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There are some people in your life that are not replaceable

One of those persons in my life was the late Hon Lewis Astwood

Introduction

As you live your life on this earth, many people will come into your life, and they are there for a purpose even though sometimes you wish some of the people were not part of your life. Some people are there for a temporary purpose though while others are there on a permanent basis.

As time goes by, you will discover that some people in your life are just using you. They only know you when they want you to do something for them or their family. They don’t normally call you or check on you but the moment they need something, they know they can depend on you and will call you. Be careful of these people.

However, not everyone is alike. There are some people in your life who will always be by your side no matter what you are going through. They will defend you when others try to assassinate your character. These types of people are hard to find and hard to replace.

One of those irreplaceable persons in my life was the late Hon. Lewis Astwood. Hon. Astwood died on May 13th and so this article is dedicated to him.

Background Information.

Hon. Astwood (age 78) was born on 16th September 1943 on Middle Caicos Islands, the largest island in the Turks and Caicos. Ironically, he along with the PDM party made some of the largest impact in the Turks and Caicos Islands having served as a Minister of Works, Utilities, Labour, Immigration and Civil Aviation during the First Ministerial Government of the TCI in 1976 under the leadership of the Late Most Excellent Right Hon JAGS McCartney.

During his government’s reign from 1976 to 1980, some notable achievements occurred. Prior to the 1976 government, the Public Work workers of Salt Cay were only getting $5.25 a day while workers in Grand Turk were getting $9 a day. His government changed that and put the Salt Cay workers on par with the Grand Turk workers. His government also removed the buoy physically that separated the Turks Islands from the Caicos Islands. You see the back of the buoy was a phrase that was used to divide the people of Turks and Caicos Islands. His government also ensured that all Government Departments were headed by locals. Another notable thing is that there was a water shortage in the islands during this period and the Government built catchment tanks so that the people can have access to water on a regular basis.

A wise man

Many of us have equate acquiring a college degree with wisdom and intelligence. However, you can be wise and intelligent without a college degree.  Hon. Astwood was one of those persons. He had very little formal eduation, but he was smarter and wiser than many of us who graduated from college and university. Some may call it Street-smart but whatever you call it, I know he was full of wisdom. Every time I talked to him (which was very often by the way), it was a like a light bulb went off in my head. I was so amazed with his thoughts and ideas. He always thought outside the box and always was one step ahead.

An astute businessman

Hon. Astwood migrated to the Bahamas at age 16 and during his time there, he learned the trade of plumbing, electricity and air-conditioning eventually forming and running his own company. You see he became a successful entrepreneur in the Bahamas. He also had multiple businesses in TCI ranging from grocery stores to waste management companies. I knew of Hon. Astwood growing up, but he became well known to me when I became the CEO of Cable & Wireless. He was one of our top agents selling minutes on our behalf. He was a good negotiator and was able to convince us to provide him with an attractive commission rate. He was so astute that he set up hundreds of multiple sub agents who bought minutes from him and resold them. In fact, it was more of an incentive for the agents to buy minutes directly from him than buying it directly from Cable & Wireless.

A die-hard PDM but unbiased

Hon. Astwood was one of the founding members of the PDM and represented the PDM in the House of Assembly from 1976 to 1988 and then 1991 to 1995. He was loyal to the PDM and even wore a ring that inscribed “PDM for LIFE” Despite his political allegiance to the PDM party, he did not let that interfere with our friendship or his allegiance to our country. His priority was always the country no matter what political side of the fence you were on. In fact, I believed that Hon. Astwood was on the Immigration Board when I applied for the CFO position at Cable & Wireless. The Board rejected the expatriate application because they knew I could have done the job.

Many times he would say “Drexwell you and I may not agree politically but I want you to know that I got your back.” I wish some of our politicians were like Hon. Astwood. Today some of our politicians get upset with you and passed you like they don’t know you simply because you express an opinion that is different from theirs. Hon. Astwood was not like that.

A caring person

Hon. Astwood was one of the most caring persons I have met. He was one of the few people that called me frequently to check on me and always encouraged me to try to get on a kidney list so I can get a kidney. Prior to me being on dialysis, Hon. Astwood served on the Kidney Foundation and many of the dialysis patients spoke so highly about him and how effective he was in the Foundation, making a significant difference in the lives of others.

