What You Writers Do

In a two-day event last February 24th and 25th, 2023, Anguilla and its culture have been at the center of this third stop of the Richès Karayib caravan of events. The event was co-organized with Davon Carty and counted on the support of the Department of Youth and Culture, Ivan Berry, Caribbean One TV, the AMA Center, the Lit Lounge and the band British Dependency.

It is at the remarkable Lit Lounge on Sandy Ground on Friday evening that was held a soapbox with guest speakers discussing on “The impact of Arts and Culture on Tourism”. The next day was dedicated to six talented young Anguillians that performed on the Lit Lounge stage for the Anguilla edition of the Richès Karayib Voices challenge.

The impact of arts and culture on tourism

On Friday, February 24th, a crowd gathered at the Lit Lounge to take part of this important discussion based on the varied perspectives of the three guest speakers, who provided a full vision on the challenges and opportunities that the arts and cultural players in Anguilla face within the tourism industry. The historical and experienced perspective of boat builder and former parliamentarian David Carty provided the foundations to understand culture as it is now known in Anguilla, highlighting the importance of seamanship and sailors, who played a key role in the economic development of the island. Closing his speech with a poem of his own inspired by the pristine landscape of Sandy Island, David concluded “I look at simple people, simple heroes, and our humble history with an enormous sense of pride and it helps me define day in, day out, who I am and how I show up“.

From a business perspective, music executive Ivan Berry focused on the opportunities around the business of music. As he expressed, talent does not lack in Anguilla, but there is a need for more business professionals to support talented artists. Capacity building, leadership and the development of supporting jobs are only some of the key elements needed for the full development of the music sector. As he pointed out, “We need to establish the music industry in Anguilla and the entire Caribbean as a viable and respectable avenue for wealth creation and retention“.

Finally, the Minister of Social Development, Dee-Ann Kentish-Rogers talked about the nature of the different exchanges that happen in the island between hosts and guests. Anguilla offers a unique experience to tourists, that goes beyond a simple transaction and has a lasting impact on the mind of the visitor. In her own words, “The real undercurrent beneath the blue waters that keep tourism afloat is the lived experiences of the people in this country“.

Watch the entire event here

A couple of days before the final of the challenge, on Thursday, February 23rd, there was a workshop session gathering all six finalists at the high-end facilities of the AMA Center, the Anguilla Music Academy. Inside one of its recording studios, Mijah, Yama, Soddi, Riri, Sami Songsz and Tyree, had the unique chance to learn from their mentors, three top music business executives: Davon Carty, Ivan Berry and Darius James. It was an inspiring talk that gave them insights on how to launch their career in music, stay confident about their talent and explore different music genres, amongst many other topics.

Ready and confident, the six contestants took the stage of the Lit Lounge on Saturday, February 25th and performed their own original songs in a variety of music genres, ranging from Soca to Reggae and many others. As the host Lisa Rey said, “all should be considered winners”, but the judges decided to elect Soddi, known as Asaad Halley, as the winner of the challenge, for his authenticity and stage presence, and for his capacity to represent Anguilla with his catchy song. We will be seeing him in Martinique for the Big Show in August 2023!

After an exciting competition, the evening closed with the rhythmic and eclectic sound of Anguilla rooted band British Dependency.

Watch the entire show here

Richès Karayib – We can make the Caribbean Bigger is a project led by ASIS WI, OMDAC and SKMK in the context of the Interreg Caribbean programme. The collaborative project Richès Karayib is a multimodal media aimed to promote the development of a business environment in the cultural sector in the Greater Caribbean.

The next stop of Richès Karayib will be Barbados; dates and content will be announced soon!

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JANUARY 27, 2023 – From February 2nd to 10th, Cap Juluca, in Anguilla and La Samanna, in St. Martin welcome Chef Agostino D’Angelo to celebrate Sicily and the treasures of the sea 


After its opening last July at Villa Sant’Andrea, A Belmond Hotel, Taormina Mare, the pop-up restaurant Brizza reaches the most evocative beaches of Anguilla and Saint Martin with five dinner events that celebrate Sicily and its sea. Between February 2nd and 10th, Chef Agostino D’Angelo will curate a real culinary journey for Cap Juluca and La Samanna’s guests, two iconic Belmond properties in the Caribbean islands, accompanying them in the discovery of Sicilian seafood cuisine. 

On the pristine shores of Maundays Bay where Cap Juluca is located, on February 2nd, Chef D’Angelo in tandem with Cap Juluca’s Executive Chef Bruno Carvalho will pay tribute to typical Sicilian cuisine with an ocean-view welcome dinner. Guests will be taken on an authentic journey to discover Sicilian traditional dishes including Caponata and Mondello-style Octopus, but also the classical mix of fried small fish and arancini. 

