National Bench Program
Antonius Roberts: Artist’s Message March 2011
As I move around Nassau and the Bahamas, I am frequently dismayed by the neglect and lack of respect towards our environment that I see in too many of our neighbourhoods or public places. We are gifted with beautiful clean seas, sand and air and if we wish to continue to enjoy those benefits, we need to make its preservation a priority.
If we want to see change, I believe that it is our individual responsibility to make or be part of that change. This is not about money or hoping that the government will intervene, it is about each one of us contributing our own efforts to this end.
Last year when I was asked to make seating for the newly landscaped shoreline at Saunders Beach it occurred to me that benches, similar to these, might be a relatively easy way for all of us to contribute to improving our environment. Trees are constantly being pruned or cut down by the utility companies or by developers so we have an abundant supply of free material.
It is my wish and my hope that all of us could make a contribution in this way whether as an individual, a community or Junkanoo group, a school or an organisation. Let’s each take it on as a project and build benches for our own neighbourhoods. We can get to know each other better and enjoy friendship from a communal effort; beautify our own environment and get to enjoy the fruits of our labour whether it is a bench in a parkette or at a bus stop. A place to stop and smell the roses.
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”