By Clunis Devaney
NASSAU, Bahamas – Pinewood Member of Parliament Byran Woodside affirmed Wednesday that with the Election Court challenge for the Pinewood seat successfully behind him, he can now move ahead with making his contribution to the country he loves so greatly.
The Court’s ruling declaring Woodside the winner and duly elected Member of Parliament for the Pinewood constituency was formally communicated to parliament by House Speaker, the Hon. Alvin Smith, who read into the record a letter to that effect signed by Senior Justice Anita Allen and Justice Jon Isaacs.
Addressing the House on his victory, Mr. Woodside said, “ I commit myself to do the job to which the Prime Minister has appointed me to do: to engage our young people in employment so that they can find jobs so that they can be all that they desire to be.”
The Pinewood MP, who was appointed Minister of State for Youth and Sports, said he will also move to encourage young people to be enterprising Bahamians through entrepreneurialism, and to encourage them to seek empowerment so that they can use all the talents to which God has so richly blessed them with.
Mr. Woodside thanked Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Carl Bethel, his immediate family and the people of Pinewood for their confidence and support during the four-month-long Election Court proceedings.
“While I am very pleased with the end results, I am aware that the process could have ended in a different way, and so I say to God be the glory, for He continues to work out His purpose in my life,” he said.
“We have a lot to do as we continue to build our country, The Bahamas,” Mr. Woodside stated. “With this behind me, I can now move ahead with contributing and making my contribution to this country I love so greatly.
“This is now the time for healing and for moving forward. Let us work together but not just to make Pinewood a great constituency but to make the Commonwealth of The Bahamas all that it can be.”
Mr. Woodside underscored that he did not enter politics for money, prestige or power, “I entered politics because I’ve been convicted that when good men stand idly on the wayside, evil men run things by default.”
He added that he entered politics because “I wanted to be of service to my country.”
The Pinewood MP paid special tribute to Pinewood resident Jenny Cartwright, now deceased, whom he said believed in him.
“Each of us has a duty, we have a duty to our family, we have a duty to our country, we have a duty to the God we serve, if we believe in one,” said Mr. Woodside. “But we have a duty as well to our nation. I believe my duty is to do my part in any little way that I can to help to make this little nation the best nation it can be in this Western Hemisphere.
“And so, we did it on Election Day, May 2, 2007; we did it again on the recount and now we have done it again. We did it under the scrutiny of the court under which the will of the Bahamian people in Pinewood has prevailed.
“I say let the will of the people in Pinewood prevail because it is said that the will of the people is the voice of God.”
Minister Woodside said “I’ve now committed myself to do the work of the people in Pinewood.”
According to Minister Woodside, his responsibility is to the youth of The Bahamas to encourage them, to challenge them, and to persuade them so that they can be all that they so desire in this land, The Bahamas.
“It is my desire to see the young people of this nation rise above the scourge of crime, rise above teenage pregnancy, rise above illiteracy and be all that they can be and fulfill God’s promises for their lives.”