Times of the Islands Fall 2022

Presents the "soul of the Turks & Caicos Islands" with in-depth features about local people, culture, history, environment, real estate, businesses, resorts, restaurants and activities.

Presents the "soul of the Turks & Caicos Islands" with in-depth features about local people, culture, history, environment, real estate, businesses, resorts, restaurants and activities.


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TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL <strong>2022</strong> NO. 140<br />


A joyful island celebration<br />

TCI TECH<br />

Becoming a “Silicon Island”<br />

ARC<br />

Elevated villas at<br />

South Bank<br />


Comfort Food Just Went A-list.<br />

If your idea <strong>of</strong> comfort feels like<br />

cashmere, you will find its culinary<br />

equivalent at Almond Tree,<br />

<strong>the</strong> Shore Club’s deliciously<br />

decadent new eatery.<br />

Golden, crusty wood-fired pizza.<br />

Savory skillets, bubbling over with flavor<br />

and just oozing with temptation.<br />

Salads and sides that give new meaning<br />

to <strong>the</strong> word “indulgence.”<br />

These days, we’re all hungry<br />

for contentment and satisfaction.<br />

Almond Tree at <strong>the</strong> Shore Club<br />

simply takes it to a whole new level.<br />

Reservations 649 339 8000<br />

<strong>the</strong>shoreclubtc.com<br />



Dinner 6 –10:30pm<br />

5pm – Midnight

contents<br />

Departments<br />

6 From <strong>the</strong> Editor<br />

17 Getting to Know<br />

Ask Naqqi<br />

By Jody Rathgeb<br />

21 Back in <strong>the</strong> Day<br />

Today, Yesterday, and Today<br />

By Shelagh Barrington<br />

24 Talking Taíno<br />

King Cotton<br />

By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson<br />

30 Book Review<br />

Hope is Alive: Ocean Country<br />

By Diane Taylor with Liz Cunningham<br />

45 Faces & Places<br />

Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch <strong>2022</strong><br />

62 Real Estate<br />

Arc at South Bank<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~<br />

Images courtesy Windward<br />

77 About <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>/TCI Map<br />

81 Subscription Form<br />

82 Classified Ads<br />

Features<br />

46 TCI Junkanoo Museum<br />

By Abigail Parnell<br />

52 TCI Tech<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

Green Pages<br />

38 Surviving <strong>the</strong> Storm<br />

By Heidi Hertler, John Debuysser,<br />

Autumn Zwiernik, Katie Tanner, Alyssa Landi,<br />

Hayley Newman, and Morgan Rose, SFS<br />

43 Farming Coral on Land<br />

By Don Stark and Alizee Zimmermann, TCRF<br />

TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />

SAMPLING THE SOUL OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS FALL <strong>2022</strong> NO. 140<br />


On <strong>the</strong> Cover<br />

Master Photographers James Roy and Christine Morden<br />

<strong>of</strong> Paradise Photography (www.MyParadisePhoto.com)<br />

are always on <strong>the</strong> lookout to capture colorful slices <strong>of</strong><br />

life in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. This Junkanoo dancer<br />

was participating in <strong>the</strong> annual Maskanoo celebration on<br />

Boxing Day.<br />

Just as we went to press on September 8, <strong>2022</strong>, Queen<br />

Elizabeth II, <strong>the</strong> UK’s longest-serving monarch, died at<br />

age 96 after reigning for 70 years. Her loss will be deeply<br />

felt throughout <strong>the</strong> country and <strong>the</strong> Commonwealth, and<br />

by countless people around <strong>the</strong> world. Rest in peace.<br />

17<br />

Astrolabe<br />

67 Investigating <strong>the</strong> Clues<br />

The Origins <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo, Part 2<br />

By Christopher Davis, Alex Kw<strong>of</strong>ie,<br />

Angelique McKay, and Michael P. Pateman<br />

71 A Short Life<br />

Captain Edward Lighbourn<br />

Story & Images By Antoinette Lightbourn Butz<br />


4 www.timespub.tc

Turks and Caicos Property<br />

Seascapes Townhomes, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Seascapes Townhomes is <strong>the</strong> latest contemporary residential development currently under construction in Grace Bay, Turks and<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Located just a short walk from <strong>the</strong> beach and amenities, <strong>the</strong> exclusive development is composed <strong>of</strong> 17 custom-built<br />

townhomes each with three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The impressive units are 3 levels and feature approximately<br />

2,100 sq ft. <strong>of</strong> stylish interior and exterior living space that <strong>of</strong>fer views <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> landscaped gardens, communal pool, and ocean views<br />

from <strong>the</strong> upper levels. These upmarket Turks and Caicos homes are ideal for purchasers looking to buy a well priced three-bedroom<br />

property in a highly sought-after vacation destination. Contact Bernadette Hunt for pricing and fur<strong>the</strong>r information on ownership.<br />

Bernadette Hunt<br />

Exclusive Listing Agent<br />

Cell ~ 649 231 4029 | Tel ~ 649 941 3361<br />


from <strong>the</strong> editor<br />


Innovation comes when smart, opinionated people from all backgrounds come toge<strong>the</strong>r to mingle and share ideas.<br />

Innovation: A Key to Survival<br />

I was so invigorated by Ben Stubenberg’s thought-provoking article, “TCI Tech: A Silicon Island in <strong>the</strong> Making?” What<br />

a fresh approach to TCI’s future — a vision beyond sun, sand, and sea! I especially connected with <strong>the</strong> idea that <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are one <strong>of</strong> those special places with <strong>the</strong> “mysterious alchemy that brings toge<strong>the</strong>r smart, cocky<br />

people with <strong>the</strong> confidence and hunger to change <strong>the</strong> way we think and live.”<br />

Not surprisingly, this isn’t something new. Innovation has been <strong>the</strong> key to survival for all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> country’s inhabitants,<br />

whe<strong>the</strong>r human, fauna, or flora. Consider <strong>the</strong> Taíno Indians who managed to find a way to weave fabric from<br />

wild cotton. Or <strong>the</strong> Islanders <strong>of</strong> generations past, who had to eke out a living through farming, fishing, and ocean<br />

trade after being left behind when <strong>the</strong> cotton plantations on which <strong>the</strong>y were enslaved failed. Even <strong>the</strong> coral reefs<br />

must be resilient (with help from mankind) to adapt to disease and climate change.<br />

The practice <strong>of</strong> Islanders ga<strong>the</strong>ring to debate ideas — sometimes ra<strong>the</strong>r forcefully! — is also nothing new. Many<br />

a shady spot, <strong>of</strong>ten beneath <strong>the</strong> branches <strong>of</strong> a large tree, is usually <strong>the</strong> occasion for a hot debate on <strong>the</strong> topic <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

day. It’s exciting to imagine what can result when you stir in a global mix <strong>of</strong> expatriates and visitors, bringing <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

unique experiences to <strong>the</strong> table.<br />

I’m always gratified when this magazine can highlight people who are thinking, acting, encouraging, creating<br />

“above and beyond.” See Liz Cunningham’s ideas for “engaged hope” among communities, <strong>the</strong> Reef Fund’s new coral<br />

nursery, and South Bank’s iconic “suspended private villas.” Innovation is alive and well!<br />

Kathy Borsuk, Editor<br />

timespub@tciway.tc • (649) 431-4788<br />

6 www.timespub.tc

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Inspired by place, indoor and outdoor spaces are seamless with immense Air Gardens<br />

creating an organic, living structure where sky, sea, nature and space are <strong>the</strong>ir signature.<br />

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or email:nina@tcso<strong>the</strong>bysrealty.com<br />

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Tel: +649 941 4994<br />

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Everything’s Included<br />

For Everyone<br />


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Beaches ® is a registered trademark. Unique Vacations, Inc. is an affi liate <strong>of</strong> Unique Travel Corp., <strong>the</strong> worldwide representative <strong>of</strong> Beaches Resorts.


Established in 2012, is <strong>the</strong> authorized Chevrolet Dealership for <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Butterfield Motors provides a friendly, relaxed,<br />

transparent, and ‘no-pressure’ sales experience in helping you select<br />

<strong>the</strong> best vehicle to suit your needs. We <strong>of</strong>fer a selection <strong>of</strong> vehicles for<br />

every budget, taste, or preference. We also provide fleet purchases and<br />

company service packages.<br />

Our relationship does not end at purchase. The Parts Department stocks a large<br />

selection <strong>of</strong> genuine GM OEM Parts for purchase. We are proud <strong>of</strong> our factorytrained<br />

certified technicians and state-<strong>of</strong>-<strong>the</strong>-art Service Center, equipped with<br />

<strong>the</strong> newest diagnostic equipment. You can trust us to take good care <strong>of</strong> your car<br />

irrespective <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> brand, at a very competitive price. Butterfield Motors strives to<br />

exceed your expectations.<br />

Butterfield Motors is partners with TCI Civil Service Association.<br />

For more information please visit our site: www.butterfieldmotorsltd.tc or call (649) 339-CARS (2277).<br />

1045 Leeward Highway, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>

Building Your Vision, Delivering Excellence, and Exceeding Expectations -<br />

Time After Time.<br />

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Services for Residential, Commercial and Hotel & Condominium Projects in <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Our depth <strong>of</strong> experience is unrivaled and our commitment<br />

to quality shows in <strong>the</strong> hundreds <strong>of</strong> projects we’ve completed in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

since our beginnings in 1996.<br />

ESTABLISHED 1996<br />



T: 649.941.3508 | F: 649.941.5824 | INFO@PROJETECH.TC | WWW.PROJETECH.TC |

- --- ---<br />

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Experience Our Sister Lslands<br />

Each Island in our Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> chain is a destination on its own.<br />

Experience <strong>the</strong> unparalleled beauty and exciting excursions that make our<br />

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<strong>Islands</strong> for <strong>the</strong> perfect family or solo getaway!<br />


Call: (649) 946-4970<br />


TIMES<br />

OF THE<br />



Kathy Borsuk<br />


Claire Parrish<br />


Shelagh Barrington, Kathy Borsuk,<br />

Antoinette Lightbourn Butz, Dr. Betsy Carlson,<br />

Liz Cunningham, Christopher Davis, John Debuysser,<br />

Heidi Hertler, Dr. Bill Keegan, Alex Kw<strong>of</strong>ie, Alyssa Landi,<br />

Angelique McKay, Hayley Newman, Abigail Parnell,<br />

Dr. Michael P. Pateman, Jody Rathgeb, Morgan Rose,<br />

Don Stark, Ben Stubenberg, Katie Tanner, Diane Taylor,<br />

Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, Alizee Zimmermann,<br />

Autumn Zwiernik.<br />

TMW<strong>2022</strong>.qxp_Layout 1 3/2/22 3:41 PM Page 1<br />



Serving international & domestic clients<br />

in real estate, property development, mortgages,<br />

corporate matters, commercial matters,<br />

immigration, and more.<br />


Samuel Baidoo, Shelagh Barrington, Sean Bassett,<br />

Virginia Brea, Antoinette Lightbourn Butz, Liz Cunningham,<br />

Heidi Hertler, Dr. Bill Keegan, Agile LeVin, Wes Matweyew,<br />

Christine Morden/James Roy–Paradise Photography,<br />

Marta Morton, Niall O’Mahony, Dodley Prosper,<br />

Frank Quayson, Tom Rathgeb, Dr. Michael P. Pateman,<br />

Shutterstock, Clarence Stringer, Ben Stubenberg,<br />

Lisa Turnbow-Talbot, Turks & Caicos National Museum,<br />

Turks & Caicos Reef Fund, Windward, Alizee Zimmermann.<br />


Rasheed Demeritte, Wavey Line Publishing.<br />


PF Solutions, Miami, FL<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> ISSN 1017-6853 is<br />

published quarterly by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd.<br />

Copyright © <strong>2022</strong> by <strong>Times</strong> Publications Ltd. All rights reserved<br />

under Universal and Pan American Copyright Conventions.<br />

No part <strong>of</strong> this publication may be<br />

reproduced without written permission.<br />

Subscriptions $28/year; $32/year for<br />

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Submissions We welcome submission <strong>of</strong> articles or photography, but<br />

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While every care has been taken in <strong>the</strong> compilation and reproduction <strong>of</strong><br />

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TELEPHONE 649.946.4261 | TMW@TMWLAW.TC<br />


Business Office<br />

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Tel 649 431 4788<br />

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Advertising tfadvert@tciway.tc<br />

16 www.timespub.tc

getting to know<br />


Naqqi is most comfortable in <strong>the</strong> TCI bush, examining<br />

plants and explaining what <strong>the</strong>y are and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

various uses.<br />

Ask Naqqi<br />

In-<strong>the</strong>-field botanist also fields questions.<br />

By Jody Rathgeb ~ Naqqi Photos By Tom Rathgeb<br />

Let’s say you’re outside, poking around <strong>the</strong> yard, and you encounter a bug you’ve never seen before.<br />

It’s sort <strong>of</strong> spidery, but with hairy pinchers and some long things that might be antennae. What is it? What<br />

do you do? Well, you might fetch a field guide and try to match a photo to your mystery insect. Or you<br />

might take a photo and try to find out what it is in an identification app such as Picture Insect or Bug Finder.<br />

But if you’re on North Caicos or Providenciales, you’re most likely to snap a photo, log into Facebook and<br />

ask Naqqi.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 17

B Naqqi Manco, Assistant Director <strong>of</strong> Research and Development at<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources, has an informal<br />

voluntary side gig answering residents’ questions about plants<br />

and animals <strong>the</strong>y find in <strong>the</strong>ir yards. He also works on mentoring<br />

younger DECR staff to learn <strong>the</strong> plants. In this case, he is helping<br />

Terrestrial Ecologist Dodley Prosper key out Inagua Encyclia orchid<br />

Encyclia inaguensis.<br />

The “askee” <strong>of</strong> this informal Q&A is B Naqqi Manco,<br />

a botanist and assistant director <strong>of</strong> research and development<br />

at <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> Department <strong>of</strong><br />

Environment and Coastal Resources. Answering questions<br />

online about native plants, creepy-crawlies, and snakes is<br />

not part <strong>of</strong> his job, but he gladly responds to <strong>the</strong> curious<br />

and (sometimes) panicked in <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> sharing<br />

knowledge and quelling fear. “I get questions about two<br />

or three times a week, sometimes more,” he says. “Not<br />

just for <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos. People send <strong>the</strong>m to me from<br />

all over <strong>the</strong> world. Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> time I can give <strong>the</strong>m a<br />

family (a category in <strong>the</strong> scientific classification <strong>of</strong> plants<br />

and animals), but sometimes I’m just looking at a bunch<br />

<strong>of</strong> green leaves.”<br />

He notes that he’s on more solid ground when<br />

responding to things found in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Naqqi is certainly uniquely qualified: He began visiting<br />

TCI when his mo<strong>the</strong>r moved to Grand Turk when he was<br />

young; he pursued biological studies at university in <strong>the</strong><br />

United States; and he has lived and worked in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

since 2000. His work here has honed his knowledge, and<br />

he continues to be doggedly curious about anything that<br />

pops up in <strong>the</strong> bush or someone’s yard.<br />

A human app<br />

One reason he readily responds to questions is that he<br />

has seen <strong>the</strong> limitations <strong>of</strong> computer apps that purport<br />

to identify plants and animals. “Apps are restricted to a<br />

geographical database and your camera,” he says. Most<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m don’t cover <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos. Then <strong>the</strong>re is <strong>the</strong><br />

matter <strong>of</strong> accuracy. “There are a lot <strong>of</strong> plants that can only<br />

be identified by dissection,” Naqqi notes. “There’s a plant<br />

here called Stipitate Dog-Strangle. It’s a milkweed vine<br />

that looks exactly like Northrop’s Dog-Strangle. In order<br />

to properly ID it, you have to dissect <strong>the</strong> flower. An app<br />

can’t tell you that.”<br />

Okay, <strong>the</strong> average TCI homeowner might not care<br />

which kind <strong>of</strong> dog-strangle he/she has, but you get <strong>the</strong><br />

idea that Naqqi cares more about a true ID than your<br />

average app. Plus, he can recommend how to nurture a<br />

native or kill an invader, and he will plead <strong>the</strong> case for<br />

harmless but scary critters. “I like <strong>the</strong> panicky questions,”<br />

he says, “The ‘OMG, WTF is this?’ posts.”<br />

While a person might get a sting, rash, or bite in <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI bush, <strong>the</strong>re isn’t anything truly dangerous, so Naqqi<br />

uses <strong>the</strong>se questions as an opportunity to teach people<br />

about <strong>the</strong> value <strong>of</strong> our diversity and some environmental<br />

laissez-faire. The only times he becomes annoyed by<br />

questioners is when <strong>the</strong>y have already destroyed something—a<br />

harmless snake, mosquito-eating insect—out <strong>of</strong><br />

fear.<br />

Plant blindness<br />

Mostly, though, he’s happy that people are curious and<br />

ask <strong>the</strong>ir questions, particularly about plants. It helps,<br />

he says, to combat “plant blindness.” He says, “Our society<br />

is such that plants are a backdrop for most people.”<br />

They don’t notice <strong>the</strong>m until <strong>the</strong>y encounter something<br />

unusual. “I don’t have plant blindness.”<br />

He never did. Naqqi says that when he was a kid, “My<br />

parents tried to get me into normal things, like sports,”<br />

but he was always <strong>the</strong> odd one, distracted by birds when<br />

Opposite page: These are just a few <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> hundreds <strong>of</strong> plant and<br />

animal images identified by Naqqi on Marta Morton’s Facebook page<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Album “Plants, Bugs and Assorted Unknowns.”<br />

Left to right from top: Nymphs <strong>of</strong> giant mesquite bug Sphictyrtus<br />

chryseis; Tomato hornworm Manduca sp.; Cuban treefrog Osteopilus<br />

septentrionalis; Sou<strong>the</strong>rn Bahamas bark anole Anolis scriptus; Schaus<br />

swallowtail Heraclides aristodemus bjorndali; Mexican monkey fiddle<br />

Euphorbia tithymaloides; Bird cherry Crossopetalum rhacoma; Leaffooted<br />

bug Leptoglossus; Tersa sphinx moth Xylophanes tersa.<br />


18 www.timespub.tc

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 19<br />


he was supposed to be playing soccer or ga<strong>the</strong>ring frog<br />

eggs from puddles on <strong>the</strong> pitch to save <strong>the</strong>m.<br />

Thanks to a “brilliant” botany pr<strong>of</strong>essor under whom<br />

he studied at Shippensburg University <strong>of</strong> Pennsylvania,<br />

Naqqi narrowed his interests to plants, and he worked in<br />

<strong>the</strong> university’s greenhouse while studying English and<br />

Biology. Yet his first job after his schooling, in 1999, was<br />

with animals: He served in <strong>the</strong> education department at<br />

<strong>the</strong> Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Zoo.<br />

Looking for warmth<br />

While he liked <strong>the</strong> job, he hated <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>rn wea<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

After his door glazed shut during a winter storm, he<br />

decided to visit his mo<strong>the</strong>r, Pat Saxton, who was <strong>the</strong>n in<br />

Grand Turk. During <strong>the</strong> visit he happened into a job with<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI National Trust and became its Darwin Initiative<br />

project <strong>of</strong>ficer in 2000. Ten years later he moved into<br />

project contracts for <strong>the</strong> DECR, and in 2016 he was taken<br />

on as a civil servant.<br />

Early in his TCI career, he was able to complete<br />

an advanced diploma in Herbarium Techniques and<br />

Management at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London.<br />

He didn’t quite expect that his 22 years studying <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI bush would also provide an unpaid side gig as “Ask<br />

Naqqi,” but here he is.<br />

Back and forth<br />

Naqqi admits that answering o<strong>the</strong>rs’ questions isn’t a<br />

one-way transaction. The questioners act as his eyes and<br />

ears throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>, enhancing his continuing<br />

research and spurring him into learning more. He constantly<br />

encounters surprises and exciting discoveries.<br />

For example, one Sandy Point resident showed Naqqi<br />

an orchid he found, and <strong>the</strong> botanist identified it as<br />

Chinese Crown Orchid. Although it is similar to a native<br />

TCI orchid, this one had apparently arrived in a shipment<br />

<strong>of</strong> landscape mulch from Florida. “That it could even be<br />

<strong>the</strong>re was a surprise!” he says.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r example: After Hurricanes Irma and Maria,<br />

Naqqi began getting reports and photos <strong>of</strong> Scaly-naped<br />

Pigeons. While similar to TCI’s White-crowned Pigeons,<br />

<strong>the</strong>se “probably blew in from Puerto Rico. They hung<br />

around for about two years, <strong>the</strong>n left.” Such reports are<br />

valuable in biological research.<br />

Research behind <strong>the</strong> answers<br />

While Naqqi can answer most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> plant questions, and<br />

those about <strong>the</strong> more common insects/spiders, from his<br />

own knowledge, he does consult o<strong>the</strong>rs and do research.<br />

A rose by any o<strong>the</strong>r name<br />

Those who wonder why Naqqi nearly always starts his<br />

answers with <strong>the</strong> scientific name <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> plant/animal<br />

in question haven’t “walked a mile in his shoes.” The<br />

botanist has been around <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos long<br />

enough to know that common local names can be<br />

misleading.<br />

“I always have to remember where I am for <strong>the</strong><br />

common name,” he says, explaining that some plants<br />

have multiple names depending upon where <strong>the</strong>y’re<br />

found.Tradescantia spathacea, for example, is called<br />

oyster plant, Moses-in-<strong>the</strong>-boat, Moses-in-<strong>the</strong>-cradle,<br />

and boatlily in various locations. In Lorimers, Middle<br />

Caicos, what most call rosy periwinkles are tulips. In<br />

Kew, North Caicos, any flower is a rose.<br />

“And <strong>the</strong>n <strong>the</strong> Bahamians have <strong>the</strong>ir own names,”<br />

he says. He <strong>of</strong>ten asks an associate, “What’s that<br />

called in Haiti?” It’s almost never <strong>the</strong> same name.<br />

Best to stick with science. a<br />

“I have a spider person (Dr. Sarah Crews) and a bug person<br />

(Dodly Prosper),” he says, and he maintains a good<br />

relationship with <strong>the</strong> botanists at Royal Botanic Garden,<br />

Kew, England. His primary resource is Correll’s 1982<br />

Flora <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahama Archipelago, a thick book that is<br />

now out <strong>of</strong> print, and he supplements that with online<br />

research.<br />

None <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se underpinnings is evident when <strong>the</strong><br />

Facebook query arrives. “What ARE <strong>the</strong>se things?” is more<br />

likely to get a matter-<strong>of</strong>-fact response: “Yellow-banded<br />

millipede, Anadenobolus monilicornis. Originally from<br />

South America, now established in Florida, and introduced<br />

to TCI on imported plants and mulch. They’re<br />

completely harmless, can’t bite or sting, but <strong>the</strong>y can<br />

smell bad if <strong>the</strong>y’re disturbed. They just eat rotting vegetable<br />

matter and seek out moist places to live, but will<br />

climb walls during rain so <strong>the</strong>y don’t drown.”<br />

Naqqi is a trusted resource more accurate than any<br />

app. Just ask Naqqi. a<br />

Editor's note: Longtime readers <strong>of</strong> <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

will recall countless fascinating, illustrated articles about<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI's flora and fauna penned by Naqqi over <strong>the</strong> years.<br />

His vast knowledge, English major, and quirky sense <strong>of</strong><br />

humor all combine to make his compositions not only<br />

educational, but fun to read. Thank you Naqqi!<br />

20 www.timespub.tc

ack in <strong>the</strong> day<br />


Today, Yesterday, and Today<br />

Looking back at life on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> “back in <strong>the</strong> day.”<br />

