Sherman were each given suspicious material for the occasion. True to form, the dog sniffed out their 'contraband' and identified them as caught in the possession of illicit drugs.
by Neal Doten
English is full of exceptions and hard to learn... even if you grew up with it!
Last month I introduced this segment in the Abaco Journal and gave you an idea of the purpose and scope of the articles. There are two other themes that you will see in the background each month.
First, writing is an art, not a science - there is not always just one answer. There are basic, generally accepted rules of punctuation and grammar and these will serve as the basis for each article. The "art" of writing also refers to each person's unique writing style. Everyone has a different style and that's good! Different styles lend variety and fun to reading and writing.
Second, work smart, not hard - learn to use simple techniques to make writing easier and fun. I will give you procedures and techniques. Pro- cedures are accepted practices or rules, while techniques are new ideas or shortcuts that provide the same results.
So, watch for these concepts as you read each article....
Writing, Words, and the English Language
Writing requires you to spell words and then put them in certain combinations that - hopefully - results in the communication of an idea. Sounds pretty basic...even boring. BUT, it doesn't have to be! You can have fun writing if you just give it a chance. Here's one way you can use all that creativity stuffed inside and just waiting for a chance to get out!
Play with words by writing limericks. (Any poets out there???). A limerick is a poem of five lines where lines one, two and five rhyme, and lines three and four rhyme. Here are some examples:
On a cruise they serve great food.
If seasick, you're not in the mood.
In the moment of dread,
Just dash for the head.
Don't lose it in public, that's crude.
There was a young lady of Guam
Who said, "The water's so warm
I'll swim for a lark!"
Along came a shark.
Let us all sing the 93rd Psalm.
Now, if you aren't up to playing with words, don't feel bad. The English language is tough to learn and use correctly...even for those who grow up with it! English is hard because of all the exceptions to the rules - it's almost as bad as having no rules!
For example, verbs don't work the same way every time. The present and past tenses require different spellings (eg, bite/bit, swim/swam, buy/bought). The vowels are a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y ( as in fly, both a noun and a verb). Now, combine spelling and pronunciation variations as in slough vs rough, laugh vs calf...and it becomes a real nightmare!
There is something that can help you through this minefield. It's available in book form or on your computer (...computer-users stay tuned - there's more for you in future articles!). The "something" is a dictionary or your computer's spell check.
There is "Good News" and "Bad News". The "Good News" is that finding the the word in the dictonary will give you the pronunciation and the definition. The "Bad News" is that the spell check will only tell you if the word is spelled correctly... no help with pronunciation and no way to tell if it's the write word!
Don't give up the ship! Writing can be fun and a very effective way to get your ideas across. With a little effort and the right tools, you can learn to write well and present yourself professionally. Just like any other skill, writing has to be practised. Hang in there!
To wrap up this month's article, here are some examples from writers who need "just a little more practice" with English.
(From Richard Lederer's, More Anguished English
Sign in a Beirut hotel:
"Ladies are kindly requested not to have their babies in the cocktail bar"
Signed in a Mexico City hotel:
"We are sorry to advise you by an electric disperfect in the generator master of the elevator we have the necessity that don't give service at our distingushable guests."
Sign on a Mexico City hotel:
"Guests are advised that all fruits served have been washed in water passed by the management."
Local artists are invited to display and sell their wares free of charge at the Local Bahamian Arts & Crafts Show in Central Park, Treasure Cay, on 21st May from 4 to 8 pm. Held on the 'day off' of the Annual Teasure Cay Billfish Tournament, this event is free to the public.
The organisers are looking for a wide variety of crafts to be displayed including painted shells, pottery, jewellery, paintings, drawings, handbags, clothing, baskets, hats, leather goods and more. Those who wish to have a display may call Avis Miller, Treasure Cay Resort and Marina, by 18th May at 365-8535 to reserve a free display space.
The Arts & Crafts Show is a new feature of the Treasure Cay Billfish Tournament, an event held from 18th - 23rd May that is expected to draw more than 40 boats from the US and The Bahamas.