On the pristine shores of Maundays Bay where Cap Juluca is located, on February 2nd, Chef D’Angelo in tandem with Cap Juluca’s Executive Chef Bruno Carvalho will pay tribute to typical Sicilian cuisine with an ocean-view welcome dinner. Guests will be taken on an authentic journey to discover Sicilian traditional dishes including Caponata and Mondello-style Octopus, but also the classical mix of fried small fish and arancini. 

The following day Cip’s By Cipriani, so called to celebrate Italy and the Venetian glamor, will host Brizza pop-up for an exclusive dinner with a 6-course tasting menu created by Chef Agostino D’Angelo and Chef Bruno Carvalho taking inspiration from that proud passion that has always driven both to enhance the treasures of the sea. The elegance of the place is once again combined with unique smells and tastes, creating a “breeze” that leads people to dream of a pieds-dans-l’eau dinner in the Bay of Mazzarò. The dinner begins with a selection of four Brizza signature canapes, including the seared scampi on plankton, creamed potatoes and toasted breadcrumbs, and the sea urchins on lemon crispy bread. The ravioli with ricotta and smoked grilled aubergines, lobster sauce, Noto almonds and seaweed olive oil could not be missing, as well as that fresh samphire granita. 

Between February 8th and 10th, the same Sicilian ‘breeze’ will reach the splendid Baie Longue on the island of Saint Martin, where the new La Spiaggia restaurant will host Brizza with La Samanna’s Executive Chef, Bernard Prim. Usually open with an Italian menu, the three dinner events will be the occasion to pay homage to one of the most famous Mediterranean islands in the world, also known for that culinary tradition of which Chef D’Angelo is so proud. 


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Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel reopens for the 2022/23 season with the second edition of its unparalleled gastronomic experience, Culinary Shores. The hotel, an icon of barefoot luxury in Anguilla, welcomes two-star Michelin chef Josiah Citrin from 26-28 October to the beauty of Maundays Bay for a three-day program, aptly titled ‘Pursuit of Excellence.’

Charcoal Venice Chicken Salsa Verde

A culinary expert and veteran of Los Angeles’ gourmet dining scene, chef Josiah Citrin of Mélisse, Citrin and Charcoal in Los Angeles, will share his culinary philosophy with Cap Juluca. During his three-day residency, guests will be able to be part of a sizzling charcoal barefoot beach dinner and an exclusive cooking class showcasing a variety of master techniques on how to cook with charcoal and fire as well as his acclaimed ‘Midnight Margarita’ recipe. Ending the program, guests will enjoy an elevated contemporary seven-course dining experience inspired by his restaurant, Mélisse, representing the best of Anguillian and Californian flavors.

The Culinary Shores dining experiences combine the beauty of Cap Juluca’s pristine sandy shores with culinary perfection from around the world, local cultural moments, and wellness experiences in collaboration with the hotel’s Executive Chef Bruno Carvalho.

For more information or to make your reservation, kindly contact cap.hostdesk@belmond.com or +1 264-497-6666. All bookings are required in advance and limited.

About Belmond

Belmond has been a pioneer of exceptional luxury travel for over 46 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations.

Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has continued to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, taking discerning global travellers on breathtaking journeys. Its portfolio extends across 24 countries with 50 remarkable properties that include the illustrious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, remote beach retreats like Cap Juluca in Anguilla, Italian hideaways such as Splendido in Portofino, or unrivalled gateways to world natural wonders such as Hotel das Cataratas inside Brazil’s Iguassu National Park. From trains to river barges, safari lodges to hotels, each unique property offers an incomparable experience with its own story to tell. The essence of the Belmond brand is built upon its heritage, craftsmanship and genuine, authentic service. Belmond sees its role as custodians of timeless heritage, dedicated to preserving its assets through sensitive ongoing restoration plans. Belmond is part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. www.belmond.com

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Maundays Bay, 13th July 2022 – Cap Juluca, A Belmond Hotel, Anguilla, commences the first edition of Michelin-starred culinary adventures featuring highly acclaimed chefs from around the world – Nello Cassesse, Josiah Citrin, Angel León, and Alberto Landgraf are some of the already confirmed Chefs.

These unique experiences cement existing relationships with local producers and create moments of beautiful culinary perfection, bringing chefs from diverse cultural disciplines to collaborate with the hotel’s Executive Chef Bruno Carvalho.

