History has been made in the District of South Abaco with the election of a woman to the post of Chief Councillor for the first time. Another surprising fact is that the new Chief Councillor is not from Sandy Point, as has always been the case previously, but resides in Bahama Palm Shores.
Shawn Roberts was elected Chief Councillor for the South Abaco District following the local government elections last June. However, Mr. Roberts found that for personal reasons he could not devote enough time to this position and resigned on December 31, 2014. Subsequently in a further election held on Jan 21, 2015, Jacqueline Estevez won over her fellow opponent, Laurestine Fox, with votes of 5 to 2. This is Mrs. Esthevez’ second term as Chairman of the Township of Cherokee Sound/Casuarina Point/Bahama Palm Shores.
Mrs. Estevez is not only a remarkable business woman but one who is also involved in many civic and social organizations. She describes herself as a “people person” who likes getting involved in the community and helping others. “I feel excited and honoured to have been elected to this position and given the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I am now learning all government political procedures,” she stated.
She hopes that her past experiences will assist in executing her new role and her great desire is to help others and help this country become economically viable.
An area of concern to her is that of senior citizens and she hopes to be in a position to find quality housing near the beach in South Abaco to accommodate them.
“There is no senior citizens home in South Abaco and yet most of the elderly at Sybil’s House in Marsh Harbour are from South Abaco, mainly Cherokee Sound. She also wants to get the youth involved in farming so that they can be self-sustaining.
Mrs. Esthevez’ career in banking with its many responsibilities will be of tremendous value to her in fulfilling her new role as Chief Councillor. She worked with SSE Bank, an offshore bank in Nassau for many years as Assistant Vice President of Operations which involved her working in New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri and the Cayman Islands. She then transferred to Commonwealth Bank and came to Abaco in 1999 as Assistant Manager then working up to the position of Manager.
The church plays a very important role in Mrs. Esthevez’ life. She was on the Executive Board of the Assemblies of God Churches in Nassau, served as Executive Youth Director and Director of Women’s Ministry as well as Superintendent of the Sunday School. She has hosted two religious radio programs, one in Nassau and one in Abaco. Her membership is with the First Assemblies of God Church in Abaco although she has recently enjoyed visiting other churches. She has been a lay minister for two years in the Assemblies of God Church.
Mrs. Estevez enjoys working with the youth of the community and has worked with a number of youth groups providing food and clothing for them. She also works closely with the ‘Senior Citizens of Abaco’ program.
Altogether Mrs. Estevez sits on five boards : Angels Academy, South Abaco Farmers Association, All Abaco Junkanoo and Cultural Committee, Township Committee for Cherokee Sound/Casuarina Point/Bahama Palm Shores and the South Abaco Council.