My favorite time in Eleuthera

bocce182

This is my favorite time in Eleuthera – the Special Olympics Bocce Tournament – the time when teams from 5 islands of the Bahamas get together for some serious games of Bocce and some serious fun as well !  The last 2 years there have been 4 islands competing – but this year Exuma joined the tournament with two chaps who did very well……

The Eleuthera team with the Hon Desmond Bannister - Minister of Works - he did the opening speech....
The Eleuthera team with the Hon Desmond Bannister – Minister of Works – he did the opening speech….

It all started on Friday afternoon at the marked out Bocce court in the centre of Tarpum Bay. The weather was against us – plenty of very heavy showers – but then it cleared up and the singles competition got underway. The Hon. Desmond Bannister – the Minister of Works – came to speak at the opening ceremony , and he made a really lovely speech. He addressed it directly to the competitors – it is rare that a politician doesn’t slip into political mode during a public speech – but he didn’t. He was funny and relevant and did not patronize in any way – really very inspirational and joyful !!

The courts on the ballpark in Tarpum Bay before the deluge of rain !
The courts on the ballpark in Tarpum Bay before the deluge of rain !

It poured with rain overnight and also on Saturday morning – the court was flooded – but Bahamians are very resourceful – and a new court was marked out between the 2 buildings were everybody was staying.

The improvised court after the flooding out of the ball park
The improvised court after the flooding out of the ball park

 

So the doubles competition followed by the team matches all got played – slower than was expected because there was only one court instead of 3 – but as you can see from the pictures there was a grandstand setting !

Grandstand view for the Eleuthera team.
Grandstand view for the Eleuthera team.

The reason I love this tournament so much is because it is such a joyful experience – that is not to say that there is not fierce competition – there is ! And not everybody takes not winning in their stride !  But the dedication of so many of the people involved and the camaraderie between the athletes is a joy to experience.

Yours truly with the Grand Bahama team
Yours truly with the Grand Bahama team

Substantial funds were raised this year by various people – the fantastic Tony Crean – who is the major driving force here on island for the Special Olympics managed to secure most of it. Many of you will remember the UK band called Hot Chocolate – they had a big hit with – ‘You Sexy Thing ‘ in the late 70’s. Errol Brown – the lead singer – moved to Nassau and died there in 2015. He and his wife Ginette had set up a children’s charity – Tony met up with Ginette in Nassau earlier this year and she made a lovely donation to the event. Many thanks to her and to SH – you know who you are – as well as PF for pulling the major donation out of the hat !  So many people who want to remain anonymous !

Our very own Leanna from here in Eleuthera - thanks to Sarah Brie for this great picture
Our very own Leanna from here in Eleuthera – thanks to Sarah Brie for this great picture

So there we are – Special Olympics brings together a group of people who can excel in their chosen sport. They experience being together with other competitors of varying abilities , they compete, socialize , have fun, dance and generally have a great experience. I am so happy that I have become enmeshed in the whole Eleutheran experience of Special Olympics – once in you can never leave it behind ……. Sounds a bit like Hotel California  – come on – the Eagles song – do keep up !

Sarah brought her dogs along on the Friday and it was great for everyone to be able to pet and feed these beautifully behaved potcakes - the socializing aspect was great for the dogs and the competitors...
Sarah brought her dogs along on the Friday and it was great for everyone to be able to pet and feed these beautifully behaved potcakes – the socializing aspect was great for the dogs and the competitors…

 

Bob and I caught a great lunch at Da Vine in Harbour Island. it is a fabulous wine store and they do terrific sushi as well !
Bob and I caught a great lunch at Da Vine in Harbour Island the day before –  it is a fabulous wine store and they do terrific sushi as well !
The sushi chefs
The sushi chefs
And the lovely serving staff
And the lovely serving staff

Coming up next week – we are on a trip to New York – lots of new experiences – very excited !

And finally – another great meal with Dan and Larry on the Cay – really yummy food and terrific company …….

bocce1813

8 thoughts on “My favorite time in Eleuthera

  1. What a fabulous blog! You have really outdone yourself! How I miss the food!

    I am really looking forward to the photos of NYC. I spent 40 years there. Everything wonderful! Love, love, NYC!

    Thank you again!

    1. I put those comments at the very end of the blog to see if people really do read it ! I will take plenty of pictures of the city….. Lovely to hear from you ….

  2. We HAVE been enjoying your blog news during past weeks. Seeing all your previous great shots of the jazz fest and here the Special Olympics and everyone’s smiling faces compels me to say thanks again for sharing and continuing to post news about Eleutheran goings on as well as your own travels! And finally here in New England, a taste of summer before spring…and just in time for your not so chilly NY vaca…keep those song references coming. Love the red OJ.
    Cheers,
    Donna & Stuart
    XO

  3. You really are so photogenic, Kathy!!! Great work you, Tony, and all the rest do with the Special Olympics committee! Great job on a successful Bocce tournament!

    1. Thanks Joy – of course you know I only post the good pictures !!!! and thanks for your kind comments on the Special olympics ….

  4. Kathy & Bob, How wonderful…

    Dedicated hearts like yours
    Are not so easy to find.
    It takes a special person to be
    So generous and kind.

    To care so much for your fellow man
    Is a quality all too rare.
    Yet you give of your time and talents,
    For all in need to share. Enjoy the “other Island”. Hope to catch cup with you soon!

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