Green Turtle Cay 2017 Holiday Events Schedule

If you’re lucky enough to be spending some or all of the holiday season on Green Turtle Cay, you’ve got lots to look forward to!

Green Turtle Cay 2017 Holiday Events Schedule

Heritage Park During GTC’s Festival of Lights (Photo: Tom Walters)

Saturday, November 25th at 5:00 pm
Heritage Park (Settlement Point)
One of the highlights of Green Turtle Cay’s holiday season is the Festival of Lights – when the settlement of New Plymouth is awash in Christmas colours.

This year’s festival kicks off tonight, with a Community Family Fun Night at Heritage Park (Settlement Point) during which the town will be officially lit up for the holidays. Dinner, drinks and sweets will be available for purchase, and there’ll be games and activities for kids of all ages. Plus, you’ll enjoy the terrific classic jazz of Sax Man, Rashad Reckley.

Thanksgiving Island Style

I know. Thanksgiving is not a traditional Bahamian celebration. But in recent years, due to simple proximity as well as the influence of American visitors, many Bahamians have adopted the holiday. (An opportunity to stop and give thanks, plus a turkey dinner? Who wouldn’t want to partake?!)

Thanksgiving, Island Style If you’re on Green Turtle Cay today, you’ve got several Thanksgiving dining options…

In New Plymouth, Harvey’s Island Grill will be serving a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, complete with homemade pumpkin pie. Reservations aren’t required, but they are recommended. Call Harvey’s at 365-4389 or on VHF Channel 16.

At Leeward Yacht Club, the Lizard Bar & Grill is serving a smoked turkey meal with gravy, stuffing, green beans, Bahamian macaroni and cheese and of course, pumpkin or pecan pie.

Ballyhoo restaurant at the Bluff House Beach Resort, is not only serving a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, but they’re giving you the chance to burn off that extra piece of pie dancing to the New Entry Band, who’ll play from 8:30-11:30pm.

Are You a Descendant of the First Families of Abaco?

Historian Betty Bruce and Artist Alton Lowe, founder of the Island Roots Heritage Festival

Forty years ago this week, the inaugural Island Roots Heritage Festival took place in Key West and then in Green Turtle Cay .

During the planning for the first Island Roots Festival, Key West historian Betty Bruce – whose ancestors were among those Abaco families who settled Key West – began gathering the names of other Floridians whose roots stretched across the Gulf Stream to the Bahama islands.

She posted a sign-up sheet in the Monroe County Public Library in Key West and put the word out.

Within just a few months, she had gathered several hundred names on a scroll, which now resides in the archives of the Albert Lowe Museum.

Reading through the scroll, you recognize many common Bahamian surnames, such as Pinder, Knowles, Kemp, Symonette and Moss, from the various Bahamian islands including Eleuthera, Spanish Wells, Harbour Island, Long Island, Nassau and Grand Bahama.

Bottle Launched in Madeira, Portugal Washes Up on GTC

Lynn Collins, with her husband, Abe

Did you know that if you drew a straight line east from Green Turtle Cay, the first land you would hit is the territory of Western Sahara, on Africa’s northwest coast?

Given the vast expanse of Atlantic Ocean on the cay’s eastern side, I guess it’s not surprising just how much washes up along that shore.

Floats, shoes, toys, a dead whale, part of a wrecked ship — you never know what you’ll find.

Last week, Lynn (Russell) Collins was walking along the island’s ocean beach when she spotted a wine bottle, draped in seaweed. Picking it up, she realized the bottle was corked and contained a piece of rolled-up paper.

Fun Times and Simple Pleasures

My grandmother and her sisters did it. My Mom and her siblings, too. And my cousins Renee and Marie and I tried – though my great-grandmother, afraid we’d injure ourselves, refused to give us hooks.

My Dad, Rudy Diedrick

Fishing from the dock is a Bahamian tradition, particularly in the out islands. My Dad, especially, loved to fish from Green Turtle Cay’s freight dock in the evenings.

The year he turned 70, we celebrated his birthday on the cay. One weekend during that trip, my cousin Ghandi and her family were visiting from Nassau and we put together an impromptu family fishing tournament.

Ghandi’s son, Harry — an avid fisherman — and I worked out the rules. Each competitor would kick in $5, and the pot would be split between two winners: the person who caught the most fish, and the person who caught the biggest fish.

Holiday Shopping Deadlines for Books and Calendars

Is it just me, or has this year simply vanished into thin air? I cannot believe the holidays are already here again, but I guess there’s no arguing with the calendar.

Since the next few weeks will no doubt fly by as well, I thought I’d better give you a heads up.

If you’re interested in ordering my book Those Who Stayed, or the 2018 Green Turtle Cay Wall Calendar as Christmas gifts, please note that Monday, December 11 is the last day to order these items for guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas.

To place an online order for Those Who Stayed click HERE, and to order the 2018 Green Turtle Cay calendar online, click HERE.

To purchase Those Who Stayed in-store, click HERE for a list of shops in Abaco and Nassau that carry the book.

In the Bahamas, the 2018 GTC Calendars are available exclusively through Green Turtle Cay’s Treasure Chest Gift Shop.

Elsewhere in the Bahamas, contact Lisa Farrington at the Treasure Chest (242-577-2616) — I’m sure she’ll work with you to get a calendar to you.

Thanks everyone, and an early Merry Christmas to all!

Don’t Forget!

The Sinking of the M/V Arawak

For as long as Abaco has been inhabited, Abaconians have relied on the sea for their livelihoods. From sponging and sharking to shipping and transport, the work was often arduous and dangerous, and navigation aids and devices were rudimentary compared with what we have today.

Wreck of the M/V Arawak - September 23, 1941

The crew of the Arawak: 1) Albert Lowe, 2) Ronald Hodgkins, 3) John D. (De Glanville) Gates, 4) Luddington Lowe, 5) unknown, 6) Captain Roland Roberts, 7) George Roberts, 8) unknown and 9) unknown.

On the morning of September 23, 1941, the 115-ft, 210-ton British ship M/V Arawak, departed Jacksonville, Florida, bound for the Bahamas. She carried an assortment of freight, including a saw mill destined for Abaco.

%d bloggers like this: