Lobster Festival

A Beaconite was delighted to see that the Anegada Lobster Festival is back in full force. Although the crowds on Saturday weren’t quite what he remembered from two years prior, it was still a treat to see the smiling visitors and restaurant staff, who were happy for the customers after such a tough year. The lobster also tasted different from what the Beaconite remembered. It tasted far better. This may have had something to do with the Beaconite using a different approach than he had in 2019. That year, the Beaconite, who had never really understood the lobster hype, munched throughout the day on the $10 sample plates, intent on trying as many different preparations as possible. They were tasty, but none of them left him with the same reverence that lobster seems to inspire in so many others. Last weekend, such restraint went out the window. By the time he went for his first sample of the day, the restaurant was already sold out, so the Beaconite — who had skipped breakfast and was already drained from “working” in the hot sun — decided to just split a whole lobster with one of his friends. After a few bites of the soft, buttery crustacean, so simple yet so luxurious, the Beaconite and his friend turned into veritable mongrels, using their fingers to scrape pieces of meat from the hard-to-reach crevices, and using silverware to break apart the legs and get the meat inside. It’s safe to say he now understands the hype.

 

History in the making

A Beaconite is thrilled with the launch of a new book detailing the 1949 march that inspired last week’s holiday. She has heard from a number of graduates and teachers about the need to include more Virgin Islands history in school curriculums. And if this week has shown anything, it is that the territory’s history is well worth celebrating. The reporter has been hearing growing excitement from historians, teachers and the community as a whole about the new focus on uncovering pieces of the territory’s past. One highlight of last weekend’s march re-enactment was hearing directly from Hilda Abbott-Smith, and the Beaconite hopes that future celebrations like the renamed Heroes and Foreparents Day will also welcome witnesses of history to the podium. There’s something wonderful about getting an in-depth view of the VI’s past while plans for constitutional review are on the horizon. This reporter has little doubt that many of the decisions made in the coming years about independence will fill the pages of future textbooks.

 

Disgruntled?

A Beaconite has been hearing from many of her friends that some government agencies are becoming more difficult to deal with. Some have suggested that this has to do with the Commission of Inquiry. She is of two minds about this. She suspects the average rank-and-file bureaucrat doesn’t care much about the COI, and may even support its aims. Beacon polls seem to suggest that the majority of residents do. Furthermore, dealing with red tape has always been a challenge in the VI, and the recent pandemic-related difficulties, between staff shortages and dealing with new systems and tasks, has probably exacerbated that — as has the work needed to turn over thousands of documents to the COI. Meanwhile, government is looking to make money however it can, and oftentimes that results in more paperwork and more fees. In spite of the challenges, she hopes that public officers will rise to the challenge and step up service. They are here to serve the people, and the people did not call for the COI, nor are they conducting it. They are simply trying to make a living and do the best they can.

 

Limin’ in Anegada

Another Beaconite also took a private boat over to Anegada on Sunday to celebrate Lobster Fest and see what the hype was all about. It was her birthday weekend, and she wanted to enjoy the sister island while grabbing some fresh lobster. She arrived mid-afternoon to see that the party was just beginning with music, drinks and food. The BVI Tourist Board handed out goodie bags with hand sanitiser and re-usable cutlery to all those coming from the dock. At Big Bamboo, the reporter shook hands with the premier and minister of natural resources, labour and immigration, though they left shortly after she arrived on that side of the island. The place was packed with people as Junior Minister for Tourism Shereen Flax-Charles sang on stage. The reporter loved to see people casually eating lobster under trees and limin’.


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