This month, from the 21st July to 23rd July 2022, Chef Nello Cassese, will bring exemplary Italian flavors to the turquoise shores of Maundays Bay. Being a pioneer of traditional Italian gastronomy, Chef Nello has acquired tremendous appreciation as Executive Chef at Ristorante Hotel Cipriani at the Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio De Janeiro.

Viaggio to Italy – Guests can anticipate a carefree intimate dinner under the stars with live cooking stations, a hands-on cooking workshop and a closing four-course gala dinner paired with exquisite wines at the famous Cips by Cipriani Restaurant at the hotel.

About Belmond

Belmond has been a pioneer of exceptional luxury travel for over 46 years, building a passion for authentic escapes into a portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the world’s most inspiring destinations.

Since the acquisition of the iconic Hotel Cipriani in Venice in 1976, Belmond has continued to perpetuate the legendary art of travel, taking discerning global travellers on breathtaking journeys. Its portfolio extends across 24 countries with 45 remarkable properties that include the illustrious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express train, remote beach retreats like Cap Juluca in Anguilla, Italian hideaways such as Splendido in Portofino, or unrivalled gateways to world natural wonders such as Hotel das Cataratas inside Brazil’s Iguassu National Park. From trains to river barges, safari lodges to hotels, each unique property offers an incomparable experience with its own story to tell. The essence of the Belmond brand is built upon its heritage, craftsmanship and genuine, authentic service. Belmond sees its role as custodians of timeless heritage, dedicated to preserving its assets through sensitive ongoing restoration plans. Belmond is part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. www.belmond.com

Aurora Anguilla Golf Course

From its golf courses to its amenities, Aurora International Golf Club offers the ultimate golf experience for all! 

The Golfer’s Choice 

Aurora Anguilla Golf Beach

Aurora International Golf Club has been designed with all types of players in mind – from beginner to pro and single to buddy group.

As the only golf course in Anguilla and recently re-imagined by Greg Norman, the 7,165-yard, 18-hole championship golf course is ideal for the golfer looking for challenging, dramatic holes. How challenging? With a course rating of 75.6 and a slope rating of 134 (from the back tees), it features some of the most spectacular holes in the Caribbean. The finishing hole demands the player navigate a salt pond and a 40-foot ascent up to a narrow green guarded by three large bunkers.

Coming in Fall 2022 is a new, one-of-a-kind nine-hole short course which will offer players a different yet exciting challenge. Also designed by Norman, the course has carefully integrated design elements such as double greens and minimal water features for a quicker game for varying playing levels. Short does not mean easy, however; the thrill is in every shot having different and less-than-typical angles and distances.

The Aurora International Golf Club Experience 

Aurora Anguilla Golf Sunrise
Sunrise at Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club

At Aurora International Golf Club, golfing is more than a sport – it is an experience! An experience enhanced with best-in-class amenities to support you along your golf journey. What does this look like?

For the early riser… Have breakfast at the Club’s full-service restaurant, D Richard’s, which offers timeless classics with an Anguillian flair and breathtaking, panoramic views of the greens, blues and whites of Rendezvous Bay, St Maarten and the golf course. Get ready for a day of golf at the Club’s fully outfitted locker room. Tee off at your golf course of choice or, if you are up for improving your game, choose from Club’s various spacious practice facilities whilst tapping into the knowledge and expertise of the award-winning professional staff at the Aurora International Golf Academy. Cool off with recovery therapy at one of the Club’s designated spaces and unwind with a refreshing spritz and small plates for lunch at D Richard’s. 

Whatever your itinerary, these amenities are available from sunrise to sunset, allowing you to easily refuel between rounds or relax throughout the day. 

Memberships for All

Aurora Anguilla
Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club

The ultimate experience does not end there! Aurora International Golf Club offers International and Full memberships for single and family players. What does it include? Access to Aurora Anguilla’s extraordinary amenities spread across 300 acres, such as the holistic Sorana Spa which is equipped with 12 luxurious treatment rooms and a fitness studio and a total of seven restaurants and bars each with their unique menu and ambience. Members also receive special discounts.

Book your ultimate golf experience at auroraanguilla.com

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A Place of Beauty, Honour and History

by Patricia J. Adams

Sandwiched between the Social Security Complex and the present Administration Building is a historical site that was very prominent and instrumental before, during and after the Anguilla Revolution.

This majestic building was designed by Trinidadian born Mr. Best who was the Deputy Superintendent of Public Works in the three island colony of St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. Started in late 1959, construction was completed in early 1960. Mr. William Walters of St. Kitts was overseer of the construction of the building and the main work was done by workers of the Public Works Department of Anguilla.

