In the classroom

A Beaconite’s book club joined in this year’s celebration of Reading is Fun Week by reading to students from Ebenezer Thomas Primary School and Eslyn Henley Richiez Learning Centre. She found the students to be respectful, excited and willing to engage with the story. She was particularly moved when the students from EHRLC, the school now based in Sea Cows Bay serving students with special needs, said goodbye with a special thank you and blessing they had rehearsed. The reporter recognises the hard work teachers in the territory put into helping their students thrive, even amid all the challenges they currently face, and hopes the government’s upcoming compensation review proves fruitful.

Getting along on Long Bay

By a funny coincidence, a Beaconite visited Long Bay Beach on Beef Island for the first time in a long time earlier this month. The last time she remembers visiting was when she was showing her visiting parents around the territory. Then, just this week, she covered a meeting to plan for the use of the beach (see page one). She didn’t realise what a hidden gem it is. Different beaches in the territory have plenty to boast about. The exploratory appeal of The Baths, the convenience of Cane Garden Bay, the idyllic snorkelling and surfing conditions of Josiahs Bay come to mind, among others. But Long Bay plays an important ecological role with its sand dunes, sea grape trees, corals, bird habitat and more. The reporter is grateful for how the experts opened her eyes to just how special this beach is in its own way.

Well spent?

Benito Wheatley, the special envoy of Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley revealed last week that he and Dr. Wheatley intend to spend taxpayer money to make a trip to the United Kingdom to petition the British government to remove the Order in Council that is designed to facilitate the potential partial suspension of the Virgin Islands Constitution and the implementation of direct UK rule. A Beaconite has a better idea for getting the Order in Council removed: Use that time and money to more quickly enact the 48 recommendations that the premier and his government previously agreed to, knowing full well that the order was in place. She hopes the premier hasn’t forgotten that these recommendations aren’t random, onerous tasks imposed as some kind of punishment: They are for the good of the people of the territory, and they will help those people have faith in the elected government. If the premier cares that much about revoking a document that is part of an agreement he knowingly made — and that has not come into force and that currently has no real effect on the territory at all — she suggests that pushing through these recommendations is the quickest way to do that.

Domestic violence

World Mental Health Day was held last week, and a Beaconite took a mental health day herself to process a domestic violence situation the previous night. It’s difficult for her to actually write about it, but too often women stay silent about trauma for too long. Maybe it’s because they’d rather forget it. Maybe they’re afraid to be stigmatised. The Beaconite feels both. But she believes that speaking her truth is brave, and anyone else who has been in similar situations should also feel free to speak up. Besides observing World Mental Health Day, the territory hosted a walk/run to raise awareness about domestic violence. This note also raises awareness. Domestic violence can happen to anyone. She believes people should look out for each other.