By Shelagh Barrington<br />

Clockwise from top: The Third Turtle Inn was <strong>the</strong> TCI’s first hotel,<br />

built in 1967. These are <strong>the</strong> ruins <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> hotel, in spite <strong>of</strong> plans over<br />

<strong>the</strong> years to rebuild <strong>the</strong> property.<br />

Kat and Mike docked <strong>the</strong>ir trimaran Minx in Turtle Cove to get its<br />

bottom scrubbed!<br />

Shelagh Barrington is Kathi Barrington’s older sister. Kathi was editor <strong>of</strong> <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> from 1990<br />

to 1993. On a recent visit to Providenciales, she had occasion to reminisce on those early golden days in<br />

<strong>the</strong> sun.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 21

Today . . .<br />

It’s time for lunch. After a little local shopping along<br />

Leeward Highway, we take <strong>the</strong> roundabout at Suzy Turn<br />

and go down <strong>the</strong> road that leads us to <strong>the</strong> water and<br />

Turtle Cove.<br />

Yesterday . . .<br />

In 1985, when Kat and Mike first sailed Minx, <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

41-foot trimaran, into <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, destination<br />

Providenciales, <strong>the</strong>y anchored in a deserted marina<br />

development at Leeward Going Through on <strong>the</strong> nor<strong>the</strong>ast<br />

end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> island. George and I arrived in 1986, loaded<br />

with supplies from <strong>the</strong> “real world,” for a two-week visit<br />

aboard Minx.<br />

Life on a subtropical, sunny island sounds idyllic. In<br />

reality, it’s not that easy. Supplies must be rowed in from<br />

shore; <strong>the</strong> dog must be rowed to and fro for daily walks—<br />

friends and visitors too. Suntan, <strong>the</strong>ir German Shepherd<br />

pup, had to be taught to bark at visitors arriving in <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own dinghies.<br />

Mike and Kat fetched <strong>the</strong>ir food, booze, water, and fuel<br />

in a tiny refashioned two seater Citroen, with a ghastly<br />

green wooden body. It lacked doors, ro<strong>of</strong>, and windshield.<br />

Almost everything was imported and stock was<br />

never consistent. Fortunately <strong>the</strong>ir friends at <strong>the</strong> Conch<br />

Farm had a truck, which <strong>the</strong>y generously shared, to collect<br />

sporadic visitors from <strong>the</strong> tiny Provo airport which<br />

had just extended its runway to accommodate jets flying<br />

in guests to <strong>the</strong> brand new Club Med, which opened in<br />

late 1984.<br />

The supplies George and I brought in our luggage<br />

included necessities not available on island: Bandaids,<br />

underwear, dog treats, books, and Cryovac-sealed meat.<br />

The meat was stored in Minx’s ice chest, along with a box<br />

<strong>of</strong> chocolate Skor bars. The hoarded and allotted chocolate<br />

bars became <strong>the</strong> new tradition <strong>of</strong> shared chocolate<br />

for dessert.<br />

Kat introduced us to cracked conch with peas ‘n” rice;<br />

Mike made Johnny Cake for breakfast. We <strong>of</strong>ten shared<br />

our evening meals—Mike’s catch <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> day and Kathi’s<br />

rice—with our o<strong>the</strong>r boating friends, Anka and Alain. This<br />

French couple, who ran dive excursions for Club Med and<br />

lived aboard <strong>the</strong> boat <strong>the</strong>y ran, docked each night at <strong>the</strong><br />

closed Leeward marina. The Club supplied <strong>the</strong>m with<br />

more than ample food each night, and several bottles <strong>of</strong><br />

wine. They shared this bountiful surplus most nights. “Un<br />

peu de vin blanc” became our motto.<br />

Everything was an adventure. We rowed or dragged<br />

Minx’s dinghy through <strong>the</strong> shallow channels in <strong>the</strong><br />

mangroves to see baby sharks and tiny fish that would<br />

eventually populate <strong>the</strong> surrounding ocean. We joined<br />

Mike and a friend who had a small motorboat to check<br />

out <strong>the</strong> channels between <strong>the</strong> cays, looking for conch and<br />

lobster, which Mike was becoming adept at spearing with<br />

a Hawaiian sling.<br />

On one snorkeling expedition we inadvertently invaded<br />

<strong>the</strong> territory <strong>of</strong> a very large barracuda who, protesting <strong>the</strong><br />

occupation <strong>of</strong> his fishing grounds, circled <strong>the</strong> boat. When<br />

we returned to <strong>the</strong> dinghy with lobsters and spied this<br />

monster, George, activated by a rush <strong>of</strong> adrenaline, lifted<br />

me straight out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> water and into <strong>the</strong> boat, a feat he<br />

has never replicated. We also explored one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> nearby<br />

cays to visit <strong>the</strong> rare local iguanas, which we fed stale<br />

Club Med baguettes. (We know better now.)<br />

When really, really, necessary we did laundry. We filled<br />

<strong>the</strong> lone washing machine sitting in <strong>the</strong> tiny abandoned<br />

washhouse with a hose. After <strong>the</strong> single-wash cycle, Kat<br />

and I spread <strong>the</strong> hand-wrung laundry on <strong>the</strong> lines <strong>of</strong> an<br />

embarrassed Minx to dry in <strong>the</strong> sun.<br />

One afternoon we took <strong>the</strong> wooden car on a magical<br />

mystery tour, over what were barely tracks, to <strong>the</strong><br />

newly established Conch Farm. Here, raising conch from<br />

eggs was to become a fraught-with-drama, short-lived<br />

island industry. We were met by and toured <strong>the</strong> facility<br />

with marine biologist Megan. She and her partner Gary,<br />

a sailor, boat builder and long-time friend <strong>of</strong> Mike’s, was<br />

<strong>the</strong> operations manager at <strong>the</strong> farm. They also lived in<br />

Leeward, on an amazing houseboat that Gary, Mike, and<br />

various transient boaters built and launched <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

We <strong>of</strong>ten played euchre late into <strong>the</strong> evening. There<br />

was light and music (when <strong>the</strong> batteries were charged)<br />

and <strong>the</strong> sky was always filled with stars. On one dark<br />

evening, after a full moon, we were startled by countless<br />

phosphorescent green sparkles in <strong>the</strong> water, that<br />

we would eventually learn were mating glowworms. And<br />

when it was time for lights out, we were serenaded by <strong>the</strong><br />

s<strong>of</strong>t crackle <strong>of</strong> shrimp as Minx rocked us to sleep.<br />

During that first visit in 1986, Mike decided that<br />

Minx’s bottom needed a scrubbing. We sailed her, inside<br />

<strong>the</strong> reef, to protected Turtle Cove to get that done.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> early days, Turtle Cove was <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong><br />

Providenciales. This was where <strong>the</strong> transient yachters,<br />

who helped fuel <strong>the</strong> island economy, came in for safe<br />

harbour, to effect repairs and restock on <strong>the</strong>ir way to <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean or South America. Deep-sea fishing diehards<br />

were attracted to <strong>the</strong>se pristine waters and <strong>the</strong> small<br />

waterfront hotel, The Third Turtle Inn, served as <strong>the</strong><br />

meeting place for locals and imports alike.<br />

22 www.timespub.tc

Overlooking <strong>the</strong> cove, The Third Turtle Inn served as <strong>the</strong> meeting<br />

place for locals and imports alike from <strong>the</strong> time it was built in <strong>the</strong><br />

late 1960s.<br />


If you needed something, this was where you met, (at<br />

happy hour), to find whomever could get it for you. Where<br />

can I find someone to repair a sail or re-cover my wea<strong>the</strong>red<br />

cushions? Answer: See Barb or Faye, transplanted<br />

Canadians, at Sew What. Or, where can I find someone to<br />

repair my damaged boat or make a part for me? Answer:<br />

See Mike. This was <strong>the</strong> genesis <strong>of</strong> Mike’s boat repair, rigging,<br />

and eventually, welding business, Osprey Marine<br />

Services. He was one <strong>of</strong> a handful <strong>of</strong> people who were <strong>the</strong><br />

“go-to” guys for fix-anything advice.<br />

Pardon me, I digress . . . back to <strong>the</strong> sail to Turtle Cove.<br />

This was Minx’s first sail down <strong>the</strong> coast, inside <strong>the</strong> reef,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> route to and into Turtle Cove was not marked.<br />

Mike is now a master at reading <strong>the</strong> local waters, but<br />

that first trip was nerve wracking because <strong>the</strong> newbies<br />

on board were not much help (except for moral support)<br />

and because Kat and Mike were sailing <strong>the</strong>ir home, once<br />

again, through unknown, coral head studded waters.<br />

Obviously, <strong>the</strong>y made it and safely anchored in <strong>the</strong><br />

middle <strong>of</strong> Turtle Cove. We met Brad and Debbie, who were<br />

running <strong>the</strong> little marina, and who became fast friends.<br />

To celebrate <strong>the</strong> brave sailors, we all got gussied up and<br />

rowed over to <strong>the</strong> small—and only—fancy restaurant, <strong>the</strong><br />

now long-defunct Third Turtle Inn. I can’t remember what<br />

we had for dinner, but it was delicious, and <strong>the</strong> treat for<br />

all <strong>of</strong> us was that o<strong>the</strong>rs did <strong>the</strong> cooking and clean up.<br />

Today . . . February <strong>2022</strong><br />

All <strong>the</strong>se memories come flooding back as we walk <strong>the</strong><br />

docks around Turtle Cove, which has been transformed.<br />

Where Minx once anchored, <strong>the</strong> Pond has been filled to<br />

create a large spit lined with docks, some a tad dilapidated.<br />

Turtle Cove Marina is small, but definitely a going<br />

concern. A new boutique hotel, Zenza, has opened beside<br />

<strong>the</strong> Sharkbite, and where <strong>the</strong> Turtle Cove Inn stood for<br />

many years, ano<strong>the</strong>r small condo is under construction.<br />

Mango Reef Restaurant, which seats 200, is a lovely spot<br />

on <strong>the</strong> water for lunch or dinner. We decide to lunch<br />

<strong>the</strong>re, joining locals and yachters.<br />

The food is good and well priced, but we look across<br />

at what now appears like ancient stone ruins <strong>of</strong> The Third<br />

Turtle Inn and remember when it was one <strong>of</strong> a handful <strong>of</strong><br />

places to stay on Providenciales. So much has changed,<br />

yet our memories remain.<br />

Some may say that Turtle Cove, <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> island,<br />

has been upstaged by <strong>the</strong> glitz and glamour <strong>of</strong> Grace<br />

Bay, where countless condo resorts and a 12-story Ritz<br />

Carlton now shadow that magnificent beach. But <strong>the</strong><br />

Cove remains <strong>the</strong> most popular hangout for long-time<br />

residents and visitors. For good reason. It’s like coming<br />

home. a<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 23


talking taíno<br />

Opposite page: Cotton plants continue to grow wild throughout <strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. The flowering shrub produces lea<strong>the</strong>ry fruits (called bolls)<br />

encasing fibrous lint and sticky black seeds.<br />

Above: These cotton plants are growing at <strong>the</strong> Wade’s Green Plantation near Kew, North Caicos. It is <strong>the</strong> best-preserved historical agricultural<br />

site in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />


King Cotton<br />

The fabric <strong>of</strong> our lives.<br />

By Bill Keegan and Betsy Carlson<br />

Competition had grown fierce. A burgeoning fitness industry in <strong>the</strong> 1980s had embraced man-made<br />

fabrics to <strong>the</strong> point where DuPont Corporation could not meet demand for its trademarked product<br />

— Spandex. In response, Cotton Incorporated recognized <strong>the</strong> need to remind consumers that cotton<br />

products are s<strong>of</strong>t, durable, and perhaps most important, natural. On Thanksgiving Day 1989, <strong>the</strong>y introduced<br />

a new advertising campaign touting cotton as “<strong>the</strong> fabric <strong>of</strong> our lives.” So what do we know about<br />

this plant that that has played such a central role in human life for 6,000 years?<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 25

Cotton is a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> mallow family <strong>of</strong> plants<br />

(Malvaceae). The name is <strong>of</strong> Arabic origin, owing to its<br />

historic introduction to Europe from North Africa. It<br />

grows as a shrub that produces lea<strong>the</strong>ry fruits (called<br />

bolls) encasing fibrous lint and sticky black seeds. It first<br />

appeared about five to ten million years ago, and is native<br />

to tropical and subtropical regions <strong>of</strong> both <strong>the</strong> Old and<br />

New Worlds.<br />

Over 50 different cotton varieties are recognized<br />

(genus Gossypium), although only four species produce<br />

spinnable fibers. Remarkably, human cultivation <strong>of</strong> cotton<br />

began independently and at approximately <strong>the</strong> same time<br />

on both sides <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> globe. The two cultivated species<br />

<strong>of</strong> American cotton are traced to Pacific coast Chile/Peru<br />

and to Central America/Mexico. Their long-staple fibers<br />

are up to two inches in length, making <strong>the</strong>m superior in<br />

workability and quality. Cotton fabric has been found at<br />

archaeological sites in Peru (and possibly Mexico), dated<br />

to around 4,000 BC.<br />

The prehistoric presence <strong>of</strong> cotton in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean<br />

has been directly documented from <strong>the</strong> recovery <strong>of</strong> seeds<br />

in <strong>the</strong> late prehistoric site <strong>of</strong> Tutu on St. Thomas (USVI).<br />

The two Old World species were native to <strong>the</strong> Indus River<br />

Valley (Pakistan) and sub-Saharan Africa. Cotton fabric<br />

has been found in archaeological sites in India also dated<br />

to around 4,000 BC. Old World cottons have shorter fibers<br />

(“short-staple”), typically less than one inch in length. The<br />

fibers break apart more easily, are more brittle due to a<br />

lower moisture content. They produce a coarser fabric.<br />

We tend to think <strong>of</strong> cotton as white. Actually, white<br />

is <strong>the</strong> product <strong>of</strong> selective breeding aimed at obtaining a<br />

more easily bleached and dyed thread. One species (G.<br />

barbadense) naturally occurs in shades <strong>of</strong> brown, green,<br />

yellow, red, and light purple. Fishermen in Peru reportedly<br />

prefer chocolate-brown varieties to produce camouflaged<br />

fishing nets. Natural colors and dyed threads were combined<br />

to produce <strong>the</strong> elaborate textiles <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ancient<br />

Americas. The major advance in selective breeding was<br />

<strong>the</strong> synchronization <strong>of</strong> flowering and fruiting in a single<br />

season. This “annual habit” facilitated <strong>the</strong> harvesting <strong>of</strong><br />

entire fields at <strong>the</strong> same time, which when cultivated at<br />

industrial scale required substantial numbers <strong>of</strong> field<br />

hands. To a large degree, slavery was <strong>the</strong> tragic outcome<br />

<strong>of</strong> pr<strong>of</strong>it-driven cotton production.<br />

Christopher Columbus was <strong>the</strong> first European to<br />

encounter American cotton (called sarobey by <strong>the</strong><br />

Taínos). He was <strong>of</strong>fered balls <strong>of</strong> cotton thread everywhere<br />

he stopped in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan <strong>Islands</strong>. In one case he saw 16<br />


The Plantation Period occurred across <strong>the</strong> “Grand Caicos” (East, Middle, North, and Providenciales) from 1789 to 1820. For a very short time,<br />

Loyalist plantations produced large quantities <strong>of</strong> raw cotton and substantial pr<strong>of</strong>its. They did so at enormous cost to <strong>the</strong> enslaved Africans<br />

who worked <strong>the</strong> land.<br />

26 www.timespub.tc

Above: Although producing cotton thread is both time and labor intensive, Christopher Columbus was <strong>of</strong>fered balls <strong>of</strong> cotton thread everywhere<br />

he stopped in <strong>the</strong> Lucayan <strong>Islands</strong>. Below right: The only extant example <strong>of</strong> a cotton reliquary was radiocarbon dated to A.D. 1439–1624.<br />

It is understood to have been found in a cave west <strong>of</strong> Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at some point prior to 1891. It currently is housed<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Museum <strong>of</strong> Anthropology and Ethnography, University <strong>of</strong> Turin, Italy.<br />

balls <strong>of</strong> thread that he estimated to weigh more than an<br />

arroba (about 25 lbs.). Because <strong>the</strong> Lucayans went naked<br />

(except for married women who wore a small cotton<br />

skirt), it is possible <strong>the</strong> cotton was grown in <strong>the</strong>se islands<br />

to trade with <strong>the</strong> larger Taíno communities in Cuba<br />

and Hispaniola. On <strong>the</strong> north coast <strong>of</strong> Cuba, Columbus<br />

encountered only fishing villages where he observed<br />

nets and hammocks (hamaca in Taíno) made <strong>of</strong> cotton.<br />

Larger settlements were located on <strong>the</strong> hillsides above<br />

<strong>the</strong> coast. Columbus sent two emissaries inland to visit<br />

a large village. They reported seeing “a large quantity <strong>of</strong><br />

cotton collected and spun and worked”; and in a single<br />

house <strong>the</strong>y had seen “more than 500 arrobas”, and that<br />

“one might get <strong>the</strong>re each year 4,000 quintales” (almost<br />

200 tons). Columbus noted, “Cotton appeared to grow<br />

naturally, uncultivated, and I believe that <strong>the</strong>y have cotton<br />

to pick in all seasons because I saw open pods, and o<strong>the</strong>rs<br />

opening and flowers, all on one tree.” He immediately<br />

recognized its economic potential.<br />

In 1495, Bartholomew Columbus visited <strong>the</strong> Taíno<br />

province <strong>of</strong> Xaragua in Hispaniola to demand tribute in<br />

gold, he was told that <strong>the</strong>re were no gold deposits in <strong>the</strong><br />

territory. Instead, <strong>the</strong> cacique Behecchio <strong>of</strong>fered cassava<br />

bread (a replacement for hardtack on sea-going voyages),<br />



<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 27


These spindle whorls (huso) are from site CE-11, Puerto Rico. The most common are recycled<br />

potsherds that were worked into a disk shape with <strong>the</strong> edges smoo<strong>the</strong>d.<br />

and his sister Anacaona brought Columbus to a building<br />

that contained “a thousand things <strong>of</strong> cotton.” The most<br />

spectacular Taino artifact is a cotton cemí (spirit representation)<br />

— a doll-like figure encasing a human skull.<br />

Dog hair was interwoven with cotton thread; perhaps to<br />

appease <strong>the</strong> dog spirit Opiyelguobirán who is <strong>the</strong> guardian<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> dead.<br />

Producing cotton thread is both time- and labor-<br />

intensive. The sticky black seeds must first be separated<br />

from <strong>the</strong> fibers. Originally done by hand, <strong>the</strong> invention <strong>of</strong><br />

a cotton gin mechanized <strong>the</strong> process. Once a household<br />

name, Eli Whitney (“keep your hands <strong>of</strong>f my cotton-picking<br />

gin”) is usually credited with <strong>the</strong> invention in 1793.<br />

However, Bahamians will point out that it was Joseph<br />

Eve, an American Loyalist living in Nassau, who earlier<br />

invented (1788 patent) <strong>the</strong> self-loading, wind-powered<br />

cotton gin (“wind ginns”) that did away with <strong>the</strong> need for<br />

a ginner. (A “ginner” is <strong>the</strong> operator.) Cotton gins consist<br />

<strong>of</strong> two parallel rollers that turned in opposite directions<br />

and were powered by hand, foot crank, water, wind, or<br />

animal driven. The seeds fall away leaving only <strong>the</strong> fibers,<br />

which are <strong>the</strong>n combed to separate and align <strong>the</strong> fibers to<br />

make ready it for spinning.<br />

Traditional methods <strong>of</strong> fiber spinning use a pointed<br />

wooden rod or “spindle” weighted on one end by a circular<br />

“whorl” that functions like a flywheel<br />

to help maintain momentum as <strong>the</strong><br />

device is spun like a top and <strong>the</strong><br />

fibers are pulled into thread. Cotton<br />

is typically spun using <strong>the</strong> “supported-spinning”<br />

method because <strong>of</strong> its<br />

staple length and fragility (as compared<br />

to hemp fibers). The spindle is<br />

spun with one end placed in a small<br />

bowl.<br />

We do not have archaeological<br />

evidence for how <strong>the</strong> Lucayans<br />

cleaned and prepared <strong>the</strong>ir cotton<br />

fibers, but we do have evidence that<br />

<strong>the</strong>y spun <strong>the</strong> fibers into thread. The<br />

most common precontact spindle<br />

whorls (called huso in Taíno) are recycled<br />

potsherds that were worked into<br />

a disk shape with <strong>the</strong> edges <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

whorl smoo<strong>the</strong>d. The centers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

disks were perforated with a drill <strong>of</strong><br />

stone or possibly shell. In <strong>the</strong> selection<br />

<strong>of</strong> sherds for <strong>the</strong> production <strong>of</strong><br />

whorls, <strong>the</strong>re appears to have been<br />

a preference for slightly thicker/heavier bowl fragments<br />

(especially bases) that would facilitate momentum during<br />

spinning. In addition, whorls were made <strong>of</strong> stone, bone,<br />

or shell. One ethnographic study even mentions a spindle<br />

whorl made from a slice <strong>of</strong> calabash collected by Samuel<br />

Fahlberg from historic Caribs on Trinidad in 1786. An<br />

elaborate stone “spindle whorl” was collected in Puerto<br />

Rico in 1907, although it may instead be an ornamental<br />

object. Ceramic whorls are found across <strong>the</strong> Greater<br />

Antilles and Nor<strong>the</strong>rn Lesser Antilles, but are rare in <strong>the</strong><br />

Lucayan <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Although Columbus recognized <strong>the</strong> economic potential<br />

<strong>of</strong> cotton in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean, <strong>the</strong> initial plantation<br />

economies <strong>of</strong> Spain and o<strong>the</strong>r European countries focused<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir colonial efforts in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean on sugarcane<br />

imported from <strong>the</strong> Canary <strong>Islands</strong> (via Sou<strong>the</strong>ast Asia).<br />

It was not until Loyalist planters from <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>astern<br />

U.S. arrived in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos and The Bahamas that<br />

Columbus’ vision was realized.<br />

Following <strong>the</strong> Lucayan genocide, <strong>the</strong> Bahamian archipelago<br />

became what Juan Ponce de León called “<strong>the</strong><br />

empty islands.” The Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> remained largely uninhabited<br />

until 1787, when <strong>the</strong> islands became a refuge<br />

for <strong>the</strong> American Loyalists. At <strong>the</strong> end <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> American<br />

Revolutionary War, those who were loyal to Britain<br />

28 www.timespub.tc

(Loyalists numbered about 20% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> U.S. population)<br />

had <strong>the</strong>ir property confiscated and found <strong>the</strong>mselves<br />

unwelcome. Approximately 13,000 Loyalists, many <strong>of</strong><br />

whom had owned cotton plantations, fled to Spanish<br />

Florida and <strong>the</strong>n on to <strong>the</strong> West Indies. The Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

were well suited for a cotton plantation economy. Unlike<br />

sugarcane, cotton is a hearty plant that does not require<br />

exceptional soil, needs only moderate rainfall, and is tolerant<br />

<strong>of</strong> drought and salt.<br />

The Plantation Period occurred across <strong>the</strong> “Grand<br />

Caicos” (East, Middle, North, and Providenciales) from<br />

1789 to 1820. Most <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 72 people who obtained land<br />

grants in Grand Caicos were Loyalists from Georgia or <strong>the</strong><br />

Carolinas. By 1796, <strong>the</strong>re were 35 plantations operating<br />

across <strong>the</strong>se islands, two <strong>of</strong> which produced sugar and<br />