Mr. Kenneth Hazell of South Hill had won his seat to the House of Parliament in St. Kitts, in the general three-island election on November 6th, 1957. He was the Anguilla representative during this period and along with Mr. David (Vanny) Lloyd, an ardent politician and former Labour Party Representative petitioned Mr. Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw, leader of the three-island State for such a complex.

The facility was built on a gently sloping plot of land. Beginning at the lower western end, the building housed The Courthouse, The Registrar, The Post Office, The Magistrate’s Office, The Treasury, a few jail cells and The Police Station with its limited parking space for two or three police vans on the higher eastern end.


Occupying the varied offices of this building upon its completion were Magistrate, Mr. George Thomas, a Vincentian who worked for the Central Government, Ms. Evelyn Lloyd of The Valley affectionately known as Teacher Lorry was clerk in The Registrar. Mr. Cecil Richardson of George Hill headed the Post Office, while Mr. Olney Rey also of George Hill and Mr. Crispin Gumbs of The Forest worked in The Treasury. The jail cells housed the few persons who were arrested for crimes. If they were convicted with sentences of six months or longer, they were sent to prison in St. Kitts. Next door, farthest east, the eight to twelve policemen from St. Kitts/Nevis and other Caribbean islands occupied the Police Station and finally, there was the garage for the Police vehicles.

This building came to fruition after Hurricane Alice struck Anguilla on January 2nd, 1955 and destroyed the Courthouse Building on Anguilla’s highest hill, Crocus Hill, where the Government offices were housed in the wooden upstairs, while the stone-wall jail/prison was downstairs. Before 1955, the Police Station was housed in close proximity to the said Courthouse and the nearby home of Mr. Uriel Gumbs, a retired Headmaster of one of the primary schools was used as the Registrar for birth, marriage and death certificates.

Following the destruction of the Crocus Hill building, these offices were moved to the home of Mr. William Gumbs, (Uncle Willie’s) two floor building opposite the (then) Valley Secondary School but, maybe because of its size, all offices were again moved a few yards to the east in the Babrow Complex behind the (then) Babrow haberdashery store or the present premises.

This lone, new building on the southern fringe of The Valley, but not too far from the (former) Wall Blake airport was landscaped with flowering plants near to the building and mahogany trees lining the parking lot. These avenue-styled trees were among many that graced both sides of the main road which stretched from ‘The Factory’, a multi-faceted haberdashery in the west, to the junction opposite the late Rev. Raphael Lake’s home in the east. The National Bank of Anguilla, (formerly NBA), The House of Assembly Building and The Courthouse are now built over the eastern end of that road, destroying all the mahogany trees there. Thankfully, many of the said trees immediately in front of this building are still standing. Vehicles entered from the west and exited at the east, and a well-plotted parking lot was laid out under the mahogany trees that were closest to the building. As could be expected, it was a hub point all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and half-day on Thursday and Saturday.

This structure was scarred with many bullet holes as Anguillian revolutionaries attacked the St. Kitts police with gun fire many nights in an effort to evict them. On May 29th there was another one of the many public meetings which were usually held on the (then) Burrowes Park. There, according to Mr. Colville Petty in A Handbook History of Anguilla, “several Anguillians voted by show of hands, at a public meeting on Burrowes Park, in favour of finally expelling the St. Kitts policemen from the island on 30th May.” This writer was present at that meeting and as a fifteen year old girl, raised her hand. Prior to that date, there were many political meetings, demonstrations, the destruction of The Magistrate’s home in Landsome and on March 8th, 1968, Dr. Hyde’s home by fire. Other rumblings indicative of Anguilla’s determination to be separated from St. Kitts-Nevis were taking place all over the island.

Then came the day that is now a designated public holiday in Anguilla (Anguilla Day) and which past and present persons consider to be the crowning and most memorable day of our Revolution.

Early on the morning of May 30th 1967, hundreds of riled Anguillians led by Messrs. Peter Adams, Ronald Webster, Atlin Harrigan, Wallace Rey, John (Bob) Rogers, Collins Hodge and other revolutionary leaders, gathered at the eastern end of the Administration Building in front of the Police Station and confronted the Acting Superintendent, Mr. Charles Edgings and his thirteen policemen. They were commanded to give up their guns and pack their belongings. Perhaps delighted and with hardly any resistance, they were transported to the puny, primitive terminal and dirt strip airport and flown out on Valley Air Service, an airline owned and commandeered on this occasion by Mr. Clayton Lloyd. Determined to hold on to Anguilla, Mr. Bradshaw sent a detachment of policemen from St. Kitts aboard a Leeward Islands Air Transport (LIAT) flight. Anguillians barricaded the runway and prevented that plane from landing.
After the expulsion of the Central Government, the newly-formed Peace Keeping Committee organized and set up the Magistrate’s Court headed by Scout Master, Mr. Raphael Lake. Personnel in the other offices, as well as the police force were born Anguillians and now under local management.