His quiver was full of children

Psalms 127:5 states that “blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Hon. Astwood revealed to me how many children he had but I am not going to state that publicly, but I will say he was man whose quiver was full of them. He loved his children. His children mattered greatly to him. He was obviously a great father because his children loved him and took care of him during his illnesses.

He was a freedom fighter

Hon. Astwood became politically motivated while in the Bahamas. He witnessed how the Bahamian people were treated and how their rights were infringed, and he saw how some of the Bahamians politicians such as the late Sir Lynden Pindling fought for them. When Mr. Astwood returned to the TCI in the 1970s, he saw the injustices that were taking place which prompted him to help form the Black Power Movement whose objective was to ensure justice and equality for Turks and Caicos Islanders. He along with others fought hard and were successful in their bid to make lives betters for Turks and Caicos Islanders. Some may not liked his methodology, but he achieved the objectives of the Movement.

Conclusion

I don’t have many friends by choice, but Hon. Astwood was one of my friends. He was always concerned about my health and my family. When my mom died and was buried in South Caicos, he was right there at the funeral to support me and my family.

Hon. Astwood was a giant of a man and one of a kind. He was a man of action and got things done. To date, the Turks and Caicos Islands has named one national hero which of course is the Hon. JAGS McCartney. Honestly, I believed that Hon. Astwood should be recognized and named as a Hero too.

Nurse bringing breakfast for patient
Christian Articles, Success,

Happy Nurses Week!

“Nurses Make a Difference”

Introduction

This week is Nurses Week and so in this article, I want to recognize the nurses throughout the world.  I have always admired nurses, but I have a greater appreciation for nurses since I started dialysis five and a half years ago. These nurses have made a difference in my life. When I first started dialysis, I was very afraid and did not even want to go there but after a period, the nurses made me feel so calm and comfortable. They are not doctors but trust me they know what they are doing, and they have an extensive knowledge of health. In fact, many times they diagnose an issue long before the doctors do.

Nurses make a difference

The nurses are at the frontline of a health facility and so your first interaction more than likely will be with a nurse.  The nurses are the ones checking the patients’ vital signs and continuously monitoring the patients. Based on my experience with nurses, they provide support and care. As a result, it makes a positive difference in your stay at a health facility.

Nurses are heroes

In my opinion, nurses are heroes and so it is awesome that a week is set aside to recognize the nurses. We should not take the nurses for granted. Nurses save lives. They follow up with you on a regular basis and they provide great advice. They are always working around the clock. Many of us are working on an 8-hour shift while most nurses are working on a 12-hour shift. At the dialysis facility in TCI, some of the nurses’ day start at 5:30am and if they work on the evening shift on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, they do not leave work until 2am. Some nurses go beyond their call of duty.

Nurses are people too

There are some people who mistreat the nurses and talk to them in a condescending manner. Sometimes, we act like the nurses cause our medical problems. Let us learn to respect nurses and treat them the way you want someone to treat you.

Nurses deserve a higher pay   

There is a great demand for nurses everywhere and as a result there is a shortage of nurses worldwide. I think nurses deserve a higher pay just like I believe teachers should be getting paid more than what they are getting. We are paying thousands of dollars for other professions buy yet we think nurses do not deserve a higher pay.

Conclusions

I agree with the saying that nurses are the “heart” of the healthcare. They are involved in every aspect of your life as a patient. I cannot end this article without praising the hard work and dedication of the nurses at the dialysis unit in the Turks and Caicos. I highlighted them because they are the ones, I interact with three times a week. However, I want to thank all nurses for their contribution in the health care industry and for a making a difference not only in the lives of the patients but also the family and friends of the patients.

Happy united team.
Christian Articles, Success,

Why can’t we come together like how others got together for the Queen baton relay?

Unity is possible

Introduction

The Queen Baton Relay takes place every four years before the commencement of the Commonwealth Games. The Baton is transported among all the countries participating in the Commonwealth Games and in the Baton is a message from the Queen. Apparently, this even symbolizes unity.

I must admit I was taken aback and very surprised to see the level of participation throughout the Turks and Caicos for this relay. I don’t know who organized the events, but the event on each island appeared to be organized and well supported.

What is so special about this Queen Baton Relay that brought the people together? Is it because the Queen is involved? Is it because of our passion for the Commonwealth Games? Is it because it is a status thing? Is it because it did not originate from Turks and Caicos?

Anyway, whatever the reason is, why can’t the residents of the Turks and Caicos come together in celebration of other events and issues that are facing our country.

