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ABACO TOURIST OFFICE UPDATE
COMPUTER FOR PRIMARY SCHOOL
HEAVENLY SHADES OF NIGHT...
ABACO JOURNAL BASH
SAND BANK YACHT CLUB NOTES
TROPICAL FRUIT & GARDEN SOCIETY OF ABACO
WRITE GUD... YOU ARE WHAT YOU WRITE!
ROYAL PALM FRONDS
A VISIT TO EXCITING INAGUA
SEE US IN GLORIOUS MONOCHROME!
Bahamians have only one vote and that is cast for the person they wish to represent them as Member of Parliament in the House of Assembly, Nassau. The leader of the party which wins a majority of the 40 seats in Nassau, Grand Bahama and the Out Islands becomes Prime Minister and is invited by the Governor-General to form a government.
Two seats will be contested on Abaco. The dividing line between the North Abaco and South Abaco constituencies runs through Marsh Harbour. Prime Minister Ingraham will contest the North Abaco seat on behalf of the FNM. In the south it will be PLP's incumbent Edison Key challenged by Robert Sweeting, whose previous seat in Hope Town was eradicated by the Boundaries Commission.
Schools are closed on Election Day because the buildings are used as polling stations. Liquor stores will also be closed for the day and no alcoholic beverages can be sold until the polling stations are closed at 6 pm.
Shortly after the General Election announcement the FNM held a rally at Ingraham Park, Coopers Town, on 14th February, at which the Prime Minister was cheered by well over a thousand supporters. He was clearly at home as he joked and conversed with members of the crowd.
The Prime Minister stated that one more term was needed to finish the job he had started four and a half years ago. He left no doubt this would be the last time he ran for public office. Also of great importance to the people of Abaco was the Prime Minister's announcement that a 250 room hotel would be built at Treasure Cay.
From 6th - 8th January the Abaco Tourist Office welcomed 62 travel agents from Experience '97 on familiarisation trips to Abaco. They visited hotels on Green Turtle Cay, Treasure Cay, Marsh Harbour, Hope Town and Different of Abaco Resort.
Burt Wolf Bahamas Shoot did the first segment for Mr Wolf's show 11th - 16th January featuring the island of Abaco. Mr Wolf and his crew, along with Evelyn Deluca of Bozell Public Relations, did the scouting for his show and then returned later in the month to do the final video taping segments.
A crew from WCSC-TV (CBS) from Charleston, South Carolina, visited Abaco on 19th January. Featured in their shooting were George Wilmore and Mattheson Cooper. They were filmed diving conchs from the water, breaking the conch from the shell and then making conch salad. Both men were extensively interviewed and the group also did a tour of Hope Town.
Cable Bahamas is presently in Abaco doing their infrastructure segment. The island of Abaco should all be linked up with Cable Bahamas by March of this year. Abaconians, as well as our second home owners and winter residents, are all excited about this new venture.
The Green Turtle Junkanoo Committee and Ministry of Tourism, in their efforts to improve and enhance the already rich culture of our islands, have come up with 'Turtle Splash' - a cultural event. It is designed to promote and involve all our visiting guests. It commenced on the basketball court in New Plymouth on Friday 7th February and lasted from 7.30 - 10 pm. Many visitors and local people participated and the evening was a great success.
In a ceremony held on 4th February, Principal Felamease Sawyer received a Pentium 120-drive computer on behalf of the school from Oswald Roberts (Manager) and Melissa Roberts (Chief Branch Accountant) of Solomon Brothers. Also in attendance were Mr Malcolm Spicer of Abacom, District Superintendant Jackson McIntosh, staff members of local schools and the Marsh Harbour Primary School prefects.
The students had collected vouchers from their parents and other sources to the amount of purchases made from Solomon Brothers. Every $350 spent earns one computer point. 600 computer points represent a fully operational system with a printer and penty of accessories. 725 computer points gets the addition of a CD Rom, while 925 computer points earns top of the line equipment including a modem and Internet capabilities. Solomon Brothers have 15 computers available for schools on Abaco and the next drawing for eligible schools will be on 1st May.
The proprietor of Abacom Ltd, Mr Malcolm Spicer, builds his own computers from the latest premium systems available and is able to sell to the Bahamian public at close to US prices. He also services all the machines he sells.
We'll see a lunar eclipse on 23rd March around midnight. It will not be a total eclipse but close enough at 92%.
Any vegetables sown during the month of March will have to be those that can withstand our summer heat and humidity. Okra, red beans, black beans, blackeye peas and watermelons are among the candidates. Some varieties of tomato and sweet pepper will survive the summer months, but hardly flourish.
If pigeon peas are sown now they will give a harvest early next year. The attractive shrubs make fine windbreaks for other vegetables when planted near the northern property line.
March sees the beginning of spring and an acceleration of growth. Judicious pruning of shrubs for shape will be rewarded by rapid new shoots.
It's a great time of year to take cuttings from your favourite flowering shrubs. Most cuttings are best placed where you want them to grow but can be grown in pots for transplanting later. Cuttings should be about 10 inches long and taken from last year's growth, not recent growth. Most of the leaves should be stripped off. The lower 4 inches should be pressed into the soil and the area kept from drying out but not too moist.
Many fruiting shrubs can be propagated by air layering. Ring the bark immediately below a node and apply a foot square sheet of aluminium foil containing a handful of moist sphagnum moss. Work the moss around the cut and seal it off by twisting the ends of the foil. When the moss is in place you can add a further covering of plastic sheeting tied with twine to strengthen the system. In 2 to 3 months, roots should have developed from above the ringed area. The mossed limb can be cut away from the parent plant and planted individually.
