Anguilla Local News

Here is Sandy Ground beach, with Johnnos yellow roof nestled quietly in the trees at the shore. . . .

Click to read Laine Parnell's 'Anguilla'
 February 1, 1998 - Site Map - Click to enlarge pictures

Some People Do Get Attached to Anguilla

First-time Caribbean visitor Laine Parnell of Vancouver, B.C. Canada can tell you all about it. She has written an enthusiastic and detailed report of her three-week trip to Anguilla, and put it all on a web site.

The photo above is just one from her web site, and you have to read her description of "Night Moves" on Sandy Ground to appreciate it. She found fun things to do and uncovered unique places that we had never heard of in our three years on Anguilla. Laine is a single, working woman, grandmother to a 3-year old, and describes herself as having "North American middle-aged hang-ups about a single woman walking into a dance bar alone." In Anguilla she finally felt comfortable enough to shake off her hangups and found that "at no time, with anyone, should an unescorted woman worry about unwanted attention on Anguilla. If you don't want a dance or a chat, a simple 'no thank you' will suffice. You'll be thanked politely for your time and that's it. No problem."

Give her site a visit at http://laine.ai




News Tidbits from Anguilla

UK Ministers Clash Over Passports for Anguilla. The Times of London reports that "two senior cabinet ministers are clashing over plans to grant full British passports and settlement rights to 150,000 residents of Britain's remaining dependent territories." The idea has been delayed and will only be mentioned as a "possibility" in next weeks meeting of the Dependent Territories Association on February 4th, according to this article in the Independent newspaper (link will fail after Feb 8th).

The Rope at Little Bay is gone. So you can't climb down the cliff anymore. You can still get to Little Bay by swimming east along the shore from Crocus Bay, or hiring a boat to take you for $10.

Computers Now Duty-Free for personal use, for small businesses and for educational purposes, according to Finance Minister Victor Banks. "There is a need for computer literacy with the way the world is heading."

AHTA Now On-line. The AHTA is the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association. AHTA has offices in the same building as the Anguilla Tourism Board (ATB), across the street from St. Gerard's Catholic Church in The Valley. Mimi Gratton, the director, is proud to announce that they now have their own email, ahta@anguillanet.com instead of sharing with the ATB: atbtour@anguillanet.com -- Anguilla is online.

National Bank of Anguilla has broken ground for the expansion to their building.

Meads Bay P.A.D.I. Dive Resort has opened just behind La Sirena. This is a branch of Anguillian Divers in Island Harbour.

The Youth Council has selected Bren Romney as their new president. You may remember Bren as the resource coordinator who put together the Road Primary School web site.



Budget Travel: Try Sydans

Click to enlarge view across salt pond. Anguilla is known for its luxury resorts and villas. I'm often asked if there are any more reasonably priced places to stay. Of course there are. There are numerous small inns and guest houses, mostly owned and operated by local Anguillian families, that offer a clean, comfortable lodgings.

Sydans apartments on Sandy Ground is an example. The units are located on the salt pond, across from Johnnos restaurant and bar. Apartments feature full kitchen, private balcony, air conditioning, and they are located just across the street from the Sandy Ground beach. The picture here was taken from the porch of one of the 3 units that face the pond.

If you stay in a local apartment or guest house, you get to meet lots of friendly local people, take part in local activities, and have an authentic, Caribbean the-way-it-used-to-be experience. For example, your hostess at Sydans, Ann Edwards, is also the vice-principal at the high school.

Sandy Ground is the closest thing Anguilla has to a quaint tropical seaport. It has a long, protected sand beach without surf, with Mariners resort at one end and many restaurants to sample, plus the Dive Shop, and Johnnos and the Pumphouse for entertainment. Sandy Ground is where most holiday boat races start and end.

