Friday, July 7, 2017
art theatre film fashion entertainment gardening food
SHOW YOUR COLOURS Page 13
A Hollywood ending Lights, camera, ‘I do’ Weddings, page 14&15
02 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, July 7, 2017
life through a lens PHOTOS: TERREL W. CAREY/TRIBUNE STAFF
A bird’s-eye view
ribune photographer Terrel W Carey recently used his new DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture these stunning aerial views of noted Bahamian landmarks such as Atlantis, Baha Mar and Coral Island at various times of the day. “I started flying drones about three to four months ago. As a professional photographer, the idea of being able to use a drone to get aerial shots without having to actually leave the ground myself was very appealing to me,” he said. “I feel like it has definitely brought a new aspect to my photography. I am now able to capture images that usually you would only be able to capture while flying in an airplane. And it is an amazing way to capture the beauty of the country that really can only be seen from the air.” And the drone also has another benefit for Terrel. “In addition to using my drone in my professional work, I also use it as recreational therapy, because it helps to relax me,” he added. To operate a drone in the Bahamas, photographers have to register their equipment with government authorities and are only allowed to fly them at a maximum height of 400 feet.
Have you taken a selection of photographs that might make a Life through a lens feature page? If so please submit it to weekend@ tribunemedia.net for consideration
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Inside Weekend Interview 4 - 5 ‘The Nassau Florist’ Jim Whitehead reflects on 50 years in the Bahamas Food 7 Café Channing Noelle offers a taste of Paris Prom 8 - 9 High school seniors go with Roaring Twenties glamour Entertainment 10 Junkanoo Summer Festival 2017 gets off to vibrant start Theatre 11 ‘A Woman’s Lot’ spotlights family strife Fashion 12 - 13 Gustavus Augusta gets patriotic with new blazers, plus Bahari launches fourth Independence collection Weddings 14 - 15 Former maritime cadets tie the knot Celebrity 16 This hits and misses of the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ premiere Independence 17 Enjoy celebratory events all weekend long Art 18 Scotiabank launches annual photo contest Gardening 19 Jack Hardy on how to survive summer Film 20 “Spider-Man: Homecoming” reviewed Literary Lives 21 - 24 Heiress Pat Cavendish O’Neill gets engaged in the Bahamas Forgotten Facts 25 The man who rescued Robinson Crusoe Puzzles 26 Animals 27 Kim Aranha on sharks and dogs, plus Pet of the Week Cover | Terrel W Carey
My perfect Bahamian weekend Jodi Minnis Interdisciplinary artist Q: Saturday breakfast or Sunday Lunch? “Sunday brunch, because Sundays were made for food. I may eat a quick breakfast and dinner on Saturday. Q: Wine, rum, cocktail or Kalik? “I would have to say a cocktail, because I don’t usually drink wine or beer and the only time I drink rum is if it is mixed in something.” Q: Beach or sofa? “I prefer being on the beach. I love the water. There is just something spiritual about being on the water.” Q: What is the one thing that you can’t live without? “My camera, because I am always seeing weird things or things that I want to document.” Q: Weekend away, where would you go and why? “Ghana. I think everyone of African descent or a part of the diaspora should take a trip to West Africa.”
Things 2 Do this weekend Friday
• Retired & Elderly Fun Day Time: 9.30am - 3.30pm Venue: Emmaus Centre, Fox Hill The Catholic Archdiocese’s Office of Family Life is hosting its annual fun day with activities such as storytelling, music, dance and bingo. The day begins with morning mass. For more information call 322-8919 or 3284310/2. • Spin, Stretch & Wine Part II Time: 6.30pm Venue: Energy Fitness Bahamas, Village Road Come decked out in your Bahamian colours for high-energy spin sessions, chill yoga sessions and complimentary wine Tickets are $25; call 357-3561 for more information. • A Night of Praise and Poetry Time: 8pm Venue: Christ Community Church, Bellot Road. Bring the family as God’s Advocate presents an event featuring Ivaneccia & Family. Also performing are Numa, of Floetry; E-Man, Earthen Veselle; Shanique Johnson; Georgetta Smith and others. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 in advance.
• ‘Boy Das Ya Mar’ Time: 7pm (encore on Saturday) Venue: The National Centre for the Performing Arts, Shirley Street. From the writer of “Christmas at the ER” and “Flight 242”, comes a new comedy written and directed by Dario “Erics” Poitier. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. • Metamorphosis - Miss Bahamas 2017 Contestant Launch Event Time: 7pm Venue: National Art Gallery of the Bahamas The contestants’ launch will be combined with a charity event in aid of the Cancer Society of the Bahamas. Tickets are $25 and are available through the contestants and at Airbrush Junkies.
• Bahamas Rugby World Cup 2017 Time: 1pm Venue: Winton Rugby Centre The Bahamas World Cup celebrates its 10th anniversary. Registration per team is $120 (10 members maximum). • All Day Steakout & Mini Fair Time: 12noon - 6pm Venue: Eastern Parade Genesis Junkanoo Organisation invites the public to enjoy a day of family fun with good food, drinking,
games, a bouncing castle, and more. • Jungle Fever Part II: Soca vs Dancehall Time: 8pm - 2am Venue: National Tennis Centre Hosted by Jungle Entertainment, the event features music by DJs Techno, Steel, Vante and Choppa Flex. Admission is $10 in advance and $15 in advance. Security will be strictly enforced.
• Summer Sailaway Time: 11.30am - 5.30pm Venue: Rose Island (boats leave from Margaritaville) Pupstar Entertainment & Events, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Bahamas and Heineken present their pre-Independence sailaway. Seahorse Sailing will provide water taxis for the day, with two shuttles leaving Margaritaville at 11.30am and 12noon, and returning at 5pm and 5.30pm. The event is hosted by JChris from HOT 91 FM with music by DJ MayDay and DJ Bravo. Tickets are $35 and include transport to Rose Island and a welcome drink. The $100 package includes transport, all inclusive drinks and lunch. (For Independence related events, see page 17)
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interview As the country gears up to mark its 44th Independence, ‘The Nassau Florist’ Jim Whitehead is celebrating a milestone of his own. In an interview with his personal assistant Alrena Moxey, the native Scotsman reflects on 50 years in the Bahamas – getting his start as a ‘window dresser’ downtown, helping bring theatrical productions to Nassau, designing a float for the very first Independence parade, and eventually opening his own retail business.
