Celebrating D’Moi

A Beaconite has called Cane Garden Bay home for more than three years, and she was moved by the astounding support her neighbours gave to D’Moi Hodge as he made his return from making history as the first Virgin Islander to be signed to the NBA. There was a palpable atmosphere of love and respect for this young man who worked so hard to pursue his dreams. The ceremony honouring him was also a delightful opportunity for the reporter to catch up with some friends she had not seen in a while. It was beautiful to see so many children come out to celebrate, and she hopes they find inspiration in Mr. Hodge’s story.

Speaking up

Leaders made a point of speaking out against violent crime last week, and it seems like a step in the right direction. In recent months, it seems that casual conversations inevitably turn to the state of crime in the territory. In a press conference last Thursday, Governor John Rankin rightly pointed out that overall crime rates are low here. However, every murder seems to tear a rip in the social fabric of the community. The holes never disappear, but there are ways to patch them. A Beaconite is encouraged to see an anti-violence march is being planned for next month. The simple act of joining together with one’s neighbours strengthens community ties. The Beaconite hopes to see some of these heart-wrenching statistics change by 2024.

Festival season

A Beaconite wishes everyone a safe and fun August Emancipation Festival season coming up. While everyone is out there enjoying the festivities, she also hopes that residents will take the time to celebrate the territory’s history and roots. The season marks a special time of the year when the Virgin Islands can truly appreciate the hardships it has overcome. The territory currently faces many challenges, but the reporter hopes that for a few days, residents can put their worries away to celebrate themselves. She recalls the eventful festival of 2019, the year before the pandemic shut the entire world down. She partook in almost every event, going to the festival village to enjoy the live music and capture photographs of the performers, and going to the separate cultural festivals in Long Look and Carrot Bay. She considers herself incredibly lucky to have fully immersed herself in the experiences and to deeply understand the significance of the festival for the Virgin Islands. She also looks forward to covering the coming events this year.

On the road

On the other side of the world, a Beaconite has travelled to another tropical island, this time off the coast of India. While Sri Lanka may be lined with palm trees and sea water like the Virgin Islands, she believes its beaches pale in comparison to those found in the Caribbean. The similarity she has noticed, however, is the difficulties residents face in a struggling island economy. It’s hard enough to get supplies to islands, but it’s even worse when supply-chain issues plague the world. Island nations are often the hardest hit economically, and it’s apparent. These areas are particularly sensitive to the ever-changing conditions of the rest of the world, but it seems they are the last ones to receive significant help. The reporter sees the struggle on the faces of Sri Lankans. She urges VI leaders to put their people first when coming up with solutions; to work cooperatively; and to continue to diversify the economy so the territory can remain one of the highest-earning Caribbean territories.