Simply Antigua Barbuda - Tourism Coffee Table Book

Page 1

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Barbudan school children playing steel pans at the official launch of the island’s museums, Barbuda.

IMAGE Photographer Gulliver Johnson Miniature chattel house, designed and handcrafted by Leudis Gittens, Antigua Rock & Kraft Shop “The Ark Shop”. | History


From the publishers who brought you Tablemanners: A Culinary Review of Hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda.

4 | Culture

SIMPLY ANTIGUA BARBUDA PUBLISHERS Publisher: Gulliver Johnson, Leeward Consultants Authors: Janie Conley-Johnson and Claudia Johnson Art Direction & Layout: Janie Conley-Johnson Editor-in-Chief: Madeleine Jardim McComas Graphics & Design: Nigel Francis-Takumi Media Proof Reader: Marie Roberts First published in Antigua & Barbuda by Leeward Consultants 2016 P. O. Box W1795, Woods Centre, St. John's, Antigua, West Indies Copyright Š 2016, All Rights Reserved. This book is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any format either part or whole without prior written permission from the publishers. Printed and bound in China Colour proofs by Signs and Impressions, Business Systems & Supplies, Antigua ISBN 978-976-8254-12-2

Scan for Simply Antigua Barbuda updates.

IMAGE Photographer Justin “Jus Bus” Nation Little girl playing in a bucket, Antigua

CONTENTS 10. Foreword - The Honourable Gaston A. Browne, Prime Minister

132. Artist Spotlight - Practising Artists

11. Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

154. Heather Doram - ‘My Art Speaks Through Me, For Me And To Me’

12. National Heroes of Antigua & Barbuda

158. A Musical Interlude - A Medley of Musicians & Bands

14. National Symbols of Antigua & Barbuda

166. Literary, Film & Performing Arts - Artistic Expressionism

18. Introduction - We Are Famous and Not So Famous For...

170. The Wadadli Pen Challenge



28. The Beach is Just the Beginning... Photographs by Jonathan Murphy

176. A Leap of Faith - The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine

34. Directory of Accommodation

180. Great George Fort - Monk’s Hill

48. Tying the Knot - Wedding Requirements

184. Clarence House a Living Museum

54. Growing Tourism - Organic Hotel Food Gardens

188. Betty’s Hope Archaeological Explorations - King Sugar’s Unwritten Histories

62. Directory of Tours & Attractions

192. The Restoration of Government House

68. Kitesurfing - Kite Antigua

194. Freeman’s Bay - A Beach of Lost Souls

72. Taking to the Waves - The Yachting Scene in Antigua

198. The Hart Sisters - Founders of the First Sunday School in the Caribbean


202. The National Archives - Historic Records of Our Nation

82. The Great Outdoors Antigua & Barbuda Style - Offshore Islands

206. It Takes a Village to Raise a Country - Post-Emancipation Communities

88. Climate Smart Sustainable Livelihoods


92. Closed Season for Fishing - Protecting Our Marine Life

214. Food Fairs and Traditional Foods

96. Dining with a Lionfish & Lionfish Bouillabaisse Recipe

220. Recipes


224. From Street Food to Fine Dining - Our Many Culinary Expressions

102. Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda - Reviving the Ocean’s Ecosystem


108. Low-Impact Living in Barbuda - Eco-Resorts

238. The Health of a Nation - Economic Developments in Antigua & Barbuda

114. Discovering Our Archaeological Past and The Barbuda Research Complex

244. Investing in Paradise - Citizenship by Investment Program

118. Birding in Barbuda

248. Antigua Distillery Ltd. - “What Sugarcane Wants To Be When It Grows Up”


254. The Story of Aviation - The Greenest, Most Modern Airport in the Caribbean

126. The Spirit of Carnival - The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival

260. Island Facts


Humble gratitude and special thanks are extended to the many persons and organisations who kindly contributed their time, assets and helping hands to bring this project to completion. Without such generous support this book would not have been possible.

CREDITS WRITERS Amina O. Doherty Brian Stuart-Young Claudia E. R. Francis Daryl T. George Dr. Allison Bain Dr. Charles Sandeman-Allen Dr. Evelyn Weekes Dr. Georgia L. Fox Dr. Hazra Medica Dr. Lisa Sorenson Dr. Rebecca Boger Dr. Reginald Murphy Dr. Sophia Perdikaris Jake Kelsick Joseph Prosper Julian Waterer Lily Smith Lisa Farara Natalya Lawrence Robin Ramdeem Romell Tiwari The Honourable Paul Chet Greene, MP The Honourable Asot A. Michael, MP The Honourable Gaston A. Browne, Prime Minister Tricia Lovell Valerie Hodge Veneta Burton


PHOTOGRAPHERS Alexis Andrews Allan Aflack Andre “Dre” Phillip Andrea Otto Andreas Linder Andrew Estep Antigua & Barbuda Fisheries Division Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour Binkie van Es Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Caribbean Helicopters Catlin Seaview Survey Charles Bellot Charlotte Goudge Chavel “DotKid” Thomas Chelsom Limited UK Copper & Lumber Store Hotel Curtain Bluff Resort Dr. Allison Bain Dr. Rebecca A. Boger Dr. Reginald Murphy Eli Fuller Gemma Hazelwood J. Rainey Jake Kelsick Janyssa Humphreys Jason Pickering Jenny Daltry | Acknowledgements

Joe Martin John Brown Library at Brown University, USA. Johnathan Murphy Joseph Jones Joseph Stackhouse Justin “Jus Bus” Nation Justin Peters Kate Levasseur Kwasi Overton Mario Charles Mario Winter Nick Hollands Nonsuch Bay Resort Phikwe Goodwin Randy Candy Photography Robby Breadner Roddy Grimes-Graeme Tamarind Hills Antigua Ted Eubanks Ted Martin Toby Ross Tom Aveling Tony Fincham Tropical Adventures Zahra I. Airall CONTRIBUTORS Andrew Estep, Clinton Williams, Christian Cristicchi, Dame Gwendolyn Tonge, GuavaDeArtist, Jean François Bellanger, Kersley Vencatachellum, Paddy Prendergast, Philman George, Sam Gascoigne, Vaughn Walter

THANK YOU COMPANIES Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority Francine Joseph James, Mario Charles, Winston Whyte Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Charmaine Spencer, Colin James, Maria Blackman, Matara Thomas Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy Elizabeth Mason, Marvo Newton-Richards, Paula Frederick-Hunte, Rozanne Emanuel Airport Services (Antigua) Ltd. Carlton Richards, Marva Richards, Melissa Ramsey, Yorie Pigott Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine Alvaro F. Riscanevo, Bruce Arrindell, Chelsom Limited UK Government House Renovation Committee Anne Jonas, Dr. Barbara Paca, Sir Rodney Williams PV Energy Ltd. Andreas Linder, Sarah Reichelt Global Bank of Commerce Ltd. Brian Stuart-Young, Sasha Stuart-Young The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda Clarissa Daniel, Debbie Joseph, Michele Henry, Myra Piper The Inn at English Harbour Kente James, Martin Baird Galley Bay Andrew ‘Stan’ Baxter, Alison Ricketts, John Bowen Hermitage Bay Desroy Spence, Kayon Kelly, Kempton McCalmont, Rachel Browne, Carlisle Bay Joseph Hennis, Lisa Sellers, Michael Eutrope Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Andrew Estep, Robin Ramdeen INDIVIDUALS Anna-Maria Joseph, Anthony Gonsalves, Barbuda Belle Family, Carla Gonsalves-Barreiro, Correne Samuel, Dawn Scotland, Dr. Marion Blair, Erica Edwards, Fabio Giorgi, Feona Bailey, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Kelcina George, Kelly Smith, Mark Whinney, Marydith Gordon, Mitzi and Howard Allen, Mrs Emmanuel - Princess Margaret Secondary School, Mrs Patrick - Seventh Day Adventist School, Natasha J. Lightfoot, Neil Keeling, Niina Hammond, Omari Harrigan, Oscar Camargo, Pia Baptiste, Juanna McKenzieJoseph, Rashidi Merrifield, Robert Barrett, Roxana V. Shoul, Sir Selvyn Walter, Sophia Steele, Tameka Ferris, Tracey Guerrero, Valerie Gonsalves-Barreiro


Janie Conley-Johnson

Claudia Johnson

Gulliver Johnson

Madeleine Jardim McComas

Nigel Francis

The concept behind this book was easily conceived. Antigua & Barbuda is our home and as a developing nation, we have a lot of which to be proud.


t is true that we have some of the most stunning beaches in the world and live in a photographer’s paradise. This in itself sets our country apart and effortlessly supplies enough material to create a pictorial coffee table book with awe inspiring scenery. The reality however, is that there are so many more layers to peel away, an infinity of learning, experience and inspiration. Our breathtaking surroundings have almost taken a back seat during this project, where we have encountered so many fascinating people, made new friends and business associates, gained in knowledge and quite frankly laughed and cried. We did not set ourselves an easy task, allowing a tight six month deadline in which to

produce Simply Antigua Barbuda-The Book, from beginning to end. We hope that you enjoy our journey, interpreted through informative text with a penchant for detail and vivid, contemporary imagery, profiling some of our island’s most talented photographers and artists. This book is designed to be dipped into, to encourage conversation or to engage the reader more fully. We hope to have produced a product of national pride, a book of reference, to raise the profile of our ever-evolving nation. Antigua & Barbuda is a hub of activity, progressing, producing and claiming what belongs to it; a rich history, deep cultural heritage and a prospering economy

and tourism market. Simply Antigua Barbuda will revisit some old stories and introduce a wealth of more current affairs. We have only touched on what there is to see, hear, taste and absorb but we embraced this rewarding task. “Publishing this particular book was a childhood dream, dare to dream and follow through. Thanks be to God, family, the team, contributors and this great nation for the opportunity, boundless love and support.” We are excited and feel positive about the future. We hope you are too. Enjoy! To learn more about our projects and our bright future. Visit

“Simply Antigua Barbuda is an exhilarating and brilliantly detailed book that offers the world an exploratory journey into paradise. We are grateful to all those whose creativity and collaboration have made this exquisite book a reality.” The Honourable Asot A Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy | History



THE HONOURABLE GASTON A. BROWNE, PRIME MINISTER Simply Antigua Barbuda is a magnificent portrayal of every aspect of the life of this rich little nation-state that lies at the heart of the Caribbean. Welcome to a magnificent journey in paradise through words and pictures.


ntigua & Barbuda is associated with an idyllic environment, attracting millions of visitors to this part of the world. Within the pages of Simply Antigua Barbuda, readers will find a beautifully balanced assemblage of all the important aspects of life on our two islands. The book portrays our ecological, historical, cultural, culinary, economic and artistic life, positively captured for the benefit of the reader. It was a surprise for me to learn that several

10 | Foreword

hotels grow food plants, particularly condiments, for their guests’ consumption. Placing these miniscule inputs on the pages of Simply Antigua Barbuda defines the unique quality of the publication. Its attention to detail make it rich, substantive and deserving of your attention. Climate smart solutions are the greatest challenge faced by mankind. This global threat is addressed within the book, highlighting our green energy and solar-powered generation efforts.