According to A Handbook History of Anguilla by Colville L. Petty, this building was the site when on February 2nd, 1970, the Wooding Commission held its formal opening. Its principal recommendation was that Anguilla should remain a part of the three island state, which the majority of Anguillians totally rejected. Three days later on February 5th, over one thousand determined islanders armed with sticks, stones and pieces of iron surrounded the Court House and prevented Justice Renwick from holding Court. The people objected to the Justice because he was the resident judge in St. Kitts.

Today, on the opposite side of this building a modern two-floor complex towers over the old girl. She humbly submits to her antiquity, her cracked, old-time walls and architecture as all the younger girls around her blaze with youth and colour. Their well-manicured and landscaped premises put her expensive, stately mahogany trees to shame.

Her multiple offspring – the two-storey Police Station to the south-east, The radio station, (Radio Anguilla) and Government Headquarters to the south, Land and Survey Department to the south-west, The Caribbean Commercial Centre which houses many government offices to the west, the Post Office to the north-north-west, Social Security Complex to the north-west, Her Majesty’s Prison to the north-east, Inland Revenue, Labour and Immigration Offices close to The Courthouse to the east – surround her as more modern, complex, technical and official branches evolve.
All these, her children and grandchildren, shine bright and tower over her feeble, miniature frame while she looks on with pride and resignation. Maybe she too knows that her end is near, as there is a rumour that she will soon be abandoned and demolished. She has lived and reigned over sixty five years which is old for Government buildings on Anguilla. Many of her peers have ended up in the Coritot graveyard and I can imagine her and the ‘Old Factory’ conversing under the mahogany trees at nights recalling their extremely busy childhood days. Like a senior citizen whose fruitful youth is lost and forgotten with time, she knows her days are numbered. “I HAVE FOUGHT A GOOD FIGHT, I HAVE FINISHED MY COURSE,” she acknowledges.

At present, this original Administration Building houses the Chamber of Commerce, the Sports Department and other miniscule offices. It is fair to say that it is visited by fewer Anguillians than any supermarket, business complex, church, school or other government office.

As a girl, I experienced many happy weekends visiting this building at least twice a month on Saturdays to post and receive mail and ‘packs’ for my grandmother or to pick up my secondary school term report. This building also holds some sad memories for me. As a young person, in November 1973 I was parked under a mahogany tree, waiting for a relative who had gone to register a birth, when I was told by a former Chief of Police that he had just heard on the Dutch radio station in St. Maarten that my father had died. Since letter writing has become redundant and newer offices have been built, I have not been inside that building twice in almost fifty years.

Many persons, still alive, have contributed to the functioning of both the old Crocus Hill building and this historical building. Perhaps many a memory comes to the forefront when they pass by these remaining “ancient” sanctuaries.

Luckily, when Mr. Eustace Brooks, (Rushie) was Postmaster General, the building was given recognition by placing it on the six-cent stamp of one of the earlier sets of Anguilla stamps. The old building at Crocus Hill is being renovated with the objective of having it resemble, as closely as possible, its pre-hurricane look.

Nevertheless, for us Anguillians who are pre-Revolutionaries, the original administration building is still regarded as a place of honour, a place of grace and beauty, a place of sophistication and pride but more-so a place of rich history. For many years it was the seat of power, and still is the site of one of the last and most significant aspects of the Anguilla Revolution.

Thanks to Mr. Hugo Rey, (brother of Mr. Olney Rey/ son of Mr. Wallace Rey) and Mr. Eustace Brooks, Rushie, a clerk who worked through all the ranks of the Post Office from 1958 – 1994). Both of these men who were intimately involved in the building and functioning, respectively of the above-mentioned premises gave much of the useful information mentioned herein.

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In celebration of World Occupational Therapy Day, October 27th, 2021, local Occupational Therapist, Dr. Kniquiah Hughes launched her occupational therapy services through her Wellness Ave. practice.

World Occupational Therapy Day was first launched on October 27, 2010 to promote and celebrate the profession internationally. Practitioners of Occupational Therapy use individualized evaluations and evidence-based interventions to assist persons of all ages by promoting health and helping them prevent or live with injury, illness or disability. Common interventions include assisting children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, assisting patients recovering from injuries and providing support for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.

Dr. Hughes, whose focus is on children and geriatrics, is currently registered and licensed in the state of Florida, USA. Over the past eight years, she has accumulated varied experience in the treatment of patients of all ages in the United States.