Sydans rate is $75 per night, plus 8% tax and 10% service charge. They have a web page at inns.ai/sydans Telephone: 264-497-3180.
Other money-saving options in this issue of the Anguilla Local News:



In Memory of Princess Diana

[Click for larger view of Princess Diana memorial] An African Tulip tree has been planted in The Valley as a memorial to Princess Diana. The tree was planted by the Anguilla Garden Centre and the Anguilla Beautification Club (the same people who planted the beautiful rows of ficus benjamina all along Queen Elizabeth Blvd).

As you drive into The Valley, you will see the memorial tree on the right just before the post office.




Large and Successful Agriculture Show

[Click to enlarge Agriculture Fair] Friday-Saturday, January 30-31st. [Click to enlarge Agriculture Fair]

If you went up Coronation Blvd toward the baseball field, you would have seen fields crowded with booths and exhibits, visitors and students, all for the Agriculture and Industrial Exhibit, 1998. This joint effort of the Department of Agriculture and The National Farmers Association was a very appealing, well-organized, educational, entertaining and colourful fair.

It seemed as if every possible domesticated animal in Anguilla was at the fair, as well as booths showing a huge variety of produce.


[Click to enlarge Agriculture Fair] The theme of this year's fair was "Farm Today or Starve Tomorrow."

There were classes attending from many of the schools (I saw the entire 89-pupil roster of West End School), studying the exhibits, trying to figure out how to get a horse ride, identifying unusual fruits and vegetables, listening to the steel band, ... and generally having a good time.




An Artistic Collaboration

[Click for larger view of 'Melee'] Showing at Savannah Gallery, in The Valley through February and March, is the large four by six foot painting, "Melee", by the artistic team of Lynne Bernbaum and Jo-Anne Hill Saunders. With the wealth of talented artists living and working in Anguilla these days, it's interesting to see something quite new - a collaborative effort! Lynne and Jo-Anne have even named their movement; "duoism".

Inspiration for the style of painting "Melee" came from a book that both artists were enjoying titled "Australian Aboriginal Paintings" by Jennifer Isaacs. Photographs in that book depicted groups of artists laboring on a single painting. Inspired by these group efforts, Lynne and Jo-Anne finished "Melee" recently and anxiously await reactions, for duoism creates a style that looks like neither a typical Bernbaum or Saunders painting.

The title, "Melee" refers to a Caribbean slang word for gossip, and more specifically to the confusion and chaos created by gossip.

Other Art News:

During February, Savannah Gallery will feature an exhibiton of recent paintings and pastels by Marjorie Morani, February 5 - 26. Phone 497-2263

Lynne Bernbaum's new paintings will be featured in an exhibition titled "Spectrum" along with recent sculpture by Courtney Devonish in his show called "Touch Forms" at the Devonish Art Gallery, February 7 - 28. Phone 497-2949

Guest article by Frank Costin.




Upcoming Events in Anguilla

The Anguilla Local News has a Calendar for the year showing events, holidays, and activities. And February is a busy month in Anguilla.

Bob Marley's Birthday is Friday, February 6th. Celebrate the life and work of Robert Nesta Marley O.M. with reggae music, food, drink, and dance. 10:00am until late at night. Across from the Ruthwill Auditorium in The Valley.

Valentine's Day is an important social event in Anguilla. And the Rotary usually has a party and selects the winner of their Jeep raffle ($100 per ticket, but there aren't many tickets). Ask any business in The Valley.

Sacred Dance Choir performs Sunday, February 15th at 5pm, St. Augustine's Anglican Church, East End village. Public invited.

West Indian Garden Party at St. Gerard's Roman Catholic Church, Saturday February 21st. The best of West Indian dishes. Drinks on sale. The bar opens at 6:30pm, with dinner from 7:30pm until 9:00pm and dancing with music by Sprocka. Read all about the party last year. Tickets are US$20 ($25 at the door). Buy them at Vista Market, Anguilla Drug Store, or Alecia's Place.

A Cultural Festival is also planned for February, but I have been unable to get a detailed schedule.