<strong>the</strong> rest produced cotton. Over 5,000 acres were under<br />

cultivation, and <strong>the</strong> Caicos produced over 50% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cotton<br />

output for all <strong>the</strong> Bahamian archipelago. However, by<br />

1800, it became clear that all <strong>the</strong>se plantations would fail<br />

due to soil exhaustion and bug infestations. The sweet<br />

leaves <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> cotton plant were especially attractive to<br />

<strong>the</strong> boll weevil. This tiny insect can lay up to 200 eggs<br />

per bud and ripening fruit (“boll”). When <strong>the</strong> larvae hatch,<br />

<strong>the</strong>y eat <strong>the</strong> seeds and destroy <strong>the</strong> fibers. With no way to<br />

control this pest, <strong>the</strong> boll weevil devastated cotton crops<br />

throughout <strong>the</strong> islands.<br />

For a very short time, Loyalist plantations produced<br />

large quantities <strong>of</strong> raw cotton and substantial pr<strong>of</strong>its.<br />

They did so at enormous cost to <strong>the</strong> enslaved Africans<br />

who worked <strong>the</strong> land. By 1820 nearly all <strong>the</strong> Loyalists had<br />

abandoned <strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. The enslaved peoples <strong>the</strong>y<br />

left behind form <strong>the</strong> nucleus <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> present-day population.<br />

Slavery was abolished <strong>of</strong>ficially in Britain in 1807,<br />

and in <strong>the</strong> British colonies in 1838. Still, <strong>the</strong> inhumanity<br />

<strong>of</strong> slavery was only beginning to be addressed in <strong>the</strong><br />

United States. It was cotton which provided <strong>the</strong> planters<br />

with <strong>the</strong>ir final line <strong>of</strong> defense. In <strong>the</strong> years leading up to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Civil War, sou<strong>the</strong>rn planters were confident that <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

plantation economy based on enslaved labor would never<br />

be challenged. Speaking on <strong>the</strong> floor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> U.S. Senate,<br />

South Carolina Senator James H. Hammond declared: “No<br />

power on Earth dares make war on it. Cotton is King!” a<br />

The longest established legal practice<br />

in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Real Estate Investments<br />

& Property Development<br />

Immigration, Residency<br />

& Business Licensing<br />

Company & Commercial Law<br />

Trusts & Estate Planning<br />

Banking & Insurance<br />

1 Caribbean Place, P.O. Box 97<br />

Leeward Highway, Providenciales<br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI<br />

Ph: 649 946 4344 • Fax: 649 946 4564<br />

E-Mail: dempsey@tciway.tc<br />

Cockburn House, P.O. Box 70<br />

Market Street, Grand Turk<br />

Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI<br />

Ph: 649 946 2245 • Fax: 649 946 2758<br />

E-Mail: ffdlawco@tciway.tc<br />

Dr. Bill Keegan is Emeritus Curator <strong>of</strong> Caribbean<br />

Archaeology at <strong>the</strong> Florida Museum <strong>of</strong> Natural History<br />

(University <strong>of</strong> Florida); and Dr. Betsy Carlson is Senior<br />

Archaeologist at Sou<strong>the</strong>astern Archaeological Research<br />

(SEARCH, Inc.) in Jonesville, FL.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 29

30 www.timespub.tc

ook review<br />

Opposite page: Originally published seven years ago, Liz Cunningham’s book Ocean Country was inspired by <strong>the</strong> events that took place<br />

during trips to <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Above: The TCI Turtle Project engaged local stakeholders and government to support a sustainable turtle fishery, culminating in legislation<br />

enacted in 2014.<br />

Hope is Alive<br />

The ongoing impact <strong>of</strong> Ocean Country on global conservation.<br />

By Diane Taylor with Liz Cunningham ~ Images Courtesy Liz Cunningham<br />

Ocean Country is a memoir about belonging, longing, and awakening. It’s one woman’s journey from<br />

loving <strong>the</strong> beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ocean and all its life forms to realizing that all <strong>the</strong> oceans are diseased, abused,<br />

and in peril — unless we commit to doing something about it. Liz Cunningham takes us through her own<br />

grief about <strong>the</strong> imminent loss <strong>of</strong> this beauty, and <strong>the</strong> research she explores in an effort to save not only<br />

<strong>the</strong> beauty, but also <strong>the</strong> ocean’s role as a crucial life-support system.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 31

In her research, Liz Cunningham discovers that well<br />

over 50% <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> oxygen we brea<strong>the</strong> comes from <strong>the</strong> photosyn<strong>the</strong>sis<br />

(conversion <strong>of</strong> sunlight into chlorophyll,<br />

which is green) <strong>of</strong> marine plants and algae. She makes<br />

this more personal by rewording it: every o<strong>the</strong>r breath<br />

we take depends on <strong>the</strong> health <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se plants and algae.<br />

How much <strong>of</strong> Earth is water? 70%. How much <strong>of</strong> Earth’s<br />

water is salty ocean? 97%.<br />

Cunningham’s first awakening happens in <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. She’d been recovering from injuries<br />

from a kayak accident and struggling with Hashimoto’s<br />

disease, longing to return to go diving on <strong>the</strong> coral reefs<br />

in <strong>the</strong> TCI, and finally finds <strong>the</strong> energy and courage. The<br />

beauty overwhelms her: “My whole body was smiling.<br />

Diving opened up so many unexpected worlds for me, not<br />

just <strong>the</strong> ocean, but also my own body and how my breath<br />

was connected to <strong>the</strong> world as a whole.” She learns from<br />

a marine biologist that coral is a colony <strong>of</strong> millions <strong>of</strong><br />

vibrant animals. “Not plants. Animals. Each has tentacles,<br />

a mouth, and a stomach; each spawns and propagates.”<br />

She tells us that corals sense <strong>the</strong> full moon and sunset<br />

and emit a chemical that allows <strong>the</strong>m to smell each o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

during spawning, that <strong>the</strong>y mate and propagate, growing<br />

in colonies that form <strong>the</strong> limestone reef armatures that<br />

are essential to ocean life.<br />

A week later, shock. Cunningham returns to dive on<br />

this same reef, expecting to once again be stunned by<br />

<strong>the</strong> variety <strong>of</strong> multicolored fishes, sea fans and corals.<br />

Now <strong>the</strong> miles and miles <strong>of</strong> it are barren <strong>of</strong> life, and <strong>the</strong><br />

coral is “bleached” — white, not mesmerizing shades <strong>of</strong><br />

pink, purple, orange, red, yellow. She feels as if she is<br />

swimming “through <strong>the</strong> ashen remnants <strong>of</strong> a bombedout<br />

ca<strong>the</strong>dral.” She knows <strong>the</strong> reef is fighting a terminal<br />

illness.<br />

The investigative reporter in her asks questions (a<br />

running <strong>the</strong>me in Ocean Country). “What don’t I know?<br />

What do I need to know?” She learns that <strong>the</strong>re had been<br />

a four-degree spike in <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>f-shore water temperature,<br />

from 78º up to 82º Fahrenheit. That month <strong>of</strong> June, 2012,<br />

she learns, had <strong>the</strong> warmest surface temperatures ever<br />

—<strong>of</strong> both land and sea — in <strong>the</strong> Nor<strong>the</strong>rn hemisphere.<br />

Realizing <strong>the</strong> need to explore <strong>the</strong> ocean in o<strong>the</strong>r parts<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world to understand <strong>the</strong> destruction that is occurring,<br />

and learn what we can do to preserve <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong><br />


Liz Cunningham encourages readers to find something you love and get involved in a way that is meaningful, fun at times, and gives you<br />

energy. Rays—oceanic manta rays or spotted eagle rays that you see in TCI—captivated her.<br />

32 www.timespub.tc

<strong>the</strong> seas, Cunningham travels to <strong>the</strong> California Coast, <strong>the</strong><br />

Mediterranean, and <strong>the</strong> Coral Triangle — <strong>the</strong> Indonesian-<br />

Philippines bioregion. Everywhere she goes this question<br />

directs her quest: How can we live without leaving a trail<br />

<strong>of</strong> destruction behind us? And a new one from all she has<br />

learned: If we really do share an interconnected destiny<br />

with o<strong>the</strong>r creatures, how do our lives need to change?<br />

Liz Cunningham’s search for answers concludes after<br />

swimming with a mo<strong>the</strong>r humpback whale, whose eye,<br />

big as an apple, looks at her with calm, care, and confidence.<br />

The mo<strong>the</strong>r’s calf wobbles close by. Whales have<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir songs. If Cunningham could give us just one song,<br />

she writes as her final word to us, it would be this: Find<br />

someone or something to save. Be specific. Now’s <strong>the</strong><br />

time.<br />

As I write those words <strong>of</strong> hers, hear <strong>the</strong>m repeated<br />

to myself in my own voice, <strong>the</strong>y reverberate in my soul.<br />

I notice my heart is beating faster. It’s urgent. And it’s a<br />

love story. a<br />

Update from Liz Cunningham<br />

It has been seven years since Liz Cunningham’s beautifully<br />

written book Ocean Country was published. What<br />

Walkin May2017_Layout 1 5/28/17 5:45 PM Page 1<br />

new research has she explored? Where has her heart led<br />

her? There was only one way to find out. With typical<br />

enthusiasm, she consented to answer a few questions.<br />

Diane Taylor: Elaborate on your philosophy <strong>of</strong> “engaged<br />

hope.”<br />

Liz Cunningham: Well, Ocean Country was a story <strong>of</strong> finding<br />

hope for <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> seas in <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> our rapidly<br />

degrading environment. Since it was published, <strong>the</strong> world<br />

has become even more laden with massive, multiple crises<br />

— climate change and <strong>the</strong> decline <strong>of</strong> democracy being<br />

two <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> biggest. But I think <strong>the</strong> hope I articulated in<br />

Ocean Country is all <strong>the</strong> more relevant. The hope I found<br />

was in people taking initiative, in coming toge<strong>the</strong>r with<br />

each o<strong>the</strong>r — our actions, our dignity, our compassion.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> most impossible situations — chaotic or heartbreaking<br />

— we don’t necessarily know <strong>the</strong>re is hope. But<br />

some people take action, <strong>the</strong>y do what <strong>the</strong>y can, what<br />

<strong>the</strong>y feel <strong>the</strong>y must do. Then sometimes in hindsight, you<br />

look back in time and see that those people became <strong>the</strong><br />

hope. That’s <strong>the</strong> kind <strong>of</strong> hope we need, sleeves rolled up,<br />

doing what we can, what we must do, despite <strong>the</strong> odds.<br />

Not just as individuals, we need to come toge<strong>the</strong>r as communities<br />

and coalitions.<br />




Lures and Live Bait<br />

Marine Hardware & Gear<br />

Fishing Gear & Supplies<br />

Marine Paints & Varnish<br />

Marine Batteries<br />

Sebago Docksiders<br />

& Sperry Topsiders Shoes<br />

BLUE<br />

BLUE<br />

HILLS<br />

HILLS<br />

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TURKS<br />

TURKS<br />

& CAICOS<br />

CAICOS<br />

ISLANDS,<br />

ISLANDS,<br />

B.W.I.<br />

B.W.I.<br />

PHONE: 649-946-4411<br />

FAX: 649-946-4945<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 33

Project Puffin has developed restoration methods that inspired seabird<br />

colony restoration efforts around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

DT: You recently launched a regular column in Seven Seas<br />

magazine called Ocean Hope Chronicles. Tell us about<br />

<strong>the</strong> most significant result <strong>of</strong> Project Puffin regarding seabird<br />

conservation methods, as discussed in one <strong>of</strong> your<br />

chronicles.<br />

LC: I launched Ocean Hope Chronicles to draw attention to<br />

people who embody hope for <strong>the</strong> life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> seas. Project<br />

Puffin is a terrific example <strong>of</strong> that kind <strong>of</strong> hands-on hope.<br />

It was founded by ornithologist Steven Kress and re-introduced<br />

puffins on <strong>the</strong> Maine coast, bringing puffins back<br />

in substantial numbers. Project Puffin also developed restoration<br />

methods that inspired seabird colony restoration<br />

efforts around <strong>the</strong> world.<br />

It’s easy in times like <strong>the</strong>se to question whe<strong>the</strong>r one<br />

can really make a difference, <strong>the</strong> world’s problems seem<br />

so overwhelming. Project Puffin is an important exam-<br />

ple <strong>of</strong> how getting involved in a conservation effort not<br />

only assists that one individual effort, but can fuel ripple<br />

effects. Last year a study showed that Project Puffin’s<br />

techniques had been used in over 800 seabird colony restoration<br />

projects in forty countries. That’s a huge ripple<br />

effect.<br />

Supporting seabird conservation efforts in <strong>the</strong> Turks<br />

& Caicos is just as vital. The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are<br />

a critical area for birds that live <strong>the</strong>re year-round and<br />

migrating birds. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> biggest joys I experienced in<br />

TCI was seeing migratory birds in <strong>the</strong> fall and early winter<br />

passing through on <strong>the</strong>ir north–south journeys, birds<br />

such as <strong>the</strong> Belted Kingfisher and Wilson’s Plover. Their<br />

lives depend on safe refuges in TCI to stop and refuel on<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir migratory journeys which span thousands <strong>of</strong> miles.<br />

DT: Are <strong>the</strong>re any updates on <strong>the</strong> situations you<br />

researched for Ocean Country?<br />

LC: One <strong>of</strong> my favorite projects to write about in TCI was<br />

<strong>the</strong> work <strong>of</strong> Amdeep Sanghera <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Marine Conservation<br />

Society with <strong>the</strong> TCI Turtle Project, which engaged local<br />

stakeholders to support a sustainable turtle fishery and<br />

worked closely with <strong>the</strong> TCI government. That work culminated<br />

in legislation enacted in 2014. There’s still more<br />

34 www.timespub.tc

work to do, but <strong>the</strong> project has done so much to protect<br />

turtles while still allowing <strong>the</strong>m to be harvested, which is<br />

a time-honored tradition in TCI. It’s an example <strong>of</strong> how<br />

successful community-based conservation can be, that<br />

we can all work toge<strong>the</strong>r to meet conservation goals.<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Mediterranean section <strong>of</strong> Ocean Country I<br />

wrote about a sustainable seafood organization, Ethic<br />

Ocean, which was <strong>the</strong>n called Seaweb Europe. They have<br />

continued to make great strides in shifting members <strong>of</strong><br />

seafood supply chains — chefs, culinary schools, restauranteurs<br />

and fish mongers, and large retailers — towards<br />

supporting sustainable fisheries. They have focused on<br />

climate-friendly cuisine and brought attention to <strong>the</strong><br />

marine plastic crisis. They continue to do a great job <strong>of</strong><br />

building community around sustainability efforts. Food<br />

brings people toge<strong>the</strong>r. Sustainable food — a well-cooked<br />

meal using ingredients that minimize our damage to <strong>the</strong><br />

planet — can do that all <strong>the</strong> more.<br />

DT: What are you writing now?<br />

LC: I have two books in <strong>the</strong> works. One is titled Compassion<br />

Unleashed: The Heart <strong>of</strong> Hope and it’s inspired by what<br />

we were just discussing, hands-on hope, people doing<br />

what <strong>the</strong>y must, taking action, and by doing that becoming<br />

a form <strong>of</strong> hope. The o<strong>the</strong>r book is my primary focus<br />

right now and it’s titled The Hidden Path <strong>of</strong> Breath and it<br />

explores <strong>the</strong> pathways by which breath and photosyn<strong>the</strong>sis<br />

drive life on our planet. We were taught in school to<br />

thank <strong>the</strong> plants for oxygen, but <strong>the</strong> greater gift comes<br />

from <strong>the</strong> ocean. Over 50% <strong>of</strong> all <strong>the</strong> oxygen comes from<br />

marine plants and algae in <strong>the</strong> ocean; some scientists<br />

have estimated it to be over 70%. I wanted to know more<br />

about that greater gift.<br />

Learning about that greater gift took me more<br />

deeply into <strong>the</strong> layers <strong>of</strong> life in <strong>the</strong> sea, but also to land,<br />

to forests, river valleys, glaciers. I shadowed scientists<br />

studying everything from microscopic cyanobacteria in<br />

<strong>the</strong> ocean that produce tremendous amounts <strong>of</strong> oxygen<br />

to <strong>the</strong> food chains that support seabirds to <strong>the</strong> biodiversity<br />

that makes forests thrive to <strong>the</strong> feeding habits<br />

<strong>of</strong> blue whales. As <strong>the</strong> research progressed, I found a<br />

deeper knowledge and wisdom was surfacing. The story<br />

<strong>of</strong> breath and photosyn<strong>the</strong>sis is a story <strong>of</strong> interconnection<br />

and reciprocity with our planet as a whole. There is wisdom<br />

<strong>the</strong>re, an understanding <strong>of</strong> pathways <strong>of</strong> healing, <strong>of</strong><br />

how we can restore ecosystems and how we can sustain<br />

ourselves in <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> grave environmental devastation.<br />

One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> experiences that originally inspired me<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 35

TCI’s mangrove-filled wetlands are a safe haven for juvenile fish, enhancing <strong>the</strong> richness <strong>of</strong> sea life.<br />

was when I was diving on an extremely calm day and I<br />

saw tiny bubbles fizzing out <strong>of</strong> some seagrass — it was<br />

<strong>the</strong> oxygen! The sight <strong>of</strong> it floored me! It drove home how<br />

much oxygen comes from <strong>the</strong> sea. At <strong>the</strong> same time, I<br />

knew that <strong>the</strong> means by which that oxygen is produced<br />

and circulates faces huge crises. Two <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> biggest<br />

problems are deoxygenation — <strong>the</strong> decline <strong>of</strong> oxygen in<br />

certain layers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ocean — and dead zones, areas that<br />

have been so polluted that <strong>the</strong>y no longer hold enough<br />

<strong>of</strong> oxygen for sea life to live in it. One dead zone in <strong>the</strong><br />

Gulf <strong>of</strong> Mexico averages over 5,000 square miles — that’s<br />

larger than <strong>the</strong> state <strong>of</strong> Connecticut.<br />

So, what do we do about <strong>the</strong>se problems? Both are<br />

linked to climate change and pollution, so reducing carbon<br />

emissions is essential as well as reducing pollution<br />

such as nutrient run<strong>of</strong>f from fertilizer and sewage run<strong>of</strong>f.<br />

But along with that, protecting and restoring wetlands<br />

is a powerful counter to climate change and has multiple<br />

positive effects. Wetlands sequester enormous quantities<br />

<strong>of</strong> carbon, <strong>the</strong>y also filter <strong>the</strong> water, stabilize coastlines,<br />

and are key habitats for bird life. And <strong>of</strong> course, seagrass<br />

produces oxygen in <strong>the</strong> water. You can see <strong>the</strong> richness<br />

<strong>of</strong> life in a wetland with your own eyes in TCI. Just snorkel<br />

or paddle in some mangroves and you’ll see plumes<br />

<strong>of</strong> juvenile fish. The mangroves provide a safe haven for<br />

<strong>the</strong>m until <strong>the</strong>y are large enough to migrate to <strong>the</strong> open<br />

sea.<br />

All <strong>the</strong>se things bring me back to <strong>the</strong> reality that<br />

36 www.timespub.tc

Reef Balls feature holes that allow fish to use <strong>the</strong>m as habitats. When corals must be moved to be rescued from coastal development, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

are cemented to <strong>the</strong> environmentally friendly structures as a new home base. In 2008, Reef Balls were used to create ano<strong>the</strong>r nearshore reef<br />

across from <strong>the</strong> National Environmental Center in Providenciales.<br />


despite how much damage we have done to our world,<br />

<strong>the</strong>re’s a lot we can do. It’s a very rewarding experience<br />

to be involved with conservation. The key is finding<br />

something you love — a place, a creature, a type <strong>of</strong> habitat<br />

— and <strong>the</strong>n get involved in a way that is meaningful<br />

to you, that’s fun at times, that gives you energy.<br />

For me, rays — oceanic manta rays or spotted eagle<br />

rays that you see in TCI — <strong>the</strong>y captivated me. And <strong>the</strong><br />

beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> inspired me to no<br />

end. But it was also <strong>the</strong> people I met, people like Amdeep<br />

Sanghera, who worked on <strong>the</strong> TCI Turtle Project, Eiglys<br />

Trejo, who raised nine baby sea turtles and raised awareness<br />

about turtle conservation and marine plastic, Eric<br />

Salamanca and Marsha Pardee’s work with mangroves,<br />

Marsha’s work with reef restoration.<br />

As I think <strong>of</strong> it, <strong>the</strong> list just goes on: Bryan Naqqi<br />

Manco’s work with native plants, and Lormeka Williams,<br />

who is now director at <strong>the</strong> Department <strong>of</strong> Environment<br />

and Coastal Resources, Wes Matweyew’s fantastic nature<br />

photography, Alizee Zimmermann who is <strong>the</strong> executive<br />

director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos Reef Fund and who has<br />

done so much beautiful art and illustration in service <strong>of</strong><br />

ocean conservation. It has been tremendously rewarding<br />

to use my gifts as a writer to draw attention to work by<br />

people like this, to what we can do for <strong>the</strong>se amazing,<br />

remarkable islands. TCI, <strong>the</strong> place it is, <strong>the</strong> islands, <strong>the</strong><br />

Eiglys Trejo holds one <strong>of</strong> nine baby sea turtles she raised.<br />

life <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> sea, <strong>the</strong> people I met, all lit a fire in my heart<br />

for which I will always be grateful. a<br />

Visit Liz Cunningham at www.lizcunningham.net. Copies<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ocean Country are available at The Unicorn Bookstore<br />

in Providenciales.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 37

green pages<br />

Newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Department <strong>of</strong> Environment & Coastal Resources<br />

Head <strong>of</strong>fice: Church Folly, Grand Turk, tel 649 946 2801 • fax 649 946 1895<br />

• Astwood Street, South Caicos, tel 649 946 3306 • fax 946 3710<br />

• National Environmental Centre, Lower Bight Road, Providenciales<br />

Parks Division, tel 649 941 5122 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

Fisheries Division, tel 649 946 4017 • fax 649 946 4793<br />

email environment@gov.tc or dema.tci@gmail.com • web https://www.gov.tc/decr/<br />


Coral reefs have a complex symbiotic relationship with reef fish, providing shelter, nursery grounds, and food. In turn, fish help keep coral<br />

reefs algae free which promotes reproduction and growth. Previous studies have concluded that fish species decrease in number after coral<br />

cover has declined from disturbances such as disease and climate change.<br />

Surviving <strong>the</strong> Storm<br />

The effects <strong>of</strong> Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease on TCI reefs.<br />

Coral reefs are one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most biologically diverse and ecologically productive ecosystems on <strong>the</strong> planet.<br />

They are aes<strong>the</strong>tically attractive and economically valuable. These distinct ecosystems provide essential<br />

ecological, social, and economic value to millions <strong>of</strong> people globally. Not only do coral reefs provide<br />

habitat essential for nearshore fisheries, <strong>the</strong>y also support tourism and protect coastlines from natural<br />

disasters.<br />

By Heidi Hertler, John Debuysser, Autumn Zwiernik, Katie Tanner, Alyssa Landi, Hayley Newman<br />

and Morgan Rose, The School for Field Studies Center for Marine Resource Studies, South Caicos<br />

38 www.timespub.tc

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

moved through <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Studies <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Caicos reefs have varied over<br />

