‘Carnival member’

A former Beaconite who now reports in the Cayman Islands finds it easier to cover the legislature there because sessions are uploaded on YouTube — a practice the Virgin Islands House of Assembly started only after he moved away. Not only does this allow him to listen to the sessions at his leisure, but YouTube also produces a transcript for all its videos, which cuts down on the amount of time needed to listen to the lawmakers talk. However, occasionally YouTube will have a quirk in its transcript that produces a different word than what was actually said. One of the funnier changes was when Cayman House Speaker McKeeva Bush called on an “honourable member” of the legislature recently, and YouTube transcribed the title as “carnival member.” The former Beaconite suspects that YouTube would produce the same change for the VI HOA, and also thinks many people would likely find that change to be more accurate. He hopes the VI government continues uploading its HOA sessions on YouTube so that people — include those living abroad — can better keep track of the public proceedings, which often touch upon issues that span the Caribbean and impact all British overseas territories.


Money matters

Last week, a Beaconite was invited to cover an event put on by Money Matters BVI, which aimed to cultivate a frank discussion about women, money and financial abuse in the Virgin Islands. Several interesting points were made during the event, but she couldn’t help but be a little taken aback by a few sweeping generalisations made about how women apparently spend their money. For instance, a Financial Service Commission official argued that younger women in the territory should learn from older women and avoid spending their money on “frivolous” things. “To tell you the truth, I think in postmodern society, the women are forgetting who they are,” he said. For an event that was intended to break tired stereotypes about gender and finance, this comment struck a Beaconite as shortsighted. It should go without saying that women — young and old, from the VI and abroad, and of all backgrounds — have a wide range of financial goals and plans, and many don’t have disposal income to be able to afford “frivolous” items. A reporter agrees with the tagline of the event — money does matter — but so does the way people talk about it. Comments rooted in sexism won’t promote gender equality — financial or otherwise.




Rum ferry

A Beaconite had to catch her own boat to the Cooper Island Rum Festival on Sunday — no easy task, involving numerous phone calls, favours from friends and having her hopes almost dashed several times. She did eventually get there on a private boat with a friendly captain, however, and she was impressed by the posh surroundings and the vast variety of rums available. Clearly the event had no trouble attracting attendees. However, given that there was no public ferry available, she suspects the organisers expected the crowds to be made up mostly of charter guests. For this reason, Beaconites were happy to hear that the resort is planning to partner with the BVI Tourist Board next year to offer a ferry option. She hopes it works out. With a ferry, the already healthy crowd doubtlessly will be even bigger next time around, and more residents will get to experience the event. Beaconites, who enjoyed their day on the island, look forward to it.