Grand Bahama News

Canadian Women’s Club of GB regroups after pandemic

Members of the Canadian Women’s Club of Grand Bahama (CWCGB) are looking forward to their first full winter of meetings now that COVID restrictions on gatherings have been eased. 

The club’s 2022/2023 season kicked off last Wednesday at Taino by the Sea restaurant featuring guest speaker Sarah Kirkby, Barefoot Marketing and 242newsbahamas director of marketing, and co-publisher of Grand Bahama News.

The women heard about Kirkby’s latest project, Grand Bahama News, a weekly section published in The Nassau Guardian on Tuesdays, focusing on the island’s important news, announcements and local events.

Kirkby explained that she started the publication after speaking with a longtime friend at The Guardian, following the closure of The Freeport News in October 2021.

“The section began in February this year with three stories,” Kirkby explained.

“We’ve grown to five (stories) now and sometimes more. I am hoping that we will get to a second day, something we have been discussing for a while.”

She added that having only the one-day publication is a challenge, trying to “squeeze” in all the stories and accompanying photographs.

Publishing on a second day is Kirkby’s goal going into the new year.

She noted that getting to the two-day publication requires generating additional advertising.

“We’ve been well received, but it is the advertising dollar that will keep the paper going,” Kirkby explained.

“Grand Bahama generates enough news. I can tell you that we will have our story ideas lined up for the week during our Monday meetings, but sure enough on Tuesday, some event will come up and we will have to revamp the line up,” Kirkby said.

She shared that in addition to hard news, the section also features a fun aspect, dubbed “GB’s Eyeful or Eyesore”.

“In the eyesore portion, we highlight abandoned or old buildings, their history and present condition; hopefully, bringing attention to them for something to be done. The eyeful section highlights buildings that have been renovated.

“So, it’s a negative and a positive,” she added.

Noting that Grand Bahama is an amazing island, Kirkby said that while she was disappointed hearing of the failure of the deal to sell the Grand Lucayan resort, she is excited about the coming Weller Development project for the island.

The Weller Group announced plans for Six Senses, the proposed construction of a resort village of 45 prefabricated waterfront and canal villas, on a 36-acre site featuring 2,400 feet of beach in Discovery Bay, at the south entrance to the Lucayan Waterway.

“Six Senses is one of the top hotel brands in the world and coming to Grand Bahama, it will elevate us to a different place. It is nothing compared to what we have right now,” Kirkby said.

Adding that she has met with several of the investors involved with the project, Kirkby believes the pending development is good news for Grand Bahama.

“And our paper will get to share the stories with our readers not only here on the island, but in Nassau.”

Kirkby invited the women to share any news tips or “Eyeful/Eyesore” pictures they may have with GB News at contact@barefootmarketing.net.

The Canadian Women’s Club of Grand Bahama was established in January 1970 by Canadian women who had moved to the island with their families and husbands who worked in the banks, insurance companies and in construction building the Princess Resort & Casino. 

As the women were not allowed to work, they felt the need to connect socially and were interested in knowing more about the island and the community of Grand Bahama. 

At the start, they met monthly year-round in their homes but, in just one year, the membership grew to be so large that the meetings were moved to restaurants around the island. 

As the years passed, many of the members became winter residents only and reflecting that reality, the club started meeting monthly only from November to April. 

Each meeting features a guest speaker or an activity; the topic ranging from the island’s history, plans for new developments, policing, environmental projects, beekeeping, birding, updates from the Grand Bahama Children’s Home and the Bahamas National Trust.

While not a service club, the CWCGB supports many Bahamian charitable organizations with annual donations.

But the primary focus of the club is socializing, and Vice President Debra Edwards said the meetings get larger through the season as the members arrive on the island from Canada, the US and Europe.

“The November meeting was attended by 29 members and their guests, but it is not unusual for a luncheon to attract 60 or 70 women, especially when we do a special event such as a fashion show.”

Edwards added, “I do the club emails and heard from many members during the pandemic shutdowns and restrictions how much they missed the luncheons, the camaraderie and just seeing friends. We are a social club and we do enjoy getting together.”  

The membership includes Canadians, Bahamians and members of any Commonwealth nation with associate memberships for non-Commonwealth countries.

The purpose of the CWC is to foster goodwill amongst Canadians on the island and encourage amicable relations between Canadians and Bahamians.

The club is non-political and non-sectarian, and all programs are approved by the executive committee.  

For information, contact canadianwomensclubgb@gmail.com.

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