11 Centenarians at Nation Builders Ceremony

The Ministry of Social Services and Community Development in conjunction with the National Council on Older Persons honoured 11 centenarians from across The Bahamas at the 19th Annual Nation Builders Awards ceremony at Government House on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

During the ceremony, Minister of Social Services and Community Development the Hon. Melanie Griffin explained that improved healthcare and focus on healthy lifestyles has led to longevity of life.

“However, long before this there are many among us who, through the grace of God, their commitment to service and sheer love of life were able to broaden their base and are privileged to be called centenarians on these fair shores,” Minister Griffin said.

“It is therefore my distinct privilege on behalf of a grateful nation to pay tribute to our centenarians who we honour today. They have laboured long and hard in the development of our country and today, rightly so, they are worthy of the outstanding recognition of ‘Nation Builders’.”

She said nation builders are the bedrock of the Bahamian society. “Whether it has been at the forefront of the battle or as foot soldiers in the trenches, they have set the pace and provided the foundation on which we build today.  We are truly grateful to them for their commitment and service in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.”

Governor General Her Excellency Dame Marguerite Pindling presented the awards to the honourees during the ceremony.

On 1st October 2016, The Bahamas joined the General Assembly of The United Nations in celebration of its 26th International Day of Older Persons.

The Theme for this year is ‘Take a Stand Against Ageism’.   Minister Griffin explained that Ageism is defined as a widely prejudiced attitude against older persons.  “In its simplest form, Ageism is discrimination based on age and finds expression in many individual attitudes, some institutional policies and practices.

“Ageism assumes that discrimination against older persons is acceptable and manifests itself in both individual and institutional behaviours and in decisions that can have a significant and negative impact on the lives of older persons, contributing to their marginalization and social exclusion. “The International Day of Older Persons provides countries with opportunities to bring focus and public awareness to issues facing our older population. It also provides us with the opportunity to recognize the numerous positive contributions made by older persons to nation building, throughout The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.  Additionally, it gives us the occasion to say, ‘Thank You’,” the Social Services Minister said.

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