The Beacon office will be closed on Friday and Monday for the Easter holidays. Advertising and editorial deadlines will remain the same for next week’s edition, which will come out on Thursday, as usual. Beaconites wish everyone a happy Easter holiday.
Beaconites have learned from a witness that Premier Ralph O’Neal recently suffered a serious wardrobe malfunction — literally losing his pants… almost — at the launching ceremony for new lounges at the Road Town Ferry Terminal. The press wasn’t invited to the event, which may have been a good thing in this case. The mishap must have been quite a sight. Beaconites would like to warn the premier to be careful: Even he can get charged with indecent exposure.
Beaconites usually spend their days asking questions about important issues in the community and trying to find answers. Is government spending its money wisely? Which crimes are on the rise? Why is it called “dumb bread”? Okay, that last one may not be front-page news, but one Beaconite was curious when he heard the name of the yellow disc-shaped piece behind the bakery counter. A bakery employee insisted that it was “dumb” bread, but neither she nor her coworker knew why. So the Beaconite looked it up. According to the St. Croix Source, the recipe for the bread comes from the “dum” style of baking that “traveled to the Caribbean from India with indentured workers brought to the region following the emancipation of slaves.” Traditionally, the bread was made by setting dough in a skillet on hot coals. The addition of more hot coals to the lid, which heats the bread from above and below, is known as “dum” style, according to the newspaper.
Beacon Editor Freeman Rogers’ column Dateline: Paradise often uses satirical “news” articles to make a serious point humorously. Sometimes, though, this “fake news” turns out to be too close to reality. In March, for instance, he wrote a column about Tortola’s “water miracle.” The fictional article “reported” on residents’ jubilation that they suddenly had water after 7 p.m. after months of shortages. He described parties in the street, a 200-vehicle motorcade blaring through town in celebration and an impromptu religious service of thanksgiving. A Beaconite who lives in Road Town liked that particular column, as he hadn’t ever had water at his apartment at night since he moved in several weeks ago. On Friday, however, the news turned real. The Beaconite was so thrilled when he realised he still had water at 9 p.m. that he took another shower for the day, just because he could. He started to do the dishes, too, but quickly lost his ambition. Since then, the water has been much more reliable in Road Town and in other parts of Tortola, and Beaconites hope it continues to improve.
A Beaconite travelling to Anegada for a police meeting was surprised to see what seemed like a good portion of the island’s population disembarking from a ferry near the Anegada Reef Hotel. The ferry runs between Anegada and St. Thomas just a few times a year, he learned, and residents take it as an opportunity to stock their homes and stores for the season. The Beaconite would also like to thank police officers for land and sea transportation to and from the various police meetings over the past week.
A Beaconite got to be familiar with the inside of the Road Town Police Station this week, when Magistrates’ Court moved there after the courthouse in Johns Hole was flooded over the weekend. Despite the smaller quarters in a police training classroom, the court seemed to proceed as efficiently as usual.
Leading by example?
A Beaconite was surprised to see a police officer parked illegally near Main Street on Monday. The officer had stopped his vehicle at a corner and appeared to be texting on his phone, she noticed. He seemed oblivious of the other drivers who were inconvenienced by his behaviour. The Beaconite was unsure whether he was waiting for someone or was parked to execute an official duty, so she approached him politely to suggest that he move his vehicle. He declined. “What if you were given a ticket?” the Beaconite joked. He replied that he would only accept a ticket if it had the reporter’s phone number on it. Now it was the Beaconite’s turn to decline. She walked away, but not without noting the vehicle’s licence plate number. The Beaconite hopes other police officers will do a better job of leading by example.