BRADLEY B. ROBERTS
PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY PRAYER BREAKFAST
CABLE BEACH, NASSAU, BAHAMAS
THEME: “IN ALL THINGS GIVE THANKS”
16TH NOVEMBER 2014
Let us begin by observing a moment of silence in honour of the life of Rev. Dr. Myles and Ruth Ann Munroe and seven others who perished in that tragic plane crash in Grand Bahama last Sunday, the9th November 2014
Mr. Party Leader and Prime Minister and Mrs. Christie;
Mr. Deputy Leader and Deputy Prime Minister and Mrs. Davis;
Party Officers, PYL, NPI, Women’s Branch, Members and friends;
A pleasant good morning
It is my honour and distinct pleasure to welcome such an attractive, colourful and lively group to this prayer breakfast on behalf of the Progressive Liberal Party. We gather here to fellowship and to give thanks to Almighty God who has brought us as a country and in our personal lives from a mighty long way.
The theme for this prayer breakfast, “In all things give thanks,” is fitting in that it speaks to our hope, our indomitable spirit and our unflinching faith in the grace and tender mercies of God both as a party and as a people.
Firstly, a few housekeeping items: As you know, our national convention was originally scheduled for this month November, but was deferred to 2015 so that focused attention can be given to the four Constitutional Bills currently before Parliament. Please be advised that our next one day mini convention is scheduled for Exuma on 29th November 2014 where 40 new Stalwart Councilors will be officially inducted in a ceremony immediately following the convention.
Many have inquired about the fate of the Honourable member for Fort Charlotte. I wish to advise that the disciplinary committee has given notice that it will report to the Leadership Council by the end of this month.
Continuing on with our theme of giving thanks, I offer heartfelt thanks to Bahamians everywhere who stood up for The Bahamas in the face of criticism by those who either have no loyalty to The Bahamas or who were duped by misinformation on social media.
Special thanks go out to the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Fred Mitchell who remained steadfast, gave no quarters and allowed the detractors no space as he vigorously defended his officers, the government and by extension, the Bahamian people in the face of extreme vitriolic invective.
Please give the MP for Fox Hill Fred Mitchell a rousing round of applause.
One needs only to look at the policies of the United States, Australia and Trinidad and Tobago to appreciate that when faced with the challenge of illegal immigration, those governments acted in the best interest of their respective countries. The Bahamas is no different.
The Bahamas has been hospitable to and considerate and patient with our neighbours to the south, but when some of them could not get their own way, they called the government and the people of The Bahamas everything but a child of God. This is most unfortunate but I encourage the government to see that the laws of this country are duly enforced.
Also, it is refreshing to note the bipartisan support publicly expressed on this issue.
On the vexing issue of crime, we must not shy away or become weak kneed in the face of this social menace. The government must implement all of the programs contained in the UR2.0 program.
Further, I also call on the government as strongly as I can to implement without delay the National Youth Restorative Program for at-risk youth in collaboration with YEAST and the Catholic Diocese. It costs significantly less to reform an at-risk youth than to incarcerate a convicted felon, not to the mention the toll criminality takes on families, our communities and our economy.
We cannot put a cost on rescuing our wayward youth and protecting the innocent among us. We owe it to the current and future generations of this country to stop at nothing and leave no stone unturned in our quest to rid this country of this menace.
Danger, my brothers and sisters, is very real, but fear is a choice that exists in our minds and in our hearts. We cannot concede to fear and hysteria and must reject those who seek to spread this poison. We must cooperate and work with the police in exposing the elements of social rot and criminality that lurk among us.
The bad apples who are smuggling the drugs, guns and human cargo are not strangers and aliens to us – no, they are our families, friends, acquaintances and neighbours.
My advice to Bahamians is to reject the spirit and culture of fear, and become empowered by cultivating and inculcating a spirit and culture of tough love through intolerance to criminality. There is power in numbers and the sheer collective will and force of a people united around a singular cause cannot be denied, turned back nor their will be overcome.
We saw that righteous spirit of indignation one generation ago in the fight for social justice and it will take that same indomitable spirit to overcome criminality and social decay.
I have spoken my peace ladies and gentlemen and as you give thanks this morning, I invite you to think on these things.
Once again, welcome and now I will quietly and quickly take my seat.