Barbuda’s eco-friendly cottages which welcome the curious, in search of tranquility, are highly featured. No other publication in recent times has captured the essence of the Barbuda experience with such accuracy. It is a place for those who wish to be in paradise and yet face only the master artwork of the creator. My Government applauds those who were involved in the preparation of this book, and whose artistry is a paramount feature of its excellence. I

welcome Simply Antigua Barbuda for its diversity and artistry. Those who are involved in portraying the best of Antigua & Barbuda will welcome this addition to the literature. Congratulations!

ANTIGUA & BARBUDA TOURISM AUTHORITY The Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA) comprises several offices servicing key tourism markets. The Head Office is located in Antigua while there are additional offices in New York for our USA market, in Canada and in London, which operates on behalf of our European market. Playing an essential role in the marketing of the twin-island paradise of Antigua & Barbuda, the ABTA is responsible for the marketing and promotion of the destination. The CEO of ABTA, Colin James states, “Encouraging updates from the trade and media at World Travel Market, (held annually in London) are a testament to the hard work of the ABTA and its partners. We strive to open up our islands to new markets and will continue to offer the high level of

tourism our visitors expect.” The ABTA further boosts tourism numbers to the twin island state through the development of air and sealift services. The new V.C. Bird International Airport terminal has more than doubled in capacity, accommodating up to 1,777 passengers per hour to provide a seamless journey to and from the destination. One of the main objectives of the ABTA is to identify and work to meet the needs of all of its industry stakeholders. The ABTA’s mission is the consistent delivery of a superior marketing effort to improve visitor arrivals that are defined against a backdrop of a first-class visitor experience.




ebellion in 1736, which sought to free all slaves on the island. The elaborate plan was not successful, as information about the plot and its ringleaders was leaked. Prince Klaas, who was said to have been of royal heritage, acknowledged the allegations against him and he and his comrades were executed in a brutal manner. The bravery of this National Hero is commemorated with a monument which stands on Independence Drive in St. John’s.

12 | Introduction



n our 25th Anniversary of Independence, November 1st 2006, Miss Nellie Robinson was posthumously created Dame Companion of The Most Exalted Order of National Hero (DNH) for services to education. The Nation’s only female hero was born in 1880 and spent her earlier days living on Newgate Street, before travelling to the USA to receive an education. She returned to Antigua in 1894 and continued her education at Coke College on East Street. Nellie began her career as an educator at 18 years old, teaching her siblings and other children. She went on to found the TOR Memorial High School, which still educates the Nation today. The school was very advanced for its time, providing equal access for all children to attend secondary school and it was the only co-educational school of its day. Ms Robinson taught and continued to resist the official system for 57 years, when she retired aged 75 as Principal of the school.



ir George served as the second premier of Antigua & Barbuda from 1972-76. He was also the head of the Progressive Labour Movement (PLM) and was active in the trade union and politics of Antigua & Barbuda for over 40 years. The former premier was knighted as a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 2000-millennium honours. In 2006, the former Airport Road was renamed the Sir George H. Walter Highway, as a permanent memory to his life’s work in the development of the nation. In 2008 he was named Knight of the Most Exalted Order of National Hero (KNH).





ir Vere Cornwall Bird was the first premier and prime minister of Antigua & Barbuda (1981-1994) and is hailed as ‘Founder of the Nation’. He was one of the founding members of the Antigua Trades & Labour Union and its second president. He is remembered for his patriotism and his efforts to assist the poorer class, fighting for better wages and working conditions. In 1985 Antigua’s international airport, which was first named Coolidge Airport, was renamed V.C. Bird International Airport in his honour. His portrait can be seen outside the Post Office in St John’s and a dominant statue of the revered man stands outside the St. John’s Public Market Complex. When “V.C.” died in 1999, he was the first to be buried at the National Heroes Park.

ir Lester Bryant Bird served Antigua & Barbuda in excess of 40 years as a Parliamentarian, including 18 years as Antigua Labour Party’s (ALP) Deputy Prime Minister and 10 years as Prime Minister. The former Prime Minister was named Knight of the Most Exalted Order of National Hero (KNH) in 2014 for his contribution to national development as an outstanding sportsman, lawyer and parliamentarian. The two-term prime minister joined cricket legend, Sir Vivian Richards, as the only other living national hero.



nighted at the Antiguan Recreation Grounds for his contribution to cricket in 1999, Sir Viv Richards became a national hero on November 1st 2006, when the nation celebrated its 25th anniversary. He is regarded as the greatest batsman of his generation and is recognised globally for his contribution to cricket. “Sir Viv” retired from test cricket as the 3rd most successful Captain of the West Indies cricket team. The Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound was built for the 2007 Cricket World Cup and is named in his honour. | Introduction








he flag of Antigua & Barbuda was officially adopted on February 27th 1967 when the country achieved internal self-government as an Associated State with the United Kingdom. The flag was designed by Sir Reginald Samuel, a locally acclaimed artist and sculptor, and was the winning design in a competition in which more than six hundred local people entered. The bold design is striking and full of symbolism. The rising sun represents the dawning of a new era, and over the years has been depicted with up to twenty points. In 1994 it was finally decided that seven full points should be displayed. It was suggested that these points should represent the six parishes plus one point for Barbuda, although this was not a concept the designer himself had in mind. The colours symbolise various features and characteristics of the twin island state; the black represents the soil and the African heritage of our people, the red indicates the life blood of slave forefathers and dynamism of the people, while the blue symbolises hope. The ‘V’ shape illustrated in black, blue and white is a symbol of ‘Victory at Last’, whilst the combination of yellow, blue and white represent the sun, sea and sand for which our country is renowned.

14 | Culture

air Antigua, We Salute Thee is the national anthem of Antigua & Barbuda. It was written by Novelle H. Richards and composed by Walter P. Chambers. The anthem was adopted upon independence in 1981. Fair Antigua & Barbuda We thy sons and daughters stand Strong and firm in peace or danger To safeguard our native land. We commit ourselves to building A true nation, brave and free Ever striving, ever seeking, Dwell in Love and unity. Raise the standard! Raise it boldly! Answer now to duty’s call To the service of your country, Sparing nothing, giving all; Gird your loins and join the battle ‘Gainst fear, hate and poverty, Each endeavouring, all achieving, Live in peace where man is free. God of nations, let thy blessings Fall upon this land of ours; Rain and sunshine ever sending, Fill her fields with crops and flowers; We her children do implore thee, Give us strength, faith, loyalty, Never failing, all enduring, To defend her liberty.

he National Coat of Arms was designed by Gordon Christopher in 1966 and is made up of a collection of Antigua & Barbuda’s national symbols. The Black Pineapple is perched on top of a heraldic helmet, which rests on a shield. The design on the shield shows a golden sun rising above the sea, which is illustrated with a series of blue and white wavy bands. As with the design of the flag, the sun represents a new beginning for the country, whilst the black recalls the African heritage of the people. Supporting the shield are a pair of deer, symbolising the wildlife of the twin state, with the Fallow Deer being the national animal. The hibiscus flowers further symbolise the natural beauty to be discovered on our islands and the upright stem, a Dagger Log flower, is an old emblem of Antigua. The sugar mill and stem of sugar cane have historical significance, making reference to the production of sugar, which was once Antigua’s main industry. The scroll contains the Motto of the Nation, “Each Endeavouring. All Achieving.” This motto was composed by Mr James H Carrott M.B.E in 1967. According to Mr Carrott, “The concept was to provide inspiration to each Antiguan and Barbudan to recognise that the development of the whole country would be a benefit to all, but that development required the effort of each individual.”

The National Weed is the Widdy Widdy (Corchorus Siliquosus L). This bush softens quickly when cooked, becoming sticky in substance and is an excellent source of protein. Sugar workers supplemented their diet with this weed during the strike of 1951, held in protest for better wages and working conditions. The National Fruit is the Antigua Black Pineapple (Ananas Comosus). The ‘black’ pineapple is actually a dark green in colour but ripens to a golden yellow. The fruit was first introduced to Antigua by the Arawak Indians from South America; it was used for making twine, cloth and for healing purposes. During the early 17th century settlers cultivated the pineapple near English Harbour and today the fruit is still mainly grown in the South of the island. The National Tree is the Whitewood (Bucida buceras). This large tree has wide spreading, ornamental branches. It is commonly found next to natural water sources such as river banks. Its timber is very hard and strong, perfect for construction purposes, and was once used for making gun carriages at the old forts in Antigua. The National Animal is the European Fallow Deer (Dama dama). These animals are thought to have been introduced to Antigua & Barbuda by the Codringtons in the early 1700s. Today, they live and breed happily in Barbuda and on Guiana Island and neither the black nor the common variety of Fallow Deer is to be found elsewhere in the Eastern Caribbean.

The National Stone is petrified wood. Wood becomes petrified (fossilised) when buried for an extended period without oxygen, in ground containing volcanic ash. It is thought that Antigua & Barbuda go back twenty-five to thirty million years and this wood belongs to the Oligocene period. Fragments can still be found scattered across Antigua, often in the most unlikely places.

built seabird with a brownish-black plumage, a deeply forked tail and narrow wings, with a span of up to eight feet. The male is glossy black in colour and has a striking red throat, which he inflates to attract a mate. Although the Frigatebird can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the globe, the world’s largest colony of Frigatebirds is to be found in the lagoon in Barbuda.