Jim Whitehead AM:
I guess the first question is, how did you come to end up
in the Bahamas? JW: That was thanks to Norman Solomon, the owner of the Mademoiselle shops. I was display manager in a department store in Leamington Spa, England, and I answered an advertisement in Display Magazine. Mr Solomon had shops in all the major hotels and of course on Bay Street – the main store – and he was looking for a display manager. AM: I would imagine there were quite a few applicants who would like to work on a beautiful island. JW: I’m not sure how many, but at the age of 24 I had a lot of experience. I started in display, or as it was referred to “window dressing”, when I was 16 in Edinburgh. I went to Coventry to work in the city’s largest department store when I was 18 and then went to Leamington Spa, and when I as 21 I was display manager in the town’s leading department store. I had a staff of six and we had 16 shop windows to decorate. AM: That’s quite a challenge, isn’t it? JW: Yes, I suppose so and it’s a lot of work, but my mother always said “hard work never killed anyone!” She said a lot of other things like, “You’ll worry me to death.” Scottish philosophy! I like a challenge and I am very much engaged in my work. I’m a visual person. and at home, as a child, I was
encouraged to express myself and chose the wallpaper and drapes for our home at age 14 and took charge. AM: So back to Mademoiselle, what was it like working for Mr Solomon? JW: I had a lot of respect for Mr Solomon. He had built a huge business empire with, I think, 10 shops in Nassau and Freeport – in the major hotels – Emerald Beach, Nassau Beach, Montague, British Colonial and Lucaya, Churchill Square and the International Bazaar, which had just opened in 1967. It was very exciting and I worked in every branch for 10 months, but I had resigned after six. We didn’t have a falling out, however, I felt that I didn’t have the freedom to execute my work as I had expected and was accustomed to in the UK. And I was just not happy with the situation, so I decided to move on. To what, I didn’t know, and Mr Solomon asked me to stay until the end of the season. We had a winter season and I left in April 1968. I really liked my short stay in the Bahamas, but of course I would have to get another job and a work permit. I decided to go back to London and think about what I would do next. I worked with my best friend, Peter Hamilton, who had his own florist business and learned a lot from him. AM: Did you want to have your own florist business? JW: No, I didn’t. I wanted to be on a West End stage! My brother David said, “Yes! Sweeping it!” I actually went to a clairvoyant in London, an elderly
Jim Whitehead with his beloved dog, Coco Chanel
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Cockney lady who said I had come for reassurance about something. How perceptive! I was, of course, wondering if I was going back to the Bahamas. But I wanted to hear it from her. She saw a lot of pink buildings and the colour blue – sea, sky? I told her I had been in the Bahamas. She had never heard of the Bahamas, but I would be going back to this pink/blue place. She even said I could contact the spirits myself. I haven’t tried that, except the kind you find in a bottle. AM: So you came back in 1968 to make another start? JW: Yes, and as luck would have it, the Nassau Shop, now John Bull, was looking for a display manager and they applied for a work permit. The Immigration Department was at the entrance to Arawak Cay, opposite Chippingham Road. I can still remember speaking with Mary Sweetnam who was most helpful with my application and it was very exciting to be working in this wonderful elegant store under the ownership of Harold Saunders. AM: Yes, I remember the Nassau Shop and Bay Street was quite different in the 70s with a variety of shops and bars/nightclubs. JW: Yes, and window shopping. I eventually received a freelance work permit and was able to train some young Bahamians in window display. I was particularly grateful to have worked with Rosemary Appleyard when she owned the premier ladies boutique Ambrosine, and Susan Burnside at the General Hardware China Shop, and Macushla Hazlewood, who with her husband owned John Bull. They had a shop on Bay Street just East of Rawson Square. As you know, the Hazlewoods have invested greatly in this country and I am pleased to say that John Bull’s top class visual image is due to their display director Livingstone Pratt. Livingstone started working with me in the late 70s and eventually took over all the window display jobs about 30 shops and I focused on
Jim Whitehead (standing) dressed as Boy George speaking with Dame Marguerite Pindling at the Red Cross Raffle Ball at the Cable Beach Hotel in 1985. Mr Whitehead was the master of ceremonies. interior design. AM: Was that another challenge? JW: It was a more creative challenge then it is today. There was no internet, or going online to find sources and ideas. Of course there were trips to Miami and New York to look at the latest trends. My background has always been in retail and I enjoy designing everything from the stockroom, staff areas, offices and, of course, the actual retail spaces. I designed many shops in Nassau. My largest project was Treasure Traders on Bay Street, owned by my good friend Don Aberle. Don gave me carte blanche and a huge budget for this year-long project. Both Don and his wife Frances were hands-on when it came to the renovations, but I’m happy to say I usually got the last word. And all of the shop furniture and fittings were made in Nassau to my specifications. During this time we were introduced to the fax machine and computerised stock control. Don made sure we had all the latest technology that we take for granted today. We
“This small island nation is a land of opportunities...And for me it has been exciting to see this country grow, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of its people and the remarkable achievements in the arts, sports, entertainment and business community.” impressed all the suppliers on our annual trips to the Frankfurt Fair. My good friend Rosemary Appleyard purchased the old Treasure Traders building, now the Office of the Public Defender, at the West end of Marlborough Street. This was the new home of Ambrosine and I worked on the renovation with her husband, Douglas, fortified by vodka and tonic “tea breaks”. Rosemary always insisted that the window displays be changed twice a week and female traffic would slow down on the bend to see the latest fashions. Rosemary was a pioneer in the retail fashion scene in the Bahamas and sold more Emilio Pucci than any store in America. Another project I was involved with on Marlborough Street was Marlborough Antiques, a joint venture
with Brent Malone and June Knight, both of whom I had known since 1968. We worked on several projects together – retail, fundraising, theatre and events. Both June and I loved buying for the business. We were like two peas in a pod, and of course we had exhibitions with Brent’s amazing art. Brent’s first gallery was in the Rand Building, now a parking lot for Charlotte House. I bought my first Brent Malone piece of art, an owl collage, in that gallery for $75. AM: Have you had any famous people or celebrities come in to The Nassau Florist? Royalty? JW: I once danced with Princess Alexandra at Lyford Cay. That doesn’t count! We did benefit from the publicity that Anna Nicole Smith
received when she lived here. When she died, the international press and media descended on Nassau eager to find out any hot news about her. They all assumed that The Nassau Florist was doing the funeral flowers. I said we were not in charge and I didn’t know who was. We did get a couple of requests for wreaths from Entertainment Tonight. I think ABC News interviewed me and I was on Miami TV and a friend in Spain phoned to say he saw me on Sky News. Two years later I got a call from Los Angeles asking if we could provide flowers for a celebrity wedding at Musha Cay in the Exumas. I asked what prompted the wedding coordinator to call me and he remembered the Nassau Florist from the TV interview that I did. Naturally we were wondering who it was… Cher? JLo? The ceremony was on a sandbar in the ocean with 50 guests. The bride and groom swam from a private yacht to the sandbar. On our flight back to Nassau we were told the groom was one of the two founders of Google. The view from our small airplane was magical. AM: Fifty years is a long time to be in one place that is not your place of birth. How would you sum up your experience in the Bahamas? JW: No, the Bahamas is not my place of birth, but it is my home and I always felt like I belonged here from the very first year that I arrived. Bahamians are friendly and welcoming by nature and ready to greet you with a smile and “good morning”. This small island nation is a land of opportunities and I have certainly been given lots of opportunities to expand my talents and achieve goals I never thought possible. And for me it has been exciting to see this country grow, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit of its people and the remarkable achievements in the arts, sports, entertainment and business community. I Continued on page 6
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Continued from page 5 am particularly happy to have been involved in Coin of the Realm’s annual Christmas show for the last 30 plus years. The owners of this historicallylocated jewellery shop on Charlotte Street, Marsha Stewart and her late husband Michael, opened the shop in 1977, and in 1979 I worked with Marsha’s brother, Brian, on the first Christmas show – the first of its kind in Nassau and a tradition that is continued every year. You know, you start out working for people and they become dear friends, or even “family” as is the case for me with the Stewart/ Brown family. AM: I know you have been involved quite a lot with theatrical productions in
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Nassau. What was the theatre scene like when you first arrived? JW: I remember productions at the Dundas Civic Centre when there were rows of metal chairs for the audience. And the dressing rooms were behind drapes in the auditorium. No solid walls, so we had to be very quiet. A big percentage of proceeds from productions went to the upkeep of the theatre and there were generous contributions from corporations in the private sector. The main fundraiser for about 20 years was the annual Beaux Arts Ball. My friend, Mel Doty, a well-known interior decorator, and I had the idea of a masked ball and we got together a wonderful committee and it was a much-anticipated event every December. You know, it is great to be involved in all sorts of activities, sports, music,
Jim Whitehead at age 16, working on a Cinderella castle display at the Patrick Thomson department store in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959.
charitable events, and sometimes you realise talents you never knew you had, and of course you make new friends. This is what I find so wonderful about this country – getting involved. Your efforts are appreciated. AM: Any special Dundas memories? JW: That would have to be the pantomimes that we did starting in 1977. With Patricia Barrett, teacher at the School for the Deaf, we wrote and produced “Cinderella”. For the next 10 to 15 years, three other pantos were staged: “Aladdin,” “Mother Goose”, and a re-production of “Cinderella”. Talented casts, designers and musicians, a lot of hard work and dedication by people like Brent Malone, Henry Melick and Nora Smith, in set design, and music directors, Hilda Barrett, Pauline Gusby and Hubert Albury. AM: Now, back to The Nassau Florist. How was your transition to floral design conceived? JW: I have always wanted to have my own retail business. I like meeting people and to offer some kind of service that would make people happy. And what better business to be in than flowers?! I really love my work and I am happy to say that some of my customers have been with me since I opened the Frederick Street Florist in 1994. Three years later, I purchased The Nassau Florist. AM: Any plans for retirement? JW: That word is not in my vocabulary! Before we leave though, I have another celebrity story: Who has not heard of or seen Angela Lansbury on TV in “Murder, She Wrote”? I have never written a fan letter to a movie star/entertainer but I felt compelled to write to Ms Lansbury on the cancellation of her series to let her know how much I admired her work and I had seen her on stage on five occasions. I sent her a rose bush to her home in Brentwood, California, and finished my short note by quoting the words of a song she sang in “Mame”: “Open a new window, open a new door. Travel a new highway that’s never been tried before.” Within a week she replied in a personal note that indeed she would be opening new doors. And she did, winning two of her five Tony Awards after the cancellation of “Murder She Wrote”, and now at 91 years of age, is filming the sequel to “Mary Poppins” in the UK. So, I will continue to open new doors, and travel new highways!