Through her occupational therapy clinic, Wellness Ave., Dr. Hughes says that she will now be providing these services to her island, as there is a growing need to help improve the outcomes of the young and aging population.

Dr. Hughes will be receiving referrals from local doctors, physical therapists, speech therapists, psychologists, teachers and other practitioners for the treatment of stroke, motor vehicle accident, autistic, dementia and other persons with disabilities.

Dr. Hughes can be reached at telephone (264) 584-6100 or email address kniquiah@mywellnessave.com

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Just imagine… Anguillians… one day competing in Olympic swimming. While this may seem like a dream, we have already seen the likes of Zharnel Hughes on the international stage, so we know this can be possible.

Mr Joseph William, Swimming Instructor and Founder of Learn To Swim Programme, and the Anguilla Aqua Swim Club are hoping to have our children participate in competitions soon. In 2012, Mr William started the swimming programme to give back to the community.

“There were a few challenges, but we are now 9 years with 75 children in the programme. We started with 10 or 15 and we’re at 75.”

Mr Joseph Williams

“This is my way of giving back. I got my training and certificate from the Anguilla Red Cross and I felt there was a need, especially for the young children, to know the proper techniques of swimming.”

Mr William is ably assisted by Mr Keith Robinson and Mr Frank Cannon. These are the only 3 persons in the region who are Learn To Swim Water Safety Instructor Trainer Educators who can certify individuals to teach swimming.  

The trio received their certification from the American Red Cross/Anguilla Red Cross. They are further assisted by other swimming instructors namely Mr Devon Carter, Ms Deanna Richardson and Ms Prudence Joy Williams.

“Presently, there are two clubs, The Learn to Swim Programme and The Anguilla Aqua Swim Club,” Mr William continued.

“Learn To Swim Programme is a parent-child programme where the parents accompany the kids in the water under the age of 5 up to level 4.

Once you reach level 4, and once you can swim, the other club, The Anguilla Aqua Swim Club, is an avenue for you to continue swimming where we do more long-distance, endurance swimming and hopefully competitive type swimming – that is the idea for the two clubs.”

At the iFitness Center, where the swimming classes are being held, the children have fun in the pool. They also get the opportunity to go to the beach where they are exposed to the seawater.

“The fear of water is the fear of drowning, the fear of drowning is the fear of death. If you know how to float and how to swim, you will realize that the water is not your enemy.”

— Mr Joseph William

While Mr William said they have adult classes for persons over 18, they more focused on the kids.

“The Aqua Swim Club is for kids to get them on a competitive level,” he said.

Asked what inspires him to give his services, he simply responded, “The kids. When you have a child for the first time on the step afraid of the water, to take away that fear, see the progress later on, and witness that child swim from one end to another end – you can’t pay me for that,” he remarked smiling.

The Swimming Instructor also believes it is important for persons to learn to swim.

“The fear of water is the fear of drowning, the fear of drowning is the fear of death. If you know how to float and how to swim, you will realize that the water is not your enemy,” he went on. You’re your own enemy because you can’t swim, so you’ll be panicking when you could be doing something to save yourself.”

Anguilla is blessed to have Mr William and the other swimming instructors who are molding our children who have the potential to become professional athletes in the future. The swimming instructors are hoping to get some sponsors so they can have a facility of their own.

“Currently, we have 66 kids on the waiting list and 75 children in the swimming programme. So, we need a bigger facility,” Mr William said.

“We also engage with Carib Swim Club in St Martin. Before COVID-19 last year, in February, we went to the complex and the kids got a chance to experience the 50m pool and swim in it. So, the collaboration is there; we haven’t been able to travel but that is the idea for having the kids in the club.”

“When we go to the ocean, we have them swimming longer distances. We have the kids doing stuff that sometimes even I may struggle with. They are doing it every Saturday. We teach them – and they get better than me – that is what I like! The fact that they could beat me on certain things, shows they are progressing well!” he laughed.

Currently, the students utilise the pool at iFitness Center in Tackling. A fee of US$10 a month is only required for the upkeep of the pool. The swimming instructors offer the programme for free to the students, who will one day compete on the international stage. We look forward to that day when we can cheer on our very own in the Olympics.

You can reach the Anguilla Aquastars via telephone at (264)772-1342 or e-mail: Aquastarsanguilla@gmail.com and follow them on Facebook – Anguilla Aquastars.

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Chef Sheldon Browne

What do a firefighter and a chef have in common? They both have to deal with heat. It is not every day a firefighter may have to out a fire, but indeed every day a chef must face the fire and feel the heat in his/her kitchen.

