Belongership poll

Last week, the Beacon published an article on its website about a group called VI Voice complaining about the large number of people granted belongership status last month. The Beacon opened up the floor to see what readers thought by posting an online poll question: “Do you support the new government’s move to clear the backlog of belongership applications by granting 1,394 people belonger status in December?” As of yesterday, the poll had received 71 votes: 53 respondents said they strongly supported the move, eight supported it with reservations, three opposed it and seven strongly opposed it. No one remained undecided. The poll is still live, so Beaconites encourage anyone who has not already weighed in to do so. And expect more polls in the future.


Going postal

After more than two years in the territory, a Beaconite’s sole experience with mail delivery here was receiving a card marking her birthday on Jan. 31, 2018 — in March. Since then, she’s avoided sending or receiving anything through the mail, reasoning that the extra time wasn’t worth it. But on this year’s birthday, a hapless family member in the US —assuming that mail delivery here must work as it does there — informed her that she had sent her new iPhone through regular mail, addressed to the Beaconite’s office building instead of a PO box. That means when and if this package does arrive — months from now, probably — it will likely be tossed into some black hole in the back of the post office and forgotten. But the Beaconite really wants that iPhone. So if there are any postal employees reading this, expect to be seeing a lot more of the Beaconite, who is about to become your new best friend.



Looking out

There’s a frequently repeated maxim in journalism: “If someone says it’s raining, and another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out the ******* window and find out which is true.” A Beaconite took that to heart last week, getting bit by several dozen mosquitoes one evening as members of the BVI Red Cross presented a plan for addressing the disaster risks faced by the community of Sea Cows Bay, which include storm winds, flooding and, yes, an influx of mosquitoes after the 2017 hurricanes. The reporter hopes government will recognise the need for funding to address recovery projects in the area. But in the meantime, residents need to take an active role in making their safety concerns heard and driving clean-up efforts. According to the Red Cross’s report, only 11 people went to the first community meeting about these hazards in August, and only seven participated in September. Slightly more than two percent of people living in Sea Cows Bay answered the 2019 Disaster Risk and Preparedness Survey that experts used to create the report. The relatively large turnout of several dozen residents to hear the report results was heartening, but more people need to get involved to identify the biggest areas of concern in the first place. The Enhanced Vulnerability Capacity Assessment provides a starting point for growing a safer, healthier community in Sea Cows Bay, and the Beaconite welcomes residents to tell her when she needs to stick her head out in the rain to see what needs to get done.



Seeking peace

A reporter was able to witness a wreath-laying ceremony recently near the Crafts Alive Village, and wrote in her own notebook: “A young lady rocks a hair pin with the word ‘melanin’ in rhinestones and the lady next to her is wearing a loose-fitting white-and-gold print shirt with a matching hair wrap, legs crossed in a dignified fashion. There is excitement amongst the peaceful tone of the event as hugs are exchanged once newcomers enter the tent. It’s carefully covered to properly shade the guests. A tourist from one of the two cruise ships docked nearby has missed the ‘all white’ dress code memo, but still decides to spend his limited time in the territory joining the celebration and photographing it. He is smiling. A woman’s voice rings from the back of the tent as she hits the high notes of the song playing during set up. The wreath is made from freshly cut palm leaves and local flowers. To the left there is a large rock with the words ‘God is Love’ sprayed onto it. All we seek is peace, so strive for contentment and happiness comes along easily.”