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A taste of Paris PHOTOS/SHAWN HANNA
New café boasts Nassau’s largest macaroon selection By CARA HUNT
ere is not for the spectacular view of the sea on the drive along West Bay Street to Caves Village, one could easily forget that Café Channing Noelle is located in New Providence rather than on an European high street. That feeling of an escape into an environment of elegance and sophistication is exactly the vibe the café hopes to provide its guests. “Café Channing Noelle at Shimmer and Sparkle Lifestyle is a European boutique café,” creative director Loretta Thomas told Tribune Weekend. “We opened about two months ago. The inspiration for this space was based on family visits to Europe and a love of all things beautiful and exotic. We wanted to show that you don’t have to be in Europe or at a posh hotel to experience the same ambience of being in a fine patisserie. Our motto is come for the coffee, stay all day to enjoy the atmosphere and then stay for the champagne.” The café is licenced to carry Starbucks beverages, including a mix of hot and iced coffees and teas, frappuccinos, lattes and smoothies. And all of servers are certified baristas. However, it is their pastry selection that really sets them apart. “We carry the largest selection of macaroons in the Bahamas. At any given time we can offer up to 15 different flavours. Our macaroons are flown in from Paris every week to Miami and then brought over by courier to Nassau. We also have an exclusive macaroon that is made just for us. It is a guava macaroon infused with champagne and dipped in 24-gold karat gold,” she said. Additionally, they offer savoury
items such as English sausage rolls and croque-monsieurs – a French sandwich that is made with honey roasted ham and Swiss cheese dusted with nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon. Other sweet options include brownies, cookies, French madeleines, cupcakes, and English scones which are served with fruit preserves or clotted cream. “Most of our menu offerings are the same things that would be on the menu of the top patisseries around the world,” she said. Mrs Thomas said since their open-
ing two months ago, business has been steadily growing. “We have had overwhelming support. I really think our guests appreciate relaxing in an intimate and chic environment while having their beverages and food items served to them on fine china. They love being able to the enjoy the experience of a more gracious era,” she said. And already it has become a popular place for small meetings, gatherings and social hangouts In addition to the food and beverage items, Café Channing Noelle is the ex-
clusive retailer of the Sugarfina luxury candy line which includes gummy bears infused with Dom Pérignon champagne or Whispering Angel Rosé. They also sell a line of hostess gifts such as champagne flutes, water goblets, cheese trays, tea cups and saucers, teapots and coffee pots. Mrs Thomas said that the space is available for private rentals for showers, birthday parties and other gatherings. Café Channing Noelle is open Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6.30pm, and on weekends from 8am to 6.30pm.
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Friday, July 7, 2017
prom PHOTOS/TERREL W CAREY
Charlexis and Yonzell
‘Great Gatsby’ inspires high school seniors By CARA HUNT firstname.lastname@example.org
ur prom princesses and princes continued to shine this week in all their finery as they channelled the glamour and sophistication of the Roaring Twenties. F Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”, both the book and the 2013 film, served as the inspiration for several schools who adopted the theme for their big night. Marinique Dawkins attended St Augustine’s College prom. “I chose to wear blue, because blue is my favourite colour. I ordered my dress online and I loved it. Our prom definitely exceeded my expectations. It was a great and it was very memorable evening,” she said of her special day.
(l-r) Atorio Cooper, Lavan Gardiner and Thomas Evans
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Another couple channelling the glamour of ‘The Great Gatsby’ for their big night were Thomas Evans and his date Tyler Strachan. They selected a fresh, modern colour palette of grey and mint green as they attended the Queen’s College prom at the British Colonial Hilton. “My date wore a mint green dress and I wanted a colour that would match, and so I chose to wear a grey suit,” Thomas told Tribune Weekend. “Our prom was a lot of fun. I think what made it so special was just seeing our friends dressed up and spending time with them in a relaxed setting.” Meanwhile, Atorio Cooper said he made he and his date, made a point to arrive in style when they walked in for Queen’s College’s prom. “When we pulled up I got out of the car and walked over to her side of the car where my dad then got out and put my coat on me before I opened her door,” he said. “We wore black. My date wore a black dress with a lace see-through piece in the middle and I wore an all black suit with a red bow tie and black suede shoes. I think our prom definitely lived up to our expectations. The whole evening – the dance, the dinner – was very nice.”
Tyler Strachan and Thomas Evans
(l-r) Dhuranique Ferguson and Lavan Gardiner, Crystal Li and Atorio Cooper, and Tyler Strachan and Thomas Evans
Atorio Cooper and Crystal Li
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Junkanoo Summer Festival a hit with visitors
PHOTOS/KEMUEL STU BBS
Junkanoo Summer Festival 2017 got off to vibrant start last Saturday.
ulsating sounds, skilled dancers and vibrant colours filled Arawak Cay last Saturday for the opening of this year’s Junkanoo Summer Festival (JSF). A signature event of the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, JSF attracted thousands of locals and visitors who gathered to watch the highly anticipated choreography competition between the A and B Junkanoo groups. The 11 groups were challenged to come up with their own theme relating to the islands of the Bahamas. Not to be outdone by the vibrant Junkanoo performances, food and craft vendors were also serving up something special of their own. Cherrel Rolle of Da Point Island Delight said she particularly enjoys the opportunity to cater both Bahamians and visitors. “Business hasn’t been bad at all. I’m enjoying the people and I like cooking, so it’s a joy for me to cater to my Bahamian people and tourists alike. The response has been very
good so far even although it’s my first time to Junkanoo Summer Festival,” she said. Calverna Swann of Club 900 said she hoped to be successful at this year’s JSF. “It’s my first time at JSF and I’m hoping to have a great time as a vendor. I always come and watch, but this is my first time as a vendor. By the end of the night I’ll be completely sold out,” Ms Swann said. Bahamian handcraft artist Ava Forbes of Ava Forbes Creations creates jewellery and souvenirs using sea glass, seashells and native flowers. She said the overall response to her products was outstanding. “Business has been excellent. It isn’t my first year at JSF, but festivals such as this are good for companies because it gives us exposure to the Bahamian public as well as to international visitors that come to the Bahamas, and they’ve been thrilled with the products I produce,” she said. Similarly, Christine Davis of Christine Davis Sea Glass said the interest
of her products has also caught tourists’ attention. “Seeing that this is my first time doing this, I’m really glad that I took up the opportunity to do it and I would do it again because it’s been that good. The response from the visitors has been really great because some of them don’t know what sea glass is and they’ve never seen anyone work with it before,” said Ms Davis. Daytime activities at JSF include pineapple, watermelon and roasted corn eating competitions. Visitors were seen all around the festival enjoying the sights and the sounds. Theresa Lehmann of Pennsylvania said the last time she was in the Bahamas was more than three decades ago and she was happy to experience the sights and sounds of the festival this year. “I was here about 35 years ago and this was my first time since. We were on Eleuthera the last time we were here and it really hasn’t changed that much; it’s still beautiful. But this is my first time in Nassau and it’s exactly
what I have always been told it was; colourful, activity filled with friendly people. I’m enjoying this festival very much. The Junkanoo is amazing and they’re so colourful. I’m hoping to be back very soon,” she said. First-time visitor Kelly Snyder of Ohio said she tried all of the foods offered and she loved every one. “The Bahamas is fantastic and the people here are so friendly. I can’t describe how friendly they are. It’s amazing. I’ve been to this festival for an hour and a half and I think I’ve tried everything from cracked lobster to I don’t even know. I’ve tried everything. I’m going to gain 10 pounds here. My favourite dish, however, is the crab and dough. It was fantastic and the parade is fantastic. The music is wonderful. I can’t wait to see the end,” she said. JSF takes a break on Saturday, July 8, for Independence celebrations and resumes on the 15th with the music competition. The overall competition will take place on July 22 and the results will be revealed on the 29th.
