By Jaimie Smith, FN Reporter - Published Monday, March, 20, 2017
Gabriel Josephs’ reign as Grand Bahama Junior Minister of Tourism reign has ended. However, he gets to keep the Jr. Minister of Tourism title for the Bahamas and the Caribbean a little while longer.
Having the opportunity to express his appreciation and gratitude to all that played an integral part in his reign as Junior Minister of Tourism for Grand Bahama, young Josephs, a senior at Mary, Star of the Sea Catholic Academy, shared with members and guests at the Rotary Club of Grand Bahama Sunrise meeting this past Wednesday that he is not saddened that his title has been removed, but rather, happy that he received it in the first place.
Speaking a day prior to the official handover to the newest Junior Minister of Tourism for Grand Bahama, eleventh grader of Eight Mile Rock High School, D’asia Russell, Josephs said he was thankful for the one-year reign.
“Tomorrow, is the beginning of the end; the end of a year-long journey of self realization, of meeting some of the most creative and intelligent people I ever have in my life, and learning, from a more global perspective. Tomorrow is the beginning of the end, because tomorrow I give up my title as Junior Minister of Tourism for Grand Bahama, and shortly thereafter I will give up my title as Junior Minister of Tourism for the Bahamas,” stated Josephs.
He gave an overview of the Junior Minister Program, here in the country.
“The Junior Minister of Tourism Program was started in 2002, to promote tourism awareness in high schools. In April 2016, I became the 14th person to carry that baton, and what a race it has been since then. If my youth is the foundation of me, then my time as Junior Minister serves as the cornerstone of that foundation.
“In the past year, I have taken selfies high above the New York skyline; selfies on the floor of the United Nations; I have climbed the rolling hills of Barbados; hosted The Bahamas Independence celebration in front of thousands; and performed master of ceremony duties before dozens of high ranking Caribbean figures, including prime ministers and presidents, and yet, my reign had the most unlikely of starts.
“In 2014 I entered, my first time as a public speaker and it was a miserable failure. However, my senior mistress, Mrs. Evelyn Pinder-Dames, helped me out of that despair. She trained me and made me better. In retrospect, I do not thank her enough. She gave me the opportunity and I took the risk knowing that I have never done this before, and I am better off because of it.”
Aspiring to be a business owner and author in the future, Josephs concluded his address expressing satisfaction in being a better person.
“As I began, tomorrow is the beginning of the end, but not the end of the world. I am different, and I believe I am better because I had the opportunity to serve as Junior Minister of Tourism. It is true, last Sunday’s touchdowns do not win you future games, but I will never have the recognition of Junior Minister ever again. I go to college and people are going to say, ‘Junior Minister, who?’ but I am a better public speaker, and I understand how liberating it is to have a platform to speak from, and to have people listen to your ideas. So, I am not sad that it is over. I am happy that it happened.”
Josephs will remain Junior Ministry of Tourism for the Bahamas until next month when the 2017 national competition will take place on April 6 at the Breezes Resort in the capital island of New Providence.
Published Monday, March, 20, 2017