I am pleased for the people and businesses of Virgin Gorda that they once again have banking facilities, albeit through only one bank, and not full time. Of course, one can do much banking online these days, which makes things easier. I suspect the tourist businesses, Necker Island and so on were not too badly affected as they probably have regular boats going to Tortola and staff can do the company business. I just hope the ATM and night safe are secure against anyone wanting to make a withdrawal with a backhoe.

The premier indicated that the government is backing this venture for five years. I wonder how much is involved and also why the previous government did not offer a similar incentive to Scotiabank to persuade them to stay.

When I first came here, there was no bank on Virgin Gorda, and the manager of the Barclays in Road Town (which used to be in Flemming Street in the current Creque store), Brian Sollett, used to go over weekly in the company boat with sacks of money and other banking paraphernalia to do business. I always wondered about the security of this arrangement, but it was in more peaceful times before 1984. I believe later there might have been three small banking facilities over there, but obviously they did not pay either.

Older residents will remember when there was no banking facility on Tortola either, and trips had to be made to St. Thomas to do business.

 

Toad Hall Estate

Government announced that it has purchased the Toad Hall Estate on Virgin Gorda for an undisclosed sum. Where do they keep finding the money for all these ventures which, presently, are not helping with post-hurricane reconstruction? It seems it will become part of the National Parks Trust’s property.

First they have to rebuild the damaged facility, and then they are going into the hospitality, entertainment, and tourist business in a big way! What foolishness is this? Have they not learnt from the Prospect Reef debacle (destined to be forever with us) or the money-losing John Legend concert? Government should not be in that type of business. Next they will be pumping thousands into music fests, festivals and culture shows.

 

Remembrance Day

There was a very poor turnout for the Remembrance Day service at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College on Sunday. It used to be much better attended when the local churches took turns to host it. It has been downhill since it was taken over by government and moved to HLSCC. And poppies did not appear to be available until after the service. Maybe it is dying out because so few people here feel to have been affected by past wars.


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