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theatre The cast of “A Woman’s Lot” in rehearsals.
Seasoned actor Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts turns his hand to directing with “A Woman’s Lot”.
New drama spotlights family strife By ALESHA CADET Tribune Features Writer email@example.com
Woman’s Lot”, an American play influenced by the unique culture of the Bahamas, is the latest production to hit the stage in the intimate setting of the Philip A Burrows Black Box Theatre at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. The dramatic tale directed by seasoned theatre actor Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts focuses on three generations of women, their personal struggles, delayed dreams and long-running family disputes. The play starts with Vanessa, the youngest of the women, arriving in Washington, DC, for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. She announces her intention to leave her husband and children. Her sister Maria, mother Delores, and grandmother Inez, are all opposed to the plan. At a later gathering of all four women, Vanessa’s news causes tensions and
past hurts to be unearthed. This story comes to life for an entire weekend, starting on Thursday, July 13, to Saturday, July 15, at 8pm nightly, and again on Sunday, July 16, at 6pm. “I have been a stage actor for many years. The discovery of this piece of work gave me the inspiration and allowed me to change roles and become director/producer,” Mr Roberts told Tribune Weekend. “After reading C G Gardiner’s play ‘A Woman’s Lot’ it was evident that the time he spent living in the Bahamas heavily influenced the development of his characters in this play. The women, though American, are deeply imbued with a Bahamian nature. I liked it.” The four women that make up the cast of “A Woman’s Lot” are Onike Archer as Vanessa; Nakeisha Sands as Maria; Leslie Ellis–Tynes as Delores, and Michaella Forbes as Inez. Experienced actress Mrs Ellis-Tynes said she feels honoured to have been chosen to take on the role as Delores. Her character, she revealed, goes through a myriad of emotions throughout the play.
“It’s been a beautiful and enjoyable challenge, allowing me to step out of my comfort zone and truly go beyond any boundaries I may have set for myself,” she said. While Mrs Ellis-Tynes has graced the stage for many a play, “A Woman’s Lot” is Michaella Forbes’ first appearance. She plays Inez, the 80-year-old matriarch of the family. The journey so far, she said, has been a truly unique experience. “Inez still has some spunk in her and a wealth of knowledge, so I hope to do the character justice,” she said. Also hoping to do right by her character is Onike Archer. Interestingly enough, she said, she identifies with many aspects of her character, Vanessa, who struggles with finding her true purpose in life and who yearns for happiness. “Portraying this character most definitely brings its challenges, but is fun nonetheless. Being one of four women cast for this intensely intimate play is an honour and I thank the director Skeebo Roberts for having faith and trust that I will bring Vanessa to life,”
she said. Like her fellow cast members, newcomer Nakeisha Sands is also grateful to have been chose for the play. And it is affording her the opportunity to introduce herself to the local theatre scene. She said the role of Maria has been both challenging and exciting to portray. “I say this because Maria’s lifestyle is the complete opposite of mine. Nevertheless, I’ve channelled the uneasiness of being a newbie into my work and have been able to learn and relate to who my character is, what she’s been through, and what she wants for herself,” said Ms Sands. The play’s assistant director, Kara Washington, said the play examines many issues that Bahamians have dealt with or are still dealing with, including lost dreams, family feuds, unhappiness and loneliness. “These are just some of the subjects that will be highlighted and I think they all will speak volumes to our audience members. It’s important that we as storytellers are able to relate to the people watching and hopefully entertain them while giving them guidance, understanding, and even closure to their personal situations,” she said. “A Woman’s Lot” is produced by Ringplay Productions, the parent company of The Shakespeare in Paradise festival. Tickets for the play are currently on sale for $30 per person. For more information, contact the box office at the Dundas.
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Designer gets versatile with Independence blazers By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
FTER failing to find the perfect suit to wear on the red carpet for a local award show, Gustavus Cox decided that he would begin designing his own. That marked the beginning of the Gustavus Augusta brand, a fashion label specialising in men’s bespoke formal and business suits, and which this year celebrates Independence in style. Mr Cox told Tribune Weekend that all his suits are made from top quality Italian wool, cashmere blends and brocade fabric. They are statement pieces, he said, that those who are fashion forward will find to be very versatile additions to their wardrobe. “After searching long and hard for a suit that was different yet still dapper for the 2014 Bahamian Icon Awards I decided that I would go into the suit business to bring forth a wider variety of modern day suiting to the Bahamas,” he said. So to meet a demand he observed, the 25-year-old Grand Bahama native decided to embark on a venture he had been dreaming of for a few years. “About two years prior I knew I wanted to become a business owner. After reading the book ‘Think & Grow Rich’ by author Napoleon Hill, a portion of the book stood out to me about persons wanting to find their passion in a business. In the book it explained that the best way to go about finding that passion was to think about something that I enjoyed most as a child. For me that would be wanting to always be dressed in the finest suits, whether it was at church or some other event that did or did not require me to be in a suit,” he said.
The Independence blazers from Gustavus Augusta feature Nassau and Freeport landmarks
The young designer recently launched a special collection of blazers to commemorate the 44th Independence of the Bahamas. The blazers were created under theme “Skyline of Paradise”. The design features major landmarks in Grand Bahamas and New Providence. “I chose those particular islands because Nassau is the capital of the Bahamas and Freeport being recognised as the nation’s second city, and also because I am a native of Grand Bahama,” he explained. For this concept Mr Cox collaborated with Bahamian artist Meghan Cooper. “I met Meghan in 2016 while browsing through a local fabric store. She was walking around with a painting of a poinciana tree which I fell in love with the moment I saw it. We got into talking and she explained to me that she had painted the marvellous piece. From that moment I knew I would work along with Meghan on some future project. Therefore, when the idea came to me about the Independence blazers she was the first person that came to mind to execute the task,” he said. While discussing the design with Meghan, Mr Cox said he stressed that versatility was a major element for this particular collection. “This is why I requested a lot of colour be incorporated throughout the design. Blazers can be worn in a formal fashion, paired with black pants and black bow tie, or they can be worn a bit more casual, paired with blue denim, coloured pants or chinos,” he said.
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Show your colours!
ust in time for the country’s 44th anniversary of Independence, the Bahamian fashion label Bahari has launched its fourth Independence collection under the theme “Celebrate Together”. The Bahari creative team said it was important for them to produce a more festive aesthetic this year, especially after all of the political divisiveness that took place during election season. The designs for the 2017 Independence collection feature elements of the coat of arms, accented with the opulent details that the brand has become known for. “Regardless of what our nation is going through, economically or politically, the common thread that unites us all is that we’re Bahamian,” said Kyle Williams, Bahari brand manager. “Our theme this year, ‘Celebrate Together’, was strategically chosen to make a statement that no matter what our choices are otherwise, we will celebrate our country together. We will celebrate being Bahamian and all that that represents – our
“Regardless of what our nation is going through, economically or politically, the common thread that unites us all is that we’re Bahamian.” culture, our history, our values and our people.” And not just people at home in Nassau and Freeport were eager to get their hands on the shirts. The Bahari team said as soon as they launched the new collection online orders started flooding in from all
over the world, from Bahamians in countries like France, Germany, Canada, and of course the US. This year’s advertising campaign was once again shot by Scharad Lightbourne on location at The Pier Bahamas. It features 16 local models of all ages and backgrounds. This year’s theme is further reinforced by the inclusion of Julian Believe’s hit song, “242 Forever”; a song that celebrates the spirit of being Bahamian and togetherness. This year also marks the first Independence release for Bahari’s new Bay Street location that opened last December. “This additional location provides our customers with a third retail outlet as opposed to only Bahari’s Rosetta Street and Circle Mall, Freeport, locations”, said Mr Williams. “Independence is an exciting time for us. We love the experience of seeing the pride and eagerness from Bahamians when they come into the store. Their energy is infectious and it continues to be a reminder of how blessed we are as a nation and how appreciative we are of the immense support over these past four years.”