Moonsplash is Bankie Banx annual 3-day beach party. Moonsplash 98 is scheduled for March 6-8, because Richie Havens will be performing at Koal Keel restaurant on March 5th.

Listen to the Radio. Many local events are not announced until the last minute, and then only on Radio Anguilla, 1505 AM, 95.5 FM.



Wallblake House Restoration Starts

[Click for larger view of repair work.] Work has started on the restoration of Anguilla's oldest and only surviving plantation house, which is in desperate need of repair. These are the first fruits of a determined fund-raising effort, including special events and selling t-shirts, by the Wallblake House Trust. Of course, they haven't raised enough money yet to do the entire job (est. $440,000), so they have started with the outbuildings.

The complex was built in 1787 and is one of the few plantation houses where the entire complex , including the kitchen, stable, and worker's quarters still exist. The workers have removed the entire roof of one small structure, revealing the thick limestone walls and their angled tops with the slots into which the roof beams should slide.

For more details on the project, consult the project's web page at wallblake.ai




A Homebase for Exploring Anguilla

Evanet Apartments, near Straw Hat Restaurant and with a spectacular view of St. Martin, is within a 1 minute ride (or a 3 minute walk) of the beach. The manager Evadney Richardson has available a 3-bedroom, 3-bath fully furnished house, and two 2-bedroom, 1-bath fully furnished apartments, for long-term and short-term rental.

Amenities for the short-term visitors: Cable TV, maid service, villa phone, coffee maker, etc. She can also arrange car rental, baby sitting, private cook, island tours, tennis. Just send her your private requirements. Evadney Richardson, PO Box 739, The Forest, Anguilla, BWI, telephone: 264-497-2255.




Mala's Cottage: Roti Hut Reborn

[Click to enlarge view of Mala's Cottage] What is that quaint old-fashioned building in George Hill that has been repainted yellow with pink and turquois shutters? It is Mala's Cottage, a new enterprise by Heather James to provide Indian-vegetarian local dishes in the Caribbean style. Heather used to run the Roti Hut across the street in a grounded food truck, but she now has a dining room, a kitchen with glass viewing window, and porch with a full bar.

The menu is similar to the Roti Hut, but expanded. Each day the cook prepares main courses: Chicken, both boned and boneless, goat, Conch-seafood, and Biganee (vegetarian fish) and many vegetable dishes: Carnival rice, Curry potato, Curry Mango, and Steamed pumpkin. To place your order, you decide if you want a Roti-bake suitable for fast food/takeaway, or a more substantial meal plate. Roti bakes consist of one main course plus one vegetable in an Indian-style "tortilla". A meal plate consist of one entree plus two vegetables plus either rice or a side roti. Prices for Roti's are EC$10 to EC$14, full meals EC$15 or more, extra vegetables EC$1.50 each.

If you stop by, be sure to try the Fresh Local Fruit juices, made from whatever is in season. Heather had made papaya juice the day we visited - it was fantastic! US$2 small and $3 large.




Youth Arts Festival Competition

[Click for larger view of Youth Art] Did you drop by the post office recently and see all the entries in Anguilla's Youth Art competition. The walls were covered with enjoyable artistic works, making our post office a bright and wonderful place to visit. The winners are:


New Visitor Training Program

Here is what you need to know for your first visit to Anguilla:
Comfort: 80F day and night. Casual dress. No ties. No swimsuits in town. Airco not needed.
Perils: Use sunscreen at the beach. Do not touch coral. Guard against mosquitos.
Money: Bring US cash and travellers checks, plus your credit cards. No ATM machines.
Phonet/Net:: Reliable but expensive. Consider Internet-by-the-minute.
Driving: Stay to the left. Don't worry about horn beeps. Bring your license.
Manners: Say "good morning" before stating your business. Wave to strangers.
More Tips: Power. Pets. Gratuities. Ferries. Marriage. ...



