The sun was out and the fish were biting on Easter Monday, making for a perfect day for a fishing tournament held at Barkers in West Bay.
Put on in memory of avid Barkers Bay fisherman Gressmon “Gressy” Ebanks, the catch-and-release tournament proved a big draw for fishing aficionados young and old keen to test their skills and engage in some friendly rivalry.
Organizer Eziethamae “Zeta” Bodden said the day’s activities included remembering those who have passed on, and those missing at sea.
“At the outset, Henderson Hunte prayed for a safe and enjoyable day, and we held a moment of silence for the five persons missing at sea,” said Ms. Bodden, referring to the local boaters who went missing on Sunday, March 6.
Tournament participants were also encouraged to be good stewards of Barkers.
“Rudy Powery reminisced on his younger days living in the Barkers area, stressing the importance of preservation of the area for our future generations, our heritage and culture,” said Ms. Bodden.
Those in attendance included Mr. Ebanks’s family and friends, along with West Bay MLAs Captain Eugene Ebanks, Bernie Bush and Tara Rivers.
“It was wonderful to see so many there, including many families with three generations represented, sharing in the tournament, bonding, and enjoying the sea and sand,” said Ms. Bodden.
“We had Mr. Rudy Powery with his son Newton, and grandsons Nathan Powery, Alonzo and Andre Connor, and we also had Mr. Elvia Powery and his daughter Laverne Connor and granddaughter Alissa Connor,” she said.
“We also had Mr. Henderson Hunte with son Mark and grandson Nathan, Gressy’s sister Ms. Clearstaine Ebanks, with her daughter Lavern and grandchildren Nevon and Onella, and Mr. Dawson Ebanks with son Deon and grandson Daniye’l, as well as Mr. Araunah Powery with daughter Judith Dodds and granddaughters Angie and Allie.”
Ms. Bodden reported that after Mr. Powery blew the conch to start the tournament, Dawson Ebanks caught and released the first fish, earning him a plaque and a Stingray City trip for two from Captain Marvin’s.
“Gwenda Williams caught and released the second fish, to win a Stingray City trip from Oh Boy Charters. Racking up a winning total of four fish caught and released was Alvin Brown, who credited Mr. Ebanks for teaching him the skills that netted him the top prize. Mr. Brown received a Foster’s Food Fair gift card and a commemorative T-shirt.
“It was a wonderful tournament and a nice way to remember Gressy,” said Ms. Bodden. “Everyone enjoyed the day, the refreshments and a time of togetherness.”