2017 Independence T-shirts by Bahari
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Friday, July 7, 2017
celebrity The Weekend Fashion Report LA Premiere of “Spider-Man: Homecoming”
With Karin Herig and Cara Hunt
Zendaya playing Michelle
Marisa Tomei playing Aunt Mae
Yara Shahidi ”Black-ish”
Karin says: “Zendaya is slaying in this dress. It’s regal. I love that she went with such an unabashedly bright girly colour. And the cut is perfect for someone as tall as she is. (I love that she’s dating Spidey – Tom Holland – in real life even though he’s so much shorter than her.)” Cara says: “This bubble gum pink dress is cute and the shoes are very matchy matchy. I do like it, even though it almost looks like she threw up Pepto Bismol all over herself.”
Karin says: “She’s got a great figure, but for some reason this dress doesn’t do her justice. The silhouette is fine, so maybe it’s the dull colours. Also, the long hair really weighs down the look.” Cara says: “This I don’t like at all. I don’t care for the colours of the print and I feel like the style of the dress on the whole is just not that exciting; like we have seen it done a million times before and with a nicer fabric choice.”
Karin says: “It’s a cute idea, but doesn’t quite work. The top has a few too many wrap elements going on and bulks her up. The rolled up jeans with the sandals are cute, but the way they sit at the waist is not.” Cara says: “This is one of those outfits that doesn’t quite go together. I think the top is cute, but I don’t like it paired with the rolled-up jeans. That hair is giving me life though.”
Karen Gillan ”Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2”
Karin says: “A blue, velvet trench coat in dress form. By rights, I should hate everything about this. And yet...It looks a bit heavy, but otherwise I can live with this. It’s an interesting idea. Not sure she pulls it off 100 per cent though.” Cara says: “This is interesting. I am kinda of on the fence about it. In some ways I like it, but in other sense I feel like she is wrapped up in Grandma’s old, musty bedspread. It’s not hideous, just not sure how I feel about it.”
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Happy birthday Bahamas! By CARA HUNT email@example.com
t’s a three-day holiday weekend and Bahamians from all from walks of life will be celebrating the 44th anniversary of Independence. And although the official holiday is on Monday, there will be fun events to enjoy all weekend long. Today marks National Pride Day and persons are being asked to show their pride by wearing the black, aquamarine and gold of the flag. Head on over to Rawson Square, where starting at 10am today, you can witness a flag-raising ceremony, followed by an address by Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, performances by children’s groups, including the National Youth Orchestra and the National Children’s Choir, marching bands, all-Bahamian music, fun and lots of food. And if you want to celebrate Independence with a special birthday dinner, consider attending Sapodilla
Estate’s Summer Glo this evening. Entertainment will be provided by Avvy, Bodine and Julien Believe. Chef Edwin Johnson and his team will be preparing a special island themed menu for $55 dollars per person. Patrons who wish to participate in the full festivities can pay $80 for dinner and dancing throughout the evening. Sunday evening marks the official anniversary celebrations, beginning at 8pm at Clifford Park. Fort Charlotte MP Mark Humes, who serves as the chairman of the 44th Anniversary Bahamas Independ-
ence Celebrations Planning Committee, explained that the festivities will allow Bahamians to celebrate “our oneness as this year’s theme is ‘Toward the Rising Sun, One God, One People, One Bahamas’.” The official celebrations will feature an ecumenical service conducted by the Bahamas Christian Council. There will also be a cultural show, driven by artistic team of Ronald Simms (past producer of bands, cultural shows and marches); Fred Ferguson, musical director; Erin Knowles, cultural show director,
and Patrice Francis, writer. The centrepiece will be the unfolding of the steps that led to Bahamian Independence as seen through the eyes of a grandmother speaking to her grandchild – starting from ‘way back’ and bringing it into present day. The storytelling segment will feature some of the country’s top performers who will narrate from the different perspectives of the various islands of the archipelago. And of course there will be Junkanoo. The People’s Love and Unity Rush-Out will kick off at 1am on Bay Street. Then on Monday, the Culturama Liturgical Dance Parade will be staged at the Western Esplanade from 2pm to 6pm. It is expected to feature 1,500 young Bahamians who will sing gospel songs and present liturgical and folk dances. Celebrations conclude with the official Independence State Reception that takes place from 6pm to 8pm at Government House. Happy Independence!
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Capturing the extraordinary Scotiabank launches annual photo contest
“We are worldrenowned for our beaches and waters, but as Bahamians we know we have much more to offer. This contest is the platform to showcase these features.”
By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
OCAL photographers are being challenged to put their creativity to the test by capturing unique moments and turning them into works of art. Scotiabank is inviting the public to submit images that capture the extraordinary for its annual calendar contest, which this year is being held under the theme “Exceptional Moments”. The contest is open to both novice and experienced photographers. It was officially launched on June 26 and closes on July 24. A three-person panel will be judging the entries. “Scotiabank has been in the Bahamas for over 60 years and is proud to share in some of the exceptional moments our customers encounter through providing solutions that make them better off. This year we want photos that capture the unique nuances of the Bahama islands. We’re not just looking for a pretty picture, we want to see the extraordinary. This can be achieved by the way a moment is captured, as well as the subject being photographed. From a thunderstorm rolling in, to swimming pigs. The photographers really have an opportunity to showcase awe-inspiring work,” said Rachel Allahar manager of marketing programmes. Over the years the contest has seen a wide array of photographs ranging from scenic images to cultural occasions, including track meets and festivals. Ms Allahar said they hope to see the same diversification of the subject matter this year.
Shanteena Simms had a winning entry for the 2017 calendar with her “Discarded Toss”. “The calendar takes an artistic look at the Bahamian landscape’s social, cultural and natural undertones through the eyes of aspiring artists, photographers, and students. The annual photo contest is a means to motivate the community to capture the distinctiveness of the Bahamas and really explore the diversity that our islands offer. We are world-renowned for our beaches and waters, but as Bahamians we know we have much more
to offer. This contest is the platform to showcase these features,” she told Tribune Weekend. For convenience, the contest will be hosted online this year. Photos can be uploaded on the competition website and the entry form will be completed online at the same time. Photographers will be allowed to enter up to three different images for consideration. Selected images will be featured
in the 2018 Scotiabank calendar and photographers will be awarded up to $600. Scotiabank encourages anyone with an eye for great pictures to submit an entry. Qualifying photographs must be taken in the Bahamas, be in landscape orientation, and the entrant must have a copy of the image with a minimum 300 dpi resolution in JPG format.
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Friday, July 7, 2017
Surviving summer Summer is in full swing, and Jack Hardy says while it is time to concentrate on your grass, do not lose sight of the other plants you are growing.
ant to become a millionaire? A decade or so back it was the fashion to plant small hibiscus shrubs that were treated with a growth retardant and stayed about 12 inches in height yet produced their flowers in abundance. They were used in flower beds and as pathway liners and were very popular. Dabble in some chemistry and find an efficient grass retardant. Once your lawn has reached its full potential you could give it a spray and the lawn would stay at a tidy two inches for the rest of the summer. The makers of lawn care products from mowers to fertilizers will beat a path to your door and make an offer you cannot refuse. Dreaming aside, now that it is official summer it is grass that takes up most of our time and energy. With little in the
Sweet red bell peppers growing in planters. way of vegetables and annuals to care for, summer would be time out and we could concentrate on enjoying our garden environment. But we cannot escape the fact that the plants we do have growing will need special attention in order to survive the summer. Pepper plants – sweet and hot – that served us well during the past growing season will likely still be producing but will not look as pretty as they once did. They may be leggy and somewhat ragged but if they are bearing fruits they should stay around. Transfer any in the ground to three-gallon pots and move them to a lightly shaded area where they receive direct morning and evening sun but are protected from the midday and early afternoon scorching. Once in pots your peppers will need a light daily watering, even on those days it rains. Make a point of picking peppers as soon as they turn ripe. Sweet peppers can be refrigerated for several days but if you have a mass of hot peppers it may be best to freeze them. More pepper trees are killed by being used as ornamentals than by insect predation. Harvest on a daily basis. Do not rely upon your old stock completely, however. Plant some seeds and enjoy the first flush of fruits that
are usually the best in size and taste. It is barbecue season all year in The Bahamas but particularly in summer. Peppers like Cubanelle, Anaheim and Banana are great on the grill along with the meat. Just give them a spray of oil to crisp up the skin and allow for easy removal. Once they have collapsed flat they are ready to be skinned and served up. Start your seeds in the same semi-shaded location you have your mature peppers and they will adapt very nicely. This is pineapple eating season but also the time when we gather the means to grow next year’s fruits. When you have cut a pineapple for your delectation you must leave the plant in the pot for several weeks to allow suckers and sets to develop. Some may grow around the immediate base of the fruit and these should be planted in trays to develop roots. Once rooted, the sets can be transferred to a three-gallon pot to provide next year’s fruits. Pineapples are bromeliads and can therefore take more shade than we often allow for. Place your newly-potted sets in good shade and move them to a sunnier location during October. Ratoons and slips from the decapitated pineapple plant will be planted later and also take longer to bear fruit.
