On Saturday, September 8 the Free National Movement’s (FNM) North Abaco candidate, Greg Gomez, held a meet and greet on Green Turtle Cay. Mr. Gomez was joined by high ranking members from the FNM, including Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis and Deputy Leader Loretta Butler-Turner, on that day. The party also made a presentation and donation to the Amy Roberts All Age School.
A clear, warm Saturday encouraged many in the community to attend the event which was held at the tennis courts. Grilled food and cold drinks were provided for free to those who came to listen and meet the candidate. Green Turtle Cay is one of the larger voting blocs in the North Abaco constituency and a critical campaigning point.
Also active on Green Turtle Cay that day was the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) who had set up a counter-gathering at the Wrecking Tree Restaurant and Bar. The Hon. Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services and the man in charge of the PLP’s Green Turtle Cay campaigning, was present with yellow-clad supporters. Mr. Pinder wanted to be clear that the supporters gathered that day at the Wrecking Tree were all Green Turtle Cay voters unlike, he said, the crowd gathered across the street. The PLP candidate for North Abaco is Renardo Curry.
FNM supporters, along with Dept. Leader Loretta Butler-Turner, had started gathering at the tennis courts that morning, but Mr. Gomez and his entourage arrived in Green Turtle shortly before 1:00 p.m. The candidate was greeted enthusiastically by his supporters.
After Mr. Gomez and Dr. Minnis briefly shook hands with supporters at the crowded ferry dock they made their way to the tennis courts to prepare for lunch. Before several brief speeches were made by the candidate and the party leaders they consulted with many in the crowd to get a feel as for what was important to the constituents. The sea wall was a topic of particular interest to citizens of the island community.
When asked about the two larger scale projects for North Abaco, the proposed bridge and port, Dr. Minnis explained that they were, to his knowledge, still on the docket. He continued on to make the point that if elected Gomez would continue to fight for these projects as well as other needs for North Abaco and Mr. Curry would, in Dr. Minnis’ opinion, stay along party lines and presumably try and fight against the projects. However, Dr. Minnis remained confident the projects would go ahead as planned.
Mr. Gomez was introduced as the first speaker. He exclaimed that it was a great day to be in Green Turtle Cay “among my extended family.” He announced his intentions to make a donation to Amy Roberts All Age School later that same day. He continued, denouncing the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie’s comment regarding Abaco as “having had your fair share.” He promised to fight to make sure “your children will have land and property. We are going to fight.”
Dept. Leader Loretta Butler-Turner stood before the crowd after Mr. Gomez. She applauded Mr. Gomez saying he was a “product of Abaco.” She continued on the same thread as Mr. Gomez saying she did not want to give the PLP “an opportunity to take Abaco backwards.” She also praised the Rt. Hon. Hubert Ingraham as being “the greatest PM this country has ever had.”
Dr. Minnis was last to address the crowd before the official donation to the school. “Abaco has always been all together,” he said, “and this is not the time for separation. You rescued The Bahamas in [the 1992 election] and you will again be the catalyst.”
Dr. Minnis stressed that each vote is important. He closed by saying that “though [the FNM] may be small in number, Greg Gomez and the FNM will fight for your roads, subdivision and infrastructure.”