The National Flower is the Dagger Log (Argave karatto Miller), also known as the Century Plant or Dagger Pole. Yellow flowers can be found rising up in large rosettes from the plant’s stem which is 15-20 feet high. These dried flower poles were once spiked together and used to build fishing rafts. The fleshy pulp of the leaves was also used as a form of fishing bait.

The National Dress is worn proudly by Antiguans and Barbudans at cultural festivals and carnival celebrations held in the country. The design, which was created by native artist Heather Doram, was chosen in a competition held to celebrate the eleventh Independence Day in 1992. The traditional dress was inspired by the outfits worn by fruit and vegetable vendors of the country. It is made from a lightweight cotton fabric with a plaid pattern known as Madras, which is made up into a variety of garments for men, women and children.

The National Marine Animal is the Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbicata). This turtle is easily distinguished from others by its sharp, curved beak and the saw-like appearance of its shell margin. The early Indians of Antigua perceived the Hawksbill as ‘a gift from the gods’ and the turtle motif is to be found on their pottery. Once actively hunted for its valuable ‘tortoise’ shell, the Hawksbill is today threatened with extinction. It has been classified as critically endangered, and is protected by Antigua’s Sea Turtle Project. The National Bird is the Frigate (Fregata magnificens L), also known as Man-o’-War or Weather Bird. This bird is a large, lightly | History


IMAGE Photographer Phikwe Goodwin PG Labs - Aerial Photography & Video Aerial view over Greencastle Hill and valley, looking towards Jolly Harbour Marina and Five Islands.

16 | Introduction

IMAGE Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda View from Barbuda’s Fisheries Centre across a calm Codrington Lagoon. | History


WE ARE FAMOUS AND NOT SO FAMOUS FOR... Written by Claudia E. R. Francis.

Welcome to our twin island State of Antigua & Barbuda. Less than forty years ago as we celebrated Independence from British rule, most people were not familiar with our name or our location. But now we are a famous Caribbean destination.


any visitors flock to our shores annually either by yacht, cruise ship or plane. Our airport is the most modern in the Caribbean, our yachting facilities on a par with other top destinations and our harbours engineered to receive multiple impressive cruise liners. And yes, we are famous for our splendid tropical landscape, crystal clear warm waters and 365 honey-coloured sandy beaches. Barbuda boasts a seventeen mile stretch of unspoilt pink sand and remains one of the most natural destinations in the world. Visitors arrive armed with the knowledge that we are famous for cricket and that our cricketers are household names around the world – Sir Vivian Richards, Sir Anderson Montgomery Everton “Andy” Roberts, Curtly


Simply Antigua Barbuda | Introduction

Ambrose and Richie Richardson being among the most famous. Our state of the art stadium is named in honour of Sir Vivian Richards. We have produced an unusually large number of competitive sportsmen per head of population including boxer Maurice Hope, sailor Sir Hugh Bailey, athlete Daniel Bakka Bailey and UK premiership footballer Emile Heskey to name a few. Antigua’s most famous yachting events are the annual Antigua Sailing Week, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta celebrating its 30th edition in 2017. We excel at our national pastime, dominoes. We are the world champions in warri, a mathematical game inherited from our ancestors in Africa, and our croupiers are known to be fast, dextrous and astute on the casino tables.

Rum is manufactured and exported by the Antigua Distillery, whose most famous brands are Cavalier and English Harbour Five Year Old. We cultivate the sweetest pineapple in the world, famously known as the Antigua Black Pineapple and offer culinary dishes to make the taste buds explode. Try our national dish fungi and pepperpot or our famous Antiguan breakfast - salt fish, chop-up and fungi with johnny cakes on the side. We love music and are recognised for producing some of the Caribbean’s biggest stars in a variety of genres including calypso, soca and reggae. We host one of the region’s major carnivals featuring steel pan, a music evolved from our past history. For over 30 years Shirley Heights has been attracting visitors from around the globe to it’s infamous Sunday BBQ party

IMAGE Photographer Gulliver Johnson Irose Henry, Manager at Cades Bay Pineapple Agricultural Station, Antigua

Simply Antigua Barbuda | Introduction


where the most famous scene of Antigua with the sun setting is photographed every day. All these achievements from a small country with a resident population of approximately 85,000 (2013 Census). We could probably add many thousands more to this figure if we include university students, the yachting fraternity and residents who regard Antigua & Barbuda as their second home. A visitor can be forgiven for believing he has seen Antigua once he has taken a taxi ride from our capital St. John’s in the north to English Harbour in the south and maybe breezed through our oldest town and original capital, Parham (established in 1632), en route. He may even visit Jolly Harbour on the southwest coast, the largest residential marina in the Caribbean, and as he returns north he will again approach the main hub of St. John’s and pass through our bustling markets offering local fish, vegetables, meat, household goods, fabrics, fashion wear, shoes and yes, even the kitchen sink. BUT there is a hidden Antigua & Barbuda for which we are less famous. We have a wealth of history, flowers and fauna, fishing tournaments and hiking trails, art and dance, music, film and theatre, books and poetry, historic churches, ecological projects on both land and sea, a landscape peppered with sugar mills which offer silent testimony to our past and a historical legacy made newly alive by geological exploration and archaeological digs. We are a diverse population comprising peoples of many different origins. The majority are rooted in African tribes, with some Antiguans & Barbudans descended from original Carib and Siboney Indian communities, and some of European origin. The Portuguese, English, Irish and Scottish dominate the European sector, with modern immigrants from the Spanish speaking Caribbean and mainland Europe, especially Italy 20 | Introduction

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority | History


22 | Culture

and France. Syrians and Lebanese settled here from the 1950s and in recent times immigrants have arrived from America, Canada and as far afield as China. A new wave of modern immigrants are using the Citizens Investment Program to settle in our nation. We are peaceful, friendly people who have found a way to blend together and enjoy our mix of cultures. We are a largely Christian culture and religion underpins our calendar and social ethics. We have an enviably high literacy rate, and a policy of free education for all, with scholarships available for higher education in countries as diverse as Canada, America, England, Cuba, China, India and Russia. Our Antigua State College, a public tertiary institution, prepares students towards courses in universities overseas. We are host to two university campuses, The University of the West Indies Open Campus and the American University of Antigua, which specialises in medicine and health sciences. We offer free medical care to Antiguan and Barbudan citizens at the modern Mount St. John’s Medical Centre, our central hospital, and at a network of village health clinics staffed with nurses, doctors and pharmacies, funded through our social security system. The social security system also provides free medication for the top eleven afflictions, rudimentary unemployment income for the temporarily sick and a full pension service for the retired. Simply Antigua Barbuda - The Book is the second in a series designed to highlight the less obvious and to focus on uncovering alternative stories of our culture. We are confident that the contents of this book will delight and surprise our readers. It is not exhaustive, but the articles illustrated by stunning photography should inspire and show the love we have for our Blessed country. Enjoy Simply Antigua Barbuda in the knowledge that there is more to come. | Introduction


IMAGE Photographer Zahra I. Airall, byZIA photography Newly wed couple waving to tourists aboard the Excellence catamaran cruise tour as it passes Fort James Beach, Antigua

24 | Culture

TOURISM IT’S WHAT WE DO BEST Written by The Honourable Asot A. Michael, Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy.

Simply Antigua Barbuda is an exhilarating exploratory journey into paradise. This splendid destination continues to grow in the hearts and minds of numerous visitors, revealing that Antigua & Barbuda is attractively alive. The twin-isle paradise breathes with a purpose that thrills from the simple and dazzles to the sublime.


imply Antigua Barbuda superbly captures the diversity of our festivals, the merriment found in the rhythms of our people, and the tropical flavours that whet appetites with culinary dishes and spirits. Collectively, the many insights in this fantastic publication tell of a rich yet uncompleted story. Through vivid images it has magnified the excitement of our destination as a premier tourism attraction.

Visitors the world over will want to soak in the culture of our people while being absorbed by the sheer natural beauty. The beauty that abounds across the land and seascapes of Antigua and Barbuda offer our visitors many exciting arenas for relaxation, and fun. The Ministry of Tourism and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority continue to foster development while at the same time, spearheading strategic and creative approaches

that add invaluable dimensions for an enhanced visitor experience. The Government’s efforts and commitment are united, not only through private and incisive cooperation, but through regional and international networks and partnerships. These strides continue to foster a blossoming and successful tourism industry. We are grateful to all those whose creativity and collaboration have made this exquisite publication a reality. | Tourism


IMAGE Photographer Justin “Jus Bus” Nation Sunset view of Turners Beach, Southwest Coast, Antigua

26 | Tourism

IMAGE Courtesy D-Boat Antigua, Photographer Mario Winter Aerial view of D-Boat Water Park & Party Boat, moored off Maiden Island. The floating entertainment centre was re-purposed from a retired oil tanker. | History


THE BEACH IS JUST THE BEGINNING... STUNNING SHORELINE PHOTOGRAPHS BY JONATHAN MURPHY There are believed to be 365 beaches across Antigua & Barbuda, one for each day of the year. The great majority rest inside the calm, protected waters of the Caribbean Sea, whilst others are positioned on the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean. All are open to the public and so the challenge posed to a visitor is not how to gain access to the best of them, but simply how to locate the beach that suits your mood. Here are a selection of some of our top beaches with nearby points of interest for you to visit. 28 | Tourism

NORTHWEST AND NORTHEAST COASTS Pinching Bay Hawsksbill Bay Landing Bay Galley Bay Deep Bay Fort Beach Runaway Bay Dickenson Bay Boons Bay Prickly Pear Island Jabberwock Dutchman’s Bay Long Island Shell Beach Maiden Island Great Bird Island Guiana Island Long Bay Nonsuch Bay Green Island Half Moon Bay | History


Antigua has no rivers, and our beaches are the main water attractions. However, if you visit after a significant amount of rainfall, you may meet a small, scenic waterfall whilst hiking in Christian Valley. This hidden island interior, located off the Jennings Main road, is heavily forested with a number of hiking trails excellent for exploring.

