About the Abaco Sun

OUR MISSION

Our goal is to support and empower Abaco as it recovers, rebuilds and rises by creating a one-stop source of clear, accurate and timely information. We support the growth of local businesses, introduce potential visitors to Abaco and give them tools to plan memorable vacations, and provide second homeowners with the information they need to invest wisely and enjoy their Abaco experience.  

ABOUT AMANDA DIEDRICK                                  

A ninth-generation Bahamian who counts Loyalist Wyannie Malone and pirate Matthew Lowe among her ancestors, Amanda is the author of Those Who Stayed: The Tale of the Hardy Few Who Built Green Turtle Cay. The book details the fascinating, often surprising history of a small out island that would play an important role in shaping modern Bahamian life.   

A writer for nearly three decades, Amanda’s work has appeared in Canadian, American and Bahamian publications, the latter including Abaco Life, the Abaconian and the Nassau Tribune. From 2013-2020, she wrote Little House by the Ferry – a blog all about Green Turtle Cay, and predecessor to the Abaco Sun.

Amanda has written extensively about various aspects of the Bahamian experience, including the troubling plight of the Bahamian Queen Conch, challenges faced by Bahamian families with disabled children, the Bahamas Special Olympics organization, the Bahamas DNA project, Bahamian genealogical research, local cuisine and culture, and — more recently — about the effects of Hurricane Dorian on Abaco and the region’s efforts to recover and rebuild.

She serves as Historian and Special Events Coordinator for Green Turtle Cay’s Albert Lowe Museum, and is a former Membership Administrator for the online Bahamas Genealogy Group.

In her free time, she enjoys unravelling her tangled Bahamian and Jamaican roots and collecting historic books about the Bahamas. Her goals include photographing every inhabited Bahamian island and perfecting her guava duff recipe. 

ABOUT TOM WALTERS

Tom’s parents claim that – prophetically — his first two words were “camera” and “typewriter.”

At just 15, he began his media career as a part-time, on-air reporter with Victoria, B.C.’s CJVI radio. For four decades, he’s worked in Canadian television news, covering events from the crash of Swissair 111 off Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia to the death of Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles.

Tom’s covered the Route 91 shooting in Las Vegas, and terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Christchurch and Istanbul. He’s reported from fourteen Atlantic hurricanes and from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. He’s covered several of California’s worst wildfires and three major earthquakes:  Northridge, California, Haiti, and Fukushima, Japan.

He’s also reported on four American presidential elections, two space shuttle launches, the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and the birth of Prince George, heir to the throne. And he’s covered a dozen Academy Award ceremonies, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In his career with CTV, Canada’s top television network, Tom has served as producer for its investigative magazine show W5, news director for its local Vancouver station and Los Angeles Bureau Chief.

Over the years, Tom’s work has been recognized with awards including twenty Southern California Journalism Awards, four National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, and Gold and Silver World Medals from the New York Festivals. He won British Columbia’s prestigious Jack Webster Award and a Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting. And he’s won the Radio, Television and Digital News Association (RTDNA) Canada’s Sam Ross Award for Commentary three of the four years it’s been presented.  

Outside of work, Tom’s a gadget geek and photographer who loves SCUBA diving in the Bahamas and fishing anywhere. Amanda has conferred upon him honourary Bahamian status because he makes the best conch chowder of anyone she knows, and he introduced her to a Bahamian classic, sheep tongue souse.

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48 thoughts on “About the Abaco Sun

  • July 7, 2013 at 10:22 am
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    What an interesting project! Any short stories published lately? I’m writing you from a little cottage in the trees by Arrow Lake in the Kootenays. Quite a contrast to the Bahamas!

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    • July 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm
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      Hi, Cathy! Great to hear from you as well. No short stories lately, just my novel and of course, now, this blog and house project. Your little cottage in the trees sounds divine! Happy writing.

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  • July 8, 2013 at 11:42 am
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    A novel! Good for you! Can’t wait to get a notice of its release!
    What a beautiful headpiece! Are you riding a carousel?

    Cathy

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    • July 8, 2013 at 11:53 am
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      No, that headpiece is part of a Junkanoo costume that was on display at Green Turtle Cay’s Island Roots Heritage Festival. Junkanoo is a traditional Bahamian festival, and participating in a Junkanoo parade (called a rush) is on my bucket list, so just getting to wear the costume was a thrill.

