It’s September 6, 2019 and I can imagine, like myself, most Bahamians are in a state of shock from the devastation that this monstrous Hurricane Dorian has done to our beautiful islands.
We have encountered hurricanes before, but this brute with winds gusting to 200 miles per hour and storm surges over 20 feet has wrecked Abaco and Grand Bahama, which will take years to bounce back.
Poor Grand Bahama is still reeling from past hurricanes and a dead economy and was just recently taken off the respirator with news that the Lucayan hotel would be sold and opened for business again.
How much more pain can these people take?
This is excruciating pain that all Bahamians share no matter what island we live on, we feel it!
When our prime minister in one of his addresses pleaded for residents to flee their low-lying homes and seek shelter, there was some resistance. I pray that those who stayed behind lived to tell the tale!
Our prime minister passionately asked us to put politics aside. No matter if you support our current Free National Movement (FNM) government, or the opposition Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), we must work together to put our country together again.
This is no time for taking cheap political shots and pushing blame on who did what; we must put those hatchets aside and come together in an unprecedented way to form a coalition of the best minds to bring our country back.
Yes, that’s what I am saying – bring the best of what we have together, PLP, FNM or Democratic National Alliance (DNA), this is our tragedy but let’s get and take help from the outside world. We have given generously in the past to our neighbors when they were hurting; now it’s our time to graciously take their help – no time to be proud!
Churches like New Providence Community Centre (NPCC), the Rotary clubs and other civic organizations have begun to mobilize their people to get help to those stricken islands.
We all have a part to play, so jump in and give unselfishly of your time and resources. Encourage your children to also lend a hand.
I am sure we have friends in these islands – I myself have a son, grandsons and multiple friends in Abaco, and a sister and brother in Freeport – so this is the time for all of us to volunteer in any way we can through our labor, money and food; but for God’s sake do something!
Again, Nassau was spared the brunt of Dorian; we dodged most of the fury and our friends from around the world are standing by sending us help, so we must all do our part and help our fellow human beings.
Together we can work through this, but it will depend on all of us.
God bless The Bahamas!
• William Wong is a two-term president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Confederation and two-term president of the Bahamas Real Estate Association. He is also a partner at Darville-Wong Realty. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.