The venue was the deck at Royal Palms and the agenda was either get to know each other or get to know each other better. Seeing the Abaco Journal pays its correspondents at 100% below the minimum wage it was only fitting the Journal coughed up for the wherewithal. Even the cooking was overtime at the same rate but you would never have guessed it. Delicious quiche squares, Parmesan ham with a selection of mustards from 'Pardon me...' to volcanic, miniature patties, a lovely ring cabbage salad, garbanzo salad, rolls and butter, a variety of cheesecakes - all in quantities that defied final consumption.
The libations included bloody marys made to doyenne ZoŽ Durrell's specifications, which were excellent. Rum punch and soft drinks were also on hand, as was JS Bach playing gently in the background. He wasn't paid, either.
Varieties of Cassia that can be seen are the Golden Rain tree, Crown of Gold tree and Bronze Shower tree.
The Cassia we feature this month is the Candle Bush (Cassia alata). It is a sprawling low shrub with large pinnate leaves that are so attractive that the plant could be grown for its foliage alone. But the crowning glory of the Candle Bush is, of course, its flower spikes that give the plant its name. They are borne aloft on stalks that curve gracefully to hold each bright golden candle upright.
The Candle Bush is popular in gardens as a specimen plant. Unlike most Cassias, the Candle Bush bears year round. After blooming and seeding it starts another cycle. Plants are easily grown from seed.
They're back again....With their usual exquisite timing, Crown Enterprises (the carnival to everybody else) settled into Marsh Harbour and established The Place To Be for our teen and pre-teen populace.
I have no problems with carnivals or fairs. I do have a problem with Abaco carnivals held at the beginning of February. I may not be a normal person, but I am an average person. I have three daughters living at home where the national average is 3.6 children. (It's that missing 0.6 that makes the mess around the house, of course.) Being normal kids, they want to go to carnival.
Problem is, they had a Christmas. The end of January is when you make the payment on the nuts that sat around in glass bowls over the festive season. And their shells that got strewn around the house and Daddy found with his bare feet when padding towards the coffee machine in the early hours of the morning and woke the whole house up with his un-Daddy-like utterances.
There were more than nuts to pay for, of course. The future of international trade negotiations and diplomacy for The Bahamas is safe if my daughters are put in charge. "Daddy, if you buy me this then it could be part of my birthday present, but only if I still have the party and you buy me the other things you promised me for Christmas like that dress which I've already picked out at Seventeen Shop and Nick says you don't have to pay him for right away because he knows you, and the Penny Hardaway shirt that you said will show my breasts - I'll wear a tee-shirt underneath it all the time - and that Dallas Cowboys towel from Spooners, and the stereo you've been promising me since I was in primary school, and the Tupac Shakur CD which doesn't have the words Mummy rows about, and...." That was just one daughter. I should have applied for the United Nations Secretary job when Double Boutros Ghali quit.
So January is spent penny-pinching around Marsh Harbour while the Christmas Sword of Damocles hangs over me. People who manage local companies that give me credit suddenly appear all over the place. "Hello!" says my bank manager as we cross paths in the Loyalist Shoppe. "How are you these days?" Well, if his clerks haven't turned on the panic button and rushed to the office waving my account statement, then I'm OK.
Just when you think that if you eat baloney and grits all through February and tuna casserole every day in March you'll be close to straight (though 1st March is my birthday, so I have to head to Road Traffic with my magic cheque book, let's call it April close to straight so long as nobody gets sick), along comes that conversation with Daddy that sends chills through his bones. The three of them come together to deliver their glad tidings so they can all enjoy the look on Daddy's face.
"Guess what's coming?"
They don't have to say any more. That bloody Carnival. If it's the FNM that brought it here this year, I'm voting PLP.
It's not that I'm against having fun. Back during the latter part of the last century when I was a boy (according to my kids whose Mathematics is not strong and feel sure Queen Victoria must have been my monarch) carnivals were held in summer and I used to enjoy them. My parents sometimes gave me a whole shilling to spend. Summertime and the living is easy, et cetera. Winter carnivals? FEBRUARY carnivals? Abaco must be at the dog-end of a long list.
It's no use saying no, you can't go. "Everybody has been. We're the only ones that haven't!"
"You went last year. The rides are all the same." Nice try, Daddy. They remind me that Beethoven sonata experiences get repeated by me even though they are generally drowned out my Michael Failed Opera Singer Bolton and Whitney Shriek Houston from the other end of the house.
So, as Ray Charles sang: "Here We Go Again..." The kids go to carnival. I know better, but the root word of 'carnivore' seems to match 'carnival' (money eater). Meanwhile, my creditors imagine they see me but I seem to melt away. There's another Ray Charles song: "I'm Busted!"
Nothing wrong with this, of course. It's a free country. But when car owners provide a ride for their neighbour's guests we enter a grey area. When does friendliness end and hacking begin?
The taxi drivers are there to provide transportation services. Some do not get a single fare on occasional days. Business is definitely down from 'the good old days' but the cost of bringing up children has not decreased.
Perhaps a good formula would be to go to the airport and pick up your guests when they come. From the time the plane lands to your guests getting through immigration and customs is only about twenty minutes. But when they go back you have to deliver them an hour early for their check-in time. Do you really enjoy those hours waiting at the airport? When it is announced that their plane will be late, do you say "Good - a few more minutes together!" Of course not. Send them back by taxi and hit the golf course or the beach. Or just revel in having your home all to yourself again. If your guests were worth having, they'll understand.
John and I returned to Treasure Cay from the Minnesota tundra on 2nd January, just a little late to submit my January column for publication. I can't tell you how good it was to be back here, despite the fact that we left our family to suffer the 60 degree below zero wind chills and the 40 inches of snow that had deluged us during our three week sojourn there.