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  • July 14, 2013 at 3:30 pm
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    My Bahamian wife (of nearly as many generations) shared the link to your blog as a teaser for our coming visit to Green Turtle Cay. What I didn’t expect was a collection of beautifully crafted vignettes combined with fine images. I suppose this is what a blog is meant to be. In your case, however, the term should be a “gem.” Thank you.

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    • July 14, 2013 at 10:45 pm
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      Jeff, thank you so much for your kind words! Tom and I both love Green Turtle Cay and it’s truly a pleasure to share it with others. Hope you have a terrific holiday — I look forward to hearing all about it. This isn’t your first trip to GTC, is it?

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  • August 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm
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    Amanda, I am so pleased to see you manifesting such an avid interest in your Greenturtle roots.with the enthusiasm of people like yourself, perhaps our heritage will be preserved. I look forward to meeting you again one day.
    Greg

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    • August 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm
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      Hi, Greg. Thanks for your note. I’ve always loved Green Turtle, and thankfully, my husband (and dog!) feel the same way. We’re just happy to have the opportunity to preserve a tiny piece of it, and to share our adventures with others. Yes, I do hope we can meet again in person one day — maybe on the Cay?

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  • August 24, 2013 at 2:48 pm
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    Love your blog! Now you get me interested in Green Turtle Cay 🙂

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    • August 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm
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      Thank you! I think you’d like GTC. Like Great Harbour Cay, it’s a bit off the beaten path… but that’s why I like it. Looking forward to reading about your future adventures.

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  • September 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm
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    I am enjoying your blog, I get it from Facebook and my family on GTC. I live in Florida.
    My father is James Saunders, he was born and raised on GTC. I was there the beginning of July and had a wonderful time. I know right where your home is. So glad someone is going to enjoy it. Am looking forward to more of your blog. It is very interesting and educating. I have been forwarding the link to my children who live in Indiana.

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    • September 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm
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      Hi, Gail. Thank you for your note! I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the blog. It really is a lot of fun to work on, and it’s great to get to share our GTC experiences with others. Do you get to GTC very often? Is your father related to Graham Saunders, who married Vera Lowe?

      Thanks again for writing!

      Amanda

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  • September 7, 2013 at 11:51 am
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    Hi Amanda. My name is Paula Jackson and I am related to you. I am the daughter of John W. Lowe and the sister of Paul and Evan Lowe. I live in Port St. Lucie, FL with my husband Lynn. My first husband was deceased in 2003. My two daughters and their families also live in Port St. Lucie. I am really enjoying reading the stories on the blog regarding my dad’s history. Dad told us so many times about the 1932 hurricane and many other childhood stories. I visited GTC in 2002. It had been nearly 40 years since my last visit. I really enjoyed the day there. Look forward to reading more stories.

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    • September 8, 2013 at 9:52 pm
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      Hi, Paula. Great to hear from you. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. It’s a lot of fun to work on — and I’m getting to meet so many “new” relatives. 🙂 I’ve known Evan for a while, but I just “met” Paul this week. I’m thinking that at some point, we should throw a Curry family reunion at some point in GTC. There are a lot of us Curry grandchildren and great grands around. Thanks so much for writing (and for reading the blog.) Hope we get the chance to meet one day soon.

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  • September 9, 2013 at 7:02 am
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    Glad to hear back from you. I love to read about our ancestry. There are descendants of Aunt Dora, another daughter of Great Grandpa Wes Curry living in Florida. I have contact with these. Keep in touch.

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  • September 9, 2013 at 5:06 pm
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    Hi Amanda,
    Thank you for checking out my blog (http://spryandretiring.wordpress.com) and delighted to read yours because it led me back 40 years to our three years of teaching in Nassau. We loved the Bahamas and still have many friends from that time. Indeed we loved it so much that we’ve settled in Brisbane, a city on the same latitude, but in the southern hemisphere, which boasts jacarandas in October, and poincianas in December! I’ve signed on for new posts from you, and will be sure to pass the link on to all our old Bahamian friends.
    Regards, Angie Oakley

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    • September 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm
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      Hi, Angie. You’re very welcome! I really enjoyed your post about penmanship, and I agree completely. There’s just something about the physical act of putting pen to paper…. I do most of my writing on the computer, but sometimes, I just can’t “think” that way. I need to sit with a pen and a notepad first, let the thoughts come, process them, put them on paper, and then take to the computer for editing….

      Glad to hear you enjoyed your time in the Bahamas! Did you get to explore the out islands while you were there?