<strong>the</strong> years but largely revolve around <strong>the</strong> topic <strong>of</strong> reef<br />

health. Coral recruitment — <strong>the</strong> settlement <strong>of</strong> coral larvae<br />

on suitable substrate — is a key process for recovery<br />

and resiliency <strong>of</strong> reef-building corals. Recruitment is sensitive<br />

to a number <strong>of</strong> factors including live coral cover,<br />

larval abundance, hydrodynamics, sedimentation, algal<br />

competition, and site connectivity, producing large spatio-temporal<br />

variations in recruitment.<br />

In 2015, John DeBuysser, a former SFS student and<br />

current SFS dive safety <strong>of</strong>ficer, surveyed coral recruits in<br />

addition to <strong>the</strong> routine benthic assessment. The greatest<br />

live coral cover was found at <strong>the</strong> Maze (8.2%, 20 m depth)<br />

followed by <strong>the</strong> Arch (7.6%, 10 meters depth) and <strong>the</strong><br />

In addition to recruit and fish surveys, SFS students conduct regular<br />

benthic surveys to help understand reef dynamics.<br />


In 2019, researchers at The School for Field Studies<br />

in South Caicos (SFS) noticed a change in <strong>the</strong> local reefs.<br />

Suddenly, at multiple sites, corals were dying; sometimes<br />

just one area on an individual coral and o<strong>the</strong>r times entire<br />

coral heads. It was quickly determined that a disease was<br />

causing this sudden death <strong>of</strong> previously healthy corals.<br />

Coral diseases have been studied for years, and in<br />

many cases, researchers have been able to identify <strong>the</strong><br />

causes, transmission factors, and solutions to such<br />

diseases. First reported in Florida in 2014, Stony Coral<br />

Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) was killing corals faster and<br />

across more species than any o<strong>the</strong>r coral disease known.<br />

Over half <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> stony coral species found on <strong>the</strong> Florida<br />

Reef Tract are affected by SCTLD, though <strong>the</strong>re are many<br />

factors that influence <strong>the</strong> likelihood that a coral will contract<br />

<strong>the</strong> disease, such as <strong>the</strong> location <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> coral and<br />

time <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year. Many researchers throughout Florida<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Caribbean are actively trying to pinpoint <strong>the</strong> indicators<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> disease and <strong>the</strong> rate at which it progresses,<br />

though it has proven to be a difficult feat as <strong>the</strong>se attributes<br />

may vary by species affected. SCTLD has largely<br />

lowest at <strong>the</strong> Plane (0.92%, 10 meters depth). The reefs<br />

surrounding South Caicos are dominated by lettuce coral<br />

(Agaricia agaricites), lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis),<br />

boulder star coral (Orbicella franksi) and massive<br />

starlet coral (Siderastrea siderea). Of course, not all reefs<br />

are created <strong>the</strong> same. For example, East Caicos reefs are<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 39

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />


These images <strong>of</strong> coral at <strong>the</strong> Lost Anchor dive site were taken after <strong>the</strong> ravages <strong>of</strong> SCTLD, suggesting some resilience or rebound from its<br />

effects.<br />

characterized by mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata),<br />

lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis), boulder star<br />

coral (Orbicella franksi) and mustard hill coral (Porites<br />

astreoides).<br />

Just like not all reef systems are <strong>the</strong> same, not<br />

all coral use <strong>the</strong> same reproductive strategy — <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are broadcasters and brooders. This generally occurs<br />

annually during mass spawning events in one or two<br />

consecutive months and trigged by water temperature,<br />

lunar and tidal cycle, and light. Many corals are typically<br />

hermaphroditic, both sexes are represented in each coal<br />

polyp. Broadcaster coral release sperm and eggs into <strong>the</strong><br />

water column. A planula larva is created when egg and<br />

sperm connect. In <strong>the</strong> Caribbean region, large reef-building<br />

corals, such as Acropora, Montastraea, Orbicella,<br />

and Siderastrea, are generally broadcast spawners. The<br />

This graph indicates <strong>the</strong> percentage <strong>of</strong> live coral cover from reef<br />

surveys in <strong>the</strong> Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park, South<br />

Caicos. SCTLD was first reported in early 2019. Surveys were conducted<br />

using underwater photography along permanent transects<br />

and analyses using Coral Point Count with Excel extensions.<br />


40 www.timespub.tc

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

pelagic larvae <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se genera are more susceptible to<br />

mortality and recruitment to reef habitat is dependent on<br />

prevailing current patterns <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> area.<br />

It has been noted that <strong>the</strong>se reef-building corals typically<br />

have much lower abundance in recruitment studies<br />

than brooding coral genera, Agaricia and Porites, who<br />

develop <strong>the</strong>ir planula larvae internally or on <strong>the</strong> surface<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> parent colony before releasing. Brooding corals<br />

tend to be smaller in size. Once <strong>the</strong> larvae settle, asexual<br />

reproduction begins and <strong>the</strong> colony starts to grow.<br />

The overall average coral recruitment density in 2016<br />

<strong>of</strong> all sites was 15.9 ± 17.9 recruits/m 2 with <strong>the</strong> highest<br />

number at <strong>the</strong> Arch (29.6 ± 25.5 recruits/m 2 , 10 meters<br />

depth) and <strong>the</strong> lowest at <strong>the</strong> Chain (8.3 ± 12.3 recruits/<br />

m 2 , 20 meters depth). This is greater or comparable to<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r areas in around <strong>the</strong> Caribbean.<br />

The predominant genera in 2016 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> recruit<br />

community was Siderastrea, a broadcast spawner.<br />

Addtionally, both recruit and mature coral communities<br />

were characterized by presence <strong>of</strong> Agaricia, Diploria,<br />

Montastraea, Orbicella, Porites, and Siderastrea. These<br />

findings suggest strong connectivity in <strong>the</strong> area since <strong>the</strong><br />


Not all sites are created equal. The Arch has a greater number and<br />

diversity <strong>of</strong> coral recruits after SCTLD. This is one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most popular<br />

dive sites in <strong>the</strong> Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park.<br />

sites are able to recruit both pelagic broadcast-spawning<br />

coral larvae and local brooding coral larvae. From recruit<br />

density and diversity it was evident that recruitment in<br />

this area was able to successfully maintain coral community<br />

structure.<br />

Prior to 2019 onset <strong>of</strong> SCTLD, <strong>the</strong> reefs <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Caicos remained relatively stable. Stony coral cover<br />

(3.0%) and richness (9.9 taxa) did not fluctuate significantly<br />

(2012–2018). Disease monitoring efforts show that<br />

<strong>the</strong> regional outbreak <strong>of</strong> SCTLD poses a serious threat<br />

to important framework-building corals throughout <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean. In TCI, SCTLD significantly impacted coral<br />

cover (1.5%) and richness (6.3 taxa) (Figure 1). South<br />

Here is ano<strong>the</strong>r example <strong>of</strong> a coral impacted by SCTLD at The Warhead<br />

dive site near South Caicos. Again, you can see <strong>the</strong> evidence <strong>of</strong> some<br />

resilience.<br />

Caicos reefs are now dominated by massive starlet<br />

coral (Siderastrea siderea), lettuce coral (Agaricia agaricites),<br />

and mustard hill coral (Porites astreoides). Reef<br />

core evidence and modern surveys show that weedy or<br />

stress-tolerant taxa such as Siderastrea spp. and Porites<br />

spp., which used to be rare in reef assemblages, are now<br />

prevalent in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean.<br />

The overall average coral recruitment density in <strong>2022</strong><br />

for all sites was 9.34 ± 8.99 recruits/m 2 , not significantly<br />

different from 2016; however, <strong>the</strong> most abundant species<br />

in terms <strong>of</strong> count <strong>of</strong> recruits by coral surveyors are now<br />

Siderastrea sidereal and Porites porites (Figure 1). Rare<br />

and susceptible taxa corals including elliptical star coral<br />

(Dichocoenia stokesii), smooth flower coral (Eusmilia fastigiate),<br />

grooved brain coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis)<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 41

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

and maze coral (Meandrina meandrites) were absent<br />

from all surveys for <strong>the</strong> first time; however <strong>the</strong>y were still<br />

observed on <strong>the</strong> reef (Photos from April <strong>2022</strong>).<br />

Although recruit density was different among sites<br />

compared to 2016, <strong>the</strong>re were no correlations between<br />

recruitment density and coverage <strong>of</strong> key substrate types<br />

— live coral, coralline algae, macroalgae, and pavement.<br />

These findings suggest that ano<strong>the</strong>r factor is at play influencing<br />

<strong>the</strong> recruitment patterns.<br />

Ecological shifts associated with SCTLD in South<br />

Caicos are reported in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> and support<br />

o<strong>the</strong>r studies in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean which demonstrate<br />

that SCTLD significantly deteriorates reef composition.<br />

Coral reefs have a complex symbiotic relationship with<br />

reef fish, providing shelter, nursery grounds, and food. In<br />

turn, fish help keep coral reefs algae-free which promotes<br />

reproduction and growth.<br />

Previous studies have concluded that fish species<br />

decrease in number after coral cover has declined from<br />

disturbances such as disease and climate change. Fish<br />

surveys are included in SFS routine reef assessment. The<br />

Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park saw a 20%<br />

increase in number <strong>of</strong> species, mostly invertivores; in<br />

addition, <strong>the</strong>re was a shift in dominant species based on<br />

class. In 2016, carnivores were dominated by schoolmaster<br />

snappers whereas in <strong>2022</strong> this class was dominated<br />

by groupers. A healthy population <strong>of</strong> parrot fish dominate<br />

<strong>the</strong> herbivore group in both 2016 and <strong>2022</strong>.<br />

What is next for TCI reefs? Coral reefs are keystone<br />

ecosystems vital to ocean health; however, <strong>the</strong> number<br />

and prevalence <strong>of</strong> diseases in <strong>the</strong> Caribbean affecting corals<br />

is increasing dramatically starting in <strong>the</strong> 1990s, and<br />

are recognized as a major factor in reef decline since <strong>the</strong><br />

early 2000s. Changing climate will continue to threaten<br />

our reefs.<br />

We must be part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> next step and prepare for <strong>the</strong><br />

future. Qualitative and quantitative research allow us to<br />

assess impacts and develop opportunities for reef conservation.<br />

Marine Protected Area are vital for promoting<br />

healthy reefs but may not be enough in <strong>the</strong>se changing<br />

times. Restoration efforts can play a significant role.<br />

Partnership between NGO, research organizations, and<br />

business can make this happen. We must be prepared<br />

for what <strong>the</strong> future brings and help our reefs wea<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong><br />

changing environment. a<br />

42 www.timespub.tc

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

This is TCRF’s new pilot coral nursery. The corals must be fed and <strong>the</strong>ir water quality maintained within very stringent parameters. With <strong>the</strong><br />

help <strong>of</strong> trained volunteers, TCRF is quickly learning <strong>the</strong> ins and outs <strong>of</strong> farming coral on land.<br />


Farming Coral on Land<br />

Gene bank pilot nursery started.<br />

By Don Stark and Alizee Zimmermann, Turks & Caicos Reef Fund<br />

Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD) arrived in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> in 2019. This Caribbean and<br />

Tropical Atlantic-wide disease has devasted reefs throughout <strong>the</strong> region. It has affected over 30 species<br />

<strong>of</strong> stony corals — <strong>the</strong> big reef building corals — resulting in a significant loss <strong>of</strong> live coral coverage on<br />

<strong>the</strong> TCI reefs.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 43

green pages newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> department <strong>of</strong> environment & coastal resources<br />

The Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) has been monitoring<br />

and documenting this disease since mid-2019 and<br />

has been fighting this disease since early 2020. It has<br />

been a hard fight though, as each infected coral head<br />

must be treated individually while scuba diving. This is a<br />

very labor intensive and costly process, but a necessary<br />

effort in hopes <strong>of</strong> preserving <strong>the</strong> biodiversity <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

reefs.<br />

There are rarely single-focused answers though,<br />

and even less so with biological/environmental work. To<br />

enhance our ability to preserve our reefs, <strong>the</strong> TCRF has<br />

added ano<strong>the</strong>r weapon to our armory in <strong>the</strong> battle against<br />

this aggressive and deadly disease. TCRF has established<br />

<strong>the</strong> first land-based coral nursery in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> which will serve as <strong>the</strong> pilot for a large gene banking<br />

program <strong>the</strong> organization is planning. Funded by a<br />

grant from <strong>the</strong> John Ellerman Foundation in <strong>the</strong> UK, <strong>the</strong><br />

pilot project was built in June <strong>2022</strong> and is already housing<br />

live stony corals. The SCTLD-threatened coral colonies<br />

currently in <strong>the</strong> nursery were salvaged from <strong>the</strong> Blue<br />

Haven Marina docks that were scheduled to be removed<br />

and taken to <strong>the</strong> dump.<br />

This project is an effort to create a species survival<br />

program for stony corals that have been severely affected<br />

by Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease. The nursery is located<br />

at <strong>the</strong> TCRF <strong>of</strong>fice at South Bank Marina. The facility was<br />

built with <strong>the</strong> assistance <strong>of</strong> coral nursery specialists from<br />

The Reef Institute <strong>of</strong> West Palm Beach, FL and it is open<br />

to visitors.<br />

SCTLD has exacted a terrible toll and several species<br />

are already functionally extinct on TCI reefs due to <strong>the</strong><br />

disease. Without this gene-banking effort, many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

coral species could be lost forever. The pilot nursery will<br />

enable TCRF staff and volunteers to learn coral husbandry<br />

and coral tank maintenance. Already, <strong>the</strong>y are learning<br />

that running a land-based coral nursery is a complicated<br />

process. Corals, which are animals, must be fed and <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

water quality must be maintained within very stringent<br />

parameters. And, <strong>the</strong> tanks must be kept clean. But fortunately,<br />

with <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> trained volunteers, TCRF is<br />

quickly learning <strong>the</strong> ins and outs <strong>of</strong> farming coral on land.<br />

TCRF’s long-term goal is to expand <strong>the</strong> land-based<br />

coral nursery program which will allow us to propagate<br />

thousands <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se important reef building corals and<br />

ultimately restore <strong>the</strong>m to <strong>the</strong> reefs around <strong>the</strong> Turks &<br />

Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>. Working with <strong>the</strong> developers <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South<br />

Bank community, TCRF hopes to expand this effort on a<br />

much larger scale within <strong>the</strong> next two years. The expansion<br />

will also include a coral research and education<br />

center.<br />

The <strong>of</strong>fice is open to <strong>the</strong> public and interested parties<br />

should contact Alizée via email on alizee@tcreef.org to<br />

arrange a visit. “Coral Ecology 101” school visits can be<br />

arranged as well. a<br />


The new coral nursery is located at <strong>the</strong> TCRF <strong>of</strong>fice at South Bank Marina. It is open to visitors.<br />

44 www.timespub.tc

faces and places<br />


Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch <strong>2022</strong><br />

The 12th annual Turks & Caicos “Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch” Eco-<br />

SeaSwim took place on June 25, <strong>2022</strong> in Grace Bay with<br />

perfect open water conditions. One hundred swimmers<br />

from <strong>the</strong> US and Canada and 30 from TCI participated<br />

in 2.4 mile, 1 mile, or 1/2 mile events. In past years, US<br />

swimmers dominated, but this year saw up-and-coming<br />

TCI swimmers snag 10 <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 18 podium spots and take<br />

home conch trophies.<br />

“The remarkable TCI showing is a real testament to how<br />

far competitive swimming has come in <strong>the</strong> country, and we couldn’t be more thrilled,” said Ben Stubenberg, who<br />

co-founded <strong>the</strong> race with Chloe Zimmerman in 2010. The event also includes a 100 m Children’s Swim for youngsters<br />

10 and under. The next “Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch” will be held on June 24, 2023. For more information and beautiful<br />

pictures or to register, visit www.ecoseaswim.com. a<br />



<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 45


feature<br />

Opposite page: Besides founding <strong>the</strong> TCI Junkanoo Museum, Kitchner “Kitch” Penn (at right) is leader <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> We Funk Junkanoo Band, which<br />

regularly performs at <strong>the</strong> Island Fish Fry on Providenciales, along o<strong>the</strong>r special events.<br />

Above: The TCI Junkanoo Museum is located in a colorful building on Airport Road in Providenciales.<br />


TCI Junkanoo Museum<br />

Preserving island culture in <strong>the</strong> 21st century.<br />

By Abigail Parnell<br />

If you have ever attended <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos’ Island Fish Fry (now held in The Bight on Thursday evenings)<br />

or post-Christmas Maskanoo event, you’ve probably reveled in <strong>the</strong> irresistible rhythm <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> drums,<br />

whistles, horns, and cow bells <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo. This festival <strong>of</strong> intoxicating sound and colorful costumes<br />

is a celebration <strong>of</strong> culture not to be missed. Fortunately, Junkanoo is still alive and kicking and <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Junkanoo Museum is one place you can learn more about it.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 47

In <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, Junkanoo started as<br />

<strong>the</strong> tradition <strong>of</strong> “massing,” a masquerade event held at<br />

Christmas consisting <strong>of</strong> a street procession <strong>of</strong> characters<br />

in traditional costumes dancing to drums, bells, and<br />

whistles. Its roots lie in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>’ period <strong>of</strong> slavery —<strong>the</strong><br />

New Year and Christmas holidays were a break for <strong>the</strong><br />

enslaved people, a time to celebrate! They used all <strong>the</strong>y<br />

had to construct vibrant clo<strong>the</strong>s and instruments to create<br />

a sound that realised <strong>the</strong>ir surging spirits <strong>of</strong> joy.<br />

The backstory<br />

TCI’s Junkanoo Museum is <strong>the</strong> result <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> creative efforts<br />

<strong>of</strong> its owner and coordinator Kitchener “Kitch” Penn. The<br />

museum is located on Old Airport Road in Providenciales,<br />

(to <strong>the</strong> right <strong>of</strong> The Snack Spot) and you can’t miss it!<br />

It makes itself known with a striking, colourful outside<br />

display.<br />

Kitch Penn is also <strong>the</strong> head <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> “We Funk” Junkanoo<br />

band, which regularly performs at <strong>the</strong> Island Fish Fry,<br />

Maskanoo, and o<strong>the</strong>r events across <strong>the</strong> country. He’s<br />

been a fixture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Junkanoo culture on <strong>the</strong>se <strong>Islands</strong><br />

since <strong>the</strong> 1980s when he was hired to put on <strong>the</strong> first<br />

Junkanoo festival.<br />

After Penn’s Junkanoo events, he says, many partakers<br />

wanted to “put that costume on, even though it<br />

was sweaty! They wanted to beat <strong>the</strong> drum and feel <strong>the</strong><br />

instrument.” An idea flared to life inside him. A way for<br />

people to experience Junkanoo outside <strong>of</strong> being observers.<br />

They could have fun putting <strong>the</strong> costume on, playing<br />

<strong>the</strong> instruments, and learning more about <strong>the</strong> history.<br />

But <strong>the</strong>se were not <strong>the</strong> only motivating factors in creating<br />

a Junkanoo museum. The o<strong>the</strong>r factor? “A lot <strong>of</strong><br />

people don’t understand my passion and why I do what<br />

I do, but it is principally because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> pledge I made to<br />

my dad,” Penn says. “He challenged me to help <strong>the</strong> youth<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.” To learn more about <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

roots, island youth can take advantage <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum,<br />

which also focuses on <strong>the</strong> entirety <strong>of</strong> TCI.<br />

Penn’s fa<strong>the</strong>r-—Simpson Calfred Penn MBE—also<br />

helped youth, but he did so in <strong>the</strong> Bahamas as captain <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Boys Brigade <strong>the</strong>re. Simpson moved to <strong>the</strong> Bahamas<br />

from Lorimers, Middle Caicos, when he was 17.<br />

While Penn has lived here in <strong>the</strong> TCI, he has used<br />

his love for basketball and Junkanoo to fulfill his pledge.<br />

One way is by making basketball courts available on<br />

Providenciales so <strong>the</strong> youth could fur<strong>the</strong>r <strong>the</strong>ir skills. “I<br />

took my life savings (to build that court),” Penn says. It<br />

fur<strong>the</strong>rmore gave police a facility to play basketball and<br />

volleyball. He also helped develop <strong>the</strong> Provo Basketball<br />

David Bowen has played an important role in preserving TCI culture<br />

for decades. Here, he wears a costume more reflective <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> local<br />

tradition <strong>of</strong> “massing,” which preceded Junkanoo in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Association as well as associations in Grand Turk and<br />

South Caicos. “I will proudly say that through our program<br />

emphasizing discipline, self-respect, and true Christian<br />

manliness I have accomplished my goal and pledge to my<br />

dad.”<br />

Inside <strong>the</strong> museum<br />

The first steps inside <strong>the</strong> Junkanoo Museum open to its<br />

entrance room where photographs <strong>of</strong> people participating<br />

in Junkanoo line <strong>the</strong> colorful walls. You will also see<br />

real-life Junkanoo costumes made out <strong>of</strong> strips <strong>of</strong> cardboard,<br />

toilet paper, and newspaper.<br />

On a tour <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum, guests can expect to be<br />

able to try on <strong>the</strong> Junkanoo costumes, beat on <strong>the</strong> goat-<br />

or cow-skin drums, and take pictures—it’s all about<br />

enjoying and experiencing <strong>the</strong> culture. As you’re having<br />


48 www.timespub.tc

Kitch Penn displays one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> costumes that visitors to <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Junkanoo Museum can try on.<br />


<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 49


fun, you also get to learn about <strong>the</strong> history behind <strong>the</strong>se<br />

creations. For example, <strong>the</strong> conch shell horn’s purpose<br />

lies in its ability to communicate with o<strong>the</strong>rs instead <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> bass it adds to <strong>the</strong> percussion <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo. Fishermen<br />

relied on <strong>the</strong>ir “shell-phone number” to let <strong>the</strong>ir families<br />

know <strong>the</strong>y had returned home.<br />

The second room is home to <strong>the</strong> “Under <strong>the</strong> Sea”<br />

aquarium. This detailed mural pays homage to <strong>the</strong><br />

<strong>Islands</strong>’ world-renowned turquoise waters, featuring sea<br />

fans, coral, rays, dolphins, and more.<br />

The third and final room <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum is even more<br />

colorful and vibrant than <strong>the</strong> first! More instruments and<br />

full-body Junkanoo costumes are designed to express different<br />

<strong>the</strong>mes such as Carnival and <strong>the</strong> coconut leaf. It is<br />

also home to <strong>the</strong> workstation for <strong>the</strong>se handmade arts<br />

and crafts. It reflects what <strong>the</strong> enslaved people had to do:<br />

improvise. Nothing could go to waste. “Recycle, reuse,<br />

reinvent! They had to use everything <strong>the</strong>y had!” Penn<br />

explains. Cardboard packing barrels were not thrown<br />

away, but instead made excellent drums (different animal<br />

skins over <strong>the</strong> tops made a variety <strong>of</strong> sounds) that<br />

were lightweight and perfect for parading all night long.<br />

Used cans and bottles were transformed into shakers or<br />

maracas by way <strong>of</strong> dried peas or pebbles.<br />

Today, <strong>the</strong> sound <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo is preserved by creating<br />

<strong>the</strong> instruments with <strong>the</strong> same principle. Pulsating<br />

The images on this page reflect <strong>the</strong> colorful interior <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> TCI<br />

Junkanoo Museum.<br />

50 www.timespub.tc

percussion merges toge<strong>the</strong>r—<strong>the</strong> chiming <strong>of</strong> a cowbell,<br />

ripping <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> saw, shaking <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> maraca, and squeals <strong>of</strong><br />

a whistle. The whole body vibrates in tandem to <strong>the</strong> vigor<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> drums, and its symphony and rhythm are definitely<br />

dance-inducing.<br />

More about <strong>the</strong> museum<br />

The Junkanoo Museum opened in December 2016 to<br />

finally allow people “<strong>the</strong> full experience” <strong>of</strong> one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