We returned to some of the finest January weather we have ever experienced during our quarter century of visiting this paradise. It didn't take us long to get back in the swing of things, with a seeminglly endless round of boat trips and post Christmas parties.
We were so sorry to have missed an exciting event which occurred on New Year's Eve, a few days before we got back. Bill and Claire Regan were preparing for a party to be held at their house that night when a telephone call revealed Betsy Sutherland bearing an unusual request. She asked if she and Woody Bracey, who had proposed immediate marriage to Betsy on the previous evening, could be joined in matrimony that afternoon on the Regan's deck which overlooks Treasure Cay's finest stretch of beach. The Regans agreed and the deed was done, officiated by Bishop Henfield from Dundas Town. It was only three weeks earlier that Betsy had forecast to me that she and Woody would marry in the spring! You can be sure that the happy couple were the toast of the Regans' party that evening!
Among those who had returned during our absence were Tom and Helen Bourne, Ray and Audrey Baker-Romain, and Jerry and Helen Shelly. Roy and Audrey have since returned to their home in Bosham, England. The Shellys will leave us for Toronto in a few days. Fortunately, the Bournes plan to stay until well into April. It was good to see them all looking so well and relaxed. Chris Fowler had also returned from his home in Jersey, Channel Islands.
The floodgates of those returning from spending the holidays elsewhere have since opened wide. The list includes Alex and Helen von Svoboda, Nelson and Patty Radwan, Bill and Myrna Floyd, Bil and Ruth Nymark, Buddy Gerald and Linda, John and Margaret Bahen, Jerry and Judy Beck, Nancy Darnell, Peter and Vivienne Van de Weil, Keith and Peggy McCord, Bob and Trudy Collins, Bill and Dorothy Rodgers, Brian and Nadine Sheehe, Cynthia Vernall, and Art and Gladys Wright. Welcome back to all of you!
It was especially good to see Dairell and Anna Snapp back for a week or two after Dairell's recent surgery. Haste ye back, fully recovered, Dairell. It has been a special pleasure for me, since I returned, to play the new Baldwin piano which Dairell and Anna recently, and very kindly, donated to the Community Centre.
There has been a hectic round of birthday anniversaries and accompanying celebrations since we returned: Chris Fowler, George Stern and Keith McCord in January, and Roy Baker-Romain, Dorothy Rodgers and Carolyn Stern, so far, in February.
The big Lacey news is the arrival on 3rd February of our third grandchild and second grandson, Justin Furcich, who weighed in at 7lb 12oz and stretched the tape at 22 inches. Justin's Mom (our daughter, Erika) and her husband, Steve, have been frequent visitors to Treasure Cay, where they spend a large part of their time scuba diving the reefs. They now reside in Singapore, so their trips may be less frequent than in the past.
The headline news since my last report is Bil Nymark and Milt Fehrenbach's narrow escape from a watery end on 25th January when they went fishing outside Great Guana in a 16-foot flat-bottomed boat which was capsized by a wave. They hung onto the boat for nearly three hours while drifting out to sea, nudged by a westerly wind. They waved to several boats which were fishing the deep waters beyond the reef but with no luck until one boat, manned by Keith McCord, Carolyn Stern and Dave and Jean Buchanan, spotted and rescued them in 200 feet of water as darkness began to fall. That must have been a harrowing experience for both the rescued and the rescuers, but all's well that ends well!
John and I will soon return to our family for a couple of weeks, to help Erika out with our grandson. I hope that I make it back in time to write my March happenings column. If not, I'll be in touch with you the issue after. Cheerio for now!
February is starting out with many good things. The first that comes to mind is of more concern to our friends back home. The message from Punxsatawney Phil is that spring will arrive on schedule. This was the twelfth time on over 100 years that the famous groundhog has not seen his shadow. He sure would have seen it here at Treasure Cay, but we don't care.
The Quincys are holding forth on their upper deck receiving and dispensing news, rumours and what's happening within their range of view. We're so lucky to be next door. They announce sightings of dolphins, frigate birds and any other marina arrivals, giving us the opportunity to share in their observations. That's a whole bundle of good things.
Then there's the arrival of the Quincys' Oregon friend, Nancy (formerly Ross), who is showing Treasure Cay off to her husband, Dusty Kline, and vice versa.
The Petere Finellis, Fred Schatzmans and Bernie Greenspans - the New Jersey gang - encountered all kinds of weather but managed to get in some successful fishing trips, Abaco excursions and other popular pastimes. They wound up their daytime activities with catch-of-the-day dinners and fun and games. They represent the very spirit of Treasure Cay - good friendship and good things to do.
Tom and Peggy Larder are still running back and forth between Mariner's Cove and their new house. Tom's favourite diversion is to go bonefishing with Al Shew. Meanwhile, Ginny Shew enjoys the boating and reading by the pool. She's also a whiz on the tenis court. And Peggy keeps running back and forth, ad infinitum.
Ed and Pat Bladow, retired teachers from Wisconsin, are on their way to Arizona where they have bought a retirement home. They were here for a great five weeks with various guests, the last being Ed's brother Don (and Bonnie), who are driving home to Alaska.
Jerry Moore is not so dumb. He gave Marvel a bread machine for Christmas. Now he enjoys fresh bread, bagels and croissants every day. That doesn't leave time for much else after golf. That's not fair, Jerry. Santa should have put your name on it. Their neighbours Fred and Ann Zulauf, horseshoe and golf buddies, are looking forward to a visit from their daughter and family late in February. Roxanne Zulauf had a beautiful wedding on the beach about five years ago to Joel Witter. Now they will be back with their two children, Jake and Page.