      I’m very much enjoying your blog – looking forward to reading more!

      Amanda Diedrick

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  • October 22, 2013 at 6:25 am
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    My husband and I chartered a sailboat for our honeymoon twelve years ago, and spent the week island hoping the Cays of Abaco. We haven’t had the chance to go back, but now I have found your blog. You live in a beautiful place!

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    • October 22, 2013 at 11:20 am
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      Sounds like an amazing honeymoon! Sadly, we’re not living in GTC full-time, but maybe one of these days… 🙂

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      • October 22, 2013 at 3:50 pm
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        Can’t complain about part-time, either. 🙂

  • October 30, 2013 at 2:28 am
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    Hello Amanda, thank you for stopping by my blog! I had the chance to visit the Bahamas a few times with my family when I was young. Though I do not think we made it to Green Turtle Cay, I was lucky to see many off the beaten track places as we were travelling by sailboat (my parents were very into sailing) and remember loving the islands of the Bahamas. Your project sounds wonderful, and the location looks beautiful!. Best of luck on the restoration!

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  • November 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm
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    Greetings from New England–First, thank you for visiting my blog. Yours is quite fascinating. My wife is half Scottish/English. Her father’s line goes to the Isle of Skye and then on to Prince Edward Island. Her mother is from somewhere closer to London, though where exactly I’m not sure. I’ll check on your posts here and there and with that, all the best to you!!

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  • November 12, 2013 at 1:17 pm
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    Thank you for dropping by my blog. I just started following your and can’t wait to get caught up on your posts!

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    • November 20, 2013 at 12:01 pm
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      You’re so welcome! And thanks for dropping by here. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts as well.

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  • November 20, 2013 at 1:31 am
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    Cool Amanda! Something like a dream house for me. Very nice blog indeed. By the way, thanks for checking mine and liking.

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  • December 13, 2013 at 3:04 pm
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    hi there, i’m related to you as well…I dropped you a note somewhere else under the DNA ancestry….I also have Matthew Lowe the pirate as I believe my 7th great-grandfather…its been a minute since I’ve refreshed my memory with all the connections..my grandfather was Charles s Roberts from Key West, his parents were George A.T. Roberts & Mary “Mamie” Eliza Lowe of Key West, and hailed from the Bahamas. I’d love to stay in touch. My email is kgcossey@netzero.com
    GeorgeAnne Cossey

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  • March 11, 2014 at 2:30 pm
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    How lovely your little Fish Hooks is! I can’t wait to read on and see more of your progress and also the inside! My husband and I are currently restoring an old/antique place in the Freedom Hills area of Alabama. I’m so glad you visited me today!

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  • April 25, 2014 at 10:56 am
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    Dear Amanda,
    My dear friend, Alton Lowe, spoke to me of your Blog only last evening and I have just spent over 3 hours perusing your Blog.

    What an amazingly beautiful and historically enlightening in-depth Blog of Fish Hooks and GTC culture and generational evolvement. I learned more about the island and saw more of the “Junkanoo” costumes/parades and Island “Roots Festival” festivities, the refurbishing of the Alton Lowe Museum, over a span of 28 yrs., in your Blog than ever before. I was especially intrigued with the remarkable detail of your writings, the pictures, the videos, the origin of GTC and sister city, Key West, the history of the 1932 Hurricane that destroyed so many lives and homes as the grave markers of the original Loyalists who settled in GTC and their descendants, as well as your showing us the beautiful waters surrounding the island and the tropical plants. I also enjoyed seeing the maps which made areas and inlets so clear to me. I have visited your lovely island on many occasions being a part of Alton Lowe’s troupe of performers for the Abaco Cultural Society in various scenarios & Shows. Thank you for this extraordinary presentation. You can be sure I will be looking at “Fish Hooks” in a much different way as I disembark from a Bolo ferry in your front yard. “Applause, Applause” to you and Tom for an exciting adventure. I look forward to meeting you both one day.
    Respectfully, Joy Martone, Miami, FL

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  • July 7, 2014 at 8:14 pm
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    What I wonderful blog! You definitely have a new follower in me. I can’t wait to read more of your stories from the Bahamas and see your beautiful pictures!

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  • July 16, 2014 at 8:48 am
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    Thanks for dropping by! When the first picture loaded on your banner; I immediately knew where you were at even after so many years. You only have to see the chain once and it is in your mind forever.