TCI’s favorite celebrations. It’s been quite successful<br />

(receiving about 100 visitors a week as <strong>of</strong> August <strong>2022</strong>)<br />

as it satisfies <strong>the</strong> aim <strong>of</strong> an enjoyable experience <strong>of</strong> TCI<br />

history and culture.<br />

The Junkanoo Museum is open Monday through<br />

Saturday, starting with tours at 11 AM and closing at 4<br />

PM. An admission fee <strong>of</strong> $10 per person is required to<br />

support <strong>the</strong> museum’s continued operation.<br />

After <strong>the</strong> museum<br />

Once <strong>the</strong> hunger for more island history and culture is<br />

ignited after touring <strong>the</strong> museum, visitors will see <strong>the</strong>re<br />

is much more <strong>of</strong> Turks & Caicos to discover and explore<br />

beyond Grace Bay Beach and its luxurious resorts.<br />

Junkanoo in Turks & Caicos is possible year-round<br />

if hired to perform at a special event. Or, on <strong>the</strong> island<br />

<strong>of</strong> Providenciales, <strong>the</strong> weekly Thursday night Fish Fry (at<br />

Stubbs Diamond Plaza) is <strong>the</strong> place to go. The Junkanoo<br />

parade takes center stage (We Funk Junkanoo included)<br />

with dancers and a packed crowd.<br />

The annual Boxing Day Maskanoo parade remains <strong>the</strong><br />

most anticipated event <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year. And post-Boxing Day<br />

is <strong>the</strong> most promising time for new recruits to <strong>the</strong> We<br />

Funk Junkanoo Band, as <strong>the</strong>y can prepare for a whole year<br />

before <strong>the</strong> next Maskanoo, or practice <strong>the</strong>ir skills at Fish<br />

Fry.<br />

Kitchener Penn’s hope for <strong>the</strong> future <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo is<br />

for “<strong>the</strong> appreciation level to increase” and to erase any<br />

stigmas associated with <strong>the</strong> event. Junkanoo is a critical<br />

part <strong>of</strong> Turks & Caicos history because it remembers and<br />

honors generations past and <strong>the</strong>ir struggles. These are<br />

<strong>the</strong> real sounds <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo—freedom. a<br />

Abigail Parnell is an A-Level student at <strong>the</strong> British West<br />

Indies Collegiate. She is an avid reader <strong>of</strong> all things fiction<br />

and spends most <strong>of</strong> her time with her nose in a book. She<br />

has recently found it important to be more appreciative<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> world around her, including her lovely TCI culture,<br />

history, and “Beautiful by Nature” waters.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 51


feature<br />

Opposite page: A tech sector is gaining traction in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Above: Lemon 2 Go, in <strong>the</strong> heart <strong>of</strong> Grace Bay at Venture House, is a popular c<strong>of</strong>fee shop where locals, residents, and visitors ricochet projects<br />

and possibilities <strong>of</strong>f each o<strong>the</strong>r.<br />


TCI Tech<br />

Is a “Silicon Island” in <strong>the</strong> making?<br />

By Ben Stubenberg<br />

Can a small island nation renowned as a premier vacation destination for its spectacular beaches and<br />

turquoise water also become a world class hub for tech innovation—a “Silicon Island?” At first glance that<br />

seems improbable. After all, high end tourism drives TCI’s vibrant economy, not high tech. And plenty <strong>of</strong><br />

o<strong>the</strong>r places around <strong>the</strong> world aim to claim a stake in this fiercely competitive industry. But a brash and<br />

brainy band <strong>of</strong> TCI tech entrepreneurs thinks o<strong>the</strong>rwise and are telling anyone who will listen, “We have<br />

what it takes, why not us?”<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 53

Transformative hubs<br />

Just what makes a place that fundamentally changes <strong>the</strong><br />

way humans think, grow, and connect? Why do some cities<br />

become <strong>the</strong> vanguards <strong>of</strong> global transformation in<br />

philosophy, <strong>the</strong> arts, finance, science, and tech, while<br />

similar locales with seemingly more to <strong>of</strong>fer remain in <strong>the</strong><br />

shadows? In his book The Geography <strong>of</strong> Genius, author<br />

Eric Weiner attempts to shed light on <strong>the</strong>se conundrums<br />

by taking <strong>the</strong> reader on a historical odyssey starting<br />

with ancient A<strong>the</strong>ns. That squalid town with its maze<br />

<strong>of</strong> crooked alleys and shoddy homes crammed toge<strong>the</strong>r<br />

was not an obvious choice. Indeed, o<strong>the</strong>r Greek citystates<br />

were more populous (Syracuse), richer (Corinth),<br />

and stronger (Sparta). Never<strong>the</strong>less, A<strong>the</strong>ns built <strong>the</strong><br />

Par<strong>the</strong>non, not <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>rs, and brought us Socrates,<br />

Plato, and Aristotle, thinkers who laid <strong>the</strong> foundation for<br />

Western philosophy.<br />

Weiner also visits Hangzhou (China), Florence, Kolkata<br />

(Calcutta), Edinburgh, and Vienna, among o<strong>the</strong>r cities,<br />

that also once shined as global centers <strong>of</strong> creativity to<br />

discern what produced <strong>the</strong>ir brand <strong>of</strong> brilliance that<br />

reshaped our world. He ends <strong>the</strong> journey in a dry, hazy<br />

expanse <strong>of</strong> urban sprawl bounded by brown hills south <strong>of</strong><br />

San Francisco that we know as Silicon Valley. For <strong>the</strong> last<br />

50 years, that unlikely location with no natural splendor<br />

and an endless jumble <strong>of</strong> shiny, if undistinguished <strong>of</strong>fice<br />

parks has, <strong>of</strong> course, become <strong>the</strong> magnet <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> universe<br />

for tech. The innovations realized <strong>the</strong>re impact and disrupt<br />

<strong>the</strong> lives <strong>of</strong> nearly everyone on <strong>the</strong> planet.<br />

As it turns out, <strong>the</strong>se transformative<br />

hubs don’t just happen because<br />

someone wills it. Nor do <strong>the</strong>y arise<br />

through grandiose political planning.<br />

But some mysterious alchemy<br />

brings toge<strong>the</strong>r smart, cocky people<br />

with <strong>the</strong> confidence and hunger to<br />

change <strong>the</strong> way we think and live.<br />

Whe<strong>the</strong>r happenstance <strong>of</strong> fate or a<br />

happy accident, <strong>the</strong> chemistry <strong>of</strong><br />

creation is not easily replicated, but<br />

a few common features emerge.<br />

Invariably, <strong>the</strong> sites <strong>of</strong> genius are<br />

messy, fluid, engaging, and exposed<br />

to a constant stream <strong>of</strong> new ideas.<br />

They <strong>of</strong>fer a “safe space” for intellectuals<br />

and eccentrics to roam free<br />

without constraint. Notably, <strong>the</strong>y<br />

accept and value immigrants. As<br />

outsiders, it’s <strong>the</strong> immigrants who<br />

54 www.timespub.tc<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten see things with new eyes from a slight distance.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> same time, <strong>the</strong> outsider needs to be a bit <strong>of</strong> an<br />

“insider” too and have a degree <strong>of</strong> influence with <strong>the</strong> powers-that-be.<br />

Patrons also play a key role by identifying and funding<br />

exceptional talent in hopes <strong>of</strong> elevating <strong>the</strong>ir town to<br />

greatness. The House <strong>of</strong> Medici, a politically powerful and<br />

prosperous banking family in Florence in <strong>the</strong> 1400s, is a<br />

case in point. The Medici family sponsored both Leonardo<br />

de Vinci and Michelangelo, among o<strong>the</strong>rs, when <strong>the</strong>y<br />

were struggling artists and nurtured <strong>the</strong>m to become <strong>the</strong><br />

rock stars <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir day—a status that remains undiminished<br />

after 500 years. That support sealed Florence as<br />

<strong>the</strong> artistic capital <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Renaissance for decades. Today,<br />

venture capitalists might be considered <strong>the</strong> successors <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> ancient patrons, but with a bent toward seeking out<br />

promising tech start-ups that can exponentially increase<br />

wealth for both founder and investor.<br />

These cutting edge metropolises have one more thing<br />

in common: Venues where people with big ideas can<br />

ga<strong>the</strong>r. Boisterous arenas where those with fast-firing<br />

brain synapses can share and hash out wild, over-<strong>the</strong>top<br />

ideas that challenge <strong>the</strong> status quo and each o<strong>the</strong>r.<br />

The settings might be town squares, c<strong>of</strong>fee houses, pubs,<br />

cafes. Today, that could include on-line discussions and<br />

chat groups. However and wherever <strong>the</strong> innovators meet,<br />

sparks must fly and foster a culture <strong>of</strong> audacious thinking<br />

that envisions a “Brave New World.” The spread <strong>of</strong> those<br />


infectious ideas in turn draws in more dynamic talent,<br />

along with capital to finance endeavors that lead to big<br />

leaps forward.<br />

Local innovators<br />

The tech entrepreneurs <strong>of</strong> TCI get all <strong>of</strong> this and have<br />

commenced a national conversation about what a tech<br />

eco-system would look like. Places like The Shore Club,<br />

Tribe Café, and On Island, a state-<strong>of</strong>-<strong>the</strong>-art co-working<br />

space in Grace Bay, have all hosted tech oriented sessions.<br />

C<strong>of</strong>fee houses like Lemon 2 Go and even wine tastings at<br />

<strong>the</strong> Wine Establishment have also sprung up as informal<br />

spots to congregate and connect. Not surprisingly, <strong>the</strong><br />

spontaneous assembly <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> exceptionally bright and<br />

highly motivated mimics earlier hubs <strong>of</strong> world-altering<br />

innovation. And like creative centers <strong>of</strong> yore, <strong>the</strong> views<br />

flow freely and frankly without much filter among a good<br />

mix <strong>of</strong> locals and newcomers.<br />

On Island founder Manisha Tolani, who is from Provo,<br />

has become a leading proponent for TCI-based innovation.<br />

Using her tech, design, and marketing background,<br />

Tolani has developed TCI’s only co-working space. The<br />

flexible <strong>of</strong>fice environment with high-speed Internet connectivity<br />

<strong>of</strong>fers quiet corners for work contemplation, as<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 55



From top: Manisha Tolani is founder <strong>of</strong> On Island co-work space in<br />

Grace Bay, an incubator for budding business concepts. Islander Sean<br />

Bassett is <strong>the</strong> founder <strong>of</strong> Connect Digital Marketing, which owns and<br />

manages all <strong>the</strong> digital advertising at <strong>the</strong> TCI airports.<br />

well as a meeting space for synergistic encounters. In so<br />

doing, On Island has become TCI’s incubator for nascent<br />

business concepts.<br />

“There is a lot <strong>of</strong> talent here and a diversity <strong>of</strong> people<br />

with great ideas,” Tolani says. “I’m excited that On Island<br />

can be that place where <strong>the</strong>y ga<strong>the</strong>r and talk.” She adds,<br />

“For TCI to realize its full potential as a tech hub, however,<br />

we need to to upgrade Internet speed, as well as our<br />

financial services arm. We already have <strong>the</strong> tech executives,<br />

creative producers, and investors ei<strong>the</strong>r residing<br />

here or frequently visiting. That’s our strength and <strong>the</strong><br />

foundation for our tech future.”<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r entrepreneurial leader who sees TCI’s potential<br />

as a high tech hub is Kenrick Quashie, founder <strong>of</strong><br />

La Fleur Ventures. Originally from St. Vincent and <strong>the</strong><br />

Grenadines, Quashie is <strong>the</strong> co-founder <strong>of</strong> Squeeze Cash,<br />

a mobile app global money transfer system. Drawing on<br />

his experience, he is working up plans for a “Tech City”<br />

on Provo using vacant land near <strong>the</strong> airport. Working with<br />

local architects, TCI’s tech community, and local government,<br />

Quashie has caught <strong>the</strong> attention <strong>of</strong> investors who<br />

see <strong>the</strong> possibilities.<br />

Quashie knows full well <strong>the</strong> challenge ahead, but is<br />

also quite mindful <strong>of</strong> TCI’s <strong>of</strong>ten overlooked by-product<br />

<strong>of</strong> premium tourism—<strong>the</strong> tech and investment titans<br />

from <strong>the</strong> US and Canada who visit <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. “They buy<br />

houses here and see first-hand <strong>the</strong> benefits <strong>of</strong> living and<br />

working in TCI, including <strong>the</strong> prospects for start-ups. In<br />

this sense, TCI stands out from <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caribbean<br />

Region.”<br />

Sean Bassett, who grew up in Provo, is <strong>the</strong> founder<br />

and driving force behind Connect Digital Marketing, one<br />

<strong>of</strong> TCI’s top marketing, advertising, and s<strong>of</strong>tware development<br />

businesses. Under <strong>the</strong> brand Paradise Ports<br />

Advertising, <strong>the</strong> company owns and manages all <strong>the</strong><br />

digital advertising at <strong>the</strong> Providenciales and Grand Turk<br />

airports. What were once just wall ads have been converted<br />

into electronic screens that collect data through<br />

photos taken by visitors <strong>of</strong> QR codes. The QR codes allow<br />

clients to track <strong>the</strong> effectiveness <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ads linked to<br />

<strong>the</strong>ir websites or sales <strong>of</strong>ferings. In addition, he started<br />

an Instagram account, @turksandcaicos, that boasts an<br />

astounding 300,000 followers. Bassett firmly believes<br />

that “Tech Tourism” can kickstart and accelerate TCI’s<br />

tech entrepreneurs. He says, “We already attract persons<br />

with technical expertise to work remotely in TCI. Why not<br />

entice more who can also work with us and share <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

know-how?”<br />

56 www.timespub.tc

Speeding up<br />

TCI has always had digital nomads, but COVID accelerated<br />

<strong>the</strong> numbers. Many who had visited TCI as tourists<br />

returned to work remotely while <strong>the</strong> pandemic raged.<br />

As remote working became more a norm than an exception,<br />

some decided to stay longer and become part <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> community. TCI, as with o<strong>the</strong>r vacation destinations,<br />

benefited from this influx by <strong>of</strong>fering a more attractive<br />

alternative to big cities that had become Ground Zero for<br />

<strong>the</strong> disease. But as remote working expanded along with<br />

local tech initiatives, so did <strong>the</strong> need for faster Internet<br />

connectivity.<br />

TCI telecom providers and <strong>the</strong> government are committed<br />

to meeting ever-growing bandwidth requirements<br />

for businesses and homes. Currently, TCI is served<br />

by just one underwater fiber optic cable that lands on<br />

Providenciales. That link provides almost all <strong>of</strong> Provo with<br />

high speed uploading and downloading capabilities, as<br />

well as transfers <strong>of</strong> data. However, <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r islands rely<br />

on microwave transmission that can’t handle <strong>the</strong> same<br />

speeds or data transfers. That is about to change.<br />

Deputy Premier and Minister <strong>of</strong> Finance, Investment,<br />

and Trade, Hon. E.J. Saunders, points out that <strong>the</strong> government<br />

is implementing a two phase plan to increase<br />

Internet connectivity for <strong>the</strong> entire country. Phase 1 will<br />

expand fiber optic cable to all <strong>the</strong> islands so that <strong>the</strong>y<br />

would be on par with Provo. In Phase 2, a second undersea<br />

fiber optic cable would run from Grand Turk to <strong>the</strong><br />

Dominican Republic, linking with a carrier cable <strong>the</strong>re.<br />

Hon. Saunders, who is a successful tech entrepreneur<br />

in his own right, conservatively estimates that each phase<br />

would take two years. “A second fiber optic cable will<br />

allow TCI households and businesses to accommodate<br />

more devices at faster speeds,” he says. “Moreover, <strong>the</strong><br />

second cable will give TCI connective redundancy and<br />

resiliency, as well as bring more competition to <strong>the</strong> market<br />

that can lower prices.”<br />

Saving reefs with crypto<br />

Surrounded by spectacular seas and protected by one<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> longest barrier reefs in <strong>the</strong> world, TCI is a natural<br />

locus for advanced marine research at <strong>the</strong> School for<br />

Field Studies in South Caicos and <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos Reef<br />

Fund (TCRF). Thanks to <strong>the</strong> initiative <strong>of</strong> Executive Director<br />

Alizee Zimmermann, TCRF has begun a unique partnership<br />

with international investment group Coral Tribe to<br />

use crypto currency to help finance reef restoration. TCRF<br />

is one <strong>of</strong> just four reef restoration beneficiaries in <strong>the</strong><br />

world that Coral Tribe has approved for funding.<br />

john redmond associates ltd.<br />

architects & designers<br />

construction consultants<br />

project management<br />

p.o.box 21, providenciales, turks & caicos is.<br />

tel.: 9464440 cell: 2314569 email: redmond@tciway.tc<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 57

It works like this: A donor purchases an NFT (Non<br />

Fungible Token) image created by Coral Tribe using <strong>the</strong><br />

crypto currency Solana. The proceeds are <strong>the</strong>n allocated<br />

to its charity arm, Impact Fund, which distributes a portion<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> donation to <strong>the</strong> crypto currency accounts <strong>of</strong><br />

approved non-pr<strong>of</strong>its like <strong>the</strong> TCRF. The crypto currency<br />

can in turn be converted to US dollars. Coral Tribe chose to<br />

operate using Solana because, unlike bigger players such<br />

as Bitcoin and E<strong>the</strong>reum, this crypto currency has minimal<br />

environmental impact when “mined” on computers to produce<br />

units or “coins” through complex algorithms.<br />

Using this imaginative form <strong>of</strong> funding, TCRF has been<br />

able to increase its in-water staghorn coral program by<br />

installing a rope style nursery to grow over 600 “fragments.”<br />

Zimmermann says, “We immediately saw <strong>the</strong><br />

potential for this method <strong>of</strong> funding to be a model for<br />

expanding research that could well be a standard in <strong>the</strong><br />

near future. Moreover, Coral Tribe has created an online<br />

community that goes well beyond NFT trades to bring<br />

ocean conservation to <strong>the</strong> world <strong>of</strong> crypto. I’m an artist at<br />

heart and <strong>the</strong> intersection <strong>of</strong> art, conservation, and technology<br />

caught my attention immediately! We’re excited<br />

about <strong>the</strong> wider potential cryptocurrency may have here.”<br />

Solar power<br />

One clear niche for innovation in TCI is <strong>the</strong> efficient<br />

utilization <strong>of</strong> solar power. With bright sunshine almost<br />

every day <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> year, TCI is well positioned to take full<br />

advantage with imaginative applications. Indeed, <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are several local solar entrepreneurs working to harness<br />

this endless source <strong>of</strong> power. The prospect that every<br />

house and business could be powered by solar panels on<br />

<strong>the</strong> ro<strong>of</strong>, windows, or in a large land clearing portends<br />

an elixir that could one day take us <strong>of</strong>f fossil fuel. But as<br />

promising as solar power is, challenges remain, philosophical,<br />

as well as practical.<br />

Enter Matt Gorvin, founder and CEO <strong>of</strong> renu energy TCI<br />

and one <strong>of</strong> TCI’s solar power pioneers. He poses a series<br />

<strong>of</strong> provocative questions, beginning with, “What could TCI<br />

be known for?” For Gorvin, TCI could become <strong>the</strong> region’s<br />

clean energy leader, transforming <strong>the</strong> economy in <strong>the</strong><br />

next decade. “We need to think more holistically,” he<br />

says. “Homes and commercial establishments should be<br />

designed with energy conservation and self generation in<br />

mind. Ra<strong>the</strong>r than perceiving solar power and energy storage<br />

as supplements or add-ons to <strong>the</strong> grid, why not make<br />

<strong>the</strong> starting premise independence from fossil fuel?”<br />


The Turks & Caicos Reef Fund has begun a unique partnership with international investment group Coral Tribe to use crypto currency to help<br />

finance reef restoration. This is <strong>the</strong> new underwater staghorn coral nursery.<br />

58 www.timespub.tc

Wind Chime Villa in Turtle Tail is a sustainable property <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> grid, using clean, renewable energy. Six Tesla Powerwalls are charged by <strong>the</strong><br />

sun during <strong>the</strong> day, storing <strong>the</strong> solar energy.<br />


In pursuit <strong>of</strong> that aspiration, renu has worked with<br />

local building contractors to feed solar energy directly<br />

into some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> homes in <strong>the</strong> South Bank and Beach<br />

Enclave, among o<strong>the</strong>r developments. At <strong>the</strong> same time,<br />

renu provides Tesla Powerwall batteries for storage <strong>of</strong><br />

excess energy to keep appliances running at night. As<br />

a bonus, <strong>the</strong> excess energy produced can be used to<br />

charge electrical vehicles using an electrical charger built<br />

right into <strong>the</strong> garage.<br />

While <strong>the</strong>se houses are not entirely <strong>of</strong>f <strong>the</strong> fossil fuel<br />

energy grid, <strong>the</strong> power supply balance can be precisely<br />

measured and monitored through an app that shows how<br />

and when each power source is being used. The switch<br />

between solar and fossil fuel works seamlessly, while<br />

allowing <strong>the</strong> homeowner to check and adjust as needed<br />

by, for example, shutting down an AC unit in a bedroom.<br />

The app engenders a heightened awareness <strong>of</strong> energy<br />

use that also gives <strong>the</strong> homeowner/resident more control<br />

over energy allocation that can lessen dependence on fossil<br />

fuel.<br />

Even as <strong>the</strong> concept has proven to work on high-end<br />

houses, Gorvin is committed to making this technology<br />

available to <strong>the</strong> larger TCI community. He has begun<br />

working with Provo Primary and Middle School educators<br />

and parents to incorporate solar panels that renu<br />

supplies at cost. As part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> school’s science class,<br />

students will be given access to <strong>the</strong> app that allows <strong>the</strong>m<br />

to see and understand exactly how much <strong>the</strong>ir school<br />

relies on fossil fuel versus solar. From <strong>the</strong>re, students<br />

will be able to design experiments to alter <strong>the</strong> balance for<br />

greater energy effciency. In this way, students can get a<br />

practical education in energy use to prepare <strong>the</strong>m to take<br />

on bigger projects later on.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r pioneering TCI solar power company, Green<br />

Revolution, takes a similar holistic approach by integrating<br />

renewable energy into building design right from<br />

<strong>the</strong> start. Working with major TCI building contractors<br />

such as Norstar Group, Green Revolution has completed<br />

more than 300 solar projects, removing 2,400 tons <strong>of</strong><br />

CO 2 from <strong>the</strong> atmosphere. Drawing on its years <strong>of</strong> experience,<br />

Green Revolution is taking <strong>the</strong> concept a step<br />

far<strong>the</strong>r: Instead <strong>of</strong> applying solar power to just individual<br />

houses and buildings, <strong>the</strong>y ask, why not extend <strong>the</strong><br />

concept by developing micro grids that link small communities<br />

to a solar power energy source? Essentially, <strong>the</strong><br />

idea is to build a distributed network <strong>of</strong> solar power generation<br />

instead <strong>of</strong> having it all produced in one place.<br />

These micro grids — already proven to work — would not<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 59



