The Irma Edition
During and after Hurricane Irma, the Beacon never stopped publishing coverage of the storm at bvibeacon.com and on social media. But the newspaper was unable to publish a print edition until Sept. 30. As a result, that edition was chockfull of Irma-related news and photographs from the previous three weeks. It is now available in a special collector’s edition for $4. Find it on newsstands around Tortola and at the Beacon’s temporary office at Oyster Global Marketing in Pasea. Or, to reserve a copy, call 494-3434 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few months back, a Beaconite went over to Anegada to help look for five missing horses. Kenny Francis of Francis Family Farm had been searching for his lost animals at that point for two months, but hadn’t given up hope that they would turn up somewhere on the island. Mr. Francis had planned to start offering horseback rides as a new business before Irma, and was now lacking the only real assets needed to get that plan off the ground. A reporter wishes this update could be that the horses were indeed located, but, alas, their whereabouts remain a mystery. Instead, Francis Family Farm has recently acquired two new horses from Tortola — named Thor and The Man — which are currently being trained and are reportedly adjusting well to Anegada life. Despite moving forward with the business, Mr. Francis is still hoping against hope that his five original horses are alive and well.
Open for business
After spending part of a day talking to tourists, taxi drivers and vendors at Long Bay on Beef Island, a Beaconite doesn’t buy the argument that some lawmakers and others have made about the territory not being ready for tourists. While a few of the tourists the Beaconite met seemed less than happy about their experience, most really enjoyed their time at the beach and in transit as they learned about the Virgin Islands from their taxi drivers. The cruise shippers seemed genuinely interested in visiting and learning about a place battered by such a catastrophic storm. The Beaconite doesn’t believe it’s necessary to coddle potential visitors to the territory: Most people won’t be scared off by seeing destruction and rubble, especially if they have at least one pristine beach to visit. Some, in fact, seem eager to do their small part towards contributing to the place while they are here. And though some residents argue that cruise tourists don’t spend much, the Beaconite met vendors in Long Bay who were helped a lot by the opportunity to operate a stand on the days ships arrive.
Life and death
A Beaconite has always enjoyed the fantastic view from her apartment on the hill above Cane Garden Bay. But this Sunday, that same hill became deadly when a neighbour woke her up with these words: “I have bad news about your cat.” She knows getting up these hills can be tough. But she wants to remind people to slow down when possible and please watch out for animals. That cat darting across the street in the twilight may be someone’s most loyal friend just heading home for dinner. Little Irma was a refugee from the Humane Society of the BVI after it was largely blown away in the hurricane. Like the Beaconite, she lived in six different places since the storm, but never complained and never held back on the purring, even when being shoved into someone’s car for another impromptu move, or when the Beaconite didn’t make it back in time to feed her. The Beaconite’s life is already lonelier without her. As it turns out, the rocky soil of Tortola is not exactly suitable for grave digging, but the Beaconite wants to thank her compassionate neighbours for going down to the road with her, collecting Little Irma and giving her a suitable resting place, and for having a newborn kitten waiting for the Beaconite to adopt when she’s ready, because death and life on this island, as anywhere, go hand in hand.