Community Parks are Important in Cultural Development, says Minister Maynard

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Minister of State for Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard recently checked on equipment that will go into the community park being developed in Bricknock Subdivision. He said that community parks have always played a role in Bahamian social and cultural development, especially when one considers the role it played in the establishment of Junkanoo and musical groups. (Photo: Eric Rose)

By ERIC ROSE

NASSAU, Bahamas –
Community parks have always played a role in Bahamian social and cultural development, especially when one considers the role it played in the establishment of Junkanoo and musical groups, Minister of State for Culture the Hon. Charles Maynard said in a recent address.

“Community bands could be developed as a result of the park acting as a centre of activity,” Minister Maynard noted. “Cultural expressions, such as Junkanoo groups, usually sprung out of this kind of socialisation; so the prospects are good for the further growth and development of culture in new communities.”

In its manifesto, the government pledged to implement a programme of expansion and upgrade of neighbourhood parks.

Minister Maynard pointed out that when people usually think of community parks, they think of larger events and festivals aimed towards revelry. However, he said, when you have growing areas and new subdivisions, the whole concept of the community park is important to those residents for different reasons.

“It gives them a chance to get to know each other and learn how to work together,” he said.

The Culture Minister used as examples the parks being developed in Bricknock, Misty Gardens and Carol Manor and Carol Cove Subdivisions. He said that such parks are in relatively new subdivisions with “sizeable” populations. Once those parks are developed, it is hoped that various community programmes are developed as a way to bring them together and create traditions.

“Just because they are not in the city does not mean that we cannot have that same spirit of togetherness, unity and cultural uniqueness that some of the inner-city communities enjoy,” Minister Maynard said.

Minister Maynard noted that with all the social problems currently facing the country, it is important for citizens to “learn how to be each other’s neighbour” and appreciate each other’s traditions and enjoy being Bahamian.

“We hope to be the pilot programme for what can happen throughout the nation,” he said referring the parks in the area.

Minister Maynard added that even though most community parks are usually funded by the $100,000 allowance given to each constituency, private sector sponsorship should be encouraged in order to ensure their development and maintenance in as many communities as possible.

“We are hoping that further development can be aided by various corporate partners, both in the communities and nationally, because a more peaceful, united community is a safer community,” he said.