Lucy's Rochester golfing friends are familiar visitors to the lady golfers while Mac is back in Upstate New York. Her brother Herb, and Pat Ross, have just arrived for a long stay.
If all the students at the Treasure Cay Primary School and SC Bootle Central Secondary School have teachers like the two Mariner's Cove teacher residents, they are in good hands. Colleen Knowles and Bridget Cooleen are fine examples of teachers who try to make school work exciting for their pupils.
You'd think Dick and Sheila Haag would have seen it all by now, but they have just returned to Treasure Cay brimming with enthusiasm about their trip to the Galapagos Islands. Dick was especially fascinated with the boobies - birds, that is - that are spectacular divers from great heights to catch their fish.
There's just no end to the variety of activities that we all enjoy in beautiful Treasure Cay.
Christmas and the New Year arrived with the most fantastic weather enjoyed for at least ten years. Fmilies spent three sybaritic weeks of sunny hot days with little wind. The salubrious evenings were filled with happy hours spent on screened verandas or out on patios. No one needed a wrap and the no-seeums were conveniently absent.
Villa owners and visitors were pampered at a pool cocktail party. About eighty attended, which included many children, and the Spinnaker catered the finger food which was delicious. The Board did the honours and David and Ella Sands were their usual helpful selves.
Harriet and Randall Cognetta are very brave. They are having an extension built on one of their villas while they are away. It should be very beautiful facing right out to Chub Rocks and No Name Cay. Rumour has it they plan to sell two of their villas. Write and set us straight, Harriet.
Carol Deloach has been here for a visit. She first came thirty-five years ago with her parents who were flying over. They put down for a rest stop and loved it so much she has been coming back ever since. She has disputed my cat pedigrees! This is most disconcerting but as Una Taylor isn't here to back me up we'll have to take Carol's word for who's who.
A sultry romance ends in a double wedding! One wedding, for family only, was held by candle light on Treasure Cay beach. Later it was celebrated at the Tipsy in a wild and wonderful way. Fancine and Bill Durrell made their vows to each other in the presence of members of both their families. The second, and official, wedding took place on 11th January in the picturesque gardens of the New Pymouth Inn surrounded by a few of their friends. The Bride was dressed in ankle-length ivory lace and wore a garland of baby's breath in her hair. Bishop Johnny Lowe officiated and the bride's daughter, Natasha, gave her to Bill. Bob Gettinger was Best Man. Quite a few damp eyes were evident as it was such a romantic and touching ceremony. Champagne and finger food were served on the patio and a toast to the newly marrieds was given by Bob Gettinger. Next the smiling couple danced a romantic court waltz. Guests were treated to crawfish dinner, which was delicious, and a cake that was most daintily decorated by Elliot Sawyer with flowers to match the bridal bouquet.
On a less happy note we were sorry to hear that Tom Kamp suffered a heart attack then underwent triple by-pass surgery. We miss the Kamps down here and wish Tom a speedy recovery. We were also saddened to hear that Dr Sainz' son was lost in a car accident and our condolences go out to him.
A near tragedy was averted by the good eyesight of Dave Buchanan, who was skippering McCord's boat. Bil Nymark's boat, with Milton Fehrenbach on board, was swamped. The accident occurred when the prop snarled in the anchor rope. When the boat turned over, Bil was forced to dive for life jackets which were tied under the seats. He and Milton managed to tie some lines on the hull so they could climb up on the very slick bottom - no mean feat. The two were in the water for three hours and getting very tired. They could see a boat away in the distance so Bil kept waving a life jacket hoping the colour would attract the boat. Eventually, Dave Buchanan saw them and came to their rescue. A very dicey situation was avoided because Milt had decided he'd spend the night in the water as it was warmer than the wind on wet clothes but all of us could only think that the large fish feed at night and the two fishermen would really have been in more danger than from hypothermia. Everyone feels relieved and grateful that we didn't lose two super men from our community. The boat was rescued off Whale Cay next day.
It's just great to see Peter Masse back. He had a rotten session with ill health but he seems well and looks far more handsome as a result of weight loss. The Lekkers' son and daughter have been to visit and the Lotts' daughter was here on her honeymoon. The garden there is flourishing. Not only does Dick know what he is doing but they have a wonderful exposure in their situation.
Fehrenbachs' two daughters and their sons in law and children spent a happy Christmas and New Year's Day together and one granddaughter is old enough to take in the scene at the Tipsy Seagull, so the family spent some time there.
Mrs Meisener is furniture painting and the Birds' house is being painted from stem to gudgeon so soon will look pristine. The latter is courtesy of Lyndon Laroda who comes when he says he will, paints when he says he will, and doesn't make a horrendous mess. He has a cute assistant named Lamont who is very thirsty but does a fantastic job of cutting in.
Larry and Patti Dempsey are back and they are renting at Chases' place but working on the garden at 685 and will soon be bathing that villa in TLC when the deed of conveyance comes. They should make good neighbours for the Feeneys who love Alaska and spent many years there. Larry practises neuro-surgery in Anchorage. Feeneys just missed them so they couldn't compare any more deep north experiences this trip.
Birdsongs stole my (not really) cats and then they didn't look after them as they let them get stuck in Maridore's addition! Tasty fish tempted the cats down out of the rafter level and now they are happily esconced once more at Birdsongs'.
Norm and Sue Hadsell have been playing a lot of golf and enjoy the beach. A number of ladies are enjoying tennis on Tuesday mornings. Priors and Betsey Pfieffer, also Bobbi Slaff and Pam Martinson, have been seen at the courts often too. Genevieve and Al Smith surely are sporting gorgeous tans and I hope they enjoyed their bananas. They have such a nice little plantation. Mine fell off and the ants got most of them but two nights before Ann returned Breretons' bananas were 'borrowed'. The Doc and Ann seem in fine form. It is so pleasing to have Fred and Ann Diamant with us again. They have rented at TC for nine years.