30 | Tourism | History


SOUTHEAST COAST Willoughby Bay Mamora Bay Pigeon Beach Freeman’s Bay (Galleon Beach) Rendezvous Bay

SOUTHWEST COAST Carlisle Bay Morris Bay Cades Bay Turners Beach Darkwood Beach Ffryes Bay Little Ffryes Bay Valley Church Bay Lignum vitae Bay (Jolly Beach) Pearns Bay

BARBUDA Goat Point Cob Cove Hog Point Two Foot Bay Pelican Bay Spanish Point Gravenor Bay Coco Point White Bay Coral Group Bay River Beach Palmetto Point Low Bay Cedar Tree Point (Palm Beach) Diana, Princess of Wales Beach 32 | Tourism

IMAGES Photographer Jonathan Murphy Photography From first main image: Jabberwock Beach - North Coast Half Moon Bay - East Coast Christian Valley Waterfall (seasonal) Darkwood Beach - Southwest Coast Ffryes Bay - Southwest Coast Carpenters Rock, near Galleon Beach - South Coast Pillars of Hercules, near Galleon Beach - South Coast Dickenson Bay - North Coast | History




Stay, relax and explore our unique islands and learn why Antigua & Barbuda are the “Gems of the Caribbean”, and the most special destination in the Caribbean, if not the world. Whether you’re seeking a family friendly hotel for a leisurely holiday, a romantic hideaway just for two, a luxurious all-inclusive getaway, a friendly guesthouse for a sporting break or somewhere to host a business conference, we have numerous options for your choice of accommodation. IMAGE Courtesy Curtain Bluff,

34 | Culture


ANTIGUA The Admiral’s Inn & Gunpowder Suites Tel: +1 (268) 460-1027 Email:

Copper & Lumber Store Hotel Tel: +1 (268) 460-1058 Email:

Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa Tel: +1 (268) 462-0267 Email:

Barbuda Belle Tel: +1 (268) 783-4779 Email:

Anchorage Inn Tel: +1 (268) 462-4065 Email:

Curtain Bluff Hotel Tel: +1 (268) 462-8400 Email:

Siboney Beach Club Tel: +1 (268) 462-0806 Email:

Galley Bay Resort & Spa Tel: +1 (268) 462-0302 | +1 (866) 830-1557

Sugar Ridge Resort Tel: +1 (268) 562-7700 Email:

Barbuda Cottages Coral Group Bay, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 722-3050 Canada: +1 (416) 699-1067 Email: Bee’s Guest House Codrington, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 724-0575

Antigua Village Beach Resort Tel: +1 (268) 462-2930 Email: Antigua Yacht Club Marina Resort Tel: +1 (268) 562-3030 Email: Blue Waters Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 462-0290 Email: Buccaneer Beach Club Tel: +1 (268) 562 6785 Email: Carlisle Bay Tel: +1 (268) 484-0000 Email: Catamaran Hotel Tel: +1 (268) 460-1036 Email: City View Hotel Tel: +1 (268) 562-0259 / 60 / 61 Email: Cocobay Resort Tel: +1 (268) 562-2400 Email: Cocos Tel: +1 (268) 460-2626 Email:

Pineapple Beach Club Tel: +1 (268) 463-2006 Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort Tel: +1 (268) 462-3733 Email: Hawksbill Beach Resort by Rex Resorts Tel: +1 (268) 462-0301 Email: Heritage Hotel Tel: +1 (268) 481-7531 Hermitage Bay Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 562-5500 Email: Jolly Beach Resort & Spa Tel: +1 (268) 462-0061 Email:

South Point Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 562-9600 Email: St. James’s Club Tel: +1 (268) 460-5000 Email: The Inn at English Harbour Tel: +1 (268) 460-1014 Email: The Verandah Resort & Spa Tel: +1 (268) 562-6848 Email: Tranquility Bay Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 562-5183 Email:

Jumby Bay Resort Tel: +1 (268) 462-6000 Email:

Palm Tree Guest House Outskirts of Codrington Village, Barbuda T: +1 (268) 784-4331 Simply The Best Codrington, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 720-4084 Email: Terracotta Cottage Off River Road, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 772-0213 Email:

Keyonna Beach Resort Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 562-2020 Email: Ocean Point Resort & Spa Tel: +1 (268) 562-8330 Email:

Bus Stop B&B River Road, Codrington, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 721-2796 Gerald’s Guest House Codrington Village, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 772-0932 or 460-0209 Email: Island Chalet Guest House Madison Square, Codrington, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 460-0065 North Beach Cottages North Beach Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 721-3317 Email:

Scan for more accommodation listings. | Tourism



ADMIRAL S INN & GUNPOWDER SUITES NELSON’S DOCKYARD NATIONAL PARK, ANTIGUA The Admiral’s Inn boutique hotel has historic charm, casual elegance and personalised service built across four 18th century buildings in a secluded section of Nelson’s Dockyard at English Harbour. The Gunpowder Suites

Contact Details

are idyllically set with world-class views on a 2 acre headland, a short water crossing from the historic Nelson’s Dockyard. This is a fabulous extension with four deluxe junior suites to the equally graceful Admiral’s Inn Hotel.

Tel: +1 (268) 460-1027 Email:

ppearing to come straight out of the history books at the entrance to the dockyard the Admiral’s Inn, once the Engineers Offices and the Pitch and Tar Store, is a beautifully restored and appointed boutique hotel with quaint guest rooms and suites adorned with vintage memorabilia. This historic building has operated as a hotel for almost 40 years. The property has recently been sympathetically revamped and expanded, creating The Pillars restaurant for fine dining and renovating the Old Hospital building across the lush private gardens into tranquil Garden Suites. Two rows of massive circular stone pillars are a dramatic feature of this garden. They once supported a Sail Loft over a short waterway, where naval vessels were brought in to have their sails lifted up to the loft for repair. The Joiners and Turners Loft above the adjacent Boat House has added to the unusual historic lodgings, with high, airy suites that have spectacular views of English Harbour and the yachts at anchor. Across a short span of water from the Admiral’s Inn, reachable by road or in two minutes by private water taxi from the Admiral’s Inn, lie The Gunpowder Suites. This inspirationally converted 18th century gunpowder magazine now houses luxury suites with modern amenities, an art gallery, spa and a gourmet poolside restaurant called Boom. The spacious, airy suites are seductive and private. They are each furnished with four-poster beds, ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, minibars, free WiFi, lounge area and a private balcony. Guests are invited to relax in their surroundings, where every aspect is designed to promote serenity and wellbeing. Both properties are sophisticated and serene retreats for unwinding but are located only minutes away from activities such as tennis, sailing and nightlife.

HERMITAGE BAY JENNINGS, ST. MARY’S, ANTIGUA “Few things in life are as good as they are broadcast to be, but Hermitage Bay is a rare gem that actually exceeds all.” This privately owned, luxury, all-inclusive, 5-star boutique hotel with twenty seven individual suites is set in beautiful tropical gardens on the beach and hillside of a stunning natural bay.


he most attractive element of the resort is its seclusion; one hundred and forty acres of undeveloped lush landscape and the brilliant blue waters of the Caribbean Sea encircle the scenic resort. Hermitage Bay is committed to providing an ideal balance between living within the natural environment and living in luxury, where mind, body and spirit can be nurtured and restored. The resort is the perfect retreat for anyone wishing to escape the busy stresses and strains of everyday life. To further promote a sense of wellbeing, Hermitage Bay offers organic treatments in the Garden Spa and regular yoga, meditation and Pilates classes on the spa deck. The fitness centre is fully equipped with a comprehensive range of apparatus. The restaurant’s menu is bursting with delicious, healthy food and Hermitage Bay is proud to use produce from its own organic kitchen garden, reducing food miles and supporting local businesses. The 5-star, varied menu mixes the best of modern European cuisine with Caribbean favourites and American classics. The Lounge area, next to the beach and pool, is a great place to unwind with a cocktail, a cup of tea or a good book. Have lunch here for a less formal feel. In the evening it is candle lit and atmospheric, perfect for drinks, canapés and even dancing. Special occasions can be celebrated with a secluded dinner at the water’s edge, on the beach or on your own private terrace. Whatever your desire, the dedicated staff at Hermitage Bay will accommodate you with a warm smile. Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 562-5500 or 562-8080 Toll Free USA: +1 (855) 596-2747 Email:

Simply Antigua Barbuda | Tourism


THE INN AT ENGLISH HARBOUR ENGLISH HARBOUR, ANTIGUA Overlooking Nelson’s Dockyard, The Inn boutique hotel provides absolute exclusivity, blending Colonial style architecture with luxurious and contemporary comfort.


he Inn at English Harbour is set amongst nineteen acres of lush, manicured gardens, bordered by a stretch of whitesand beach. Providing 5-star elegance, privacy and seclusion, the recently remodelled rooms and suites are decorated in calming neutral tones each boasting a private verandah or terrace. Guests are required to do little more than relax in the serene beach setting or re-energise body and soul within the minimalist Asian and Caribbean designed spa. More active guests may enjoy a variety of on and off-site sporting options. Whatever your special occasion may be the chances are The Inn will fulfill all your desires. Whether you are looking for a beautiful tropical wedding, a romantic getaway, a spectacular honeymoon setting or an understated renewal of your vows The Inn offers an intimate setting for an unforgettable celebration. Helpful staff mix discreet service with characterful, Antiguan laidback charm and an air of calm tranquillity much appreciated by the resort’s guests. Antigua’s rich cultural heritage and easygoing Caribbean lifestyle are undeniably part of the island’s allure. However, the gourmet cuisine is another aspect of this memorable experience. As part of your culinary adventure The Inn’s restaurants blend Italian traditions with local Caribbean produce and flavour to create amazing results. Their organic garden is a very important aspect of their passionate belief in bringing garden-fresh produce to every guest’s table. A stay at The Inn is nothing short of oldfashioned luxury. Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 460-1014 Email:


Simply Antigua Barbuda | Tourism

SUGAR RIDGE ANTIGUA TOTTENHAM PARK, ST. MARY’S ANTIGUA Enjoy this stylish and luxurious boutique hotel, with spectacular views of Antigua’s stunning southwest coast. This is the perfect base from which to explore and connect with the beautiful island of Antigua in a special way.


t Sugar Ridge you’ll find the perfect resort to retreat, relax, recharge and reenergise. With a collection of one and two-storey units wrapped around lush hillsides Sugar Ridge provides seclusion, privacy and understated elegance both inside and out. The gorgeously designed rooms set within a natural landscape have soothing interiors with earthy tones and rich dark wood. All rooms have spacious verandahs and private plunge pools are optional. Cutting edge amenities such as LCD TVs, iPod docking stations and electronic safes ensure added comfort and peace of mind. This Green Globe Certified resort-retreat offers everything for a relaxing stay. The Sugar Club is the heart of the resort with waterfalls, a lap pool and a fun pool as well as an Aveda Concept Spa, Cybex gym, yoga studio and all-day Sugar Club restaurant. Sugar Ridge encourages you to explore and get in tune with the island scene via a convenient shuttle service visiting neighbouring beaches and attractions. Guided nature walks and hikes lead you off the beaten track. Sugar Ridge is the perfect option for destination wedding groups, where brides stay free and are pampered for free when you reserve a minimum bridal package. The resort caters to both visitors and locals alike with a great blend of live evening entertainment where everyone mingles. Enjoy drinks at the contemporary bar and piano lounge and dine in one of the two restaurants. The view from Carmichael’s restaurant is magnificent and overlooks the entire resort out across the Caribbean Sea.

Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 562-7700 Toll Free USA: +1 (866) 591-4881 Email:

Simply Antigua Barbuda | Tourism




t. James’s Club offers a total of 247 Guest Rooms, Suites and Villas. Perfect for honeymooners, the luxurious Royal Suites feature spectacular waterfront views and offer concierge check-in service. The 2 bedroom Villas are a great choice for families and groups. Club Rooms, Premium Rooms and Beachfront Rooms are housed in one, two, and three-storey buildings with ocean or garden views. For on-property dining both all-inclusive and European plan options are available. The resort features four restaurants plus a beachside grill. Both buffet and à la carte choices are available and children’s menus and options are also available. With a games pavilion, four tennis courts, two beaches, six pools, a Kidz Club, a Spa & Salon and a brand new state-of-the-art Fitness Centre, St. James’s Club offers a diverse selection of activities and amenities. Complimentary non-motorized watersports include snorkelling, windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, pedal boating, paddle boarding and kayaking. Diving, including scuba instruction, is available from the resort’s on-site Dive Shop. Off-property excursions such as deep sea fishing and island tours can be arranged with guest services. There’s nowhere more fitting to celebrate a special occasion than the St. James’s Club. The resort offers a full-service event planning staff which can arrange weddings, vow renewals, honeymoons and group meetings. St. James’s Club also offers Day Pass service for locals. Please enquire directly with the resort for rates and availability.

MAMORA BAY, ANTIGUA Tucked away on a private 100 acre peninsula, the St. James’s Club & Villas exudes a casual, club-like ambiance and has a longstanding reputation for exceptional service. This exclusive hideaway caters to couples, families and singles with plenty of amenities and activities. Here, guests can retreat from the world or enjoy a wide array of land and water-based diversions.

Contact Details Tel: +1 (866) 237-2071



he Verandah has 180 villa-style Suites that have vaulted ceilings and Caribbean décor with bamboo accents. Built as side by side, single storey duplexes, the Suites offer the look and feel of a Caribbean villa while comfortably accommodating up to 4 guests with a king-sized bed and queen sleeper sofa. For larger families or groups, the resort offers 2 bedroom Villas, which can sleep up to 6 people. In addition, six new 2 bedroom Villas with individual plunge pools and partial water views will open in August 2016. For on-property dining both all-inclusive and European plan options are available. The Verandah features four restaurants and a beach grill. Both buffet and à la carte choices are available and children’s menus and options are also available. Guests can sunbathe on the resort’s two white-sand beaches, play tennis, exercise in the Fitness Centre or swim in any of the 3 pools. Other activities include aqua-aerobics, Caribbean cooking classes, nature walks, beach volleyball, soccer and cricket. Non-motorized water sports include windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, snorkelling, pedal boating, paddle boarding and kayaking. A tropical 18-hole minigolf course is a treat for all guests. The Verandah’s gorgeous setting, caring service and eco-friendly practices are all great reasons to host your wedding, vow renewal ceremony, honeymoon or anniversary trip here. Our on-site planning staff can assist with all aspects of your arrangements. The resort also offers Day Pass service for locals. Please enquire directly for rates and availability.


Nestled along Antigua’s pristine northeast coast, The Verandah Resort & Spa is an eco-friendly luxury resort encompassing 30 spectacular Contact Details Tel: +1 (866) 237-1785

beachfront acres traversed by hiking trails and bordered by Devil’s Bridge National Park. Located just 20 minutes from the international airport, this property is an ideal vacation spot for family getaways or romantic escapes.



alley Bay’s 98 guest rooms include Superior and Deluxe Beachfront rooms, Premium Beachfront Suites and Gauguin Cottages and Suites. A majority of the resort’s rooms are right on the beach. Six of the resort’s Gauguin Cottages have been newly remodelled into the chic new Gauguin Suites, with the remaining seven to be completed by the end of 2016. Galley Bay has three open-air, beachfront restaurants that offer Euro-Caribbean cuisine featuring fresh local produce and seafood. There is also a beachside Grill serving up casual fare throughout the day. The resort’s award-winning Executive Chef Andrew “Stan” Baxter has won several gold medals and was trained at London’s Dorchester Hotel and Ritz Casino, among other fine restaurants. Guests can stroll the gorgeous white sand beach, sail away on a Hobie Cat, take out a kayak, sunbathe by the resort’s pool with cascading waterfall or enjoy a game of tennis, croquet or horseshoes at no extra charge. Lagoon fishing, bicycle rentals and Internet access across the property are also complimentary. Off-property excursions such as deep sea fishing and island tours can be arranged with guest services for an additional fee. Guests can enjoy luxurious treatments at the newly decorated Indulge Spa. The open-air tree-top treatment pavilions are the perfect spot for a relaxing massage. Galley Bay offers a Day Pass service for locals. Please enquire directly with the resort for rates and availability.

FIVE ISLANDS, ANTIGUA Galley Bay Resort & Spa, located just 15 minutes from Antigua’s airport, defines Caribbean beachfront luxury. An intimate hideaway for discerning travellers who want a refined yet unpretentious experience, this allinclusive, adults-only beachfront resort is situated on 40 acres of tropical paradise, surrounded by a bird sanctuary and a three quarter mile long stretch of beach on the sunset side of Antigua.

Contact Details Tel: +1 (866) 830-1557


ineapple Beach Club has 180 rooms with various vistas including Gardenview, Oceanview and Beachfront. All rooms feature air-conditioning, TV, telephone, coffee/ tea maker, private bathrooms with shower and/ or tub, hair-dryer and safety deposit boxes. The resort features 3 restaurants and a hilltop grill, as well as 3 bars. Choices range from buffet to à la carte dining and include local Caribbean, Italian and Euro-American cuisine. Especially popular with guests is The Outhouse, a casual bar and grill located high above Long Bay with panoramic views of the property and sparkling sea. Here Miss Mary serves up tasty snacks and cocktails, and guests can leave behind a personalised sign to commemorate their visit. Take advantage of the tropical weather and chill out on the 1,600 foot white sand beach, swim in the resort’s two pools, or enjoy the complimentary non-motorized watersports including Hobie Cat sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkelling among the reefs just off the shore. Pineapple Beach Club also offers a Spa with Nail Bar, 4 tennis courts, a Fitness Centre, and daily activities such as water aerobics and beach volleyball. Off-property excursions can be arranged with guest services for an additional fee. The resort is the perfect spot to hold your wedding or vow renewal ceremony. The events team will arrange all of the details, and couples will swoon over the views from the bluff-top wedding gazebo. Pineapple Beach Club also offers Day Pass service for locals. Please enquire directly with the resort for rates and availability.

PINEAPPLE BEACH CLUB LONG BAY, ANTIGUA Pineapple Beach Club, located just 20 minutes from the international airport, is the most laid back all-inclusive in Antigua. Located on a Contact Details Tel: +1 (800) 858-4618

stunning stretch of white sand beach, this bright and casual resort completely embodies the ultimate Caribbean experience. This property is an ideal vacation spot for family getaways or relaxing escapes.





Every day at Trade Winds Hotel starts

The friendly, charming and

with a good morning and a genuinely

picturesque Catamaran Hotel is

warm Caribbean welcome. Book now

located in our historic National

and enjoy one of Antigua’s most

Park and is an intimate hotel with

homely and peaceful hotels.

enticing Caribbean warmth.



he Trade Winds Hotel is nestled majestically atop Dickenson Bay with breathtaking and panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. Exotic, idyllic and tranquil surroundings make Trade Winds perfect for vacationers or business travellers. The hotel’s fifty contemporary tropical décor rooms are spacious, airy, bright, intimate, relaxing and comfortable. They are equipped with all the necessary amenities including free high-speed WiFi. Select from Deluxe, Junior or Executive suites all with private balconies and spectacular ocean views. The bougainvillea framed freshwater swimming pool offers an indulgent and reenergising escape to soak up the scenic views while enjoying the cooling trade winds, which inspired the hotel’s name. Dine alfresco on a lovely terrace at the Bay House Restaurant & Bar, surrounded by breathtaking views and the scents of tropical flowers. Known as Antigua’s best kept dining secret Bay House is renowned for superb, fresh, tasty local and international cuisine, friendly staff and immaculate service. Enjoy picturesque sunsets as you sip on your favourite cocktail during two hours of “happy hour” daily. Trade Winds is known in Antigua as the

44 | Tourism

‘Business Travellers’ choice hotel because of its close proximity to the airport and St. John’s City. There are two state-of-the-art multi-function events/boardrooms equipped with multimedia flat screen televisions, surround sound and high-speed WiFi. These are perfect spaces to host business conferences, weddings, birthdays, office parties and much more. Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 462-1223 Fax: +1 (268) 462-5007 Email:

ating back to 1968, the hotel is owned and managed by one of the island’s premier yachting families, the Baileys. Perched by the beach between palm trees and tropical flowers the rooms offer an unparalleled beach location. The intimate hotel has 14 rooms which are all air-conditioned with ensuite bathrooms, kitchenette, cable television, telephones and WiFi. This makes the Catamaran Hotel ideal for independent travellers, couples and families looking for a relaxing vacation at a very affordable price. Guests can choose to lounge on the pretty harbour front beach or by the pool. The hotel’s restaurant, the Captain’s Quarters Restaurant & Bar, offers affordable dining in an alfresco setting. Their team of dedicated chefs elegantly blend fresh Caribbean and International flavours, infused with local herbs and spices to excite your taste buds. This inviting venue is ideal for your destination wedding where you’re invited to be a guest at your own wedding. The on-site, expert and certified Wedding Planners will keep the excitement of your engagement going right up to the moment you say I DO. They will ensure that your celebration is fun, elegant and filled with personalised details that reflect your style.

Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 460-1036 Fax: +1 (268) 460-1339 Email:

CURTAIN BLUFF OLD ROAD ANTIGUA Curtain Bluff is a member of the prestigious Virtuoso group. The resort has received accolades from major international media, ranked top resort in Antigua by Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best Awards” and one of Antigua’s top resorts by Condé Nast Traveler.


ocated on the southern tip of Antigua, Curtain Bluff encompasses 20 acres of lush tropical gardens on a peninsula overlooking the Caribbean Sea. For more than 50 years Curtain Bluff’s extraordinary service and amenities have set the standard for excellence throughout the Caribbean. The resort has been under the same outstanding ownership since 1962. Renowned hotelier, the late Howard Hulford, selected the private location for the resort in 1957 – a peninsula surrounded by a reef which protects the property’s two beautiful sandy beaches. The bay beach has calm waters contrasting dramatically with the surf beach. Guests continue to be smitten with Curtain Bluff which generously offers visitors a real Caribbean experience for one all-inclusive price. The resort’s luxury accommodation has ocean views and includes premium activities such as scuba diving, reef snorkelling and an exceptional championship tennis centre. Perched on the Bluff is the tranquil spa overlooking the sea. The beach-side swimming pool, beach bar, and hammocks swaying in the shade of coconut palms make it one of the most relaxing spots in the Caribbean. Gourmet-caliber meals and topshelf bar drinks are standard. No wrist-bands or buffet lines here. Alfresco fine dining at Curtain Bluff is always original, with a menu that changes nightly under the helm of Executive Chef Christophe Blatz, who trained with Alain Ducasse. Curtain Bluff boasts the Caribbean’s largest wine cellar and has the honour of receiving two Condé Nast Johansens awards for Most Excellent Service in the Caribbean. Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 462-8400 USA Tel: +1 (888) 289-9898 UK Tel: +1 (800) 051-8956 Email: | Tourism



CARLISLE BAY ANTIGUA OLD ROAD, ANTIGUA Simple. Discreet. Luxury. Carlisle Bay is a luxury resort looking out over white sand, palm trees and turquoise water, with a backdrop of emerald green rainforest. Sophisticated and contemporary in style, this modern Caribbean classic is instilled with genuine West Indian conviviality.

Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 484-0000 USA Tel: +1 (866) 502-2855 Email:

t’s the sounds of Carlisle Bay that stay with guests long after they have departed; the song of the birds, the whispering of waves and the swoosh of the palm trees. In a spectacular location on the island’s southern coast, Carlisle Bay is surrounded by nature, nestled into the foothills of the fragrant rainforest. All the spacious suites have stunning ocean views and cool, calm interiors featuring terraces or balconies with large daybeds. The family-friendly beach and three bedroom Carlisle Suites are separate from the spacious garden, ocean and bay suites for couples. Accommodating guests of all ages, families with children can take advantage of the kid’s club. Guests can enjoy tennis on nine courts with 4 lit for night-time play. They may spend time in the fitness centre, enjoy water sports and yoga classes, while those looking to unwind can chill out in the library, 48-seat cinema or Blue Spa. Many of the luxury treatments at the Spa are exclusive to Carlisle Bay. Some are designed to counterbalance the effects of sun and long haul travel, with a spa menu that includes facials, massages and scrubs. Brush up on your tennis skills with professional coaching or take a boat trip to one of the nearby reefs to sail, snorkel, kayak and windsurf. The hotel’s four restaurants – Indigo on the Beach, East, Ottimo! and the adults only Jetty Grill, offer some of the best food in the Caribbean. Enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner on the jetty and live music at the Pavilion Bar. Renowned for excellent service and fabulous food, Carlisle Bay offers contemporary luxury amidst a tranquil tropical setting. Carlisle Bay is a member of Leading Hotels of the World and is located within 30 minutes drive of the airport and 15 minutes from English Harbour.





COCOS is an intimate, all-inclusive

A couples-only, all-inclusive resort

boutique hotel, on a bluff between two

unlike any other. Keyonna Beach

beaches with breathtaking panoramas

Resort is situated beachfront on the

overlooking the Caribbean sea.

picturesque sunset side of the island.


OCOS is a tranquil hotel with 30 individual rustic wooden cottages all constructed by local craftsmen. They form a unique Caribbean village on the west coast of the island, situated amidst beautiful tropical landscaping with each cottage having maximum privacy. COCOS is located on an ocean bluff with panoramic views overlooking the Caribbean sea and a pool overlooking the beach. The cottages have spacious, airy rooms with king-size four-poster beds, hammocks, outdoor showers, private balconies and air-conditioning. It is the ideal location to get away from the intrusions of everyday life. Tropical pampering at the Serenity Cottage include soothing spa treatments designed to relax body and soul. There is an intimate, casual restaurant set on a cliff offering a wide selection of delicious meals prepared with local produce. There is also an extensive à la carte menu, a good selection of wines. The bar serves daily rum specials. The restaurant has spectacular views, particularly at sunset, and live music is played regularly to create a romantic ambiance. COCOS specialises in small, intimate, romantic weddings with a dedicated wedding coordinator and experienced staff to manage and customise everything for the bridal group.


Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 462-9700 Reservations: +1 (268) 460-2626 Toll Free USA/Canada: +1 (800) 420-8630 Email:

eyonna’s collection of luxurious, rustic cottages located just a few footsteps away from the beach have sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea. Best suited for those seeking a romantic and relaxing getaway, the scenic, stress-free environment is accompanied by excellent food and drink and friendly staff. Each cottage includes a large private veranda with comfy deck chairs, king-sized four-poster beds, bathrooms with unique ‘his and hers’ outdoor showers, air-conditioning, personalised in-room mini bars and free WiFi. There are no electronic distractions because our aim is to have you focus exclusively on each other. Our on-site beachfront restaurant is a multi-tiered, wooden terrace offering alfresco dining beneath a canopy of seaside grape trees. The menu is an eclectic mix of West Indian cuisine and fresh local seafood. A choice of vegetarian dishes is also available and special dietary requirements are accommodated on request. Service is à la carte for all meals. There are never any crowds on our 1,000 feet long deserted white sand beach which is dotted with cosy Bali beds each offering a front row view of the seascape punctuated by the silhouettes of neighbouring tropical islands. The Bali beds are a perfect way to nap in the

arms of your partner after a swim or to simply relax together sipping our famous cocktails and enjoying the view. Keyonna Beach Resort is picture-perfect for that special romantic wedding. Our dedicated team looks forward to making your wedding day a dream come true… We invite you to book your dream vacation with us without delay. Contact Details Tel: +1 (268) 562-2020 Reservations: +1 (268) 562-8880 Toll Free USA/Canada: +1 (877) 539-6662 Email: | Tourism


TYING THE KNOT WEDDING REQUIREMENTS TO SAY “I DO” IN PARADISE Antigua & Barbuda provide a perfect, romantic setting in which to get married; with picture perfect beaches, turquoise seas and breathtaking, iridescent sunsets, the scenery is astounding. However, the idyllic backdrop is just the beginning when it comes to the magical experience of saying “I Do” on our twin islands, which have developed an imaginative and creative industry - the Destination Wedding. Antigua & Barbuda was nominated the Caribbean’s most romantic destination at the 2015 World Travel Awards and is indeed among the American Express top ten wedding destinations, and for good reason.

IMAGE Courtesy Copper & Lumber Store Hotel

48 | Culture | Tourism


50 | Culture


irstly, getting married in Antigua & Barbuda is easy and straightforward from a legal point of view. There is no requirement for any period of residency and all marriage arrangements can be made immediately on arrival, making the process fast and stress-free. Over 1,500 couples apply annually for a Special Marriage licence, of which almost all are granted, making our sunny isles a popular destination to tie the knot. Once here, the options and possibilities for weddings are endless. A number of resorts and hotels have wedding planners as part of allinclusive wedding packages with a multitude of add-on options available, coordinated by staff. Independent wedding planners are also available, catering for everything from essential requirements to whimsical desires. The planner will present recommendations for location, plans for the ceremony, choice of photographer, menus, wine selections, the cake, flowers and all the details that go into the making of a memorable event. Many couples choose to marry on the

beach, of which Antigua boasts 365. However, Barbuda’s miles of deserted pink sand offer a unique beach wedding experience that is unrivalled anywhere else on earth. The seclusion and exclusivity offered by Barbuda and its people is sought after by the rich and famous, but our hidden gem provides a warm welcome to all. The more adventurous couples can even arrive on Antigua’s sister isle via helicopter for another unforgettable experience, and dining under the star-filled skies with an intimate wedding party is hard to beat. Whether you would like a conventional church wedding, or have always dreamed of getting hitched on a luxury yacht, both Antigua & Barbuda provide an exceptional destination for your special day. Reviewers and critics alike heap praise upon the exceptional venues and diverse experiences that are on offer. Professional, exclusive, high quality services are perfectly fused with the need to relax, unwind and relish wonderful and romantic moments, creating timeless memories to be treasured forever.

