By Oswald Brown
WASHINGTON, D.C. — His Excellency Dr. Eugene Newry, Bahamas Ambassador Designate to the United States, and the Hon. Paulette Zonicle, Bahamas Consul General to Washington, D.C., last week made official visits to Bahamas Consulate General Offices in Miami and Atlanta aimed at fostering a closer working relationship among the various Bahamas missions and Consulates in the United States.
The two Washington, D.C.-based Bahamian diplomats met with Consul General to Miami H. Ricardo Treco and his staff on Tuesday and held a similar meeting with Consul General to Atlanta Randy Rolle and his staff on Thursday.
In introducing Dr. Newry and Consul General Zonicle at the Miami meeting, Consul General Treco had high praise for his “hard-working” staff, noting that it was a “pleasure to be working with such a diverse group of people.”
“As you know, this is one of the busiest offices in all aspects of protocol arrangements, and I’m very pleased with their performances and the camaraderie that exists among the staff,” Consul General Treco said.
In his remarks, Dr. Newry stressed that the visits to the consulates were important “because one of the things we have lacked in the past is this whole idea of ongoing communication between the various elements that make up The Bahamas’ Foreign Service.”
“The Embassy is one thing, and it has a different role, but you people – that is, all the consulates general – represent the face of the nation to most people,” Dr. Newry said. “So it’s good to be here and I hope that this initiative…will be a thing of ongoing communication because I think that’s important.”
He also emphasized the potential opportunities for encouraging economic development for The Bahamas because “that basically is what it is all about in the end.”
Consul General Zonicle noted that she has been given an “awesome opportunity” by Prime Minister Perry Christie to open a Bahamas consulate office in the capital of the nation “where world decisions are made.”
“I’m so excited about this opportunity,” Consul General Zonicle said. “Already, I’ve hired five persons, but I’ve made it this far because someone in this office has been holding my hands throughout this whole process.”
Consul General Zonicle identified that person as Deputy Consul General to Miami Sandra Carey, whom she praised as “such a wonderful teacher.”
“Mrs. Carey has been very good to me, so when you see the new office open up, you could also be proud because your senior officer has had a hand in helping me move forward through the process.”
Emphasizing that her focus will be on diversification, Consul General Zonicle said “tourism projects come to me without even looking.”
“Since I’ve been there over the last six months, I’ve been looking for diversification and I’ve been very fortunate to find a number of them,” she said. “So over the next few months you are going to see a number of big opportunities happening in The Bahamas coming out of Washington, D.C.”
Reiterating the importance of consulates “working together,” Consul General Zonicle said, “We have all got to be on one page because we are all the face of our great nation, and that’s the reason why we are here.”
The “working together” theme and promoting economic development for The Bahamas were also stressed at Thursday’s meeting in Atlanta in remarks made by both Dr. Newry and Consul General Zonicle.