Top: Sunshine Nursery Manager Marius Giese stands next to <strong>the</strong> solar<br />

panels used to power distribution pumps for irrigating trees on <strong>the</strong><br />

property.<br />

Bottom: Green Revolution installed solar panels maximizing unused<br />

spaces at this house in Long Bay.<br />

only reduce <strong>the</strong> demand<br />

on diesel powered generators,<br />

but lessen <strong>the</strong><br />

impact <strong>of</strong> power outages<br />

due to wea<strong>the</strong>r or o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

conditions.<br />

Green Revolution<br />

Director Robin Spruce<br />

states, “TCI and Green<br />

Revolution are well-positioned<br />

to advance an<br />

array <strong>of</strong> solar power solutions,<br />

especially given our<br />

geography that provides<br />

350 days <strong>of</strong> sunshine.”<br />

Paul Chaplin, Norstar<br />

Group partner and Green<br />

Revolution founder adds,<br />

“We have demonstrated<br />

<strong>the</strong> viability <strong>of</strong> solar<br />

power design integration<br />

through hundreds <strong>of</strong> projects. But we can’t rest <strong>the</strong>re. We<br />

have to keep pushing to make it more broadly accessible<br />

to <strong>the</strong> TCI community in a manner that lowers energy<br />

costs and ensures a cleaner environment.”<br />

TCI’s main energy supplier is committed to exploring<br />

60 www.timespub.tc

and testing solar energy solutions to benefit more TCI<br />

residents. Currently, Provo’s fast growing energy requirements<br />

outstrip a solar solution to wean itself <strong>of</strong>f fossil<br />

fuels for now. However, FortisTCI has initiated programs<br />

for customers to operate ro<strong>of</strong>top solar panels, ei<strong>the</strong>r<br />

bought or leased, to sell back energy produced, thus helping<br />

to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. It has also built<br />

an electrical charging station at H2O Resort using solar<br />

power and is planning to install one at <strong>the</strong> Ritz-Carlton.<br />

At <strong>the</strong> same time, FortisTCI is conducting a study to<br />

determine <strong>the</strong> feasibility <strong>of</strong> wind as an alternative energy<br />

source on North Caicos. The company has installed a<br />

laser scanning device on its property in Kew called LiDAR<br />

ZX 300 to capture on-shore wind measurements over <strong>the</strong><br />

next 12 to 18 months. If <strong>the</strong> data shows wind to be a<br />

potential energy source, a wind technology station would<br />

be built at <strong>the</strong> same location.<br />

The design innovations by renu energy TCI, Green<br />

Revolution, FortisTCI, and o<strong>the</strong>rs have in effect made<br />

TCI a proving ground for alternative energy solutions.<br />

As such, <strong>the</strong> initiatives hold out <strong>the</strong> prospect for breakthroughs<br />

that could lead to cheaper and cleaner energy<br />

production for TCI, and <strong>the</strong> larger Caribbean Region.<br />

Food security<br />

Beyond more energy efficient houses, solar power also<br />

has <strong>the</strong> potential to play a critical role in <strong>the</strong> country’s<br />

food security. Despite a long agricultural tradition that<br />

has helped to sustain <strong>the</strong>se <strong>Islands</strong> for centuries, <strong>the</strong><br />

recent population explosion on Providenciales in <strong>the</strong> past<br />

25 years has led to a heavy dependence on food imports<br />

from <strong>the</strong> US. As a country with limited rainfall and less<br />

than ideal soil to supply <strong>the</strong> local food demand, TCI needs<br />

a new approach.<br />

Finding a way for TCI to be food secure has become <strong>the</strong><br />

mission <strong>of</strong> TCI-born Marius Giese, manager <strong>of</strong> Sunshine<br />

Nursery. “Crisis fuels innovation,” he states right up<br />

front. “Traditional agriculture cannot be scaled to meet<br />

TCI needs. So we have to test new systems <strong>of</strong> production<br />

more suited to our environment.” For Giese, one alternative<br />

is to invest in climate controlled hydroponics using<br />

LED lights with a “closed loop” irrigation system that recycles<br />

<strong>the</strong> water. This method could eventually supply a<br />

large percentage <strong>of</strong> TCI’s leafy greens, herbs, tomatoes,<br />

and peppers that are most vulnerable to spoilage during<br />

long transport.<br />

Giese notes that Sunshine Nursery has completely<br />

transitioned to use direct solar power to supply <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

drip irrigation needs. He has introduced this technology<br />

to several farmers in North Caicos who rely on pumping<br />

<strong>the</strong> water from <strong>the</strong> fresh water lenses—a layer <strong>of</strong> fresh<br />

water that accumulates directly above sea water anywhere<br />

between 7–20 ft (2.5–6.5 m) below <strong>the</strong> surface. Local farmers<br />

have drawn from this freshwater source for decades<br />

on all <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. In fact, Islanders back in <strong>the</strong> day built<br />

<strong>the</strong> settlements <strong>of</strong> Five Cays, Blue Hills, and The Bight on<br />

Provo because <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> proximity to <strong>the</strong>se lenses that supplied<br />

<strong>the</strong>m with drinking water during times <strong>of</strong> drought.<br />

However, <strong>the</strong> high cost <strong>of</strong> fossil fuel energy to pump<br />

<strong>the</strong> water severely limited <strong>the</strong> potential to use this source<br />

<strong>of</strong> water to grow crops on larger tracts <strong>of</strong> land. To make<br />

available more water for irrigation, Giese is experimenting<br />

with using solar power to pump and desalinate<br />

seawater from below <strong>the</strong> surface, including building<br />

affordable Lithium battery banks locally. “Despite harsh<br />

growing conditions,” Giese points out, “TCI is in a unique<br />

position to leverage new technologies that have become<br />

available in <strong>the</strong> last decade to enhance food security. By<br />

applying <strong>the</strong>se technologies, we could leapfrog our way<br />

into becoming a model for sustainable agriculture.”<br />

Pivotal confluence<br />

While TCI’s high-end tourism economy remains dominant,<br />

a tech sector is gaining traction as a scrappy core <strong>of</strong><br />

locals and newcomers ricochet projects and possibilities<br />

<strong>of</strong>f each o<strong>the</strong>r. At <strong>the</strong> same time, TCI’s enticing environment<br />

in an age <strong>of</strong> remote work augurs well for drawing<br />

more tech talent and capital investment. That should also<br />

spur TCI to educate more home-grown coders and s<strong>of</strong>tware<br />

engineers to effectively meet <strong>the</strong> growing demand.<br />

The magic formula that produces hubs <strong>of</strong> innovation<br />

remains as elusive and fluid as ever. Even more so, as<br />

today’s super-connected world vastly broadens <strong>the</strong> range<br />

<strong>of</strong> prospective tech centers. But global connectivity also<br />

gives small islands like TCI an advantage to emerge as a<br />

new contender for any number <strong>of</strong> tech niches. That sense<br />

<strong>of</strong> possibilities presents TCI’s big dreamers with inventive<br />

minds and plenty <strong>of</strong> pluck a clean slate on which to write<br />

<strong>the</strong> future. a<br />

Ben Stubenberg (bluewaterben@gmail.com) is a regular<br />

contributing writer to <strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and a<br />

story teller about TCI’s compelling history. He is <strong>the</strong><br />

co-founder <strong>of</strong> Caicu Naniki Vacation Adventures, a TCI<br />

company specializing in private outer-island excursions,<br />

swim instruction, and relocation consulting. He is also<br />

<strong>the</strong> co-founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> annual “Race for <strong>the</strong> Conch” Eco-<br />

SeaSwim in Grace Bay.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 61

eal estate<br />

Opposite page: The South Bank development and marina is located on <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>astern shore <strong>of</strong> Providenciales on Long Bay.<br />

Above: Arc is <strong>the</strong> newest and most distinctive South Bank neighborhood.<br />

Arcing Upwards<br />

South Bank’s new “suspended private villa” experience.<br />

By Kathy Borsuk ~ Images Courtesy Windward<br />

Life in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> is meant to be savored with each <strong>of</strong> your senses. Overarching is <strong>the</strong><br />

vast expanse <strong>of</strong> ocean blue, with as many different expressions as <strong>the</strong> face <strong>of</strong> a beloved friend. Beams <strong>of</strong><br />

golden sunshine are occasionally dimmed by <strong>the</strong> curtain <strong>of</strong> a cottony cloud. Then <strong>the</strong>re are <strong>the</strong> sounds: a<br />

seagull calling as it slices through <strong>the</strong> sky at sunrise; <strong>the</strong> steady shushing <strong>of</strong> a cooling breeze at sunset;<br />

<strong>the</strong> quiet lap <strong>of</strong> water on shore, sometimes crescendoing into a steady beat. Smell and taste meld, as <strong>the</strong><br />

air has a distinct salty tang and flavor enhanced by <strong>the</strong> heady scent <strong>of</strong> tropical flora. Walking barefoot on<br />

s<strong>of</strong>t sand or carefully picking your way over rugged rock contrasts in texture with <strong>the</strong> polished smoothness<br />

<strong>of</strong> a seashell.<br />

This is a slice <strong>of</strong> life at Arc, <strong>the</strong> newest and most distinctive neighborhood <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> South Bank residential<br />

and resort marina community.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 63

South Bank overview<br />

South Bank is a 31-acre development on <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>astern<br />

shore <strong>of</strong> Providenciales in Long Bay. The project began in<br />

2017 with a focus on creating a water-based lifestyle in<br />

an area <strong>of</strong> serene natural beauty. The expansive property<br />

is bordered by sandy beachfront, limestone ironshore,<br />

and verdant indigenous vegetation — with an inland<br />

lagoon at its center and an integrated marina at its flank.<br />

Thoughtfully designed buildings blend seamlessly into<br />

<strong>the</strong> scene and <strong>of</strong>fer a range <strong>of</strong> options for residents.<br />

South Bank had comprised three different neighborhoods<br />

<strong>of</strong> various residence types. The Ocean Estates<br />

neighborhood encompasses 19 three- to seven-bedroom<br />

beachfront and oceanfront villas, each with a private<br />

pool, some with a transparent edge that seems to float<br />

above <strong>the</strong> sea. To date, 15 villas are under construction,<br />

with 16 sold and 2 reserved.<br />

The Lagoon neighborhood includes three- to five-bedroom<br />

beachfront villas surrounding a sandy swimming<br />

lagoon, with some having <strong>the</strong>ir own boat docks. Of <strong>the</strong>se,<br />

all 18 villas are sold, under construction, and expected to<br />

be completed in early 2023.<br />

The Launch <strong>of</strong>fers one- to three-bedroom townhomes,<br />

aptly named Boathouses for <strong>the</strong>ir private rear terraces<br />

with a boat dock suspended over <strong>the</strong> water. To date, only<br />

five are still for sale (out <strong>of</strong> 38) and all are under construction<br />

for completion in <strong>the</strong> first quarter <strong>of</strong> 2024.<br />

It comes as no surprise that South Bank sales ranked<br />

as <strong>the</strong> most successful real estate performance in TCI<br />

history, with well over $150 million sold in 2021 and<br />

<strong>2022</strong> (thus far), alone. Joe Zahm, president/broker <strong>of</strong><br />

Turks & Caicos So<strong>the</strong>by’s International Realty comments,<br />

“With over 65 properties sold between $1,000,000 and<br />

$11,500,000 since 2020, South Bank — a robust and<br />

secure 31 acre resort and residential marina community<br />

with all <strong>the</strong> amenities — has been historically successful<br />

in terms <strong>of</strong> sales performance. Buyers simply love <strong>the</strong><br />

concept, designs, and <strong>the</strong> variety <strong>of</strong> waterfront experiences,<br />

from <strong>the</strong> Boathouses, each with a private slip,<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Lagoon Beach Villas with <strong>the</strong>ir protected waters,<br />

and including <strong>the</strong> signature Ocean Estates. Representing<br />

South Bank has been a peak career experience for me<br />

and my team.” The combination <strong>of</strong> a unique location,<br />

well-conceived plan, desirable contemporary architecture,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> outstanding reputation <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> development firm<br />

Windward, cemented its allure.<br />

Debuting Arc<br />

With <strong>the</strong> voracious interest in <strong>the</strong>se properties, <strong>the</strong> developers<br />

wanted to ensure that <strong>the</strong> final <strong>of</strong>fering at South<br />

Bank was truly special, surprising, and appealing to <strong>the</strong><br />

booming TCI luxury real estate market. Left untouched<br />

was a prime two-acre “point” on <strong>the</strong> western Long Bay<br />

shoreline. Its vantage embraces sunrise and sunset, along<br />

Due to its position on a prime two-acre “point” on <strong>the</strong> Long Bay shoreline, Arc residences will enjoy sunrise and sunset views.<br />

64 www.timespub.tc

A curved pool stretching along <strong>the</strong> shoreline in front <strong>of</strong> Arc includes lattice water beds, <strong>of</strong>fering a cool place to relax.<br />

with sweeping views <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Caicos Bank, South Bank inlet,<br />

marina, lagoon, and protected Juba Sound wetlands teeming<br />

with life.<br />

After much thought, discussion, and careful consideration,<br />

Windward is now debuting Arc, its ultimate and<br />

perhaps most iconic neighborhood. Commissioned exclusively<br />

for Arc is world-renowned architecture firm Lissoni<br />

& Partners, with <strong>of</strong>fices in Milan/Italy and New York/USA.<br />

They created an unprecedented “suspended” private<br />

villa experience for each <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> 17 residences at Arc that<br />

merges elevated viewpoints with an outdoor lifestyle.<br />

Piero Lissoni and his team designed each Arc residence<br />

to have a self-contained enclosure and connection<br />

with <strong>the</strong> outdoors while remaining part <strong>of</strong> a community.<br />

Thus, <strong>the</strong> five-level building blends privacy with an enormous<br />

amount <strong>of</strong> livable interior and exterior space, in<br />

<strong>the</strong> form <strong>of</strong> terraces, gardens, and private pools as well<br />

as outdoor kitchen and dining spaces. Each residence<br />

will enjoy unmatched views, <strong>the</strong> stunning beach, and <strong>the</strong><br />

resort amenities South Bank <strong>of</strong>fers.<br />

At Arc, two-, three-, four- and five-bedroom residences<br />

are arranged in a terraced pyramid shape on four levels,<br />

with <strong>the</strong> crowning 13,000-square-foot penthouse spanning<br />

<strong>the</strong> entire fifth level with 360º views. The signature<br />

residences will enjoy a dedicated lobby, underground<br />

parking, elevator accesses, an exclusive fitness center,<br />

and <strong>the</strong> finest residential finishes and amenities. A long,<br />

curved pool parallels <strong>the</strong> oceanfront, lined with latticed<br />

sunning “pods” and water beds, shaded by palms. Paved<br />

walkways wind through <strong>the</strong> grounds, leading to private<br />

lounging areas with umbrellas or firepits. A pool bar and<br />

beachfront restaurant frames <strong>the</strong> sunset and serves to<br />

enhance a day <strong>of</strong> relaxation.<br />

Blending in with <strong>the</strong> primary natural tones <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

South Bank properties, residences at Arc will make use<br />

<strong>of</strong> timbered walls, latticed ro<strong>of</strong>ing, and wooden screens<br />

to provide privacy and sun filters. Indoor spaces will also<br />

feature elements in earth tones to exude a feeling <strong>of</strong> comfortable<br />

elegance, well suited to <strong>the</strong> beauty <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> natural<br />

surroundings.<br />

Homeowners and <strong>the</strong>ir guests can partake <strong>of</strong> South<br />

Bank resort amenities including watersports, tennis and<br />

pickle ball courts, spa, and two restaurants and bars,<br />

along with multiple beach access areas. Also available<br />

are in-villa dining and spa treatments, with private chefs<br />

and masseurs. The entire South Bank property is gated<br />

and security monitored.<br />

The South Bank Marina delivers service and facilities<br />

for <strong>the</strong> South Bank lifestyle, including floating docks with<br />

60 slips ranging from 30 to 120 feet. South Bank homeowners<br />

can enjoy a Boat Concierge program that allows<br />

<strong>the</strong>m to simply call in to order <strong>the</strong>ir boat to <strong>the</strong> launch<br />

spot fully maintained, fueled, and provisioned . . . <strong>the</strong>n<br />

drop it back <strong>of</strong>f after <strong>the</strong>ir day trip.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 65

The two-acre point at South Bank where Arc will be situated is surrounded by water views on all sides.<br />

Why South Bank?<br />

I recently spoke with one <strong>of</strong> South Bank’s directors, Ingo<br />

Reckhorn, about <strong>the</strong> project’s overwhelming success and<br />

bright future. He explained that <strong>the</strong> allure is <strong>the</strong> combination<br />

<strong>of</strong> relaxed sophistication and wild beauty, attracting<br />

buyers with a mutual love for water — boating, watersports,<br />

swimming, beachcombing. To date, about half <strong>of</strong><br />

South Bank buyers are from <strong>the</strong> US and half from Canada.<br />

Many plan to share <strong>the</strong>ir residence over multi-generations<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir family. Included are seasoned island residents<br />

attracted by <strong>the</strong> long-term potential and appeal <strong>of</strong> a<br />

waterfront lifestyle.<br />

Ironically, sales out-performed expectations in an<br />

era <strong>of</strong> pandemic, material shortages, and global construction-related<br />

challenges. Fortunately, Ingo added,<br />

“The solid partnerships formed by Windward over past<br />

projects such as Blue Cay Estate give us a strong base<br />

from which to deal with <strong>the</strong>se challenges. We maintain<br />

constant communication with our partners, suppliers<br />

and contractors. That has s<strong>of</strong>tened <strong>the</strong> effects <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se<br />

challenges tremendously.” Windward also reacted to <strong>the</strong><br />

long and unpredictable lead-times <strong>of</strong> certain items such<br />

as windows and appliances by ordering <strong>the</strong>se necessities<br />

much earlier than typically required to avoid bottlenecks<br />

in finishing <strong>the</strong> units for move ins.<br />

Prices for Arc residences start in <strong>the</strong> low $3 million,<br />

providing a new option in <strong>the</strong> currently underserviced<br />

beachfront property market in TCI. Joe Zahm adds, “The<br />

magnificent Piero Lissoni designed Arc will elevate South<br />

Bank and Long Bay, and is destined to be a timeless landmark<br />

in Turks & Caicos.”<br />

South Bank will be expertly managed by Grace Bay<br />

Resorts, one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> leading hospitality providers in <strong>the</strong><br />

Caribbean. They will bring unparalleled expertise into<br />

<strong>the</strong> operation <strong>of</strong> South Bank’s resort facilities and amenities,<br />

as well as <strong>the</strong> rental program for all South Bank<br />

residences. a<br />

For more information, visit livesouthbank.com.<br />

66 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe<br />

newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Front Street, PO Box 188, Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, BWI TKCA 1ZZ<br />

tel 649 247 2160/US incoming 786 220 1159 • email info@tcmuseum.org • web www.tcmuseum.org<br />

Bahamian artist Rasheed Demeritte painted this re-creation <strong>of</strong> Jan<br />

Kwaw based on descriptions <strong>of</strong> Brandenburg Prussians.<br />


Investigating <strong>the</strong> Clues<br />

The origins <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo – Part 2<br />

By Christopher Davis, Alex Kw<strong>of</strong>ie, Angelique McKay and Michael P. Pateman<br />

In <strong>the</strong> Summer <strong>2022</strong> issue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Astrolabe, <strong>the</strong> authors detailed various legends <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> origins <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo<br />

from European influences and mimicry to <strong>the</strong> Ahanta General, Jan Kwaw from Pokesu (today’s Princess<br />

Town) in Southwestern Ghana. However, <strong>the</strong> question remains <strong>of</strong> how Jan Kwaw became <strong>the</strong> namesake<br />

<strong>of</strong> Junkanoo in The Bahamas.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 67

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The history <strong>of</strong> The Bahamas has been very whitewashed<br />

and conservative. This has been exacerbated in<br />

modern times in tandem with a belief <strong>of</strong> watering down<br />

aspects <strong>of</strong> history to make visitors more comfortable —<br />

pandering to guests and painting a story that separates<br />

us from our history. The true origins <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo do not<br />

fit this narrative and this has contributed to this hero <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Diaspora being lost in translation.<br />

When making a closer analysis <strong>of</strong> data from <strong>the</strong><br />

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade to The Bahamas, information<br />

surrounding <strong>the</strong> first documented Trans-Atlantic slaving<br />

vessel in 1721, <strong>the</strong> Bahama Galley, gives credence<br />

to some <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> more popular <strong>the</strong>ories to arise over <strong>the</strong><br />

past several generations. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>se <strong>the</strong>ories is that<br />

John Canoe was a slave who came to The Bahamas, and<br />

somehow petitioned <strong>the</strong> colonial government to take<br />

a day <strong>of</strong>f, “allowing” Africans to celebrate. The slave<br />

ship Bahama Galley was owned by <strong>the</strong> governor <strong>of</strong> The<br />

Bahamas George Phenney and took African captives from<br />

present-day Southwest Ghana.<br />

Could John Canoe (Jan Kwaw) have come to The<br />

Bahamas as a slave onboard on this vessel? While this<br />

would make sense for <strong>the</strong> previously mentioned narrative,<br />

empirical data shows that he remained at Fort Gross<br />

Friedrichsburg until 1724 when <strong>the</strong> Dutch were finally<br />

able to expel him and his army. Additionally, in an anonymous<br />

message sent to <strong>the</strong> editor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> London Journal<br />

newspaper, we learn that <strong>the</strong> voyage took captives from<br />

Cape Three Points, most likely from <strong>the</strong> British-held Fort<br />

Metal Cross at Dixcove.<br />

This region in Ghana is exactly where John Canoe<br />

was operating as <strong>the</strong>re are numerous Dutch and British<br />

accounts detailing <strong>the</strong> problems (for <strong>the</strong> Europeans)<br />

caused by Jan Kwaw and his warriors. The article was also<br />

published in <strong>the</strong> Christmas issue <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Boston Gazette,<br />

months after <strong>the</strong> ship arrived in 1721. Crucially, this provides<br />

a definitive presence <strong>of</strong> an early Ahanta presence<br />

in The Bahamas, with 295 captives arriving exclusively<br />

from that area. The year before <strong>the</strong>ir arrival (1720), <strong>the</strong>re<br />

were only approximately 250 blacks living permanently<br />

in The Bahamas. The new arrivals on <strong>the</strong> Bahama Galley<br />

would have more than doubled <strong>the</strong> black population and<br />

brought with <strong>the</strong>m <strong>the</strong>ir culture, traditions, religion, politics,<br />

and knowledge <strong>of</strong> Jan Kwaw.<br />

Additionally, <strong>the</strong> first three slave ships to arrive to<br />

The Bahamas (inclusive <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahama Galley) from <strong>the</strong><br />

African continent all came from <strong>the</strong> Ahanta region <strong>of</strong><br />

Ghana. This set <strong>the</strong> base cultural expression and what<br />

caused “Junkanoo” to stick — to this day still <strong>the</strong> predominant<br />

celebration among Bahamians <strong>of</strong> African descent.<br />

During <strong>the</strong> same period, from 1721 to 1755, 24 Intra-<br />

American slaving voyages were made to The Bahamas;<br />

7 from Jamaica and <strong>the</strong> remainder from <strong>the</strong> 13 colonies<br />

(later <strong>the</strong> USA) totalling just under 200 enslaved people.<br />

This table shows <strong>the</strong> first three transatlantic slave voyages to The Bahamas from southwestern Ghana.<br />

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Additionally, <strong>the</strong> 1721 newspaper report mentions<br />

<strong>the</strong> bleak military and economic situation for <strong>the</strong><br />

Dutch in Cape Three Points. The Dutch lingered in <strong>the</strong><br />

area, with <strong>the</strong> help <strong>of</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r nations, to “bombard <strong>the</strong><br />

