Ian Fair begins his ‘dirty work’ as GBPA chairman

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Oswald Brown

Oswald Brown Writes

By OSWALD T. BROWN

Ian Fair has been on the job as chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) for slightly more than a week and already he is doing the dirty work of Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham, who appointed him to that position.

There is a marvelous film by Calvin Dwight Harris documenting the contributions that Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, the father of the nation, made to this country that has received rave reviews in New Providence.

Mr. Harris wanted to screen that film in Grand Bahama, so he contacted the GBPA to make arrangements to use a venue in the Port Lucaya Marketplace for the screening and his request was confirmed by Karen Bain, Entertainment and Marketing Coordinator for the Port Lucaya Marketplace.

However, Mr. Harris received an e-mail from Mrs. Bain on Monday, April 2, notifying him of a decision by the Executive Management of the GBPA that because of the upcoming elections, the screening of “On the Wing of Men” at Port Lucaya Marketplace had to be cancelled.

Here’s what Mrs. Bain said in her e-mail to Mr. Harris: “We regret to inform you that by advice from Executive Management, we must postpone the screening “On the Wing of Men” until after the general elections. It is goal to have all Bahamians come and support our movie night and with the political climate being so volatile at present we wish to postpone which would be in the best interest of all. We apologize for any inconvenience and will keep in touch to plan a new date for the screening.”

This is unbelievable. There is absolutely nothing controversial in this excellent documentation of the life of Sir Lynden Pindling that should have prompted the “Executive Management” of the GBPA to make such a stupid and silly decision.

This clearly confirms that Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham had a hand in this decision. Make no mistake about it, the appointment of Ian Fair as chairman of the GBPA was a decision made by Ingraham.

But here’s a very important question: What is it about this film that Ingraham does not want voters in Grand Bahama to see? Sir Lynden’s legacy as the most revered champion of the struggle for majority rule in this country cannot be erased from our history.

Every Bahamian student of history is well aware that when Lynden Oscar Pindling returned from London in the early 1950s, he put on hold opportunities to become part of the elite group of young black lawyers whose main ambition was to join the legal status quo; instead, he became a member of the newly formed PLP to help alleviate the suffering of blacks in this country.

Every Bahamian student of history is well aware of how Lynden Oscar Pindling was one of the first six PLP members to be elected to the House of Assembly in 1956.

Every Bahamian student of history is well aware of how Lynden Oscar Pindling led the struggle for majority rule against an oppressive United Bahamian Party (UBP) government, resulting in the historic victory of the PLP at the polls in the January 1967 general elections.

These are facts of history that are included in this remarkable film by Calvin Dwight Harris, who was born in The Bahamas and attended Columbus Primary, C.H. Reeves, and the Government High School before going abroad to continue his education at the University of Idaho, from where he graduated in 1994 with a degree in agricultural engineering.

In 2004, he founded Harris Entertainment and last December he completed my first feature length film, “On the Wing of Men”, about Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, the first Prime Minister of The Bahamas, which won the Audience Award at the 8th Annual Bahamas International Film Festival for Best Documentary Film.

What is it about this film that Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham does not want voters in Grand Bahama to see?

Regardless of the upcoming elections, this is a Bahamian film about the life and times of a man who is arguably the greatest political leader in this country’s history; certainly Sir Lynden’s place in the political history of this country is etched in granite. What’s more, this is a film made by a Bahamian, for Bahamians.

All Ian Fair and the GBPA have demonstrated by their cancellation of permission to show this film in at a Port Lucaya Marketplace venue is that Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham now has tremendous influence over the decision-making process at the GBPA.

What makes this so sad is that for the past two-plus years, after he refused to renew the work permit of then Grand Bahama Port Authority Chairman Hannes Babak in December of 2009, Ingraham has done all he could possibly do the cripple Grand Bahama’s economy and is responsible for myriad hardships that residents of this islands have had to endure since he imposed his vindictive and spiteful policies against Grand Bahama.

Fortunately, I am told that arrangements have been made for “On the Wing of Men” to be screened at the Hilton Outten Convention Center on Settlers Way in Freeport this Thursday, April 12, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Let’s all show Hubert “THE DICTATOR” Ingraham and his puppet chairman of the GBPA what we think about their efforts to try and suppress the remarkable contributions Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling made to this country and turn out in overflowing numbers to view “On the Wing of Men.”