Each year, Abaco Urban Renewal 2.0 hosts the elderly people of the Abaco communities to a Thanksgiving luncheon. The luncheon for the elderly of Central Abaco was held on Tuesday, November 26 in the Burial Society Hall, Dundas Town. Also in attendance were ministers of the gospel and heads of various government agencies. Everyone enjoyed a sumptuous Thanksgiving meal of turkey, ham and all the trimmings but before the food was served, various persons brought remarks which were, of course, all centered on the theme of Thanksgiving.
Administrator for Central Abaco, Preston Cunningham, was moderator for the occasion and opened the proceedings by saying what a good government program he believes Urban Renewal to be, for in society some persons are bound to fall through the cracks and be forsaken but Urban Renewal looks to address these problems. He also stated that we live in a very un-thankful society but on the occasion of Thanksgiving it is essential that we will always be thankful for friends, family, government, Members of Parliament and public servants.
Following an opening prayer by Pastor Lernis Cornish and the singing of the National Anthem, Sgt. Cash, who is a member of the Urban Renewal team, gave the official welcome in place of the Honourable V. Alfred Gray, Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government who was unable to attend. Sgt. Cash described those present as; “Our valuable senior citizens and precious pearls, and also nation builders from the Little Darlings Academy Preschool,” who performed later in the programme.
Mr. Renardo Curry, Member of Parliament for North Abaco, brought greetings on behalf of the Prime Minister. He stated how glad he was to be present on behalf of the Prime Minister because Urban Renewal is “his baby.” He told those gathered that; “Urban Renewal was developed to bring communities together because so many young people are going astray.” He praised the elderly saying that they have taught us to have respect for others and that we owe the senior citizens a great deal of gratitude. He also praised the work of Urban Renewal which he said; “Brings every person and agency together to bring relief to the underprivileged for there are some in our communities who are hurting so badly.”
Guest speaker, Pastor Stephen Knowles, President of the Bahamas Christian Council on Abaco, stated that there are three things everybody should do: Make a joyful noise, serve the Lord with gladness and always be thankful.
“Today there is much unrest and discomfort in The Bahamas but we must be careful as a nation to be thankful because God has been too good to us. In the past people had less but they had more gratitude. Where has the gladness and enthusiasm gone?” he asked. He closed by saying that everyone must be thankful to God for; “God is good, his mercies endure forever.”
Senior Pastor Baillou of the New Rehoboth Ministries International, asked a blessing on the food and the elderly and the lunch was enjoyed by all. During the luncheon entertainment included a moving solo by Paulette Nesbitt of the Central Abaco Urban Renewal and a presentation by several students from the Little Darlings Academy in Dundas town.
The students delighted the audience with excellent verse speaking and beautiful singing all on the theme of being thankful. Their closing recitation stated; “We are thankful to Urban Renewal for making our elderly people feel so special.” The young students brought with them three boxes of canned goods which they had collected for the elderly.
Pastor Lernis Cornish led a time of him singing which everyone enjoyed joining in.
The extremely inclement weather may have prevented some of the older people getting to the event but those that were there enjoyed the occasion and were very appreciative to have been thought of in this way.