Brandenburgers Factory.” The anonymous observer goes<br />

on to say that despite <strong>the</strong>ir efforts “tis believed <strong>the</strong>y will<br />

not be able to take it.” Unbeknownst to <strong>the</strong> author <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

short passage, he was speaking about Jan Kwaw’s occupation<br />

<strong>of</strong> Gross Fredericksburg in Princess Town.<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r question about Junkanoo is why it is celebrated<br />

around Christmas? Returning to <strong>the</strong> slave narrative,<br />

tradition states that John Canoe requested permission for<br />

<strong>the</strong> celebration in commemoration <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Christmas holiday.<br />

However, if we evaluate historical records, Jan Kwaw<br />

was <strong>the</strong> catalyst <strong>of</strong> several military actions in defiance <strong>of</strong><br />

slave trading since at least 1712, when he invaded Fort<br />

Metal Cross which was <strong>the</strong> British stronghold on <strong>the</strong> Gold<br />

Coast, interestingly on Christmas Day. Is <strong>the</strong> celebration<br />

<strong>of</strong> Junkanoo on and around Christmas Day an unconscious<br />

celebration <strong>of</strong> this victory by <strong>the</strong> descendants <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Ahanta in <strong>the</strong> New World?<br />

As a result <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> research uncovering <strong>the</strong> true origins<br />

<strong>of</strong> Junkanoo and linking it to <strong>the</strong> Ahanta people and <strong>the</strong><br />

wider diaspora, along with <strong>the</strong> community outreach and<br />

King <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ahanta Otumfo Baidoo Bonsoe XV, Ahantahene is currently<br />

<strong>the</strong> longest reigning African monarch.<br />


Angelique McKay (Asafokyerba) is being initiated into <strong>the</strong> Ahanta tribe.<br />


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Co-author <strong>of</strong> this article, Christopher Davis was <strong>of</strong>ficially coronated<br />

and enstooled as Jan Kwaw II and a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ahanta Traditional<br />

council.<br />

service in Princess Town, <strong>the</strong> Ahanta traditional council<br />

and <strong>the</strong> Chief <strong>of</strong> Princess town gave titles to <strong>the</strong> Sank<strong>of</strong>a<br />

Flamingo team. The titles and honours are:<br />

• Christopher Davis — Nana Asafohene Jan Kwaw II (John<br />

Canoe II);<br />

• Angelique McKay — Asafokyerba (warrior Queen <strong>of</strong><br />

Junkanoo);<br />

• Tamara Scavella-Davis — Nkosuohema (development<br />

and progress); and<br />

• Dr. Michael Pateman, Robin Lightbourne, and Oswald<br />

White — Okufo (warriors <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo)<br />

Fur<strong>the</strong>r, <strong>the</strong> King <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Ahanta, who is currently <strong>the</strong><br />

longest reigning African monarch, Otumfo Baidoo Bonsoe<br />

XV, Ahantahene, <strong>of</strong>ficially coronated and enstooled<br />

Christopher Davis as Jan Kwaw II and a member <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

Ahanta Traditional council.<br />

This research is due to be published in a book, The<br />

Black Rinse: Spirit <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo by Christopher Davis. It<br />

changes <strong>the</strong> historical narrative <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo and <strong>the</strong> transatlantic<br />

slave trade in The Bahamas and <strong>the</strong> wider African<br />

Diaspora. It not only challenges <strong>the</strong> conservative narrative<br />

<strong>of</strong> Bahamian historiography but confronts <strong>the</strong> global<br />

rhetoric <strong>of</strong> Africans’ so-called “role” in <strong>the</strong> Transatlantic<br />

slave trade. Africans are <strong>the</strong> only ones blamed for <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

own genocide from <strong>the</strong> halls and <strong>the</strong>atres <strong>of</strong> academia,<br />

entering <strong>the</strong> global consciousness where blame is placed<br />

on an entire diverse group <strong>of</strong> people. A documentary<br />

“Pilgrimage to Pokesu” based on <strong>the</strong> research and journey<br />

for <strong>the</strong> team to becoming Ahanta is being produced by<br />

Dr. Michael Pateman. To learn more about <strong>the</strong> research<br />

on Junkanoo, Jan Kwaw, and <strong>the</strong> Ahanta, follow Sank<strong>of</strong>a<br />

Flamingo on Facebook. a<br />

Christopher Davis (Nana Jan Kwaw II) is a historian and<br />

researcher at <strong>the</strong> Antiquities, Monuments, and Museum<br />

Corporation (Bahamas) and founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Sank<strong>of</strong>a<br />

Flamingo Foundation; Alex Kw<strong>of</strong>ie is an oral historian<br />

and tour guide from Pokesu (Princess Town), Ghana;<br />

Angelique McKay, also known as <strong>the</strong> Junkanoo Goddess, is<br />

<strong>the</strong> founder <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Junkanoo Commandos, a group who is<br />

dedicated to bringing <strong>the</strong> celebration <strong>of</strong> Junkanoo to <strong>the</strong><br />

world by way <strong>of</strong> presentations, workshops, and performances;<br />

and Dr. Michael P. Pateman is a former director<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum and currently<br />

curator/lab director <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Bahamas Maritime Museum<br />

on Grand Bahama.<br />

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This is a typical page from Captain Edward Lightbourn’s letterbook.<br />

A Short Life<br />

Captain Edward Lightbourn<br />

Story & Images Courtesy by Antoinette Lightbourn Butz<br />

Captain Edward Lightbourn was my great-great-great uncle. I researched this article through many documents<br />

found on Bermuda and <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, particularly from a letterbook in my possession<br />

and a set purchased by <strong>the</strong> Bermuda Archives in 2018.<br />

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Background<br />

Edward Lightbourn was born in <strong>the</strong> Heron Bay<br />

Southampton area <strong>of</strong> Bermuda on January 7, 1775. His<br />

fa<strong>the</strong>r was Samuel Lightbourn and he had a bro<strong>the</strong>r also<br />

named Samuel. In 1794, he married Frances Bascome <strong>of</strong><br />

Salt Kettle, Paget and <strong>the</strong>y had a daughter, Sarah Bascome<br />

Lightbourn on April 13, 1795. Three o<strong>the</strong>r daughters, all<br />

born in Bermuda, followed and <strong>the</strong>n a son born in <strong>the</strong><br />

Turks <strong>Islands</strong> in 1811. Tragically, <strong>the</strong> son died <strong>the</strong> following<br />

year. O<strong>the</strong>r sons were later born in <strong>the</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Edward joined his fa<strong>the</strong>r and bro<strong>the</strong>r in a business<br />

trading under <strong>the</strong> name <strong>of</strong> Samuel Lightbourn and Sons.<br />

This must have been boring for him, as in 1796 we read<br />

<strong>of</strong> his assuming command <strong>of</strong> a privateer ship owned by<br />

<strong>the</strong> famous Hezekiah Frith. The lucrative operation <strong>of</strong><br />

privateering had resumed after <strong>the</strong> re-outbreak <strong>of</strong> war<br />

between France and England in 1793 and Bermudian privateers<br />

found many rich prizes to bring into Bermuda.<br />

However, England was not at war with <strong>the</strong> fledgling<br />

United States so Bermudians had no right to<br />

capture American ships. Never<strong>the</strong>less, Captain Edward<br />

Lightbourn, being unable to find any French or Spanish<br />

ships in 1797 and sailing <strong>the</strong> schooner Thetis (owned by<br />

his fa<strong>the</strong>r), captured <strong>the</strong> Newcastle, Delaware schooner<br />

Nancy and took it to Aux Cayes. This brought charges<br />

and looting against him and his prize master. The following<br />

year he captured ano<strong>the</strong>r American ship, <strong>the</strong><br />

brigantine Mary, whose captain, Faulk, objected strongly<br />

in <strong>the</strong> courts to his treatment and eventually won his freedom<br />

although with no compensation.<br />

The next decade <strong>of</strong> Edward’s life is somewhat vague.<br />

Privateering had effectively ceased in 1803 and <strong>the</strong>re had<br />

been legal complications over many <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> ships captured<br />

by privateers. His fa<strong>the</strong>r-in-law’s 1805 will says that he<br />

had recently sold Edward a house and land at Salt Kettle<br />

for 460 pounds but not yet been paid. The Paget Parish<br />

tax records show Edward owning a store and goods over<br />

<strong>the</strong> period, but have not yet been followed through until<br />

he left Bermuda.<br />

Apparently in 1809 he was still a ship’s captain but<br />

had fallen out with Hezekiah Frith. In a letter written<br />

on May 17, 1809 from William Astwood in Bermuda to<br />

Captain John Lightbourn Sr. in Turks Island, William says:<br />

“Captain Edward Lightbourn about Four Weeks<br />

past, had <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fer <strong>of</strong> taking <strong>the</strong> Command <strong>of</strong> a vessel<br />

belonging to Messer’s Joell and Francis Tucker.<br />

Capt. Hezekiah Frith opposed his leaving Bermuda<br />

until he had discharged <strong>the</strong> Bond he owed him, and<br />

would not consent for him to go unless he gave a<br />

Bond with security for 2,000 pounds. That he would<br />

return except <strong>of</strong> Death or imprisonment by <strong>the</strong> first<br />

day <strong>of</strong> December next.<br />

Which proposal Edward at last consented to, with<br />

a view <strong>of</strong> getting support for his Family, if nothing<br />

more. The day before he went away, he mentioned to<br />

me that he wrote on to Mr. Daniel Bascome stating<br />

his situation, and as it appeared that <strong>the</strong>re was a<br />

sum <strong>of</strong> three or four hundred Pounds due from his<br />

Fa<strong>the</strong>r’s Estate to Capt. Samuel Lightbourn. Beg that<br />

he would if possible, point out some mode <strong>of</strong> payment<br />

in order to be <strong>the</strong> means <strong>of</strong> assisting him from bondage.<br />

Edward requests me to mention <strong>the</strong> Circumstances<br />

to you, saying on his return to Bermuda <strong>the</strong> Business,<br />

it must be closed. At any rate, and in case he should<br />

not be able to pay up Frith’s demand without his<br />

property, say Furniture, Negros and being obliged to<br />

be sold, which in all probability would be made a sacrifice,<br />

<strong>of</strong> whe<strong>the</strong>r you would be Kind Enough to adjust<br />

him, as far as for his property to be appraised, and<br />

advance his some moneys — and take <strong>the</strong> property<br />

as a security for <strong>the</strong> same. Until such time as he could<br />

make you payment. I presume from his conversation,<br />

what he meant was to request you to advance him<br />

in case he should require it, some moneys, and take<br />

his property as Security for a certain time without<br />

paying interest. As o<strong>the</strong>rwise it would be as well for<br />

Frith to Hold a Mortgage on it. You’ll please acquaint<br />

me relative to <strong>the</strong> above business that I might have it<br />

in my Power to make Edward acquainted. Respecting<br />

it as he must be miserable in his mind.”<br />

It is not known for sure what <strong>the</strong> family relationship<br />

between Captain John Lightbourn Sr and Edward<br />

Lightbourn was, but Edward was probably his nephew.<br />

John had been living <strong>of</strong>f and on in Grand Turk for many<br />

years in spite <strong>of</strong> having a wife and family both in Bermuda<br />

and Turks, and a transcription <strong>of</strong> his correspondence with<br />

his nephew William Astwood <strong>of</strong> Bermuda between 1806<br />

and 1812 has been published in Letterbook <strong>of</strong> Captain<br />

John Lightbourn Sr, which I have transcribed.<br />

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Captain Edward must have decided at this point to<br />

move with his family to Turks Island to get away from<br />

<strong>the</strong> “Hezekiah Frith problem.” There is a June 1810 letter<br />

from William Astwood to Captain John Lightbourn Sr saying<br />

Edward Lightbourn was expected to leave imminently,<br />

followed by a December 29, 1810 letter saying:<br />

“Our relation and friend, Captain Edward<br />

Lightbourn is about leaving this for Turks <strong>Islands</strong>,<br />

with his Family, after meeting with many difficulty’s,<br />

and ill treatment through Capt. Frith, but I flatter<br />

myself that he is about to fix himself and Family<br />

more comfortable than he has been for a long time<br />

past.”<br />

Fur<strong>the</strong>r information about <strong>the</strong> family comes from<br />

“Manuscript Letterbook <strong>of</strong> Correspondance to and from<br />

William Astwood 1809–1811.” Writing from Turks <strong>Islands</strong><br />

on April 21, 1811, Captain Edward Lightbourn wrote to<br />

William Astwood:<br />

“We arrived here on <strong>the</strong> 10th January after an<br />

agreeable passage <strong>of</strong> five days and all very hearty<br />

and have continued ever since.”<br />

It appears that Edward was joined by his bro<strong>the</strong>r<br />

Samuel in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> because in December 1813 <strong>the</strong>re is<br />

a letter written by him while <strong>the</strong>re to William Astwood in<br />

Bermuda:<br />

“Mrs. Lightbourn desires me to express her thankfulness<br />

for your friendship in sending <strong>the</strong>n a supply<br />

<strong>of</strong> provisions & her respects to you and me Astwood<br />

& family. She is very unhappy at present for <strong>the</strong><br />

safety <strong>of</strong> my Bro<strong>the</strong>r. He left us two months since<br />

for Jamaica with a handsome little cargo <strong>of</strong> Pickled<br />

fish, Tobacco, Salt & with prospects <strong>of</strong> success in his<br />

voyage, but his evil star still accompanying him he<br />

was taken to Cape Francois, by one <strong>of</strong> Christophes<br />

Vessels on what pretense we are still ignorant tho we<br />

have since learned that his vessel was confiscated &<br />

sold & a desperate report accompanying this that he<br />

and his Crew were in confinement, this however we<br />

flatter ourselves, is incorrect as we have heard <strong>of</strong> his<br />

being at liberty eight days after his arrival.”<br />

Edward’s own account <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> event comes in an April<br />

9, 1814 letter to Astwood:<br />

“Dear Sir;<br />

I now have <strong>the</strong> pleasure <strong>of</strong> acknowledging <strong>the</strong><br />

receipt <strong>of</strong> your respectful favors <strong>of</strong> April 17th and<br />

November 25th with three blls flour a half blls Sugar<br />

a half Tierce rice which came very timely and respectable<br />

which adds to <strong>the</strong> many former obligations we<br />

find ourselves indebted for I know <strong>of</strong> Nothing what<br />

would make me happy <strong>the</strong>n to have it in my Power to<br />

reimburse you <strong>the</strong>refore but ill fortune yet follows up<br />

so closely that God knows when I shall have it in my<br />

Power which those unhappy times continues but hope<br />

<strong>the</strong>y are nearly at an end at <strong>the</strong> moment when I begin<br />

to be incouraged and thought I was again getting on<br />

my legs only figure to yourself what my feeling must<br />

have been on my arrival home from Pot Rico after <strong>the</strong><br />

Hurrycan when I found <strong>the</strong> Greater part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> town<br />

gone my House one <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> number near <strong>the</strong> half <strong>of</strong><br />

our Salt which we had collected since our arrival here<br />

and every soal destitute <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> most coarse necessary<br />

<strong>of</strong> life But not withstanding after a few days Found it<br />

necessary that I should exert myself and get to work<br />

and get a covering for a part <strong>of</strong> my House which has<br />

been a temporary shelter for my Family since and<br />

for <strong>the</strong> want <strong>of</strong> lumber and o<strong>the</strong>r necessarys it yet<br />

remain in that ruined state and I fear that it is so<br />

shattered and damaged that it is not worth repairing<br />

when I might have it in my power. In addition <strong>the</strong>re to<br />

I sailed from hence to Jamaica with a cargo <strong>of</strong> tobacco<br />

Cod and Pickled fish some dry goods suitable to that<br />

market and Salt and should have made an Excellent<br />

voyage but for once <strong>the</strong> interference <strong>of</strong> Christophes<br />

Cruisers which took possession <strong>of</strong> me and carried<br />

me into Cape Francois where I was taken with all my<br />

Crew immently to prison without anything being said<br />

to us but abuse and <strong>the</strong>re kept in close confinement<br />

fifty two days and allowed me but one Rusk per 24<br />

hours and a part <strong>of</strong> that time in a dungin without pen<br />

and Ink or <strong>the</strong> least communication with any Buddy<br />

without and <strong>the</strong>re is no doubt on <strong>the</strong>ir intention to<br />

put all to death but fortunately for us some unknown<br />

friend gave information to our Capture and situation<br />

to <strong>the</strong> Admiral <strong>of</strong> Jamaica who dispatched a man <strong>of</strong><br />

War to demand us but <strong>the</strong>y denied <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>m Having<br />

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any such capture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir being any such persons<br />

with <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong> man <strong>of</strong> War returned to Jamaica<br />

assuring <strong>the</strong>m that <strong>the</strong>re would be o<strong>the</strong>r demands<br />

made immediately which alarmed <strong>the</strong>m and <strong>the</strong><br />

next night at 12 o’clock we were taken out which as<br />

<strong>the</strong> first time <strong>of</strong> our seeing or hearing <strong>of</strong> each o<strong>the</strong>r<br />

during our confinement by a private way to water<br />

under moment expatiation <strong>of</strong> meeting <strong>the</strong> fate which<br />

I had long expected but to our great joy found ourselves<br />

disappointed and was carried in a boat under<br />

a strong Guard and carried out <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> harbor and<br />

was informed by <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficer that we were to be put<br />

on a boat an American Schooner which was to sail<br />

that morning for America at 10 o’clock, was put on<br />

board without <strong>the</strong> knowledge <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Captain or anyone<br />

but <strong>the</strong>mselves. The Captain refused to take us<br />

and was returning again into Port but <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>ficer <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> Boat threatened him to return on his peril, After<br />

some reflection he told me that he knew <strong>of</strong> our situation<br />

and that he knows will put us ashore again that<br />

we should all be privately dispatched <strong>the</strong>refore if we<br />

would assure him that <strong>the</strong>re should be no advantage<br />

taken <strong>of</strong> him by my people that he would take us on<br />

to New York.<br />

Accordingly I did and we made sail after a few<br />

hours we got acquainted with him to be one <strong>of</strong> us and<br />

his humanity led him to be prevailed on to put us on<br />

shore at Sand key where we remained thirty six hours<br />

and our signals being discovered at Salt key boats<br />

were sent to our relief and we arrived unexpectedly<br />

here on <strong>the</strong> 23rd <strong>of</strong> Dec at 12 o’clock at night.<br />

We have forwarded a protest to <strong>the</strong> Government <strong>of</strong><br />

Nassau and <strong>the</strong> Admiral <strong>of</strong> Jamaica as well as giving<br />

a copy <strong>of</strong> Capt Rossnady? To <strong>the</strong> Foresters who sailed<br />

from this about 10 days with a determination to go to<br />

<strong>the</strong> Cape and demand restitution <strong>of</strong> that Government<br />

and we are in hopes to recover <strong>the</strong> property — In<br />

expectation <strong>of</strong> saving you a bisset? Soon I am expecting<br />

a Spanish Schooner to leave from Mount Coast<br />

with a cargo <strong>of</strong> cocoa and a deck load <strong>of</strong> cattle which<br />

I have engaged to Navigate to Bermuda and I yesterday<br />

had ano<strong>the</strong>r application to take charge <strong>of</strong> a<br />

sloop which is just purchased from new Providence<br />

by Mr. Wheeland which is to sail in two or three days<br />

for Port au Prince for a cargo from Bermuda but<br />

my state <strong>of</strong> life would not permit me to do it. She<br />

will return here from Port au prince and if I am not<br />

employed on her return I shall take charge <strong>of</strong> her<br />

for Bermuda — I have not been well since my arrival<br />

and four weeks past my complaint terminated in an<br />

Obstinate Pleurisy and fever which confined me for<br />

three weeks, but am now about again getting hearty.<br />

I am with due respect your obedient Servant,<br />

Edward Lightbourn”<br />

John Lightbourn, writing to William Astwood on<br />

October 29, 1814 tells him that Edward has still not<br />

recovered from his ordeal:<br />

“Our relation Edward Lightbourn have ever since<br />

arrived from <strong>the</strong> Cape has been under complaints<br />

proceeding from his being confined in a dungeon<br />

& this 5 weeks past been confined to his house and<br />

Bed & ill man, & I with <strong>the</strong> rest <strong>of</strong> his friends think<br />

<strong>of</strong> fear, he will not get <strong>the</strong> better <strong>of</strong> his complaints<br />

which is ga<strong>the</strong>ring in his breast which I think is an<br />

abscess from which he discharged a deal <strong>of</strong> matter.<br />

The Doctor lives in hopes that Blistering will cure <strong>the</strong><br />

Complaint . . .<br />

Sir your most obedient servant John Lightbourn<br />

Sr.”<br />

Ano<strong>the</strong>r letter written to William Astwood <strong>the</strong> same<br />

day by a Benjamin Lightbourn says much <strong>the</strong> same:<br />

“I am sorry to inform you <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> low state <strong>of</strong> health<br />

Captain Edward Lightbourn in & fearful & all <strong>of</strong> his<br />

friends he will not get <strong>the</strong> better <strong>of</strong> his Complaints. I<br />

have seen him this morning & he tells me he is better<br />

but what he spits <strong>of</strong> his stomach is <strong>the</strong> color <strong>of</strong> chocolate<br />

and quite thick . . .”<br />

Replying to Benjamin Lightbourn on December 17,<br />

1814 William Astwood wrote:<br />

“Dear Sir;<br />

I am truly sorry to hear that cousin Edward is in<br />

such a bad state <strong>of</strong> health. I heartily pray that he<br />

may recover his health for <strong>the</strong> sake <strong>of</strong> his numerous<br />

family . . .<br />

Your most obedient Servant William Astwood”<br />

74 www.timespub.tc

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />

Edward did not recover his health and <strong>the</strong> sad fact <strong>of</strong><br />

his death is recorded in <strong>the</strong> next letter. Written in March<br />

1815:<br />

I remain Your most obd’t serv’t<br />

William Astwood.”<br />

“Dear Sir;<br />

I was sorry for <strong>the</strong> loss you mentioned <strong>of</strong> Sister<br />

Lightbourn. I have <strong>the</strong> same thing in return <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

death <strong>of</strong> my son Edward who departed this life on second<br />

December last from a severe cold received from<br />

his imprisonment at Cape Francoise . . .<br />

Your most Obedient Servant Samuel Lightbourn”<br />

Turks <strong>Islands</strong> March 14, 1815, Wm Astwood Esq:<br />

“Dear Sir<br />

Having been very long without opportunity write<br />

to Bermuda friends I am induced to forward this per<br />

Capt Gilbert via Port au prince merely to announce <strong>the</strong><br />

melancholy tidings <strong>of</strong> my Poor Bro<strong>the</strong>r’s Departure<br />

on December 2nd last — His Death has left a numerous<br />

family unprovided for which must have rendered<br />

his last moments extremely embittered in his anxiety<br />

expressed on this head He mentioned his desire<br />

that his son Edward may find a friend in you & that<br />

you should be informed <strong>of</strong> his wish that he may be<br />

brought upon your guidance — Have <strong>the</strong> Goodness<br />

to make mention this event known to my distressed<br />

sister Mrs Thomas and inform her that all friends<br />

have besides are in good health . . . . .<br />

I remain most Respectfully yours &<br />

Samuel Lightbourn Jun”<br />

Bermuda May 31, 1815:<br />

“Dear Madam<br />

I am happy to have <strong>the</strong> pleasure <strong>of</strong> informing you<br />

that Edward, William and Myself arrived home safe,<br />

after Passage <strong>of</strong> twelve days and thank God, all <strong>of</strong><br />

us enjoyed good Health during <strong>the</strong> voyage and have<br />

continued so since. Edward was not so sea sick, as his<br />

friends expected, he lost only one meal, He appears<br />

perfectly satisfied and I am inclin’d to think that he<br />

will be much healthier here than at Turks <strong>Islands</strong> —<br />

Mrs Astwood, and children, unite with me in my best<br />

Respects, to yourself and family — and flattering<br />

myself that you’ll make yourself Easy respect’g Edw’d<br />

This is a portrait <strong>of</strong> William Astwood <strong>of</strong> Bermuda, to whom much <strong>of</strong><br />

