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Top Finishers: Equoia Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School (Overall Winner – 456 points) – center; Petra Kemp of Preston H. Albury High School (Second Place – 409 points) -right; and Sierra Farrington of North Eleuthera High School (Third Place – 400 points) – left.

(Eleuthera, The Bahamas)  On Friday morning, March 15th, 2019, after a very competitive round of well-presented speeches, Equoia Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School, won the 2019 title of Jr. Minister of Tourism for the island of Eleuthera.   She takes up the baton from last year’s winner, Oriana Carey of Preston H. Albury High School.

She was one of a sizeable group of competitors, seven young people in total, who battled it out with well researched and prepared speeches on the topic, “Transforming Tourism with Digital Technology.”  This year, organizers added a mystery question component, which took place following the speech presentations, challenging the young competitors to think on their feet, and to give thoughtful answers to questions broached about the tourism industry.  Coming in a very close second and third, were Petra Kemp of Preston H. Albury High School, and Sierra Farrington of North Eleuthera High School, respectively.

This year’s Jr. Minister of Tourism Speech Competition in Eleuthera, was held at the Ministry of Tourism offices in Governor’s Harbour, beginning at 11:30 am on the Friday morning.  The seven competitors included; Equoia Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School (Winner – 456 points); Petra Kemp of Preston H. Albury High School (Second Place – 409 points); Sierra Farrington of North Eleuthera High School (Third Place – 400 points); Hendricks Johnson of Harbour Island All Age School; Christianna Wallace of North Eleuthera High School; El’Shauna Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School; and Glenyce Cartwright of Preston H. Albury High School.

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The seven competitors in the 2019 Jr. Minister of Tourism Speech Competition in Eleuthera included (L-R); Christianna Wallace of North Eleuthera High School; Sierra Farrington of North Eleuthera High School (Third Place – 400 points); Equoia Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School (Winner – 456 points); Petra Kemp of Preston H. Albury High School (Second Place – 409 points); Glenyce Cartwright of Preston H. Albury High School; El’Shauna Gibson of Central Eleuthera High School; and Hendricks Johnson of Harbour Island All Age School.

Equoia Gibson, who went on to represent Eleuthera in the national competition, commented following her win, saying, “It feels great, because not only will I get to represent my community, but my entire island, and I want to make everyone proud, so, I will do my very best…  I’m also looking forward to working along with everyone in the tourism sector, and helping to encourage other youth in that area as well.”


Proud Principal Mrs. Marie Galanis of Central Eleuthera High School who attended the competition and witnessed her student bringing home the win for the school, when asked about the school’s historical performance, shared a bit of its’ history since the competition started on island, stating, “We [CEHS] won the first two competitions here on the island of Eleuthera (2008 – Anya Fernander and 2009 – Danielle Cooper), and then again a few years later in 2011 (Vashti Nairn).  Our third time winner, went on to place third in the national competition, and was the first Eleuthera competitor to place in the top three in New Providence.  Taliah Cooper of Preston Albury High, has since then won the national competition.  So, we are looking forward to Equoia bringing everything back!”

Mrs. Deborah Young-Fox with the Ministry of Tourism team in Governor’s Harbour, was the key organizer of the event and Contest Master, and was supported by her colleagues in both the Governor’s Habour and Harbour Island Offices.  Judges for the event included Nickal Symonette, Sherrin Cooper, Stephanie Bethel, Glenda Ingraham, and Tania Hutchinson.

The National Junior Minister of Tourism Speech Competition was held at SuperClubs Breezes on Thursday, March 28th, 2019.  The winner, who competed with Equoia and other students representing islands across The Bahamas, was Denardo McDonald of Grade 11, Forest Heights Academy, Marsh Harbour, Abaco.

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11th grade competitors in the 2019 Eleuthera Junior Minister of Tourism Speech Competition from schools across the island, stand with their coaches and parents.