Only use crowns if you are prepared to wait for two years to get fruit. That is too long for me. The Wimbledon tennis championships begin on Monday and the favourite sweet treat there is strawberries and cream. The strawberries used are called July Bearers for obvious reasons and have a short but productive season. Here in the subtropics we use Everbearing strawberries that produce most of their fruits in late winter and spring but can give a fruit or two just about any time of the year. The plants are perennials and bear well for about three years. In the meantime they send out stolons with new plants that can be rooted in a small pot while still attached to the parent plant. Strawberries must be grown in containers because they require acid soil. They can be grown individually but the best method is to plant a group together in a large flat container. Many plants are social entities and enjoy being in a crowd. Although it is fun growing new plants from stolons the time has to come when we stop propagating and allow the parent plant to build up strength for summer survival and later fruit production. When you decide upon that time you must have the determination to clip away stolons as they appear. This is like nipping off the first bell pepper flowers or picking off young mangoes in the first year of bearing; the rewards come later. While growing new plants from stolons I find it useful to use clips to anchor the small plants in their individual pots. Some makes of plastic cutlery have elongated holes in their handles and – severed at the right spot – these make perfect clips. Place the clip over the stolon right next to the sucker plant and gently push it in to just make contact with the soil. It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for the 3-inch pot to become root bound and ready to go to a larger pot. You can use a gallon container as an intermediate step or go straight to a 3-gallon pot (or a mass growing container) as the final growing container. If your strawberries are grown individually you should change the soil every year. Remove the whole plant and shake away excess soil. Re-pot the plant with fresh potting mixture and use Osmocote for a top dressing and Miracid as a spray fertilizer. When spring comes your biggest problem will be finding Jersey cream. • For comments and questions e-mail email@example.com
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film CHUCK ZLOTNICK/COLUMBIA PICTURES-SONY VIA AP
Holland, cast delight in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING 133 MINUTES
ne thing is certain: Culture has not been lacking in takes on Spider-Man for the past 15 years. First there was Tobey Maguire, who under the direction of Sam Raimi for three films ushered in the modern superhero era, and then there was Andrew Garfield whose two films with Marc Webb were immediately forgettable. And now, like all obedient franchises, they’re trying to start all over again, this time with the much more age-appropriate Tom Holland in “Spider-Man: Homecoming .” And you know what? Superhero cynicism aside, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is really fun. Director Jon Watts, whose only previous feature film credit is the indie thriller “Cop Car,” has confidently put his stamp on the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger by making one bold move: actually casting teenagers to play teenagers. Yes, after two films with late 20-somethings donning the Spidey suit and getting bitten by that pesky spider, Spider-Man finally gets to be a kid (and we get to skip over the whole origin/ Uncle Ben story). Instead, Watts’ film, which is upsettingly credited to six screenwriters, picks up with Peter Parker (Holland) right before, during and after the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” which introduced Holland’s Spider-Man in that epic airport Avengers battle. Instead of a “last week in Marvel” segment to catch up, we’re given a refresher via Peter’s perspective.
Tom Holland in a scene from “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Michael Keaton stars as Vulture. (L to R) Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland. He’s just an excited kid who filmed the whole adventure and ever since has been thirsting for more Avengers action. He tries, endearingly, to prove his mettle on his own as he waits idly in Queens for a call from Tony Stark — giving directions to the elderly, retrieving stolen bikes and doing flips on command. What he doesn’t know is that for eight years there has been a supervillain emerging in his town in the form of a wronged construction worker, Adrian (Michael Keaton), who decided to break bad after losing a job to a government crew that clears post-superhero fight disaster
areas. Peter, with his true-blue heart and naivete and eagerness to prove himself, of course takes on more than he can handle, while also trying to navigate high school, homework, crushes and the awkwardness of just being a teenager. Time passes easily and just when you might worry that you don’t actually care about any of the characters, the story throws a great curveball that carries interest to the end. The film is overflowing with stellar talent, even in the smallest of roles and not counting the Marvel loaners in Robert Downey Jr (who oozes charisma and charm even when phoning it in for a handful of scenes)
and Jon Favreau. In the high school alone, there’s the too-cool Michelle (Zendaya), the crush Liz (Laura Harrier) and the adorable breakout best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon). Hannibal Buress and Martin Starr are there, too, to add reliable laughs. Then of course there is Holland, a terrific actor since “The Impossible,” who is the perfect amount of empathetic, excitable and clueless to make Peter Parker work now and for years to come. For the most part, “Homecoming” is a joy. It’s light-hearted, smart, a little meta and the first Marvel film to really consider what it might be like for kids living in a world where superheroes are real. LINDSEY BAHR AP Film Writer
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Friday, July 7, 2017
literary lives pat cavendish o’neill
The tumultuous life of an heiress and animal lover (Part II of III) Sir Christopher Ondaatje examines the life of an heiress who couldn’t say “no” and sacrificed everything for her love of wild animals, about which she wrote two bestselling books.
at Cavendish O’Neill was 23 when they went to New Providence Island in the mid 1940s – in those days a beautiful unspoilt island with almost nobody on the beaches. “(Nassau) was enchanting with its colourful houses and brightly painted tin roofs, nestling under the palm trees. Swarms of Bahamian children played on the verandahs, while
Pat spent many of her days with her pets and history grandmother in her rocking chair, often smoking a clay pipe, would keep an eye on her knitting or needlework and the other on the naked black babies,” Pat wrote. “Time had no meaning in this sleepy, hot climate. The fishermen in their large straw hats would congregate by the harbour selling their fish, abalone and conch shells. They would sit strumming their guitars while they waited for customers. In fact, the whole island rocked to the sound of calypso music. The islandIn Nassau, Pat became engaged to the poet Richard Murphy, left, the son of the Governor of the Bahamas, Sir William, here with his wife Lady Murphy. Comtinued on page 22
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Comtinued from page 21 ers would stroll down the streets arm in arm, playing their guitars. Everyone played music... Dominating it all was the old fort with its gun emplacements and Government House. Below was the harbour, filled with magnificent yachts belonging to international celebrities, all vying for a place in the sun after so many years of the austerity of war.” The previous Governor of the Bahamas had been Edward VIII, then the Duke of Windsor after his abdication and marriage to Wallis Simpson. They seemed to know everyone on the island, and as a result were invited to several garden parties at Government House. It was at one of these functions that Pat O’Neill met Richard Murphy, the new hero of her dreams, the tall, slim, dark-haired and slightly effeminate aide-de-camp to his father, Sir William Murphy, the Governor of the Bahamas. A few nights later she was invited to a small dinner and sat between the heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and Richard Murphy. They saw a lot of each other and the young Murphy was most attentive not only to Pat O’Neill but also to her mother. Then, for no apparent reason, his attention stopped and there were endless empty days of waiting – until early one evening Lady Murphy arrived at their house on Cable Beach, fixed her with a baleful stare and said: “My son Richard is very much in love with you. I do not know how you feel about him but I would like to know what your answer would be if he were to ask you to marry him. If your answer is to be ‘No’, I will see what can be done for my son who, being a poet, is very romantic and I worry what a negative answer might do to his health. Ever since he met you, he has been most distracted and not his usual self.” Not surprisingly the relieved Pat O’Neill said “Yes”, following which there were a series of large engagement parties and dinners for the young couple. On Lady Murphy’s invitation she then moved into Government House, and there followed more entertaining – lunches, dinners, cocktails, and more garden parties. Pat’s mother, Lady Kenmare, flew down to Nassau from New York to meet Lady Murphy to set a date for the wedding to take place later that year – 1949. When she was there she
Friday, July 7, 2017
Pat met her second husband, Comte Aymon de Roussy de Sales, in Nassau. was always the centre of attention, dressing in couture gowns which drew gasps from the Government House guests. “Richard not only dazzled his father but I think himself as well. He was certainly being immensely solicitous in pouring Mummy drinks of Coca-Cola and that could easily have been left for the footmen. I laughed to myself as I watched the admiring hom-not-so-sapiens congregating around my beautiful mother.” Pat then sailed with her mother from New York to France, and while there Lady Murphy was constantly on the telephone trying to arrange wedding details and particularly a definite date. Lady Kenmare was about to go to Australia again but could not go before the wedding. As the month of September approached, Pat began to panic as to her the commitment of marriage was a nightmare and symbolised a loss of freedom. A month before the