Norbert and Heidi Vondiergardt - with Julian - are enjoying the lovely weather. Norbert had to make an emergency flight home regarding his eyes and they are very relieved that his eyes are holding their own for the present.
We missed seeing the Roths but I did go over to check on the bird population. It seemed low. Keats' orchids are missing her - not nearly as many spikes as last year. Their neighbours, the Minkhorsts, had some interesting material on fireproof roofing. Max left some samples and if you need a new roof it would be worth talking to him.
It is encouraging to see the villa area steadily improving in appearance and attendance. The parking lots and roads will be paved starting August and the circle on Cabot will have further plantings when the softer, wetter weather arrives.
Hip hip hooray! Treasure Cay Road is getting a face lift. We will all benefit but we in the villas are very happy to see the work commence.
One hundred and ten members of the Sand Bank Yacht Club, and their guests, celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at the Change of Watch held at the Spinnaker restaurant on 24th January. Andy Colson, the 1996 Past Commodore, stepped down. The !997 Past Commodore, Commodore, Vice Commodore and Rear Commodore are Jerry Melzer, Dairell Snapp, Brian Sheehe and John Lacey, all of whom moved up from their 1996 officer positions. The incoming Fleet Captain is Bill Floyd. Peter Plumb stepped down as Treasurer in favour of Nelson Radwan.
After cocktails on the Spinnaker patio, members enjoyed a sumptuous dinner, lovingly prepared by Head Chef Elliot Sawyer and his kitchen staff and expertly served by Head Waiter Vernon Russell and his service team. The menu comprised canapes Viennoise; baked scampi, California style; French onion soup; a choice of roast beef, duckling a l'orange, or chicken Kiev, with duchesse potatoes, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower; Black Forest cake; coffee and champagne.
During his review of the 1996 events, Jerry Melzer thanked Brian and Nadine Sheehe and John and Edna Lacey for their contributions to the Club's success in 1996. He lauded Peter Plumb for his dedicated service throughout his fifteen years as a Club officer. He surveyed the Club's history since its inception in 1972, paid individual honour to each of the Club's twenty-five Past Commodores, and presented a specially designed Past Commodore cap to the ten Past Commodores in attendance.
Jerry Melzer oversaw the passing of flags from last year's to this year's officers and turned his watch over to Dairell Snapp who, sadly, was unable to attend the event. In his stead, Anna Snapp read Dairell's acceptance letter and Brian Sheehe then assumed Dairell's remaining duties for the evening. He presented Jerry with his Past Commodore cap and thanked him for his outstanding service, to well-deserved member applause.
At Brian Sheehe's invitation, Bill Floyd sketched in the 1997 programme which includes a Rock 'n' Roll beach party on 10th February, dinner at the Jib Room on 28th February, a cocktail party at the Tiki Hut on 10th March, dinner at Touch of Class on 27th March and a house party at the Richardsons' on 11th April. The fall programme is yet to be determined.
A most memorable evening concluded with a brief, but superb, song cycle by tenor Bruce Reed who, with his wife Ann, was the Colsons' house guest that weekend.
The regular auction featuring plants donated by members included Loquat, Cup of Gold, Madeira, Soursop, Christmas Cactus, Kalanchoe, Snapdragons, Bird Pepper, Asparagus Fern, Rosemary, Citronella and Cabbage sets.
Good news for Treasure Cay residents! In keeping with the 'of Abaco' part of its name, the Society will be holding its March meeting on 12th March at 7.30pm in the Community Centre. On hand will be Joe Kern, the Society's Founder and President Emeritus; Simeon Pinder, the Agricultural Officer for Abaco; plus Gardener Jack of the Nassau Tribune. Joe specialises in fruits, Jack in vegetables, and Simeon in everything - plus government regulations. Every meeting - this one too - features a plant auction.
For new members of the Society, the fees are $15 per year for a couple. Feel free to pre-pay for 1997-8 and receive Newsletters throughout the summer months when the Society is otherwise inactive.
Welcome to this new monthly feature in the Journal! If you detected an error in the title, you're off to a good start. I have fun writing and helping others (eg students, adults, business managers, employees and government workers) to improve their writing.
Nobody really likes to write... I know because I often hear, "It takes too long..." "There are too many rules to remember..." "I can't spell..." "It's easier to phone or talk to someone in person..." They're all reason why people don't like to write. But, sometimes you have to write! So, let me help you once a month with some ideas, and use some funny examples to get my points across.
If you noticed that the title had a misspelled word (Gud should be Good), then you got half the message in the title - humour can make learning fun. The other half is the fact that your writing represents you. It sometimes serves as the first impression you make on another person, business, or government official. Since first impressions are important, why not make a good one?
Each month I will talk about a different and specific item that will help you improve your writing. The range of topics will cover punctuation (commas, semi-colons, dashes, brackets, parentheses... you get the idea), sentences, paragraphs, business letters and memos. I want to help you get your message across effectively in writing. (Yes, I will address some of the word processing techniques that will help those of you with computers!)
You will see that I like to use examples to make my points... and many times they contain errors that are humorous. You know what the person was trying to say, but the way it's written it means something very different! A number of my examples are taken from the books by Richard Lederer. If you want to enjoy the writing errors of others, try reading his Anguished English, More Anguished English, and Adventures of a Verbivore.
On occasion, I will test your skills by providing a funny example. I'll ask you to rewrite it in a way that avoids the mistake made by the original author. I promise to include the answers in the same article... I won't make you wait for next month's Journal!!!
