For the last three months members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, Base Civil Construction and Maintenance Unit (BCCMU) along with members of the Moore’s Island community worked in cohesion to repair over thirty homes in the community that were damaged by hurricane Dorian in October 2019.
At the Moore’s Island Community Center a farewell ceremony was held to bring the culmination of work by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to a close on 17th December 2021. Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Kendal Strachan in the capacity of Director of Operations for The Rotary Bahamas Disaster Relief spearheaded the engineering of this project and sought the assistance of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force through Commodore Dr. Raymond King. Commanding Officer of the Base Civil Construction and Maintenance Unit, Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Forbes was tasked with streamlining a team to assist the community and to also serve in an educators’ capacity to instruct, teach and develop residents of Moore’s Island to be able to competently assist with repairs and to continue the work after the team would’ve departed.
To assist in the accreditation of the instruction given by the marines of the Base Civil Construction and Maintenance Unit, Mrs. Carlotta Simms – Adjunct Lecturer for BTVI served in the capacity of an adjudicator during this period of instruction. Due to the Adjudication by Mrs. Carlotta Simms, members of the community and members of The Royal Bahamas Defence Force were awarded accredited certificates approved by the Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute. The Bahamas Rotary Disaster Relief was able to secure five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in donations, the contributions were made by Olympic Gold Medalist – Mr. Steven Gardiner a son of the soil of Moore’s Island, Samaritans Purse, The RORO Shipping Company, Dean’s Shipping Company Ltd. The TK Foundation, Kelly’s and several other international donors. The RBDF continues to perform duties as a corporate citizen and as such was recently recognized for its community and collaborative efforts by the Rotary Club where the Paul Harris award was bestowed to the organization on 30 November 2021.
Commodore Dr. Raymond King expressed the need for continued collaboration between The Royal Bahamas Defence Force, other government agencies, and non-governmental agencies such as the Bahamas Rotary Disaster Relief. He said, “The Defence Force is often just seen as a strong-arm enforcer of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas but the Defence Force is also mandated to assist in humanitarian initiatives throughout the Bahamas as a whole”. We will continue to strive in assisting Bahamians and hold close the mandate of Guarding Our Heritage.