Web Sites About Anguilla

Rentalcars.ai is a new web site for High-Way Rent-a-Car in George Hill. Leslie Richardson, proprieter. You can select the type of vehicle you desire on-line, they place a reservation request from your web browser. And they have those cute "microbus" vans, but I don't think a 6'8" driver will fit.

Paradise Apartments, the affordable friendly place on Rey Hill, now has a web site. Lot's of pictures, directions, and package deals and honeymoon specials.

Chinchary.ai is the web site for Lucia Butler's new villa, which you can rent or buy: chinchary.ai



Summer Starts Early at Mariners

[Click for larger view of xxxx] Mariners Resort is freshly refurbished and open for business again. Mariners is that collection of cute West Indian cottages at the west end of Sandy Ground beach.

To celebrate the hotel's $2.2 million renovation and expansion. they are offering a "Summer Break" for guests: low summer rates in the 97-98 winter high season. The 64-room waterfront property has rates as low as $99 a night. They have waterfront one-story cottages if you want to be right on the beach, also two-story units back by the cliff with air conditioning.


[Click to enlarge Ranger]

And their waterfront restaurant PawPaws is open for business again too.

"Ranger", otherwise known as Jerome Vanterpool, is the chef at PawPaws. His menu is reasonably priced, with entries from $16 to $24, including Jerk Chicken with spicy seasonings from Jamaica.

Telephone: 264-497-2671. Email: mariners@anguilanet.com




Report from a Radio Enthusiast

Roger Fenn comes to Anguilla every year and part of his enjoyment is listening to the local radio stations!
New Radio and TV Stations!
Well not actually new, but reborn. Check out 105.7 FM and live TV on channels 3 and 9 (not on cable) for the broadcast offerings from West Indies International Network, whose studio and antennas were destroyed in 1995 by Hurricane Luis. in Anguilla


He has sent us an updated visitor's guide to radio on Anguilla.

Radio Anguilla, at 1505 AM & 95.5 FM, is a "must" waking companion between 7 and 8 a.m., with complete local, regional, and world news, sports etc. Weather is usually about 7:40.

PJD-2, St. Maarten at 1300 AM has a really good newscast from 6:45 AM to about 7:30, including a look at the local newspaper editorials. The weather on this one tends to err, since it is from the bureau in Curacao. Its sister station, PJD-3 at 102.7 FM has a similar newscast earlier and later to fit busy schedules. Fairly reliable sources for regional weather are GEM radio, St. Maarten at 107.9 FM at the top of most hours, weekdays. ZBVI, Tortola at 780 AM has WX on most half hours, WVWI, St Thomas at 1000 AM has CBS radio news followed by WX on most hours.We also found the following stations informative for regional news and weather : ZIZ Nevis at 550 AM, ABS Antigua at 620 AM, VON Nevis at 895 AM. Stations we heard from Montserrat last year are no longer there.....

For entertainment, try any of the following FM stations. The other stations licensed to Anguilla: ZJF 105.5, which usually rebroadcasts JAMS-FM from St. Maarten, or "Heartbeat 107.5 FM", which plays hot Caribbean Music, but seems be on a "casual" schedule. My personal favorites for beach listening with a book were the following FM's: Marigot 88.9, Marigot 91.2, The Oasis (Philipsburg) 96.3, Radio St. Barth (Marigot) 100.7, JAMS-FM (Philipsburg) 101.5, PJD-3 (Philipsburg) 102.7, RFO (Marigot) 106.1 GEM Radio (Philipsburg) 107.9, which is part of the GEM radio network. For more about GEM, check their website: www.gemradio.com

By the way, Caribbean Beacon is still on at 1610 AM but I never heard it at 690, where it had been in the past. I wonder why it dropped 690.

We look forward to returning within the year. If anyone has info on a nice one bedroom apartment or small villa on the East End, let us know. To discuss any of this further, e-mail me at rqfenn@gwi.net




Stories from the previous and earlier issues.
Watch a cricket match. Information in German.
Winners in art competition. USA Today article
Apartments at $65/day. Sunday Ribs'n'Reggae


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