If you have any questions about basic writing skills, and would like to have them answered in this article, please contact Jack Hardy, Editor of the Abaco Journal. You are also welcome to contact me directly using any of theses methods: mail/ PO Box 3084, Redwood City, CA 94064; phone and fax/ (415) 366-3912; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bottom line is to have fun and learn at the same time! So, I'll wrap up this first article for the Journal with some examples where the writer 'just missed the mark'... (From Richard Lederer's More Anguished English.
In a student's science paper: 'A city purifies its water by filtering it and passing it through an aviator.'
In a church bulletin: 'Tonight's sermon: "What is Hell?" Come early and listen to our choir practise.'
Ad for a loan company: 'Now you can borrow enough money to get completely out of debt.'
[Editor's Note: Although Neal lives in California, he is no stranger to Abaco. Here's a brief bio he provided.]
"There's one thread that's great for weaving success... it's the ability to write effectively." I credit my high school English teacher with my success in writing. Every week this teacher required her students to write a 300 word essay on various topics - the practice paid off.
My experience wanders through such diverse fields as technical writer, Corporate trainer, military officer, management and training consultant, and local government administrator. In each job my success was due in great part to my ability to write clearly and precisely - in other words, better than my co-workers, and often times better than my bosses.
I enjoy writing and teaching others to improve their writing skills. I have fun doing it and try to get the fun across to my audience. Humour makes a dry subject much more interesting. I currently teach two classes for local government managers in San Mateo County, California. "Writing for Supervisors" and "Basic Reading and Writing" are designed to help government employees and managers improve their reading and writing skills.
On a whim in 1993, I rented a cabin on Lubber's Quarters for my two week vacation, and I've been coming back ever since! I enjoy the area and the people. I'm hoping that this monthly article will allow me to give something back... say 'thanks' for the hospitality and friendships I've experienced.
I divide my free time between sailing and writing. I've got one book nearing completion. It's a fun look at some of the things that happen to a boy growing up in a small town on the coast of Maine in the early 1960s. It's written from personal experiences. The next book will be a story about two families whose lives connect for two weeks during a vacation on a cay in the Abacos. The children and the parents experience the natural world and learn a lot about themselves and the lives of others - based on funny, serious, and sometimes scary experiences. Stay tuned...
He sat there in the doorway looking sternly ahead while holding the nine day old baby in his hands. The strong sunlight reflected on the left side of his face. In the shadow stood his barefoot thee year old grandson with a chunk of bread in his hand. Not a word was spoken. There was strength in the silence. His soft white hair and hooked nose gave him the appearance of a native Mediterranean but he probably of Yoruba or Ebo ancestry. His last daughter, Gleaka, had given birth to her fourth daughter, Deboragh, and Rev Lyman Lancaster, a missionary with the Island Missionary Society, was capturing this picture for the family. That was in 1953.
George Sheldon Archer was born to Joshua and Grace Johnson Archer in 1876. He was the grandson of Tom and Nogie Archer from whom the Archers in Abaco trace their genealogy.
My earliest recollections of Grandpa were of his visits to us in Cat Island Town, the derogatory name given to the area where Pizza Hut now stands because all the people who lived there had migrated from Cat Island. It was also called Guava Bottom. My mother, Gleaka, had married Peter Campbell who had come to Abaco from Cat Island at the age of six. My sister, Brenda, and I would sleep at our grandparents' home on the weekends. Theirs was a huge iron bed with a muslin canopy to keep out the mosquitoes.
After my sister Patricia was born my parents sold their home to Rev Sherwin Simms and moved to our grandparents' home, but not before Daddy had purchased their house and land. The house, a two storey wooden structure, was in a bad state of repair so Daddy went to work ro renovate and extend it by adding a bathroom. This pleased everybody immensely because no longer was it necessary to go to the outhouse at night and feel something crawl on one's bare bottom. I did miss the pleasure of gazing at the wish items in National Bellas Hess and Montgomery Ward catalogues and afterwards using the pages daintily as toilet paper.
Grandpa was semi-literate but he taught all of his grandchildren on Abaco the alphabet and how to count to one hundred. He was a very frugal man and while he taught us he gave us maxims as well: 'Never a borrower or lender be'; 'Make hay while the sun shines.'
Grandpa was not a braggart but he was proud of his children: Gracie, George, Annie, Jenkins, Spurgeon and Gleaka. Ruby and Wellington died in their youth. Whenever he spoke of Spurgeon there was a gleam in his eyes. He used to say, "My son is a captain and he can find any port in the world by reading his compass or following the stars." He was right because his son was one of the few Bahamians in his age group to earn a master's licence.
Grandpa was kind and compassionate. One day when I was collecting soldier crabs to go fishing, one caught my little finger and refused to let go. Screaming in anguish, I rushed to him. He had to use his machete to get the crab claw loose.
Although Uncle Jenkins was a grown man he was deathly afraid of junkanoos. When I was a child junkanoos visited people's houses at night, five days before Christmas. Some of the men involved knew of my uncle's fear and would wear the scariets outfits. I remember Grandpa getting very angry and pushing one of the men outside when he attempted to grab Uncle Jenkins.
After we had learned to read, Mama insisted that we read to Grandpa and Grandma every night before we went to bed. If we sneaked to bed without doing it she would make us go downstairs and read. Grandpa always had us read the Twenty-Seventh Psalm, especially verse ten: 'When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.' Then he would sadly say, 'Children, you can read your own condemnation.'