wedding she broke off the engagement. The first Bahamian chapter of her life was over. Australia with her mother seemed a much more attractive alternative and one that would end the first Bahamian chapter of her life with fortuitous finality. She did not see Richard Murphy again for nearly half a century – by which time he was Professor of Anglo-Irish Literature and Drama at University College in Dublin, and a recognised poet. In October 1949, Pat sailed with her mother and Caryll on the Orcades to Australia – but Caryll, her brother, disembarked at Port Said on the Suez Canal and went on to Kenya heralding a new experience in his life. On board the ship were several sportsmen including the Australian swimming star Frank O’Neill who had taken part in the London 1948 Olympics the year before. He was travelling home with about 10 of his sporting friends. They met at
the swimming pool where several people were watching him swim lap after lap. “I was lying sunbathing when he emerged from the pool ... Frank had a magnificent figure with a very developed chest and slim hips, and the most indecent bathing suit of very thin material in navy blue that clung like a second skin. All the swimmers wore the same suit, very thin cotton, to offer the least water resistance,” Pat recalled. By the end of the voyage they were very serious about each other. When they docked in Sydney reporters swarmed on board – obviously interested in their local swimming star, but also in the widow of Lord Castlerosse and a Lindeman. One of the questions asked by a reporter was “... and Lady Kenmare, how many times have you been married, and were they all millionaires?” “Oh!” Lady Kenmare replied with a straight face and a bored tone of voice: “So many times I have forgotten. Of course they were millionaires, it would have been no point marrying them otherwise. Anyhow I killed them all. I needed their money and divorce is so messy!” Lady Kenmare had the laid-back Australian reporters eating out of her hand. She was in her element surrounded by good looking men telling them outrageous stories. They then met O’Neill’s family, and everyone got on famously. Frank O’Neill was very popular and wasn’t allowed to do anything but train and swim. He had a crowd of followers and was also a very good surfer. After a whirlwind romance the then Pat Cavendish announced her engagement to Frank O’Neill just after the Auckland Empire Games in 1950. There was an enormous fuss in the Australian press about their sports hero marrying the daughter of a countess with millions at her disposal and a huge villa on the French Riviera. Once the engagement was announced they all (including Frank O’Neill) left for Europe, visiting Kenya first, and finally back to the South of France where they were married in the British Consulate on September 30, 1950. Lady Kenmare rented a huge yacht for their honeymoon, but at the last moment Pat panicked and refused to go, thus leaving the luxury boat to be used by all the residents of Fiorentina leaving the young married couple behind. The marriage was short-lived, last-
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“Frank had a magnificent figure with a very developed chest and slim hips, and the most indecent bathing suit of very thin material in navy blue that clung like a second skin. All the swimmers wore the same suit, very thin cotton, to offer the least water resistance.” ing only three years. Although Frank bought a house in Manly, Australia, his wife never wanted to live there and be away from her family, so soon after the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games Pat wrote to him from the South of France asking for a divorce. She also, despite claiming that she was never jealous, could not in the end tolerate the numerous females following him around and his legion of affairs. Being Catholic he obviously did not want the divorce. She did not see her husband again for 17 years, when she received a letter from him out of the blue asking to see her in South Africa. They were married again in 1969 – a marriage that has lasted for over half a century. They are still married – although they live on different continents and Frank lives in Australia with another girlfriend. The second Bahamian chapter of Pat Cavendish O’Neill’s life started in 1956, three years later, when she met Comte Aymon de Roussy de Sales. Searching for the sun her mother had bought yet another house on Cable Beach and, with Clarissa Chaplin, they had flown to Nassau for the winter. At a nightclub, and then at a cocktail party, de Roussy de Sales approached her. He was a renowned seducer of women. “He was dressed all in white, white trousers and open white cotton shirt ... I was talking to Pitt Oakes ... he was a great friend but he drank excessively ... I never ever allowed him to even kiss me as I could not bear the smell of his alcoholic breath. I
liked him enormously though and felt that having had a father, Sir Harry Oakes, murdered in the horrific fashion in which he was, was enough to send anyone off the rails. Sir Harry had been bludgeoned and then found dead in his bed in his Nassau mansion during the war on 8 July 1943. His body had been set alight ... and the murder remained unsolved,” Pat wrote. Nothing mattered. She was immediately in the throes of a passionate love affair with Aymon de Roussy de Sales. “He was not only beautiful to look at but passionate, romantic and the most perfect of lovers. He told me that for him it was love at first sight. He could not take his eyes off me and he knew then, without having spoken to me, that I was the girl he wanted to marry.” The next morning he moved into their house on Cable Beach. In those heady early months they could not get enough of each other. He was a good sailor and they cruised from island to island, narrowly missing a tornado off the coast of Eleuthera. They wanted to marry, but there was one complication. Although she had not seen Frank O’Neill for years – they had still not managed to get a divorce. So the ever compliant Lady Kenmare called her lawyers who advised Pat O’Neill to establish a residence in Florida and get a quick divorce there. Her mother managed to buy her a cottage on the edge of a lake and she had to remain a resident of Ocala for a month. After
Pat’s half-brother, Rory Cameron, the son of a shipbroking millionaire from New York. a brief trip to Mexico the young couple married in a Registry Office in New York. Aymon de Roussy was eight years younger than Pat O’Neill. After the wedding Lady Kenmare went back to her Villa Fiorentina in France and de Roussy and his wife settled in New York. She was enraptured with city life, but after a few months she got claustrophobic in her small apartment and longed
for the open country. There was an additional problem too. They had no money. They had run out of money and she was too proud to beg from her mother. She got a job. First in a travel agency which didn’t work out, and then as a model – which was easier but tentative. She was longing to get back to her real home Fiorentina in the South of France. As the wife of Aymon de Roussy her stay Comtinued on page 24
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La Fiorentina in the South of France. During World War II, the villa was occupied by the Nazis who left it in ruins before Pat’s mother Enid, now Lady Kenmare, and her son Rory Cameron restored it. Comtinued from page 23 in New York involved spending most weekends with friends, nightclubs every night, and lunches. They went to Kenya to visit her brother who now had his own farm there. In Africa she was wild and free again in a land she loved, but after a few months her husband was desperate to return to New York to be with his city friends again. She refused to go with him. Instead she went with her mother and younger brother to stay with Barbara Hutton in Tangiers for a few weeks, and then returned to La Fiorentina. Two months later she received a “Dear Jane” letter from her husband asking for a divorce. He had met someone
while on a trip to Mexico. With some relief she replied that he should go ahead with his romantic plans and she would not try to stop him. She saw him only one more time in Nassau the next winter when he begged her to remain with him but she resisted the temptation. It was a marriage that would never have worked and she would never have been able to lead her dramatic life in Africa with her beloved wild animals. The second chapter of her Bahamian life was finally over. Caryll Cavendish, Pat’s younger brother, was the first to move to Kenya. His mother’s present to him after the war was an aeroplane; the next was his farm in Kenya. In those days Kenya had a lot of very rich
English people. Its beautiful fertile country, the climate and glamour attracted second sons of aristocratic families who wanted their own land - people who wanted a new start and others who just wanted the freshness and promise of a country that hadn’t been ripped apart by war. Compared to Kenya, post-war Britain with its rationing and austerity seemed very dull. Pat and her mother, and sometimes her elder brother, visited Caryll nearly every winter. Lady Kenmare had bought her brother a magnificent piece of land, 12,000 acres in the beautiful Subukia Valley high in the eastern foothills of the Rift Valley. The land bisected the equator. He named it Equator Farm and the land went from 6,000 feet
to an escarpment which rose to 10,000 feet. No expense was spared in building the African village-type farmhouse, and Colefax and Fowler were given the commission to furnish and decorate the entire house. He had married Danièlle Guirche – the beautiful daughter of a rich French industrialist. Life was easy and exciting, and Pat soon fell under the spell of Kenya’s magic. NEXT WEEK: Pat Cavendish O’Neill, the conclusion • Sir Christopher Ondaatje is an adventurer and writer resident in the Bahamas. A Sri Lankan-born Canadian-Englishman, he is the author of several books, including “The Last Colonial”.
