On Monday, the Commission of Inquiry posted a redacted transcript of its May 5 hearing with BVI Airports Authority Chairman Bevis Sylvester. However, because the unredacted transcript previously had been posted (and then removed), the Beacon is able to report what material was redacted from the new version. Perhaps not surprisingly, the redacted material focuses on Mr. Sylvester’s conviction in connection with a government contract to help develop the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport in the early 2000s. At the time, investigators alleged that Mr. Sylvester improperly used his government position as Ministry of Finance budget coordinator to award a contract for telecommunications equipment for the airport to a company with no experience in telecommunications that was formed solely for the contract. In 2004 a judge sentenced Mr. Sylvester to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception and neglect of duty, according to media reports at the time. A Beaconite understands why Mr. Sylvester would want to keep this information out of the public eye. On the other hand, the same information was reported publicly at the time of the arrest and sentencing, and Beaconites see no reason that it should be treated as a secret at a time when Mr. Sylvester is leading the BVIAA. They hope the COI will refrain from redacting such information in the future.
For anyone interested in the ongoing proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry, a Beaconite highly recommends not only following news coverage but taking time to read the transcripts being posted on the official COI website, https://bvi.public-inquiry.uk/. As of yesterday, the hearings were being livestreamed, and they will likely reach a larger audience now, but it is important to read these earlier transcripts as well. Besides demonstrating how the COI is being conducted, they are more entertaining than one might think. Also, since many residents won’t take the time to read documents that can exceed 100 pages, those who do will be better informed than most about what could be one of the most significant events to affect the VI in their lifetime.
A reporter is happy to welcome her friend and her friend’s mother to the Virgin Islands. The two travelled without any troubles on Sunday and cleared their Covid-19 tests in less than 24 hours. They are fully vaccinated and able to enjoy the islands for the few days they are here. What they noted during their travels was the diligence of customs and immigration officers in checking paperwork and documents. They urge other travellers to print all of their forms: travel certificates, negative test results, itinerary, and so on. Since they landed in St. Thomas around 3 p.m., they also advise travellers to consider ditching a checked bag and only travelling with a carry-on in order to board the 4 p.m. ferry (which was pushed back until 4:30 p.m.). They are enjoying Nature’s Little Secrets, especially all of the fruits and vegetables growing naturally and bountifully.
Full moon party
A Beaconite attended a full moon party at Foxy’s on Saturday night, and though the festivity didn’t feel exactly like a return to normal, it certainly felt like the territory is getting close. By his casual observations, the Beaconite thought that residents at the party widely outnumbered tourists, though he was pleased to see some families eating dinner at the resort and to see some boats bobbing in Great Harbour. It was certainly quite a contrast from the last time he visited the island, when the borders were still closed and Foxy’s staff lazed about the shaded patio with little to do. Everyone, staff and visitors alike, seemed very happy about the crowds, even if they were meagre compared to years past.