One I was rude to him. Being the strict Methodist that he was, he did not want us to walk the short distance to the seashore in our swimsuits, which he considered vulgar. Daddy was a lay preacher and we had to be examples. I was about eleven years old and I had this two-piece swimsuit. I was determined to go in that. He was just as determined that I would not. I turned, patted my hands on my hip and left. He was horified. I hope that he and God have forgiven me for that wilful stubbornness.
When I knew Grandpa, he was retiree. He had worked the lumber mills in Wilson City, Norman's Castle and the Carolinas. But he was not ashamed to weed the roads to make extra money. He and Uncle Jenkins had a merry-go-round on his grandfather, Cuffie Johnson's, property next to the graveyard. This merry-go-round was the only entertainment for both the black and white children on a Saturday afternoon. Everyone could get a ride for threepence.
I remember going to Scotland Cay, where my grandfather had land which he farmed. After digging potatoes, Grandma would roast them for us. Agatha Archer, his eldest grandchild, remembers trudging to Little Bight with him to his farm down there.
Like all the Archers, Grandpa was a boat man. His boat was called the Mayanna. His vices were chewing tobacco and smoking a pipe. My eldest brother, Lambert, almost choked to death trying to smoke Grandpa's pipe in secret.
I wasn't on Abaco when Grandpa died. I was in Canada. When I was leaving Abaco he said I would not see him again. My last memory of him was sitting in the fifth row on the right hand side of the Methodist Church in Marsh Harbour with all of us crowded beside him.
His name will not make the history books but he wrote upon the lives of his children the attributes of honesty, integrity, moral rectitude and industry. I like to think of him in terms of Robert Browning's verse:
One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed, though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fall to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake.
February may not quite be springtime but it's blossoming with owners at Royal Palm. Joe and Brenda Calihan left Pittsburgh to find perfect beach days in Treasure Cay along with Kathy and James McAllister, who finally found time to leave their lovely new home in PGA to enjoy some golf and sun. Diane and Don Gerlach arrived with an entourage, all of whom had a wonderful week discovering Shell Island and our lattest luncheon spot, Catherine and Roger's Seaside Village on Guana, which is just lovely and has a competent chef.
Jean and Bill Glasgow ventured to Abaco Inn for their Sunday luncheon and their cruising guests said it was a wonderful trip and a very enjoyable day. Andy and Maribel are attacking the golf course with great regularity and tell me it is in the best shape ever. Congratulations, Andy! You have put Dick Wilson back on the map, not to mention the only golf course on Abaco and one of the very few in all of The Bahamas. Well worth our support and thanks.
Monday nights at Chris' Coco Bar find many Royal Palm owners making similar noises as they indulge in Chris' marvellous roast pig....or is it Abaco boar? A pig by any other name.... Anyway, it's scrumptious. Peppino Campi and Mort Kaplan are still out catching fish with a vengeance and sharing everything from grouper to tuna with their neighbours. In fact, Peppino shared one large tuna with an even larger shark. Not what he had in mind!
Pete and Jan Burchfield joined Cathy Braham all in from Pittsburgh for a week of sun, island hopping and entertaining. Those dinners were fantastic, ladies. Nan and George Gregory, when not off sailing, are keeping the tennis courts polished along with Kathy and Bill Draper who play virtually every day and renew those sign-up sheets for us. We are grateful. Pete Rockwell came over from Florida for a short stay and Bill and Vicki Blair flew down from Canada for a nice long visit. Virginia and Harry Peterson are in residence and Tom Seward hosted his usual huge Super Bowl party for 50 or 60 of his closest friends. It's getting to be a tradition, Tom.
Jorge Latour popped over for a couple of days while Stuart and Lucy Stripp came from England for some more condo fixin' up. Roger and Angelica Smith flew down from New York for a week while Roger and Jacqueline Hedge made the trek from Britain for 10 days or so. Our dockside is buzzing.
Sprucing up continues with more buildings and storage lockers having fresh coats of paint and you will see some new faces working on the grounds. All in all, it is a super start to the season and those who read this wrapped in afghans and wearing slippers need to shed both, grab a bathing suit and come on over. It's better in The Bahamas, remember....
During the fourth week of January I visited Inagua, the most southerly of the Bahama chain, being 50 miles from Cuba and the same distance from Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It was my first visit to this special gem of the chain, and one I will not soon forget. It was probably the most interesting and exciting of any trip I have ever made to the Family Islands.
Inagua is irregular in shape and the third largest island of The Bahamas (after Andros and Abaco) with an area of 560 square miles. It is quite flat, the highest elevation being not more than 40 feet above sea level. A large portion of the interior is one big salt water lake and salt flats.
More than half of the interior, 285 square miles, consists of the Bahamas National Trust's sprawling National Park, home to more than 60,000 flamingos. Talking with game warden Jimmy Nixon, who has been with the Trust for more than 40 years and is now in his eighties and still very active, was most informative. He told me about the wild donkeys, pigs, cows and goats, not to mention the thousands of parrots and colonies of pelicans, ducks, cranes, snipe, etc. Mr Nixon, in his official and firm-speaking manner, suggested that if I returned in the summer I should bring insect repellent. He said the wild life included mosquitoes big enough to carry a donkey away.
There is also a Turtle Reserve at Union Creek where for the past 25 plus years hawksbill and green turtles have been raised and studied.
Matthew Town, located on the south-western side of the island, is the only settlement and has a population of just over one thousand. The town was laid out by Governor Matthew in th 1840's and is without a doubt the best planned town in The Bahamas. Perfectly straight roads extend for as far as the eye can see, criss-crossed by other roads at right angles, dividing the town into block like a chess board.
Another positive feature is the size of the lots, residential and commercial. Instead of the usual eighth of an acre lot usually found in Out Island settlements, many are a half acre in size. The result, no feeling of congestion.
