I first learned of The BVI Beacon during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Chef de Mission Mark Vanterpool had brought copies of an eight-page edition to the games, and it included a story on our track-and-field athletes and sailors at the games.

Later, having returned home at the end of 1984 from my studies at the University of Colorado, I wrote the first in a series of social commentaries for the Beacon in June 1985. In the commentaries, I addressed myriad issues affecting the community. I later learned that everyone thought I had an interest in politics, when in fact I was simply preparing to start writing in my 40s. At 21, I had identified writing as something I wanted to do in retirement to keep my sanity.

As fate would have it, things turned in September 1986 with a request that then-Beacon Business Manager Dora Harrigan made one day when I was dropping off my social commentary.

“Karl [Dawson] is going off to the University of the West Indies, and we won’t have a sportswriter,” she said, as I remember the exchange. “Since you’re a writer and an athlete, we would like you to write sports for us.”

I jumped at the opportunity even as I continued my social commentaries. Meanwhile, I expanded the sports and covered everything on land and sea. I also saw the need for providing sports more frequently.

On the radio

Then in October 1994, I wrote two radio stations — ZBVI 780 AM and ZROD 103.7 FM — to propose supplying sports for their on-air personnel to read.

On Oct. 20, 1994, Rodney Herbert of ZROD asked me to a meeting.

“I’m interested, but why don’t you come on and do the sports?” he said, as I remember it. “You can start on Monday.”

I literally freaked out. I didn’t see myself in the role as a sports caster, and I begged to start on Nov. 1 instead.

In the interim, I searched for a name for my radio debut. Back then, there were no laptops, so every Tuesday evening, I’d drop off my sports to The BVI Beacon for publication on Thursday.

“Here’s comes the sportsman,” one of the reporters said as I walked in the door one day.

“Yes,” I said to myself as a big smile flashed across my face.

That was the radio name I was looking for.

So on the night of Oct. 25, 1994, Dean “The Sportsman” Greenaway was birthed in the Beacon’s office.

I debuted with the name on ZROD Sports on Nov. 1, 1994, and I’ve been using it ever since.


The Beacon

Since The BVI Beacon was founded in 1984, it has given everyone in the territory an opportunity to write about any topical issue of the day, a practice that continues. The Beacon has also made an invaluable contribution to chronicling events in the territory over the last 40 years.

Happy 40th anniversary, Beacon. May you live on into infinity.