UK election

Last week, the Beacon reported — incorrectly, it turns out — that Virgin Islanders living here won’t get to cast a ballot in the United Kingdom election today. A long-time belonger got in touch to say that he and his Virgin Islander wife are both voting in the election thanks to a recent change in electoral law that facilitates voting by proxy. A Beaconite thanks the reader for the update. He hopes that everyone who can vote in the UK election will do so. It is, after all, a crucial election, with the Labour Party expected to win by a landslide and unseat the Conservatives after some 14 years. Beaconites will be watching the UK news closely today and in the coming weeks.




In a Beaconite’s opinion, the Virgin Islands Icon Awards show was a big success — especially for a first-time event. As a reporter who has spent plenty of time around events in the VI, he noted that this one was among the best attended he’s seen. Not a single seat in the Multi-purpose Sports Complex was left open, and ushers struggled to find extras — a good problem to have at any event. Despite a few technical difficulties at the start of the show, the awards banquet went off without a hitch with host Temulji Hughes smoothing over any rough parts with good humour. The event also achieved organisers’ laudable goal of honouring many deserving residents. Despite the success, however, the Beaconite did have a couple minor critiques. Although drinks were free, for instance, he was a little disappointed to see that attendees still had to pay $3 for a hot dog or a bag of popcorn. While $3 is a far cry from rent these days, it was a bit confusing that eventgoers had to fork over more cash on top of the $140 many of them spent to gain access to the event in the first place. The Beaconite also thought that another venue might serve the event better. The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College auditorium comes to mind as one option. Of course, the complex was doubtlessly chosen for size reasons, but organisers could also consider a more exclusive event where ticket sales are capped to a maximum of, say, 500. Such critiques, however, are minor. More than anything, the reporter thinks the night was a big success.



Close-knit community

After the recent funeral of former legislator and police commissioner Vernon Malone, a Beaconite decided to get coffee and a sandwich from a local cafe in Road Town. Since she came straight from the service with only her camera, a notebook and a small purse, she was holding the funeral booklet in her hands. When she placed her order, she decided to place the booklet on the counter for a moment so she could get her wallet out to pay. The woman taking her order noticed the booklet and asked about it. She gasped when she realised what it was. “Oh, that was today,” she sighed. The woman then said she had known Mr. Malone from years ago. The Beaconite offered to share the booklet, so she could look through it, which she happily did. In addition to information about Mr. Malone’s life, the booklet was full of tributes from family, friends and former colleagues, as well as the eulogy and letters from House of Assembly members. The Beaconite added that the funeral was livestreamed on the government’s YouTube page. The woman was happy to hear that news. The reporter left the cafe reflecting on how well people seem to know one another here. She also was glad to share that the funeral was posted online, so people like the woman she met could view it if they were unable to attend in person.