    I almost went back there a year or so ago for a wedding but could not make it. Hopefully soon. I love the lifestyle and I have to say the surfing helps me out too!

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  • October 2, 2014 at 7:05 pm
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    I absolutely enjoy reading the blog. The history of your home is awesome. Your pics are full.of life and beckons people.

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  • October 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂 I absolutely love yours. This island looks like a little piece of heaven on earth. I guess my bucket list of places to visit just got a bit longer…

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  • December 25, 2014 at 11:22 am
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    Amanda,

    I have a house in White Sound on the Bluff House property. GTC is one of my favorite places in the world. I appreciate your taking the time to capture and share the special nature of our little island. I will share your website with our guests and friends.

    Merry Christmas.

    Bill

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    • January 15, 2015 at 9:13 am
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      Hi, Bill. Thanks so much for your comments. Hope we’ll have a chance to meet on the cay. Belated happy holidays to you as well.

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  • January 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm
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    Hello Amanda! I’ve decided to read and follow 15 interesting and new blogs a day every day for the first month of 2015, and yours is today’s #13! Feel free to come visit me when you can at http://www.thatssojacob.wordpress.com, and follow if you like what you read. Happy new year and happy blogging!

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  • May 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    What a beautiful place to live!! Great blog- thanks for visiting mine!

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  • July 2, 2015 at 10:52 am
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    Hi Amanda, thanks for checking out my blog! Nice to ‘Cyber’meet a (fella) Bahamian 🙂 and I love the concept of your blog! Will definitely be trying out some of those delicious recipes from your grandmother!

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  • July 12, 2015 at 3:00 pm
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    Bless you for properly restoring your house. I am 71 & have been visiting GTC for 63 of those years. I have fond & vivid memories of life on the cay when I was a child, before refrigation, before baseball caps replaced palm frond or straw hats, before outboard motors. My mother & rechid step-father, Kitty & Pearce Coady started Bluff House. I lived in Delaware with my father & step-mother, but came to Green Turtle for Christmases, spring brakes, & summers. I’m so amazed & delighted that it has changed so little, in my opinion, compared to The outside world. I arrived on my first visit by way of Sammy & Mary Sawyer’s ” Stamba IV.” I remember Cyril Pinder & Neville Key, & Sidney Lowe, but wish I could remember the names of so many others whose faces I can still see. The Coady’s gave Lincon Jones his first bicycle. So many memories.

    As you can tell, Green Turtle, & New Plymouth have a special place in my soul. I hope to meet you & Tom some day. Perhaps during the Christmas holidays one of these years.

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  • July 12, 2015 at 3:06 pm
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    Whoops! Make that “wretched”.

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  • October 23, 2015 at 3:41 am
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    Thanks for the like of Connecticut’s Old State House Gets a Facelift . Look forward to reading your blog.

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  • April 8, 2016 at 5:22 am
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    I have visited GTC since the early 1970’s. We always stated with Howard Searcy at his vacation cottage at the end of Black Sound and remember many colorful names such as Cardinal Mcintosh, Burft Rackley, the” Gully Roosters Band, Doyle who took care of Searcy’s place,and The Town Constable, . There too many more for my 73 year old mind to remember.

    We look forward to returning.
    Tom Sansbury
    Naples, Fl.

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    • May 4, 2016 at 6:22 am
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      Hi, Tom. Thanks for getting in touch, and sharing some of your GTC memories. Hope to see you on the cay one day soon!

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  • August 24, 2017 at 1:08 am
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    So, what has happened since May 4, 2016??? I’ve only just discovered your nostalgia-inducing GTC Blog, and what a wonderful portraiture you paint of GTC!!! I just love it, even though I am in fact, a New Providence “Island Boy”, who fell in love with Abaco in the early seventies as I traveled throughout the entire Bahamian chain of Islands engaged in Evangelistic work (Preaching “The Good News”) as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Admittedly, my memory of an altogether too brief a visit to GTC is much too faint, especially when compared to vivid and kaleidoscopic images featured in your Blog….but I do remember how much I loved the experience. Please, let’s hear from you again…real soon. Meanwhile, please visit our website, and let us know just what we may feature to improve our offerings:
    http://www.gloriasdlites.com

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Fred Lord
    Olean, NY

    Reply
  • August 14, 2018 at 12:44 pm
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    We just got home from GTC! Brendal bought my grandpa’s old house! One huge change is the 12% VAT tax on everything!!

    Reply

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