IMAGES Previous pages, left and right: Courtesy Copper & Lumber Store Hotel Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority & Caribbean Helicopters IMAGE Opposite page: Photographer Jason Pickering IMAGE This page left: Photographer Joseph Jones | Tourism


IMAGE Photographer Joseph Jones

52 | Culture

In preparation for getting married in Antigua, you should first familiarise yourselves with the wedding requirements and legal information:


All documents presented should be original or certified originals by issuing departments or offices. All documents must be in the legal names of the applicants. If the bride or groom is known by another name, an affidavit must be provided. Both parties must be over 15 years of age. If under the age of 18, written authorisation from parents or guardians is required. All marriages must be witnessed or celebrated by 2 or more persons.


Valid passports as proof of citizenship. Proof of status: Single: a declaration signed in Antigua, Divorced: original divorce decree, Widowed: original marriage and death certificates. Application form, completed at the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

FEES • • •

Special Licence: US$150 or EC$405 to be paid on application Registration Fee: US$40 or EC$108 to be paid on application Marriage Officer: Dependent on location selected for ceremony (approx. US$100/ EC$270) All fees correct at time of press.


The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs Queen Elizabeth Highway, St. John’s Tel: (268) 562-0381 / 462-0017 / 462-0019 Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:00-16:30 and Friday 8:00-15:00

IMAGE Courtesy Copper & Lumber Store Hotel

The Registrar General’s Office Queen Elizabeth Highway, St. John’s Tel: (268) 462-3744 / 462-3929 / 462-0609 Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 8:30-16:30 and Friday 8:30-15:00

There are a few simple steps that have to be taken in order to prepare for a marriage in Antigua & Barbuda: The procedure starts at the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs on Queen Elizabeth Highway, St. John’s. A short interview requires producing both passports and a copy of divorce papers, if there have been any previous marriages. A Special Licence will be issued at the cost of EC$405.00 (US$150.00). The next step is to visit the Registrar General’s office, also on Queen Elizabeth Highway. The fee for registering to be married at the Court House is $EC100.00 ($US40.00). If the wedding is performed at a venue other than the Court House, there will also be a Marriage Officer’s fee of EC$270.00 (US$100.00). The location is for you to choose. After the ceremony the Registrar General’s office will issue an official marriage certificate for a fee of EC$25.00 (US$10.00). Please note that it is compulsory to cover your shoulders in all government ministries and smart/casual or semi-formal attire is preferable. No shorts for men. | Tourism



Chefs at hotel resorts throughout Antigua & Barbuda are passionate about providing their guests with fresh and flavoursome cuisine. Most resorts source local and seasonal produce and many have gone a step further, by creating their own produce and herb gardens. The tropical conditions of our islands mean that a variety of fruit and vegetables can be grown all year around, despite our dry climate. This makes it possible for a keen chef to whip up delicious dishes every day, using whatever ingredient is in abundance. Whether these gardens contribute significantly to the daily menu or simply provide herbs and salad vegetables, the chefs use them creatively, producing recipes of unparalleled freshness. 54 | Tourism


ach hotel garden has individual characteristics depending upon the knowledge, skills, and practices of its gardener, and the curious guest is welcome to explore and learn more about the ingredients nurtured for their gastronomic pleasure.


IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Head Gardener Kente James and Assistant Gardener Martin Baird, show Isabella around the organic gardens at The Inn at English Habour.

A guided tour of the organic garden at The Inn at English Harbour inspires the senses with a kaleidoscope of colours, smells and textures rising from neat rows of organic compost. Kente James, the Head Gardener, is full of energy and along with his equally enthusiastic protégé Martin, educates and entertains the hotel guests. Gardening techniques are used, based on the organic principles of working in harmony with nature, and the MacDonald Farmer’s Almanac

is followed. Gardening by the moon calendar involves planting underground crops three days after a full moon and crops above ground are to be planted three days prior. To ensure the plants are healthy, a natural insecticide made from the Neem tree is sprayed liberally. Although this stops butterflies from laying eggs, it will not deter birds and, as many local birds feed on fruit and vegetables, this is an ongoing challenge, in which both scarecrows and nets are employed. Both Kente and Martin reveal an in-depth knowledge of local herbal remedies. The herb garden boasts a wealth of plants with medicinal virtues; tea made with French thyme for asthma, bay leaves for a high fever and even worm grass for deworming! The Moringa tree, commonly called the Tree of Life, has been used medicinally for centuries and its leaves are packed with an incredible amount of nutrition; the beans are more potent than Viagra and the flowers are

apparently ‘very beneficial’ for women in all capacities, and for weight loss. At ground level, vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, spinach, okra, and celery are produced in abundance, while string beans wind their way up toward the sky. A colourful variety of peppers, both sweet and hot, dangle from branches. The gardeners have had success growing an unusual variety of sweet pepper which they have nicknamed ‘evolution pepper’, it changes colour and flavour as it grows from green to red before reaching the final stage with a gleaming black skin. Martin tells me they can be picked at any stage of development. Eggplants hang from their stems, displaying yellow, white and purple varieties, and tomatoes in a range of sizes beg to be eaten. The carrots, parsnips, radishes and mustard seed are grown in a specially created soil, consisting of fine gravel, manure and top soil, in which they thrive. | Tourism


An array of fruit is grown in the lower garden, proudly named ‘Citrus Paradise’. Here oranges, lemons and limes flourish along with pomegranates, avocados and sour and sweet sop, both renowned for their medicinal qualities, aiding sleeping, high-blood pressure, and overall health. With all these lush, tantalising foods full of goodness, it is hardly surprising that hotel guests are tempted to pick produce straight from the garden for their pleasure. The nearby desalination plant ensures that the crops remain well watered and, in fact, the garden is so productive that at least part of its produce is sold to staff and local shops.

GALLEY BAY RESORT Galley Bay Resort is an intimate hideaway on the west coast of Antigua. Their main food 56 | Tourism

garden is currently cultivated on a one acre plot of thirteen acres of fertile land, and may well be referred to as an agricultural station, due to its size and high production rate; 1,500 pounds of cherry tomatoes can be harvested in a single month! Grounds Supervisor, John Bowe, has worked at the hotel for 20 years and has developed his ‘green fingers’ working on this vast herb, fruit and vegetable garden. Rows of crops, such as corn, cassava and pumpkin line the garden, surrounded by a density of trees, including banana, plantain, breadfruit and pigeon pea bushes. A huge Silk Cotton tree looms above the grounds, dwarfing its surrounds with an almost spiritual stance. In fact, as John leads us around the garden, a sense of mystery unfolds; a potted Miracle Fruit, native to West Africa, has a very special quality; when consumed, the ripe red berries have a mildly sweet flavour and the ability to

make any other substance consumed thereafter, taste exceptionally sweet. The fruit is treasured not for its own taste, but for its unique effect on the taste buds. The most bitter of tastes are transformed, with lemon tasting like honey and Guinness tasting like syrup. Miracle Fruit contains a glycoprotein called miraculin, which binds the tongue’s taste buds, acting as a sweetness inducer when it comes in contact with acids, lasting up to two hours. While this fruit is mainly considered a novel food, attempts have been made to create a commercial sweetener for dieters and diabetes sufferers. It has also been used to counteract the metallic taste left in the mouth, thought to be a side effect of chemotherapy, and Miracle Fruit will definitely help wash down the unpleasant tasting, but health-inducing Aloe Vera. Further intrigue follows as John points proudly at his pineapple plants, announcing

that they are indeed a sweeter (if smaller) variety than the famous Antigua Black pineapple. However, he has no idea what type of pineapple they are. Apparently, these fine pineapples appeared in the hotel’s rock garden six years ago, when John planted an area of pink ornamental pineapples. It can

IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Executive Chef Andrew ‘Stan’ Baxter and Chef Alison Ricketts working in Galley Bay’s extensive agricultural garden.

only be assumed that they were mixed amongst the decorative plants which he had actually purchased for display. The genuine pineapples were transferred to the agricultural garden and are now one of John’s most prolific fruits. These ‘mystery’ fruit grow alongside tangerine, avocado and papaya trees, while three different types of mango tree - Julie, Hackett and Bombay - produce an endless supply in season. Galley Bay’s Executive Chef Andrew ‘Stan’ Baxter is always looking for new ways to enhance presentation too. His latest endeavours include growing edible flowers, such as Borage, otherwise known as a starflower. Borage has a vibrant blue flower and the leaves can be used as either a fresh vegetable or a dried herb. As a vegetable, it can be used in salads or as a garnish with a cucumber flavour. The flower itself has a honey taste and is often used to decorate desserts or cocktails. Chef Alison Ricketts, who graduated from The Antigua Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute, works closely under Chef Stan, and is also a garden enthusiast. She is often found clipping fragrant herbs in preparation for her cooking demonstrations. The poolside alfresco class invites guests to gather round and take part in learning how to prepare a fresh local dish. With rolling waves as a backdrop, Alison whisks together her fresh ingredients, interacting with attentive guests, who surround her with cameras, videos and cocktails in hand. The irresistible aromas of freshly picked cilantro (coriander) and sweet bell peppers | Tourism


float through the air as the guests eagerly await their lobster fritters.

