PROGRESSIVE LIBERAL PARTY
PLP RATIFIES SIX MORE CANDIDATES
17 FEBRUARY 2011
The Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) confirms that its National General Council (NGC) ratified six incumbent Members of Parliament and a first time candidate to contest the upcoming General Elections on the PLP’s ticket.
The incumbents are well known to the general public. They are Dr. Bernard J. Nottage (Bain and Grants Town), Fred Mitchell (Fox Hill), Obediah H. Wilchcombe (West End and Bimini), V. Alfred Gray (MICAL), and Frank E. Smith (St. Thomas More).
Political newcomer is twenty-five year old Clay Sweeting from Spanish Wells who will be the party’s standard bearer in the North Eleuthera Constituency.
Bernard “BJ” Nottage
Bain and Grants Town
Dr. Bernard “BJ” Nottage was born in Nassau on October 23rd, 1945 to the late Bernard Sr. and Olevia Nottage.
He received his training as a gynecologist at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist.
An outstanding athlete in track and field, BJ Nottage was also a long time president of the Bahamas Amateur Athletics Association (BAAA).
Dr. Nottage served in the Cabinet of the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling and was also co-deputy leader of the Progressive Liberal Party. Dr. Nottage was elected CEO of the Coalition for Democratic Reform from February 2000 before returning to the PLP in 2005. In 1998 to 2006 he served as Chairman of The Centre for Positive Change.
In November 2005, he was appointed to the Senate and on February 21, 2006 he was appointed Minister of Health and National Insurance in the Cabinet of The Right Honourable Perry G. Christie.
He is married to the former Portia Butterfield and they are the parents of two sons. Dr. Nottage is a member of the Anglican Church community.
His hobbies are sports, exercising, traveling and reading.
Attorney Fred Mitchell was born in Nassau on October 5, 1953 to the late Fredrick A. Mitchell,Sr. and Lilla Angelina Mitchell (nee Forde).
A graduate of St. Augustine’s College in Nassau, Mr. Mitchell went on to complete studies at Antioch College in Ohio, The John F. Kennedy School of Government (MPA) at Harvard University, and the University Of Buckingham (LLB Honours), England.
He was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales and to the Bahamas Bar in 1986. Minister Mitchell is a former chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Culture and was the former Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, labour and immigration before becoming a member of Cabinet responsible for Foreign Affairs and the Public Service areas under The Rt. Honourable Perry G. Christie.
A strong advocate for social justice, Fred Mitchell is a founding member of The Bahamas Committee on Southern Africa. He has served as Chairman of Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government Alumni Association and as Director of the International Mutual Fund Zweig Dimenna.
He is the representative for the Fox Hill Constituency. Mr. Mitchell is a member of the Anglican Church community.
Obediah H. Wilchcombe
West End and Bimini
Obediah Hercules Wilchcombe was born on November 4, 1958 in Freeport, Grand Bahama to Mary Wilchcombe and the late Jackson Wilchcombe.
He was educated at Mary Star of the Sea, Freeport and Queen’s College in Nassau before going off to the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica to study journalism.
One of the country’s most respected broadcasters, Mr. Wilchcombe was the former Assistant General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas. He was the host of the More 94 FM call in show, “You Make the Call” from 1999 to 2001.
He has served as President of the Commonwealth American Football League, the Grand Bahama Basketball Association and the Grand Bahama Junkanoo Committee.
A former senator while the PLP was in Opposition, Mr. Wilchcombe served as the Minister of Tourism in the Christie administration.
He is currently leader of opposition business in the House.
He is the representative for the West End and Bimini constituency.
V. Alfred Gray
Vergeneas Alfred Gray was born in Hardhill Acklins on August 5, 1951 to Charles W. Gray and Vera Darling (nee Collie).
Mr. Gray was educated in Nassau at St. Anne’s High School and the University of Pennsylvania (BSc.).
An attorney at law, Mr. Gray was called to the Bar of the Bahamas in 1985. He has served as a Family Island Commissioner for Mayaguana, Acklins & Crooked Island, Andros, Exuma and Grand Bahama from 1974 to 1981.
He is a deacon at the Annex Baptist Church in Nassau and is a member of the Rotary Club of West Nassau and Toastmasters Club 3569. A Minister in The Right Honourable Perry G. Christie’s Cabinet, Mr. Gray represents the MICAL (Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins and Long Cay) Constituency in the House of Assembly.
V. Alfred Gray is married to the former Bessley E. Williamson and is the father of five children. A Baptist by denomination, Mr. Gray enjoys flying, reading and fishing as hobbies.
Frank E. Smith
St. Thomas More
Frank E. Smith was born in Nassau on October 24, 1966 to Richard F. Smith and Elease Smith (nee Pratt).
He is a graduate of St. Augustine’s College in Nassau, The College of The Bahamas, Success Training College, Sojourner Douglass College, Nassau, St. Francis Xavier University and St. Mary’s University in Canada. Mr. Smith is a Certified Public Accountant and is Operations Manager Sunshine Finance Limited.
Frank Smith is a member of the Illionois CPA Society and has served as a member of the National General Council and as a Vice Chairman of the PLP.
Frank is also a member of the St. Thomas More Catholic Community. He is the current representative of the St. Thomas More constituency.
A Catholic by denomination, Mr. Smith is married to the former Sharlyn Wilson and they are the parents of two children. His interests include swimming, jogging and martial arts.
Clay Sweeting was born on December 21st, 1985 to Stanford and Melonie Sweeting of Spanish Wells, Bahamas. He was the oldest of four children. His three siblings are Reid Sweeting, Savannah Sweeting and Riley Sweeting; also a special friend, Delia Sweeting.
Clay’s grandparents are Newill and Marjorie Sweeting (deceased) and Glen and Pearl Higgs. Glen Higgs was one of the original PLP party supporters on the island of Spanish Wells, which makes Clay a third generation PLP.
Clay received his early education at the Spanish Wells All-Age School where he excelled academically from a young age, receiving best G.P.A. results on the island of Eleuthera on a number of different occasions as well as achieving the best BJC result in the Bahamas. Clay completed his high school career as class Valedictorian.
After graduating he was fortunate enough to purchase half a lobster fishing vessel at the young age of seventeen. After fishing for about a year, Clay decided to further his education and entrepreneurial desires when he sat for the Bahamas Licensed Realtor exam at the age of 19 being sponsored by Peter Dupuch at ERA Dupuch Real Estate in Nassau, Bahamas. Along with Mr. Dupuch, he opened a sub-office for ERA Dupuch Real Estate on the island of Spanish Wells to manage and sell property on the entire island of Eleuthera.
Expanding on his entrepreneurial endeavors, just recently, Clay established Tees R Us Bahamas, a screen-printing and embroidery store in Spanish Wells.
In 2008, Clay offered himself to run in the Spanish Wells Local Government Elections where he was elected as the youngest member of Local Government ever.
Committed to furthering his education, Clay enrolled and began studies for his law degree with the University of Teesside of England.
Clay’s religious belief is Christianity.
Clay is fully committed and engaged in his home community of Spanish Wells and the Constituency of North Eleuthera generally and looks forward to positively impacting the North Eleuthera Constituency and the quality of life of its people.