The Tribune | Weekend | 25
Friday, July 7, 2017
The man who rescued Robinson Crusoe Forgotten facts Paul C Aranha
oodes Rogers, who served two terms as Governor of the Bahamas, is usually best-remembered for two things. Firstly, his predecessors had been appointed by the Lords Proprietor, but he was appointed by the King, and for this reason he is referred to as the first royal governor. Secondly, he chased the pirates away and gave the colony a new motto: “Expulsis Piratis - Restituta Commercia”. In the last few weeks I have had numerous enquiries about Rogers, which sent me to re-read Seighbert Russell’s prolific writings. Russell researched Rogers’ origins and concluded that he was born in Bristol in 1679. He also found that he was the grandson of Woods Rogers and his father’s name was also Woods Rogers. In 1690, when a poll tax was introduced, the Woodes Rogers family, including wife Frances and son Woodes, had moved (back) to Poole. There is no explanation for the different spelling. Some readers probably don’t stop to think that the Bahamian flag didn’t always look the way it is, but before Independence the flag and coat-ofarms of the Colony of the Bahamas were very different. The top left corner of the flag was a small Union Jack and the centrepiece was the crest, which included three sailing ships that are often incorrectly assumed to be Santa Maria, Pina and Niña, bringing Columbus here in 1492. The truth is that our crest depicted two pirate ships of 1718 being chased away by a man-owar flying the Union Jack. It took me a long time to realise that the Union Jack is not symmetrical. It has a right-way-up and is often flown upside-down, which Deltec Bank does almost every day of the
Rogers (right) receives a map of New Providence Island from his son, in a painting by William Hogarth (1729).
On the flag of the Colony of the Bahamas note the British man-o-war chasing the two pirate ships. In the lower left corner of the Union Jack, the diagonal red line is near the bottom of the diagonal white line; if it were nearer the top the Union Jack would be upside down.
week. Rogers is one of several governors who died while in the Bahamas. The most recent was Sir George Ritchie Sandford, who died in 1950 and is buried in the Eastern Cemetery. Rogers is believed to have been buried in a property on the slope of Frederick Street, where the stairs are, although it is said by some that only his heart was buried there and his body was shipped back to Bristol. When asked whether Rogers really did rescue Robinson Crusoe, I could only answer “sort of”. Then I went on to tell of a former Bahamas Airways stewardess who helped me with research for my upcoming book on the history of Bahamas Airways. I worked with, and still thought of her as Miss Smallbone, and just found out that she is Mrs Alexander Selkirk. Her husband, whom she met in Nassau, is a direct descendant of the man whom Rogers rescued and who is said to be the real-life inspiration for the fictional Crusoe. For almost 300 years each generation of that Selkirk line has included at least one son with the name Alexander. • E-mail comments and responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Tribune | Weekend | 27
Friday, July 7, 2017
animals Animal matters Kim Aranha
Puppies here, puppies there, puppies everywhere!
Sharks and dogs
By The Bahamas Humane Society
T (PHOTO/SHELLEY HARDMAN)
very year around this time we have to have the same conversation about the same things. It never fails to amaze me how many people just don’t get it. I am sorry if I sound brutal, but how hard is it to understand that sharks belong in the sea. That is their habitat, not ours. If we venture into the depths (or if the truth be told, not that deep at all) we place ourselves where sharks hang out, plain and simple and to the point. Yes, year after year we have to listen to reporters on TV declare in amazement that there have been shark sightings off beaches up and down both coasts of the United States of America…in the sea, off beaches? No, really? Let’s stop this foolishness for a moment. Honestly, where would one expect to find sharks. Why the amazement? I would love to know who in the world started the false theory that large sharks do not come close to shore or swim in shallow waters. Growing up in the Berry Islands I saw many sharks swim between Bird Cay and Kitten Cay at half or low tide, with not just their dorsal fin out of water but a portion of their backs as they navigated the shallow stretch between two natural channels. It was something that we kids watched in awe, but filtered with a huge dollop of respect for this magnificent animal who rules our waters. We swam, sure we did, just feet away from where a shark had just been seen a hour or so before, but we were vigilant. The narrow channel between Bird Cay, my father’s island, and Kitten Cay, belonging to my aunt, Marion Carstairs, was a popular basking area for sharks of various sizes. In the summer there were masses of baby sharks littering the pristine white sand banks that abruptly fell off into a channel that was about 12 feet deep at low tide. We used to look out for the “mommy shark” in the channel. The baby
PET OF THE WEEK
he summertime puppy explosion has arrived. The Bahamas Humane Society has dozens of lovely healthy puppies between the ages of eight weeks and six months available for adoption. Puppies can introduce a lively, boisterous factor to your home, and summer’s a great time to do this as the kids are off school and have more time to interact with their new family member(s). Remember, a pup will need training along with regular vet visits, and it is a lifetime commitment as you are
adding a new family member, one who will guard and protect your family along with loving them unconditionally. Are you ready to add some puppy power to your home? If so, come in to the BHS and ask about the dog/puppy adoption special. Adoption hours are 11am to 4pm, Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm on Saturday. The puppies are eager to meet you! • All BHS pups are spayed/neutered before adopting. Please, if you have a dog, or know of a street dog in your area, consider having it spayed
SHARKS swimming close to shore. hammerheads were the cutest; perfect miniature replicas of their parents. We were never surprised to see these large, and I mean large, sharks close to shore. Now it is treated as if it were an unusual occurrence. A point to note, if there is an area rich in eagle rays you will for sure find sharks, and more likely hammerheads. The eagle ray is a delicacy for the hammerhead. The sharks come into “your” bay to feed. Not surprising, and just in case you forgot, it is not actually “your” bay. It is part of a great big ocean out there and it belongs far more to the sharks than to
or neutered. This island is very small and it is difficult to find homes for all these pups. The BHS is no-kill so we will keep these ones until they find homes, but it’s not a costfree endeavour. How can you help? Adopt, don’t
PHOTO/SCOTT CRAIG ARANHA
you. There is a fallacy that a shark will not cross the reef that runs along the north shore of New Providence. Don’t ask me where that one came from. The reef has so many openings, cuts, and gaps in it that a whale could navigate through it (that’s another article). There is absolutely nothing stopping a shark from cruising along the shore, six feet away from the beach. He probably doesn’t bother to because the fish he wishes to feed off are usually out in the grass or near little rock heads or reefs. But there is
shop! Donate time, money, items for the shelter or the Thrift Shop. Volunteer. Spread the word! Know a dog that needs to be spayed or neutered? Call the BHS 323-5138 or BAARK! at 427-7729 for assistance. Thank you!
nothing to stop him! There was a fascinating video of a hammerhead pursuing a ray on a beach out west and he got so close to the beach that his entire body was out of the water and he had to make quite an effort to spin around. He was a big shark, powerful and splendid. I believe the ray got away that time. So to those of you swimming, fishing, diving this Independence Day weekend, take heed as you venture into the shark’s territory. Respect his right to be there. Remember that you are the intruder. If you are spearfishing, clear your spear after each fish. Do not carry dying fish around on you spear or belt. That is asking for trouble. So many people are attacked by sharks by mistake. The shark is attracted to the fish blood in the water and the irregular motion of a dying fish on a spear – a classic dinner invitation to a hungry shark. Another Independence Day request: There will be fireworks, make sure that your dog is either indoors or in your garage before you go out. The fireworks will spook him; he will get out of the yard and could get lost, stolen or run over. Every year the Bahamas Humane Society is out searching for missing dogs. Remember your pet before you go out and have fun. Happy Independence weekend to my readers; drive safely!
28 | The Tribune | Weekend
Friday, July 7, 2017
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