Inagua, which mean 'land of water' was inhabited by the Spaniards in the 1500's and occupied long before most of the other Bahamian islands. In the 1800's there were other settlements which have since been abandoned and at one time the population of Inagua exceeded 7,000.
During the 1800's and right up to the 1920's, Inagua was a stopping place for steamships going to Central and South America. They would stop at the island and employ men to work as stevedores at the ports they visited. This practice was abandoned shortly after the First World War.
Today the main industry is the production of salt, of which a million tons is produced each year, graded and shipped to points all over the world. It is a highly mechanised industry, employing in excess of 240 persons.
I found the people of Inagua extremely warm and friendly. The island is unique in many ways and I think it would be an exciting place for school groups to visit as it is so different from what we are used to here on Abaco.
Duplicate Bridge is thriving in Treasure Cay. We had so many players show up one night that it was necessary to cut off the competition at 7 tables. Guess we'll have to buy more tables!
The results for the past month are as follows:
14th Jan - 1st Mr & Mrs Alan Caldwell
2nd Mr & Mrs Ken Clark
2nd Mr & Mrs Guion
3rd Mr & Mrs Morgan
28th Jan - 1st Mr & Mrs Lacey
2nd Mr & Mrs Snowe
3rd= Mr & Mrs Kotsch
3rd= Ed & Don Bladow
4th Feb -1st Mr & Mrs Alan Caldwell N/S
1st Mr & Mrs English E/W
We play every Tuesday at the Community Centre at 7.30 sharp. Anyone interested, please come with a partner or call 365-8447 to arrange a partnership.
On New Year's Day we started the year off very well with the Heineken Tournament sponsored by Burns House and Treasure Cay. The winner of the gross prize was David Kitchens from Freport, followed by Steve Pedican in second place while Ossie Parker took the honours in the Seniors section. There was a rather small contingent of ladies and Peg Morgan had the low gross with a visitor from England coming second. The net scores were recorded by Carol Caldwell and Joan Appleton respectively.
A mixer of the two best balls of the foursome was held on 12th January with the winners being David Williams, Kay Kaplan, Margot Prior and Alan Caldwell. In second place came Peg Morgan, Mort Kaplan, Dick Lott and John McIntosh (a blind partner) while Steve Pedican, Ken Clark, Steadman McKenzie and Joan Appleton came third.
On 25th January we competed again in a mixer, this time a Point Tournament. The victorious foursome consisted of David Shepherd, Margot Prior, Edwina Sanger and Neil Tobin. In second place came Ossie Parker, Kay Kaplan, Ken Clark and Gere A'Hearn, while Grace Chambers, Carol Caldwell, Al Smith and John McIntosh came in third.
The Ladies Section started their official three month season on 8th January with a low gross/low net tournament with Edwina Sanger coming in first and Carol Young and Margaret Lott tied for second. The low net winners were Margot Prior first and Carol Caldwell second. We counted the holes beginning with T and F on 15th January and Marvel Moore came in first followed by Jane Clark and Margot Prior tied for second.
Our next competition was a 2-day net tournament with the winners being Carol Young first, Naomi Gettinger second and Carol Caldwell third. An excellent lunch was prepared by the Spinnaker and enjoyed by all. On 29th January we counted the two best scores out of a foursome and the winners were Edwina Sanger, Naomi Gettinger, Irma Prince and Joan Appleton while Genny Smith, Marge Chance, Marvel Moore and Ann Zulauf came in second.
We have had a very successful start to the year with the weather cooperating and the course being in wonderful condition, thanks to the great efforts of Steve Pedican and his devoted staff. We welcome all lady golfers, particularly visitors, to our regular Wednesday mornings. Be at the Club House by 8.15 am with a sandwich for lunch, which we now enjoy under the excellent new roof facing the 9th hole. Come and enjoy the fellowship.
Marcellus Roberts, Chairman
Stan Sawyer, Vice Chairman
Susan Sawyer, Secretary
Donna Hudson, Assistant Secretary
Rhonda Lowe, Treasurer
Rev Stafford Symonette, Chaplain
Wayne Sands, Ordinary Member
Simpson McKinney, Ordinary Member
The purpose of the organisation is:
a) to handle matters involving illegal practices by non-Bahamian persons relating to immigration policies;
b) to provide representation by establishing membership in the UBS of TC and provide a directory listing services and names of members. The body will have a constitution to become a recognised organisation to represent members in any area needed.
This organisation has been formed with the approval of Local Government officials. Persons wishing to list their services can obtain application forms from any UBS of TC organisation member. For further information contact Marcellus Roberts at 365-8064.
The parents of these children are very grateful to Sensei Toote for teaching many valuable lessons in conjunction with the Karate. Many parents also enjoy watching the weekly classes to see the progress of their children. It is hoped that some day soon the children will do well enough to compete in Karate tournaments.
Senior Mistress Royann Swain has taken over the responsibilities of Acting Principal until a new principal is appointed.
Gordon was survived by his three sons Rock, Richard and Robert; two daughters, Roslyn Neely and Ruby Kerr; four grandchildren; three brothers and four sisters.
If you are a regular visitor to Abaco - or a homeowner - who does not subscribe to the Abaco Journal I have one word for you: "Fie!"
The issue you have just looked through contained 15 photographs in the subscription hard copy. They showed the Cassia in Island Plants plus donkeys from Inagua and our local Correspondents in glorious monochrome. Not all the articles which appear in the hard copy appear on the Web.
Get the whole Abaco Journal experience by subscribing to the Journal for a whole year for a mere $22 at Abaco Journal, PO Box 2079, Port Charlotte, FL 33949-2079.