Happy birthday, Beacon

Beaconites are proud to report that The BVI Beacon turned 38 on Tuesday. The newspaper’s first issue — a 12-page black-and-white edition — was published on June 7, 1984 after being composed under the watchful eye of Founding Editor Linnell M. Abbott on a single electric typewriter in the building that now houses The Dove restaurant, which served as the Beacon’s first office. Today, the weekly print edition, which routinely exceeds 36 pages dotted with full colour, includes content ranging from local stories to international investigations carried out in conjunction with media outlets across the region. It is complemented by a website and social media channels that also carry an array of multimedia content including slide shows, videos and podcasts. This year, the newspaper is celebrating for the second time post-Hurricane Irma in its office at the bottom of Russell Hill after three birthdays spent squatting in temporary headquarters in Pasea Estate. Though the old wooden building that used to house part of the newspaper there was destroyed in the storm, a new three-storey building in its place has been completed. Beaconites thank readers and advertisers alike for their support over the years and wish the newspaper many happy returns.

 

No confidence?

On Monday, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly survived a no-confidence vote, less than a month after former Virgin Islands Premier Andrew Fahie was ousted from his office by a no-confidence vote. Though the cases are vastly different — Mr. Johnson is accused of partying without a mask, while Mr. Fahie is accused of conspiring to import cocaine into the United States — a Beaconite nevertheless sees parallels between the circumstances that led to the votes in the UK and in the VI. In both, the head of the elected government was accused of behaving in private in a way that was completely contrary to how they conducted themselves in public. More damningly, they were said to break the laws that the voters who elected them are bound to follow.

 

A helping hand

A Beaconite would like to give a shout-out to Smith’s Ferry Services, specifically an employee named Byron, who was extremely helpful and communicative when the Beaconite misplaced her carry-on bag — which included a laptop and several other important items — during the journey from St. Thomas to Tortola. She was dismayed at not finding her bag when she arrived in Tortola, but Byron helped search the terminal thoroughly, and when it couldn’t be located, he gave her his personal mobile number to check in the next day. The Beaconite was understandably anxious, but the next day, he reported he had located the bag at the St. Thomas terminal, and after ensuring it was the right one, he sent it on the next ferry. The Beaconite had it in her hands by that afternoon. Often when travelling, it’s very easy to complain and give bad reviews when things don’t go as planned, but this time, she would like to give credit where it’s due.

 

Full swing

A Beaconite was pleased to attend recent events and see the Virgin Islands coming back up to full swing the way things were before the pandemic. Though Easter weekend was a good time, she felt that this weekend things really started to return to normal. Summer is bound to be more exciting with a poker run coming up followed by the August Emancipation Festival. The reporter was also impressed by the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration where so many people gathered to mark the occasion, as well as the graduation ceremonies at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. Both events were very inspiring and a pleasure to attend.