“Failing was not an option for me, in my head, I was representing my country. So I showed up and showed out.”

Chef Sheldon Browne

This is the life of Sheldon Browne, former firefighter of 21years and now Chef. It may not be a surprise to many that Sheldon is a Chef coming from a family that cooks and bakes. Mrs. Chelsea Browne, his mom, is well known for her tarts, potato pudding, black cakes and other delectables.

Just this past Christmas, within two days, mother and son produced nearly 100 tarts and over 30 cakes such as carrot cake, red velvet cake, and many other assortments.

“I love baking with my mom during Christmas time. There is a connection between us,” he told What We Do In Anguilla – WWDIA. “No need for words. She knows exactly what I would do. She knows my skill sets.”

Cakes by Sheldon Browne and his mother, Chelsea
Cakes by Sheldon Browne and his mother, Chelsea

Attending the Culinary Institute of America

Sheldon enjoys baking and cooking. His skill was first recognized when a friend asked him to bake a cake for a guest at the former Viceroy Hotel. The guest was so impressed by the cake that he requested to meet with Sheldon. Upon their meeting, the visitor suggested to him that he should attend the Culinary Institute of America – CIA, in New York.  At that time, Sheldon was not in a financial position to attend the school. While he applied in 2008 and was successful, it was not until a few years later, in 2014, that he made the decision to attend CIA.

Sheldon graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Culinary in 2018.  He also had the opportunity to be a personal chef for someone in New York, however due to his father’s illness at the time, he returned to Anguilla in 2019.

“Failing was not an option for me,” Sheldon told WWDIA. “In my head, I was representing my country. So I showed up and showed out.”

Despite funding himself in school with no government assistance, Sheldon set on his journey to promote Anguilla. He promoted Anguilla through his culinary cuisine and spoke about the island to many of his colleagues, friends, politicians and strangers who were always impressed with his delicious Anguillian/Caribbean food.

“I’ve cooked Ostrich. The meat is very dry. I’ve also cook frog legs and gator tail (alligator). I’ve eaten them,”

Chef Sheldon Browne

“Everyone wanted to know where I learnt to cook and bake, and why I was there,” he stated. But culinary is so much more. I didn’t know how to create a menu, I didn’t know how to do stock invention, I had to learn various aspects of culinary, the front and the back – the dining area where guests ate and the kitchen where the food is cooked. I had to learn… I got a full insight in the culinary field.”

Cooking for celebrities and dignitaries

Being a student at the Culinary Institute of America, one of the top Culinary schools in New York, which has the largest staff of American Culinary Federation Certified Master Chefs, Sheldon and the other students got the opportunity to cook for celebrities and other distinguished executives and sporting teams.

Sheldon recalled cooking for former professional basketball player, Shaquille O’Neal, and described it as one of his favorite encounters, “A very down to earth person, one of my favorite persons, I’ve met.”

The Anguillian chef also had the opportunity to cook for Rapper and chef, Snoop Dogg and the Philadelphia Eagles.

One notable moment, Sheldon recalled was cooking for an elaborate function that included US politicians, like Ras Jua Baraka, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and Keisha Bottoms, Atlanta Mayor.

He said the menu at the function included Caribbean food such as oxtail, dumplings, provisions, pigeon peas and to his surprise fish from Anguilla! The Culinary Institute of America – CIA procured red snappers from Anguilla! He did not know this until they told him. Sheldon always spoke highly of Anguilla and to know that the CIA procured fish from his homeland warmed his heart.

Sheldon’s cooking not only intrigued his colleagues but guests as well. He said Ms. Bottoms enjoyed the oxtail and fish so much that she came over to meet him and they had a lovely conversation.

Promoting Anguilla through food

“I have a love for food, it’s always there,” he said smiling. “There is a connection with food and people.” This is certainly true as Sheldon has met and connected with many persons during his time in the US.

He spoke of an opportunity to work for someone, as his personal guest. Through Sheldon’s conversation and learning about Anguilla, the gentleman ordered a batch of crayfish from Anguilla for one of his events.

Sheldon promoted Anguilla and many persons got to know about the island’s cuisine.

Other foods also attract the 6 foot plus chef. He expressed his love for Asian food.

“I love the beauty of the Asian food, it is quite vibrant. But Caribbean food is one of the best in the world, so I like to mix it with the Caribbean flavor – Asian Caribbean fusion,” he laughed. “Being a chef doesn’t put you in one bracket.”

Some of Sheldon’s travels include Singapore and Malaysia. He also intends to visit the Philippines in the near future.

With his love for food, WWDIA asked the Anguillian chef what are some of the weird foods he has cooked.

