Beaconites would like to congratulate the newspaper’s Virgin Gorda-based intern, Nicklous Kanhai, for his accomplishments his senior year of high school. Mr. Kanhai was not only the valedictorian at the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Secondary Division’s recent graduation ceremony, but he also received a host of other awards in a broad range of subjects, as well as recognition from the BVI Tourist Board. Beaconites can personally vouch for his hard work, including his efforts to report on the sister islands during the extended Covid-19 lockdown and his contributions to the paper’s Hurricane Irma recovery coverage. There is no doubt that the Class of 2020 faces unprecedented challenges, but if graduates continue to embrace the ingenuity, strength and can-do spirit they’ve proven to possess, Beaconites have confidence in the future.
See you in court?
In the midst of the controversy surrounding work-permit holders abroad still being barred from returning to the territory, a Beaconite was interested to see at least one commentator propose the possibility of a class-action lawsuit against the government on behalf of either the work-permit holders themselves or employers who believe they are being deprived of needed labour and prevented from doing business as they see fit. The Beaconite has long believed that the Virgin Islands’ court system is not used to its full advantage to enact change in the territory when the government can’t or won’t act. While some potential litigants are obviously hampered by the availability of willing lawyers and the unique difficulties of the VI’s court system — especially compared to the legal systems in more lawsuit-happy countries like the United States — the Beaconite still thinks that people who feel aggrieved should explore all avenues for redress, including the courts.
After attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday for a new solar “tree” that can charge phones using power from the sun, a Beaconite has been pondering the extent to which symbolic gestures impact tangible actions. He is happy to see the device’s installation, as he believes any piece of useful technology that runs without fossil fuel is a valuable addition to public space. Nonetheless, the tree will save only a tiny amount of fuel that otherwise would have been burned, and so in his mind its greater purpose is to prompt questions of how urban spaces should best fight against climate change. As a journalist who writes about the climate, the Beaconite hopes that these are the exact sort of questions that his articles raise.
A Beaconite hopes that everyone had an exciting, fun and eventful August Emancipation Festival despite the scaled-back version that had to happen because of Covid-19. During the celebrations, she was pleased to see that many private establishments and residents took it upon themselves to throw parties across the territory. The spirit of celebration remained alive. The reporter was fortunate enough to attend a poetry competition at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College a couple weeks ago, and she hopes this tradition continues. It highlighted the historical importance of Festival, and she believes it’s crucial for everyone to have a good understanding of what they are celebrating and why. Raised in a Muslim household, born in America and educated in a Catholic school system, the Beaconite has learned the importance of many traditions and celebrations, and she sees the universality of things that may seem (on the surface level) to apply only to a certain group of people. A common thread runs through everyone, and people can continue to uplift one another on a daily basis, especially during times of celebration.
As tensions rise in the face of strict decisions undertaken by the Virgin Islands Party government during this trying time, a Beaconite is aiming to keep a clear understanding and a leveled mindset. She frequently reads posts on social media that challenge government decisions, and she hears the cries of the people. Each person has a voice to share, with their own personal experiences backing up their views. The reporter is no different. However, media is tasked with the responsibility of remaining neutral and presenting all points of view without any finger-pointing or input of opinion. It remains a challenge when she is affected directly, but rest assured that objective writing, recording and reporting are her top priority.