Twenty-two members of ‘Charlie Squad’ graduated Bahamas Customs Training on Wednesday afternoon in the presence of Prime Minister Perry Christie at The Bahamas Union of Teachers Hall.
Induction Training Class No. 1 2016/17 of Bahamas Customs better known as ‘Charlie Squad,’ proudly marched into the hall greeted by cheers from family, friends and well-wishers.
Under the theme ‘The Instrument of Greatness – The Beginning of Change’ the latest group of Customs officers were welcomed to the country’s revenue department by prime minister Christie.
“It is an esteemed honor and privilege of grand proportion for me to address this Customs Graduating Class of 22 newly minted Customs Officers who will be deployed here in Free-port and throughout Grand Bahama as necessary.”
Christie noted that Wednesday’s graduation exercise was to be the second occasion he has had an interaction with the new officers. “In my address to you during your induction exercise, held at your modern training center on 12 December 2016, I intimated that I would want to be here to see all of you walk. I also admonished you to study hard and do well.
“I understand that you are a very competitive group and did exceptionally well, with no casualties along the way. And this is as it should be, each of you pursued all avenues possible to enter the Customs Department and this in itself demonstrated your eagerness and determination to be a part of this prestigious department which in its functions in both border security and revenue agents for the Government,” Christie said.
The prime minister went on to ensure the 22 graduates understand the tremendous responsibility they will now face in their duties. “It is not merely a desk job where you can hopefully expect a long and secure career with benefits, but you are beginning a career today which is critical in the overall scheme of things when it comes to the governance of our country.”
Christie cautioned that presently they (the graduates) are in Grand Bahama, but their career paths may very well take them to other far-flung stations in The Bahamas as the exigencies of the service demands.
“You are expected, as faithful and obedient public officers, to always be obedient to the call,” said the prime minister.
Christie highlighted a list of ‘firsts,’ this particular group achieved: the first set of recruits to be introduced and trained in the New Customs Management Act and the Regulations 2011 and the first recruits to be the beneficiaries of a 16.5 million dollar loan agreement between the Government of The Bahamas and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Christie concluded his keynote address by wishing them all the best in their new endeavors and may God bless all of them.
Sherick Martin, Assistant Controller of Customs for the Northern Region congratulated the graduates on beginning their career in the wonderful career they have chosen.
“This group is a talented, astute and focused one with a bright future ahead of them,” Martin pointed out.
Charles Turner, Controller of Bahamas Customs also congratulated the 22 graduates reminding them that the training has not stopped as they will continue their training locally, nationally and internationally as their career progresses. “This is an exciting time as we continue to modernize our operations. The department has a proud history – you are the future of this organization and you will stand on the shoulders of many who have molded this country,” Turner said.
Valedictorian of the ‘Charlie Squad’ Elanor Bain spoke highly of the squad’s trainers and the exposure they were given during the three months they studied hard together. “We are now excited for our future – at first some of us were not sure what we were getting in to.
“Now it is our responsibility to reflect and recall the examples of our trainers and administrators. We spent countless hours studying for exams, amending tariffs and getting on one another’s nerves,” Bain said.
Bain and fellow squad mate Tishena Gardiner gave the reflections over their time as trainees, which was followed by the graduating class singing a humerous and well received song, talking of their experiences.
The graduating squad’s motto: ‘We have the passion, we have the will. We are ready to strive; To failure, it’s time to bid adieu, for we are here to make our dreams come true.’
‘Charlie Squad’ Trainers: Sup-erintendent Larry Bodie, CC/R Officer Marsha Leubrunson Stubbs, Grade 2 C/R Officer Delisa Knowles and SC/R Officer Rodney Lightbourne.
‘Charlie Squad’ graduates: Patrick Amerthil, Elanor Bain, Patiqua Bain, O’Kffen Cooper, Stevonnia Cooper, Beon Darville, Jada Francis, Julian Gibson, Sydney Ingraham, Peandra Knowles, I’leah Knowles, Shaniqua Martin, Michael Miller, Britney Moss, Colette Parker, Di’sjorn Roberts, Da’Vaze Rolle, Kinaz Rolle, Tishena Gardiner, Kahran Stubbs and Renissa Russell and William Dames.
Published Thursday, March, 16, 2017