<strong>the</strong> correspondence in this article is directed.<br />

Captain Edward Lightbourn’s wife Frances stayed on<br />

Grand Turk and died <strong>the</strong>re in May 1830. One <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir<br />

daughters, Mary Hannah, married James Misick and had<br />

at least three children including James born in 1822 and<br />

Laura born in 1831. Laura married Queen’s Advocate<br />

Francis Ellis but died young and it is not known whe<strong>the</strong>r<br />

James had descendants in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Nor is it known<br />

what happened to <strong>the</strong> o<strong>the</strong>r children <strong>of</strong> Edward and<br />

Frances.<br />

If anyone reading this has any information on Captain<br />

Edward Lightbourn or his descendants or where he is buried<br />

on Turks Island, please let me know. a<br />

Antoinette Lightbourn Butz<br />

tonibutz1944@gmail.com<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 75

astrolabe newsletter <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos National Museum<br />


Museum Matters<br />

Grub, Grill & Good <strong>Times</strong> — Grand Turk<br />

The museum held <strong>the</strong> “Grub, Grill & Good <strong>Times</strong>”<br />

fundraising event on July 30. (COVID restrictions<br />

had prevented us from having <strong>the</strong> event since 2019.)<br />

Vendors lined up in front <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum selling local<br />

dishes and vendor specialties. The live band V6 along<br />

with Zeus entertained. Although rain cut <strong>the</strong> festivities<br />

short, <strong>the</strong> event was well attended, with a great time had<br />

by all! Thank you for supporting us!<br />

Raffle tickets were sold with fantastic prizes. A huge<br />

THANK YOU to all those that donated items: LIME/FLOW,<br />

Graceway, Emerald Escapes, Salt Cay Whale Adventures,<br />

Sunflower Oasis, Blue Water Diving, Osprey Beach<br />

Hotel, Arches, Grand Turk Diving, Salt Raker, Sandbar<br />

Exclusive Escapes, Margaritaville, Drift Villas, Island<br />

Pure Water, Local Cash Donors, White Sands Charter, J<br />

Squared, and Deep Blue Charter—also <strong>the</strong> TCI Culture<br />

Department and Tourist Board for additional support.<br />

Folks could watch <strong>the</strong> event on Facebook live thanks to<br />

Derek Been filming and broadcasting for us. a<br />

<strong>2022</strong> Children’s Camp<br />

The museum, in conjunction with <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos<br />

National Trust and <strong>the</strong> TCI Culture Department held<br />

a week-long Children’s Camp on Grand Turk in July.<br />

The camp, both educational and fun, hosted over 40<br />

children. They had sessions and crafts about history,<br />

Junkanoo, and <strong>the</strong> Rock iguanas. They were treated to<br />

an island tour, Gibbs Cay trip, and a Salt Cay trip. The<br />

camp was made possible by proceeds from sales <strong>of</strong><br />

Where is Simon, Sandy? and Satchi and Little Star books<br />

written by Donna Seim. a<br />

Gre<strong>the</strong> Seim 100th Birthday Commemoration<br />

In honor <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum founder, Gre<strong>the</strong> Seim, we<br />

received a large donation. Part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> donation is<br />

being used to renovate <strong>the</strong> deck and area in <strong>the</strong> back<br />

<strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> museum, including new decking, sun shades,<br />

tables, and chairs. The area surrounding <strong>the</strong> deck will<br />

be a botanical garden with all new plants and lattice<br />

placed around. A large plaque honoring Ms. Seim will<br />

be included. The deck is used for museum events as<br />

well as rented to o<strong>the</strong>rs for private parties. Once <strong>the</strong><br />

renovations are completed, we will have a public grand<br />

opening. a<br />

Spirit <strong>of</strong> Bermuda Visit<br />

The Spirit <strong>of</strong> Bermuda visited Grand Turk and Salt Cay in<br />

July as part <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong>ir “Following in <strong>the</strong> Footsteps <strong>of</strong> Mary<br />

Prince” sailing. The museum, along with sponsorship<br />

from <strong>the</strong> TCI Tourist Board, hosted a welcome reception<br />

and assisted with tours and activities.<br />

The Spirit is sailed by a student crew along with <strong>the</strong><br />

adults. They presented <strong>the</strong> White House on Salt Cay<br />

with a limestone block. The students are re-enacting <strong>the</strong><br />

trade <strong>of</strong> blocks for salt that took place during <strong>the</strong> salt<br />

industry days. Mary Prince was enslaved on Grand Turk<br />

in <strong>the</strong> early 1800s. The students were learning about<br />

<strong>the</strong> global impact <strong>of</strong> enslaved Bermudian women.<br />

Thanks to <strong>the</strong> Ports Authority, Island Tram Tours,<br />

Papa J Tours, Tim Dunn, Frankie Virgil, and Ollie Been<br />

for assisting with tours and transportation. a<br />

Current Days & Hours <strong>of</strong> Operation:<br />

Grand Turk (Front Street): Hours vary daily, but in general<br />

open on all cruise ship days 9 AM to 1 PM. When a<br />

ship arrives on or after 11 AM, we will open one hour<br />

after arrival for three hours.<br />

Providenciales (The Village <strong>of</strong> Grace Bay): Open<br />

Tuesday and Thursday, 10 AM to 2 PM.<br />

Both locations include interesting exhibits and artifacts<br />

related to <strong>the</strong> history and culture <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Visit our gift shops for souvenirs, history books, and<br />

locally made products such as baskets, jewelry, salt<br />

products and more. Days and times <strong>of</strong> operation are<br />

subject to change so please check our website or email<br />

us for updated information:<br />

www.tcmuseum.org• info@tcmuseum.org<br />

76 www.timespub.tc

about <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong><br />

Map provided courtesy Wavey Line Publishing. Their navigation charts and decorative and historic maps <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>, The<br />

Bahamas and Hispaniola are available in shops throughout <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Visit www.amnautical.com.<br />

Where we are<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> lie some 575 miles sou<strong>the</strong>ast<br />

<strong>of</strong> Miami — approximately 1 1/2 hours flying time —<br />

with The Bahamas about 30 miles to <strong>the</strong> northwest and<br />

<strong>the</strong> Dominican Republic some 100 miles to <strong>the</strong> sou<strong>the</strong>ast.<br />

The country consists <strong>of</strong> two island groups separated<br />

by <strong>the</strong> 22-mile wide Columbus Passage. To <strong>the</strong> west are<br />

<strong>the</strong> Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>: West Caicos, Providenciales, North<br />

Caicos, Middle Caicos, East Caicos and South Caicos. To<br />

<strong>the</strong> east are <strong>the</strong> Turks <strong>Islands</strong>: Grand Turk and Salt Cay.<br />

The Turks & Caicos total 166 square miles <strong>of</strong> land<br />

area on eight islands and 40 small cays. The country’s<br />

population is approximately 43,000.<br />

Getting here<br />

There are international airports on Grand Turk,<br />

Providenciales, and South Caicos, with domestic airports<br />

on all <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> islands except East Caicos.<br />

As <strong>of</strong> May 1, <strong>2022</strong>, all visitors ages 18 and above<br />

must be fully vaccinated but are no longer required to<br />

apply for travel authorization nor provide evidence <strong>of</strong> a<br />

negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival nor present evidence<br />

<strong>of</strong> travel insurance nor wear masks/face coverings.<br />

Pro<strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong> vaccination in ei<strong>the</strong>r a digital or paper record<br />

must be presented on arrival. Visitors are fully responsible<br />

for <strong>the</strong> cost <strong>of</strong> quarantine/isolation, hospitalization,<br />

or medical repatriation in <strong>the</strong> event <strong>the</strong>y test positive<br />

during <strong>the</strong>ir stay. For more information and details, visit<br />

www.turksandcaicostourism.com.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 77

Language<br />

English.<br />

Time zone<br />

Eastern Standard Time (EST)/Daylight Savings Time<br />

observed.<br />

Currency<br />

The United States dollar. The Treasury also issues a Turks<br />

& Caicos crown and quarter. Travellers cheques in U.S.<br />

dollars are widely accepted and o<strong>the</strong>r currency can be<br />

changed at local banks. American Express, VISA and<br />

MasterCard are welcomed at many locations.<br />

Climate<br />

The average year-round temperature is 83ºF (28ºC). The<br />

hottest months are September and October, when <strong>the</strong><br />

temperature can reach 90 to 95ºF (33 to 35ºC). However,<br />

<strong>the</strong> consistent easterly trade winds temper <strong>the</strong> heat and<br />

keep life comfortable.<br />

Casual resort and leisure wear is accepted attire for<br />

daytime; light sweaters or jackets may be necessary on<br />

some breezy evenings. It’s wise to wear protective clothing<br />

and a sunhat and use waterpro<strong>of</strong> sunscreen when out<br />

in <strong>the</strong> tropical sun.<br />

Entry requirements<br />

Passport. A valid onward or return ticket is also required.<br />

Customs formalities<br />

Visitors may bring in duty free for <strong>the</strong>ir own use one carton<br />

<strong>of</strong> cigarettes or cigars, one bottle <strong>of</strong> liquor or wine,<br />

and some perfume. The importation <strong>of</strong> all firearms including<br />

those charged with compressed air without prior<br />

approval in writing from <strong>the</strong> Commissioner <strong>of</strong> Police is<br />

strictly forbidden. Spear guns, Hawaiian slings, controlled<br />

drugs and pornography are also illegal.<br />

Returning residents may bring in $400 worth <strong>of</strong><br />

merchandise per person duty free. A duty <strong>of</strong> 10% to<br />

60% is charged on most imported goods along with a<br />

7% customs processing fee and forms a major source <strong>of</strong><br />

government revenue.<br />

Transportation<br />

A valid driver’s license from home is suitable when renting<br />

vehicles. A government tax <strong>of</strong> 12% is levied on all<br />

rental contracts. (Insurance is extra.) Driving is on <strong>the</strong><br />

left-hand side <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> road, with traffic flow controlled by<br />

round-abouts at major junctions. Please don’t drink and<br />

drive! Taxis and community cabs are abundant throughout<br />

<strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> and many resorts <strong>of</strong>fer shuttle service<br />

between popular visitor areas. Scooter, motorcycle and<br />

bicycle rentals are also available.<br />

Telecommunications<br />

FLOW Ltd. provides land lines and superfast broadband<br />

Internet service. Mobile service is on a LTE 4G network,<br />

including pre- and post-paid cellular phones. Most resorts<br />

and some stores and restaurants <strong>of</strong>fer wireless Internet<br />

connections. Digicel operates mobile networks, with<br />

a full suite <strong>of</strong> LTE 4G service. FLOW is <strong>the</strong> local carrier<br />

for CDMA roaming on US networks such as Verizon and<br />

Sprint. North American visitors with GSM cellular handsets<br />

and wireless accounts with AT&T or Cingular can<br />

arrange international roaming.<br />

Electricity<br />

FortisTCI supplies electricity at a frequency <strong>of</strong> 60HZ,<br />

and ei<strong>the</strong>r single phase or three phase at one <strong>of</strong> three<br />

standard voltages for residential or commercial service.<br />

FortisTCI continues to invest in a robust and resilient grid<br />

to ensure <strong>the</strong> highest level <strong>of</strong> reliability to customers. The<br />

company is integrating renewable energy into its grid and<br />

provides options for customers to participate in two solar<br />

energy programs.<br />

Departure tax<br />

US $60. It is typically included in your airline ticket cost.<br />

Courier service<br />

Delivery service is provided by FedEx, with <strong>of</strong>fices on<br />

Providenciales and Grand Turk, and DHL. UPS service is<br />

limited to incoming delivery.<br />

Postal service<br />

The Post Office and Philatelic Bureau in Providenciales are<br />

located downtown on Airport Road. In Grand Turk, <strong>the</strong><br />

Post Office and Philatelic Bureau are on Church Folly. The<br />

<strong>Islands</strong> are known for <strong>the</strong>ir colorful stamp issues.<br />

Media<br />

Multi-channel satellite television is received from <strong>the</strong> U.S.<br />

and Canada and transmitted via cable or over <strong>the</strong> air.<br />

Local station WIV-TV broadcasts on Channel 4 and Island<br />

EyeTV on Channel 5. People’s Television <strong>of</strong>fers 75 digitally<br />

transmitted television stations, along with local news<br />

and talk shows on Channel 8. There are also a number <strong>of</strong><br />

local radio stations, magazines and newspapers.<br />

78 www.timespub.tc

Medical services<br />

There are no endemic tropical diseases in TCI. There are<br />

large, modern hospitals on Grand Turk and Providenciales.<br />

Both hospitals <strong>of</strong>fer a full range <strong>of</strong> services including:<br />

24/7 emergency room, operating <strong>the</strong>aters, diagnostic<br />

imaging, maternity suites, dialysis suites, blood bank,<br />

physio<strong>the</strong>rapy and dentistry.<br />

In addition, several general practitioners operate in<br />

<strong>the</strong> country, and <strong>the</strong>re is a recompression chamber, along<br />

with a number <strong>of</strong> private pharmacies.<br />

Immigration<br />

A resident’s permit is required to live in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. A<br />

work permit and business license are also required to<br />

work and/or establish a business. These are generally<br />

granted to those <strong>of</strong>fering skills, experience and qualifications<br />

not widely available on <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong>. Priority is given<br />

to enterprises that will provide employment and training<br />

for T&C Islanders.<br />

Government/Legal system<br />

TCI is a British Crown colony. There is a Queen-appointed<br />

Governor, HE Nigel John Dakin. He presides over an executive<br />

council formed by <strong>the</strong> elected local government.<br />

Hon. Charles Washington Misick is <strong>the</strong> country’s premier,<br />

leading a majority Progressive National Party (PNP) House<br />

<strong>of</strong> Assembly.<br />

The legal system is based upon English Common<br />

Law and administered by a resident Chief Justice, Chief<br />

Magistrate,and Deputy Magistrates. Judges <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Court<br />

<strong>of</strong> Appeal visit <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> twice a year and <strong>the</strong>re is a final<br />

Right <strong>of</strong> Appeal to Her Majesty’s Privy Council in London.<br />

Taxes<br />

There are currently no direct taxes on ei<strong>the</strong>r income<br />

or capital for individuals or companies. There are no<br />

exchange controls. Indirect taxation comprises customs<br />

duties and fees, stamp duty, taxes on accommodations,<br />

restaurants, vehicle rentals, o<strong>the</strong>r services and gasoline,<br />

as well as business license fees and departure taxes.<br />

Economy<br />

Historically, TCI’s economy relied on <strong>the</strong> export <strong>of</strong> salt.<br />

Currently, tourism, <strong>the</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore finance industry and fishing<br />

generate <strong>the</strong> most private sector income. The <strong>Islands</strong>’<br />

main exports are lobster and conch. Practically all consumer<br />

goods and foodstuffs are imported.<br />

The Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are recognised as an<br />

important <strong>of</strong>fshore financial centre, <strong>of</strong>fering services<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 79

such as company formation, <strong>of</strong>fshore insurance, banking,<br />

trusts, limited partnerships and limited life companies.<br />

The Financial Services Commission regulates <strong>the</strong> industry<br />

and spearheads <strong>the</strong> development <strong>of</strong> <strong>of</strong>fshore legislation.<br />

People<br />

Citizens <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> are termed<br />

“Belongers” and are primarily descendants <strong>of</strong> African<br />

slaves who were brought to <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> to work in <strong>the</strong><br />

salt ponds and cotton plantations. The country’s large<br />

expatriate population includes Canadians, Americans,<br />

Brits and Europeans, along with Haitians, Jamaicans,<br />

Dominicans, Bahamians, Indians and Filipinos.<br />

Churches<br />

Churches are <strong>the</strong> center <strong>of</strong> community life and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

are many faiths represented in <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> including:<br />

Adventist, Anglican, Assembly <strong>of</strong> God, Baha’i, Baptist,<br />

Catholic, Church <strong>of</strong> God, Episcopal, Jehovah’s Witnesses,<br />

Methodist and Pentecostal. Visitors are always welcome.<br />

Pets<br />

Incoming pets must have an import permit, veterinary<br />

health certificate, vaccination certificate and lab test<br />

results submitted at port <strong>of</strong> entry to obtain clearance<br />

from <strong>the</strong> TCI Department <strong>of</strong> Agriculture.<br />

National symbols<br />

The National Bird is <strong>the</strong> Brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis).<br />

The National Plant is Island hea<strong>the</strong>r (Limonium<br />

bahamense) found nowhere else in <strong>the</strong> world. The<br />

National Tree is <strong>the</strong> Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea var.<br />

bahamensis). The National Costume consists <strong>of</strong> white cotton<br />

dresses tied at <strong>the</strong> waist for women and simple shirts<br />

and loose pants for men, with straw hats. Colors representing<br />

<strong>the</strong> various islands are displayed on <strong>the</strong> sleeves,<br />

sashes and hat bands. The National Song is “This Land<br />

<strong>of</strong> Ours” by <strong>the</strong> late Rev. E.C. Howell. Peas and Hominy<br />

(Grits) with Dry Conch is revered as symbolic island fare.<br />

Going green<br />

TCI Waste Disposal Services currently <strong>of</strong>fers recycling<br />

services through weekly collection <strong>of</strong> recyclable aluminum,<br />

glass and plastic. Single-use plastic bags have been<br />

banned country-wide as <strong>of</strong> May 1, 2019. There is also a<br />

ban on importation <strong>of</strong> plastic straws and some polystyrene<br />

products, including cups and plates.<br />

Recreation<br />

Sporting activities are centered around <strong>the</strong> water. Visitors<br />

can choose from deep-sea, reef or bonefishing, sailing,<br />

glass-bottom boat and semi-sub excursions, windsurfing,<br />

waterskiing, parasailing, sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba<br />

diving, snuba, kiteboarding, stand up paddleboarding,<br />

mermaid encounters and beachcombing. Pristine reefs,<br />

abundant marine life and excellent visibility make TCI<br />

a world-class diving destination. Whale and dolphin<br />

encounters are possible, especially during <strong>the</strong> winter/<br />

spring months.<br />

Tennis and golf—<strong>the</strong>re is an 18 hole championship<br />

course on Providenciales—are also popular.<br />

The <strong>Islands</strong> are an ecotourist’s paradise. Visitors can<br />

enjoy unspoilt wilderness and native flora and fauna in<br />

33 national parks, nature reserves, sanctuaries and areas<br />

<strong>of</strong> historical interest. The National Trust provides trail<br />

guides to several hiking trails, as well as guided tours <strong>of</strong><br />

major historical sites. Birdwatching is superb, and <strong>the</strong>re<br />

is a guided trail on Grand Turk.<br />

80 www.timespub.tc

There is an excellent national museum on Grand<br />

Turk, with an auxillary branch on Providenciales that<br />

includes <strong>the</strong> Caicos Heritage House. A scheduled ferry<br />

and a selection <strong>of</strong> tour operators make it easy to take day<br />

trips to <strong>the</strong> outer islands.<br />

O<strong>the</strong>r land-based activities include bicycling, horseback<br />

riding and football (soccer). Personal trainers are<br />

available to motivate you, working out <strong>of</strong> several fitness<br />

centres. You will also find a variety <strong>of</strong> spa and body treatment<br />

services.<br />

Nightlife includes local bands playing island music<br />

at bars and restaurants and some nightclubs. There are<br />

two casinos on Providenciales, along with many electronic<br />

gaming parlours. Stargazing is extraordinary!<br />

Shoppers will find paintings, T-shirts, sports and<br />

beachwear and locally made handicrafts, including straw<br />

work, conch crafts and beach jewellery. Duty free outlets<br />

sell liquor, jewellery, watches, perfume, lea<strong>the</strong>r goods,<br />

crystal, china, cameras, electronics, brand-name clothing<br />

and accessories, along with Cuban cigars. a<br />

SEE<br />

THE<br />



Ophthalmologist Dr. Sebastian Guzman is now available<br />

for consultation in <strong>the</strong> Turks & Caicos <strong>Islands</strong>.<br />

Dr. Guzman and his team are a group <strong>of</strong> doctors<br />

representing three generations <strong>of</strong> ophthalmologists.<br />

They specialize in <strong>the</strong> diagnosis and treatment <strong>of</strong> eye<br />

diseases and those linked to <strong>the</strong> throat, nose, and<br />

ears. At MD OJOS, we have our own equipment,<br />

with all <strong>the</strong> advantages <strong>of</strong> a private clinic. We <strong>of</strong>fer<br />

a fast, complete, and comprehensive response to our<br />

patients. We are trained in <strong>the</strong> application <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong><br />

latest technological advances for <strong>the</strong> correction <strong>of</strong><br />

different visual dysfunctions.<br />


CALL 809 880 2020<br />


subscription form<br />


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OF THE<br />



One year subscription<br />

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Please allow 30 to 60 days for delivery <strong>of</strong> first issue.<br />

<strong>Times</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>the</strong> <strong>Islands</strong> <strong>Fall</strong> <strong>2022</strong> 81

classified ads<br />

Community Fellowship Centre<br />

A Life-Changing Experience<br />

Sunday Divine Worship 9 AM<br />

Visitors Welcome!<br />

Tel: 649.941.3484 • Web: cfctci.com<br />

D&Bswift_Layout 1 5/8/18 7:24 AM Page 1<br />





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We’re here to<br />

make your holiday<br />

<strong>the</strong> island way...<br />



Provo & North-Middle Caicos<br />

Office: 946-4684<br />

Amos: 441-2667 (after hours)<br />

Yan: 247-6755 (after hours)<br />

Bob: 231-0262 (after hours)<br />

scooterbobs@gmail.com<br />

www.scooterbobstci.com<br />

Grace Bay Road across from Regent Street<br />

Fun Friendly People<br />

Appreciating Your Business!<br />

941-8500<br />

www.gracebaycarrentals.com<br />

82 www.timespub.tc



Our executive team: (L-R) Vice President <strong>of</strong> Corporate Services and CFO Aisha Laporte; Vice President<br />

<strong>of</strong> Grand Turk and Sister Island Operations Allan Robinson; President and CEO Ruth Forbes; Senior Vice<br />

President <strong>of</strong> Operations Devon Cox; Vice President <strong>of</strong> Engineering and Energy Production and Delivery<br />

Don Forsyth (seated); and Vice President <strong>of</strong> Innovation, Technology and Strategic Planning Rachell Roullet.<br />

In a rapidly evolving electricity sector, energy leaders <strong>of</strong> today are<br />

focused on driving <strong>the</strong> transformation to cleaner, more sustainable<br />

energy sources.<br />

At FortisTCI, our purpose and passion are unwavering – to serve our<br />

customers, community, and <strong>the</strong> Turks and Caicos <strong>Islands</strong> with <strong>the</strong><br />

safe, reliable, and least-cost electricity <strong>the</strong>y need – whenever and<br />

wherever.<br />

Every day, we are working towards an energy future that is cleaner,<br />

more resilient, reliable, and sustainable.<br />

www.fortistci.com | 649-946-4313 |

We help you turn some day<br />

into right now . . .<br />

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The Shore Club Villa 4<br />

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Venture House, Grace Bay | Resort Locations: Grace Bay Club and The Palms<br />

Each franchise is Independently Owned and Operated.

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