NASSAU, Bahamas – The Immigration Department donated 37 pints of blood to the Princess Margaret Hospital’s Blood Bank on Thursday, as past of its 70th anniversary celebration.

Minister of State for Immigration Branville McCartney, the first to donate, said that it was a pleasure for him to give back to the community.

“As we celebrate our 70th anniversary…we are giving blood and hopefully we would help save many, many lives,” Mr. McCartney said.

Dr Hubert Minnis, Minister of Health commended the Department for “taking the lead” in such an initiative.

He said periodically surgeries would be delayed due to the shortage of blood supply.

“What you are embarking on cannot be matched by any because blood is as essential component of our survival so you would be saving many lives,” Dr Minnis said.

An Act of Parliament formed the Immigration Department in 1939. And to commemorate this occasion, the department is hosting a number of activities culminating with a banquet.

“Today we are giving back to the community,” said Jack Thompson, Director of Immigration. “We pause to make a deposit into the blood bank as this is a great investment towards saving lives.”