Nelson Bascome Centre Formally Opens

June 27, 2013

Yesterday [June 26], the Nelson Bascome Centre for Substance Abuse Treatment formally opened in Sandys.

Minister of Public Safety Michael Dunkley announced earlier this month that the Centre would be named after the late Nelson Bascome, who served as the Minister of Health and was dedicated to the treatment of addicts.

Premier Cannonier, Minister Dunkley, Shirlene Bascome, Nelson Bascome III, Ruth “Sissy” Thyra Bascome and Shirnae Bascome:

Minister Dunkley - Nelson Bascome

Mr. Bascome began his career in 1980 in the Department of Social Services as a Residential Care Worker, and in 1990 he was the first Bermudian to be designated a Certified Employee Assistance Professional or CEAP.

Mr. Bascome was also programme director for the Salvation Army’s Harbourlight programme and was among the first to qualify as a Certified Clinical Supervisor [1997] and an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor [1997].

Speaking at yesterday’s formal opening, Minister Dunkley said: “Thus this is an important day, not only to recognize the service of Nelson Bascome, but it is also an important day in the substance abuse treatment story in Bermuda. It is my hope that this site will serve its clients well and that the people of Bermuda will have confidence in the services it provides.”

The new facility increases the bed capacity for males from 12 to 24 and for females from 8 to 12. Additionally, the men’s treatment programme will now have the capacity to offer treatment for up to 12 months, similar to that already offered to women.

Minister Dunkley’s full statement follows below:

Hon. Premier, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Junior Ministers, Senators good afternoon everyone and thank you all for coming.

To Mrs. Bascome and the Bascome family, thank you for agreeing to this commemoration of your husband and father’s work.

The Government is honoured by your agreement and support here today. The Department of National Drug Control performs a critical function in the area of drug treatment. This facility will serve the needs of the affected community and is well equipped to transform the lives of those who have fallen into the cycle of substance abuse.

The increase in bed capacity and the consolidation of drug treatment into a purpose built facility is designed to deliver treatment in a more efficient and cost-effective way. In this Government’s first Throne Speech we promised to give statutory authority to the mandate of the Department following the repeal of the old National Drug Commission Act.

I am pleased to confirm that we are making significant progress on this. Cabinet has approved the new mandate and the Bill is being drafted and my hope is to table it in this calendar year. Today is a very special occasion, but some might call this a curious arrangement.

Naming this facility after a colleague from across the floor might be somewhat unexpected. Well, it really is very simple.

Nelson Bascome was a respected professional in the field of substance abuse treatment. He was a dedicated representative of the people and a man who committed his working life to helping others whose lives had been negatively impacted by substance abuse.

Personally, I considered Nelson a friend and colleague who never let politics stand in the way of a tee time.

This Government campaigned on changing the conversation in this country. We determined that the best way forward was united, not divided along partisan lines that blinded us to basic truths. As I said in the House of Assembly, political differences are no barrier to recognizing exceptional service.

Thus this is an important day, not only to recognize the service of Nelson Bascome, but it is also an important day in the substance abuse treatment story in Bermuda. It is my hope that this site will serve its clients well and that the people of Bermuda will have confidence in the services it provides.

I would like to invite Mrs. Bascome now to join me in unveiling the sign that will mark this new facility. Thank you.

Thank you.

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Comments (5)

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  1. watching says:

    Well done, and a fitting tribute to a great man.
    I applaud the government for this dedication.

    • Out of flight says:

      This project was started by the PLP who were going to name it after Nelson. The OBA are just cutting the ribbon. Now to find the money. another loan perhaps? Not bad a billion.1 in their first year. RIP Nelson.

  2. Always Watching says:

    Am I the only one who finds this a bit weird ?

  3. THANK TO THE PLP FOR LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR SUCH A WONERFUL BUILDING …. MR BASCOME WAS A GREAT PERSON

  4. God 1st says:

    This is a great feat in the name of Nelson Bascome congratulations to his widow son daughter and sister.

    On another note the minister of public safety and the premier have an ulterior motive, they are looking to gain from this economically or politically.

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