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All participants of the Abaco Junior Minister Speech Competition along with Tourism representatives. The competitors were: Destiny Murphy and Duane Johnson of St. Francis de Sales Catholic School; Sierra Thurston and Shiwana Gilot of Long Bay School; Twanesha Lightbourn and Anneisha Russell of Abaco Central High School (ACH); and Ebany Hanna and Lorenz Carter of Forest Heights Academy (FHA).

Junior Minister Speech Competition Gives Youth Perspective on Cultural Heritage

The Ministry of Tourism held its Annual Abaco Junior Minister Speech Competition at the Bahamas Government Complex on March 15, 2017.

There were eight participants: Destiny Murphy and Duane Johnson of St. Francis de Sales Catholic School; Sierra Thurston and Shiwana Gilot of Long Bay School; Twanesha Lightbourn and Anneisha Russell of Abaco Central High School (ACH); and Ebany Hanna and Lorenz Carter of Forest Heights Academy (FHA).

The contestants all delivered speeches based on the topic: “Strengthening Our Cultural Heritage for Tourism’s Growth.”

Abaco Tourism Manager Wynsome Ferguson and Paula Lamm, coordinator of the program, were the Tourism representatives on hand, while Ishmael “Stretch” Morley of the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture served as time keeper. Danevia Bethell, Latoya Conyers and Ray-Don Poitier of the Abaco Lighthouse Beamers Toastmasters Club were introduced as the judges.

Before the competition began, Bethell briefed all of the students on the judging criteria of the competition, while Ferguson explained the general rules of the competition.

During their speeches, each student offered solutions to strengthen our cultural heritage including the continuation of Tourism-related programs like BahamaHost and People-to-People, greater development of Bahamians in the creative arts sector, and increased exposure of Bahamian cultural icons, our Family Islands, our cuisine/traditional dishes, cultural events, museums and national parks.

In a nutshell, the recurring theme of the speeches is to offer our heritage “well-packaged” as one student mentioned in their speech.

The judges exited the room to deliberate on who would become the winner of the competition based on their combined scores from their previous interview sessions and their speeches.

It was soon announced that Twanisha Lightbourn of ACH had delivered the winning speech. Placing a close second was Ebany Hanna followed by Duane Johnson in third place.

Twanisha will travel to New Providence to compete as Abaco’s Junior Minister of Tourism in the National Junior Minister Competition on April 6.

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About Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander

Canishka Alexander was born in New Providence, but spent most of her childhood years on Abaco. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Abilene Christian University.

Although she has accomplished many things in life, her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to her four children. She loves God, her country and people of all cultures.

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