We can come together

We are so divided over politics, nationalities, race and the financial status of individuals.  Because of the division, our country is in a chaotic state. The Queen Baton relay has demonstrated that we can come together no matter your political persuasion, nationality, race or background.

It seems to me that unity can be accomplished if we have the right leadership. A leadership that can influence others, a leadership that is passionate about something and a leadership that can organize.

I believe that there are individuals who are passionate about making a difference and want to bring people together, however some are afraid to take the lead because they feel they will be rejected.

We need to forget about our political affiliation. We need to overlook the nationalities and come together. We need to stop allowing the colour of one’s skin to divide us and finally we need to get over this financial status and treat people with respect.

Sometimes individuals call for demonstration and hardly any of us show up. Is it because we do not care? Is it because of who is leading the demonstration?

There are so many issues in this country that will only be resolved if we come together. Issues such as the high prices for the good and services, high level of crime, poor customer service, disparity in pay, people being taken advantage of and many people need help (physically, spiritually,  mentally and financially) I know we rely on those in authority to solve these issues, but if we unite and tackle these issues, we can alleviate the problems.

Conclusion

I know we can come together and not just one time but most of the time. It has proven that sports and music bring us together so let use these platforms to bring us together so that all of us can live in harmony and in peace.

Sometimes, we want to do things for credit and photo opportunities, it is time we do things from our heart and please do not allow the spirit of jealousy to overtake you.

If we come together, we can achieve so much. I challenge each of us today to try to unite.

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Christian Articles, Success,

Ladies – Continue to rise up and shine

Happy International Women’s Day

Introduction

March 8th 2022 was International Women’s Day and the theme was “Break the Bias.” While there have been major improvements in the equality of men and women, there are still some parts of the World where women continue to face biases. For example, in the Bahamas, children born to Bahamian men whether in the Bahamas or not are automatically citizens. On the other hand, children born to Bahamian women are treated differently. If an unmarried Bahamian woman has child outside the Bahamas, that child is Bahamian at birth but if a Bahamian woman is married to a non Bahamian and gives birth to a child outside the Bahamas, that child does not automatically become a citizen.

The Turks and Caicos Islands may be small and considered to be a third world place but I believe I can say safely that, the women in the Turks and Caicos do not have to break any bias here.  The women of the Turks and Caicos can be and should be an example to the world because the women in TCI are shining.

Women are in the top key positions in TCI

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, most of the top key positions in the Turks and Caicos Islands are held by women. In the public sector, the positions of Deputy Governor, Attorney General, Chief Justice, Chief Magistrate are held by women. Many of the permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries are women. Most of the heads of the elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions in the Turks and Caicos are women. There are also many women heading up many Government Departments and Statutory Bodies.

In the private sector, many women are in key positions. One of the largest telecommunications companies is headed by a woman. The utility company is headed by a woman. The few locals who are the general managers of some of the resorts in the Turks and Caicos are women. There are many women who are successful entrepreneurs. Of course, I will single out my wife, Joanna who own her businesses, J & D Office Supplies and See More HomeGoods

Even in sports, women are in key positions. Mrs. Sonia Fulford – Missick is the President of the Turks and Caicos Football Association. She is also a member of the FIFA Council.

Many women are the breadwinners for the family

Due to the positions that many women hold in the Turks and Caicos Islands, many women are the breadwinners for their family. They are making more than their spouses or partners. Some men may be intimidated by this but personally I don’t have an issue with that.

Many women are the only parents in the home

Unfortunately, there are many families throughout the world that consist of just single parents and many of these single parents are women. Women are raising males and females by themselves and you know what, many of these women are doing great job as single parents. I think women ought to be admired and recognized for the role they play in the home especially in a single parent environment. Many of these women are able to balance their time properly with their children and their career.

Many women are empowering other women

Women are establishing organizations and conferences to empower ladies on regular basis. As a result, I believe women will always play a key role in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Conclusion

I encourage the ladies to continue to rise up and shine. Don’t tear each other down. There are some women that are being abused and are suffering so continue to do your part to make a difference in their lives.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, I don’t think there is a gender inequality issue. If you see you are being treated differently, trust me, it is not because you are a woman. I think the issue is that, there is inequality between locals and expatriates and it does not matter if you are a man or woman.

Ladies know that you are equally important as gentlemen. You are not better than them and they are not better than you.

Happy International Women’s Day!

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