“I’ve cooked Ostrich. The meat is very dry. I’ve also cook frog legs and gator tail (alligator). I’ve eaten them,” he smiled.

Sheldon also enjoys charity work. “This is one of the things, I missed most about my time at the school. Cooking for the veterans and the homeless. Their stories are sad and amazing.”

The COVID -19 pandemic has delayed Sheldon’s return to the US. He is currently assisting a young man in operating his business in Island Harbour. Sheldon cooks at Pelican’s Restaurant. Many persons flock to the eatery to taste some of the delicious seafood there.

“You taste the beauty of the food, when the person loves doing it,” he said.

Sheldon definitely enjoys cooking, and his homemade and exquisite dishes keep persons asking for more, as he continues to feel the heat in his kitchen.

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Art by tangie Tangiera Huggins Anguilla

“Art. Passion. Life. Art is my passion, and that passion guides me through life”, this is the personal mantra that drives Ms Tangiera Huggins, a young and upcoming artist.

This young, bold artist, who wants to effect change, is already taking the lead by creating a learning environment for young and upcoming designers.

Ms. Huggins took the initiative by organising a costume design workshop for young artists in Anguilla. This was facilitated by internationally acclaimed designer Fonrose of Carni Cademy in Trinidad. Approximately 6 young designers participated in the intense 4-week costume design workshop.

“I think we really need to change the tide of our cultural industry that we have in Anguilla. I think we can be so much more,”

Tangiera Huggins

“I think there’s a lot of young people on the island that have the drive, have the will, and the power and want to do it but there’s no outlet. They don’t see any kind of option for themselves, so I just want to be one of the people that gives an option – that helps and show them that there is something out there if we make it.”

Salvador Dalí, who was a famous surrealist Spanish artist, known for his technical skill and precise draftsmanship once said, “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.” This quote properly defines Ms. Huggins who is not only encouraging but honing the skills of future artists in Anguilla.

In 2019, this young creator, also launched her own business Feteware.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few designers in the past, where my passion grew. If you had told me four years ago, that I would be designing clothes for people to wear, I would say never,” she said laughing. “Because I just didn’t see it. I’m an artist, I draw, I sketch and I’m crafty with my hands so it just went together when I had the opportunity and from there, it just kicked off and I’ve been into it ever since.”

Wire bra for Carnival costumes

Ms Huggins, a self-taught artist attributes her talent to the talent of her mom. “I remember flipping through my mother’s folder and mimicking her drawings.”

The young artist, who moved to Anguilla with her mother and siblings at the age of 10 from St Kitts, said her mom was unable to pursue Art because she was focused on raising her family. Furthermore, the attitude towards Art back then was one that deemed Art as an unsustainable profession. However, she believes that this is possible for herself now.

“After Hurricane Irma, I dug into myself and wanted to do something more, use my creativity but I was always on the fence.   I wanted to be a doctor. You know growing up, your parents would always say, you need something secure, but I must say my mother was always supportive. However, in my mind, looking at society and going to school, you always hear, you want to have a “real” job but now with the economy, you see the tide is changing, you see a lot more technical areas and careers are more feasible. I think more than ever, that is reachable for me, so I have been pushing.”

Ms Huggins has collaborated with other local artists like Daryl Ruan for initiatives such as the “Wuk Up and Stroke” party and paint event that was held at IWAS. She also mentioned that she is currently working with other artists on a mural in West End.

Asked what she is currently working on, she responded: “There is a Creative Fest that is happening within the Department of Youth and Culture that I recently learned about, so I will be doing prints of my work and putting my art up for sale.”

“One thing you have to do as an artist is to let go, before I wasn’t able to do that but now, I’m ok with it. If my art is making me this happy, it would be okay to make other people happy,” the inspiring young lady stated.

“I started a series for Creative Fest. I’m finishing my first complete body of work it is called Head Strong and again it is around my head wraps – it is a reflection. I always say my art is a reflection of me but this is a dedication to all the strong black women and all the strong women I see around me in everyday life, and how they push through and so that is what it embodies – so it is about 3 paintings and all of them in some kind of way reflect what I see around me and the people/women in my life.”

Ms Huggins is a true embodiment of her work. Her head wraps that she so eloquently wears exudes grace, beauty and humility, these qualities will definitely give rise to a successful artist.

“I do a lot of paintings, drawings, I do my wire bras – costume things. Basically, anything I can get my hands into. I want to do welding and carpentry. I haven’t had the time to focus on it but that is my next task.”

I have no doubt that this young creative mind, blessed with talented hands will continue to push boundaries far and beyond her reach.

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