EIGHT MILE ROCK, Grand Bahama – The West Grand Bahama Public Library has officially been renamed the Pastor Wilbur Outten Public Library & Community Center. The renaming took place on Sunday, January 29, 2017, by Prime Minister of The Bahamas, the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, along with Minister of Tourism, Obie Wilchcombe and Minister for Grand Bahama, Dr. Michael Darville.
Just before unveiling the new sign that bore the name and a photo of Pastor Outten, who passed away two weeks ago, Prime Minister Christie said that Pastor Outten was a man who was about building community and thus he found it fitting that a public library would be named in his honor.
“He was a man of the people,” said Prime Minister Christie. “Accolades continue to ring throughout the community regarding all he and his family means to the Grand Bahama community, especially in regard to his commitment to youth development and education.
“Personally, I have had the esteemed privilege of meeting him and speaking at his church, however, much more importantly, I heard from the Deputy Director of Urban Renewal, Michelle Reckley of Rev. Outten’s significant support of the program.
“For me, it was very interesting, as the program had been designed to help the most disadvantaged throughout the country and Rev. Outten, through his tenure as a pastor and development as a clergyman, moved outside the church assembly that he pastured to help those in need around the nation.”
The renaming of the library was planned even before Rev. Outten’s death three weeks ago. It was Rev. Outten, with the assistance of Rev. Lindy Russell of Mt. Zion Baptist Church, who led the way in ensuring that there was a public library available for the children of Eight Mile Rock and West Grand Bahama. The library was opened on September 30, 2011.
The Prime Minister pointed out that although the library was located in Eight Mile Rock, it was available for use by anyone who needed to use the facility. “This will serve not just this generation of young people, but hopefully it will benefit generations to come,” added Prime Minister Christie.
“Therefore, I would like to indicate to Rev. Lindy Russell, along with the members of the Pastor’s Forum and the West Grand Bahama Youth Development Association, that the Government of The Bahamas would be inclined, if invited, to render support to this library.
“Further, I would like to advise Minister of Tourism and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Obie Wilchcombe of ensuring that an offer is made to have all that is being done by this library augmented by the support of the Government of The Bahamas, even if that means paying for a librarian to be present to supervise and ensure the best quality operations are carried out here.”
Speaking on behalf of her family Tanya Outten, Rev. Outten’s daughter, thanked the Pastor’s Forum and Prime Minister Christie for renaming the library in honor of her father. She said it was her hope that the library would have an “awesome influence” on the lives of all who utilize it, both now and for generations to come.