Merry Christmas, Abaco. We have come a long way this year. We played in not one, but two elections. We outlasted another rocky tourist season. We stared down the barrel of another hurricane. We struggled through astronomic electrical bills (which is a topic for another day.) We watched our boys take gold in the Olympics, and we saw our country’s credit rating continue to be knocked.
We hurt with the tragedies. And we reveled in the victories.
But I want to ask you, since this is the last newspaper before the New Year, want have you done this year to contribute to our island’s march into the future? What have you done to raise your brothers up and reach out to your sisters?
What small motion have you made that will echo in someone’s life?
We have choices every day. Some choices are disguised and subtle to us. Others we calculate. And as this year closes out it provides a fantastic opportunity to review. When you had the opportunity, did you go with your family in the boat? When in the stores did you look to buy Bahamian? At work, did you give that little bit extra that is required to put our country in the lead, and to make Abaco the envy of The Bahamas. Did you treat your employees fairly?
Perhaps we shouldn’t focus too closely on the big picture, we get lost too easily in the details. Instead I urge all of us to make those little choices, as we close out this year, that make those around us better and that make us better as well. Because whenever we have a chance to influence we should cherish it. We should cherish these chances because there are things going on in our country, and on our island, that we seemingly have no control over.
Speaking of Christmas, a new airport would have been a nice present for all of us here. But as the year closes we see, yet again, a series of delays. All the problems are, of course, easily explained. Of course the explanations are sometimes different depending on who you ask.
One set will tell you we don’t have the airport today because of political meddling and vitriolic sabotage. Another set will tell you it is because of the incompetency of a former administration and a dry treasury. There is only one thing that matters, however, and that is today we have an embarrassment greeting our visitors who travel by air.
We can market Abaco as a premier destination, but when passengers come through our gates and witness the situation that greets them, I don’t want to know their first impressions. Now, I have no doubt that the situation will be resolved. In all my tours and meetings with the people in charge of the airport project they each, individually, honestly seem to care and be knowledgeable. Make no mistake; I believe the project will be completed and it will be a testament to design and Bahamian work.
I just wish it had happened sooner.
I plead with those in charge to take the situation seriously. I plead they can come to easy understandings, which, thankfully, it appears to be going on the right track after a few hiccups. I argue that the cost of not completing this project correctly and in a timely manner will be more devastating than letting it sit. My worst nightmare is seeing that beautiful, hulking shell of a terminal rot through another two or three tourist seasons because of miscommunications and undelivered promises.
Again, I have full faith that the project will be completed. I believe because I know Abaconians. And I know we can raise a fuss.
Since we won’t get to talk again until January, I want to take this time again to wish all of you reading, a very merry Christmas. And Happy New Year.