HERMITAGE BAY At Hermitage Bay, a five star boutique hotel on the southwest coast of Antigua, there is an unwavering commitment to serving gourmet meals made from the freshest, highest quality ingredients. Many of the ingredients are sourced from the resort’s organic garden and local farmers, and often includes line-caught fish hooked by guests on sport fishing trips. Chef Desroy Spence tells me, “last week a guest caught a lovely wahoo which we prepared 3 ways: steamed, stir-fried and blackened with coconut steamed vegetables. We also take our guests cockle picking in the nearby mangroves and add the collected cockles to the evening menu prepared with fresh herbs from the organic garden. ” The guests at Hermitage Bay are treated to tours of the resort’s organic garden and are encouraged to see, touch, smell, taste and photograph a medley of produce. En route, Desroy tells me that he likes to point out the local trees to the guests. We pass coconut, tamarind and date trees. Desroy says, “We use the fresh tamarind for sauces, and the tamarind BBQ spare ribs are a favourite on the beach BBQ menu. I also explain to the guests that local people make a delicious wine and juice from the wild Sea Grape growing on the beach.” We are greeted by Kempton McCalmont, who strolls through the banana grove to meet us. Kempton, an agriculture school graduate, has a double role at the resort as the Food & Beverage Supervisor and the Head Gardener. The full-time gardener, Leslie Henry, assists him with cultivation and maintenance. The 58 | Tourism

garden is only five years old and yet amazingly the fruit trees such as soursop, mango, passion fruit, banana, sugar apple, guava, papaya, and ginep are already bearing. Soursops are used in fruit plates, juice, salad dressing, chilled soup, ice cream and parfait. He says, “Many guests have only seen these types of fruit in the supermarket. They don’t know if they were grown on a tree or a bush. I encourage them to ask me lots of questions and give them as much information as I can.” Other produce cultivated in the garden include Scotch Bonnet, seasoning and Habanero peppers – from these the resort blends its own hot sauce which is available for guests to purchase. The garden also grows cassava, cucumbers, Malabar spinach, okras, a variety of herbs and a range of experimental, western crops of carrots, black eggplants and even a thriving patch of asparagus. Recently the gardeners have begun to grow a range of microgreens, which are used as garnishes. One daily dish on the menu consists only of microgreens, cress, pak choi, beetroot leaves, lettuce and arugula.

CARLISLE BAY Carlisle Bay is a contemporary luxury hotel situated on the south coast of Antigua. The hotel’s four distinctive restaurants serve locally sourced ingredients, and Head Chef Lisa Sellers is passionate about developing the newly established food garden. Having been employed as a Head Chef in resorts throughout the Caribbean, Lisa has made it her call of duty to nurture organic produce at each resort. She explains that the process of growing food in ‘your own backyard’ has inspired her current team of twenty-eight chefs and cooks. Lisa encourages experimentation with regard to the types of

IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Executive Chef Desroy Spence and Head Gardener Kempton McCalmont with Hermitage Bay guests in the resort’s organic garden. | History


IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Main left: Carlisle Bay Resort’s homemade hot pepper sauce and orange bitters.

60 | Culture

Above: Gardeners at work in the Carlisle Bay organic herb and salad garden. Collected deadwood from the resort’s estate for their restaurant’s wood-burning oven.

produce grown and is eager to discuss the highs and lows of Carlisle Bay’s organic garden to date. It seems that whilst thyme prefers to be grown in pots, rather than beds, microgreens are stubborn and difficult to grow, no matter the conditions. Lisa will not be defeated and whilst outsourcing the production of microgreens to a farmer, in

grill to achieve a smoky flavour, before blending with the various coloured peppers. The end result has an exceptional taste and goes down a storm with the hotel’s spice-loving guests. For the more hearty eater, pizza is baked in the wood-fired oven, which is fuelled by deadwood and dried plant matter from the

a bid to support local community business she continues to focus on the garden’s potential. One of the first problems to be tackled was the lack of shade, required to protect the herbs from the scorching sun. Solid wooden structures with shade cloth have been constructed by in-house carpenter John Jones. This reduces heat and light intensity, improving moisture retention in the soil and resulting in better quality and higher yields. Lisa explains that the key to success with shade cloth is to hang it high enough above the crops for ventilation purposes. A greenhouse has also been built to house seedlings and to grow Carlisle Bay’s signature flower, the orchid. These colourful and tropical flowers greet the visitor at reception and are used as flowers on arrival in guest’s suites. Kale grows in abundance in the garden and is a favourite with Carlisle Bay’s health conscious guests. Often hailed as a superfood, it is an easy-to-grow, versatile green. Served as a healthy option on the Spa’s lunch menu, it features in colourful local salads, mixed with arugula and beets from the garden. Kale is also flavoured with wasabi or cumin and baked with olive oil on a low heat, as an alternative to chips. A drizzle of extra virgin oil infused with fresh products from the garden - garlic, basil, rosemary or tarragon oils - adds a robust flavour to any dish. Chef Joseph Hennis uses a blend of different hot and seasoning peppers grown in the garden to make his own hot sauce. The sauce has a thick, creamy consistency, which Hennis explains comes from roasting vegetables on the

hotel’s own woodland area, as part of an ongoing recycling programme. More hardy crops, such as pumpkin and okra have been relocated to the ‘wild’ garden, which is located behind the beach. Here, these vegetables can run uncontained, alongside squash, zucchini and a more experimental tri-coloured carrot, which grow in regular orange or purple and black. Back at the Jetty Bar, Michael Eutrope, Food and Beverage manager, meets us with a refreshing limeade and colourful conversation. Willet Ben, who serves at the bar, took some time out to share some of his secret liquid recipes with us, which of course include produce from the food garden. Homemade orange bitters is simply conjured up from a high proof alcohol, such as rum, which is infused with orange peel and left to ferment at room temperature for several days. Homemade grenadine achieves its beautiful pink hue from boiled pomegranate, into which local brown sugar is stirred, resulting in a sweet syrup used for drinks. Having visited only a handful of hotel organic gardens in Antigua, we were blown away by how productive and interesting they are. Each garden has so much to offer and the variety of produce is astounding, as is the hard work and enthusiasm put in by the hotel staff to maintain their produce. Tasting the fresh ingredients, either straight out of the garden or incorporated into fine cuisine was truly inspirational and, on leaving these gardens with arms full of local produce, we were left wondering why we are not all growing organic food in our own backyards. | Tourism



We offer a wealth of exciting tours, inviting you to explore and get to know our interesting islands. Whether you are after a thrilling adventure or thirsty for some historical knowledge, our wide range of tours and attractions will keep the whole family entertained. Enjoy land-based safari tours, hike across the island, zip-line through the rainforest, or fly by helicopter. Snorkel our reefs, eco-kayak through the mangroves, swim with stingrays, circumnavigate Antigua or cruise to Barbuda. Learn how to sail or dive, turtle watch by night, or be famous for a day with a personalised photo tour. Whether you fancy bouncing on a water trampoline or riding up the beach on horseback, Antigua & Barbuda have it covered.

IMAGE Photographer Roddy Grimes-Graeme Stingray City, Antigua,

62 | Culture

WATER-BASED TOURS Adventure Antigua - Xtreme Circumnav & Eco Tour Tel: +1 (268) 726-6355 or +1 (268) 764-5256 Antigua Ocean Adventures Tel: +1 (268) 464-7576 Email:

Barbuda Express Ferry - A To B By Sea! Tel: +1 (268) 560-7989 or +1 (268) 764-2291 Email: Blue Goat Yacht Tours - Private Charter Tours Tel: +1 (268) 783-4983 Email: Catamaran Sailing Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 786-1311 or +1 (268) 779-1004 Email: Catch The Cat Antigua - Catamaran Sailing Tel: +1 (268) 464-7113 Email: Creole Cruises Tel: +1 (268) 784-9654 Email: Jenny’s Montserrat Tours Tel: +1 (268) 722-8188/9092 or +1 (268) 778-9786 Email: Joy Sailing Tours Tel: +1 (268) 736-6953 Email: Life’s-A-Picnic – Champagne Power Yacht Tours Tel: +1 (268) 725-4663 or +1 (268) 720-4663 Email:

Miguel’s Holiday Adventure – Offshore island retreat Tel: +1 (268) 723-7418 or +1 (268) 460-9978 Email: Ondeck Sailing Tel: +1 (268) 562-6696 Tel: +1 (268) 562-7954 Email: Reef Rider Snorkelling Adventure Tel: +1 (268) 728-5239 Tropical Adventures – Excellence & Mystic II Catamarans Tel: +1 (268) 480-1225 / 26 / 27 Email: Tropical Catamaran Sailing Tel: +1 (268) 771-8651 Email:

IMAGE Photographer Eli Fuller Adventure Antigua Xtreme, Pillars of Hercules, Antigua

Tito 1 – Power Yacht Tel: +1 (268) 464-0678 or 460-1452 / 1023 Email: Treasure Island Cruises Tel: +1 (268) 461-8675 Email: Wadadli Cats – Catamaran Cruises Tel: +1 (268) 462-4792 Tel: +1 (268) 562-2792 Email:

Barbuda Express Ferry, River Wharf, Barbuda Scan for more tour listings. | Tourism


IMAGE Photographer Carla Gonsalves-Barreiro Stingray City, Antigua,

64 | Culture

WATER-BASED ACTIVITIES 40 Knots - Kitesurfing & Windsurfing School Tel: +1 (268) 788-9504 Email: Antigua Paddles Tel: +1 (268) 720-4322 Email:

Dockyard Divers Tel: +1 (268) 729-3040

National Sailing Academy – Youth Sailing Tel: +1 (268) 562-8060 Tel: +1 (268) 464-2645 Email: Turtle Tours - Environmental Awareness Group Tel: +1 (268) 462-6236 Email:

D-BOAT – Water Entertainment Centre Tel: +1 (268) 734-2628 Dive Carib Tel: +1 (268) 562-3483 Email:

IMAGE Photographer Tony Fincham

Windsurf Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 461-9463 Email:

Scan for more tour and activity listings.

Jolly Dive Centre Tel: +1 (268) 462-8305 Email:

Mystic Amara II, Sports Fishing, Mahi Mahi catch, Antigua

Kite Surf Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 720-5483 Email: Soul Immersion Dive Centre Tel: +1 (268) 725-5377 Email: Stingray City Tel: +1 (268) 562-7297 Mystic Amara – Sports Fishing Tel: +1 (268) 464-7112 Tel: +1 (268) 764-3474 Email:

Wadadli Cats, catamaran cruises, Antigua | Tourism


Island Safari Gold Tropical Adventures Tours, Morris Bay, Antigua Trek Tours, guided hikes, Antigua

LAND-BASED TOURS & DRIVING TOURS Bigs Car Rental Tel: +1 (268) 562-4901 or +1 (268) 772-9900 Email: Chase Rent-A-Car Tel: +1 (268) 561-4066 or +1 (268) 726-4066 / 723-7476 Cheke’s Scooter & Car Rental Tel: +1 (268) 723-9292 Email: Famous for the Day - Photo Tour Tel: +1 (268) 726 3148 Email: Freestyle Antigua ATV Tours Tel: +1 (268) 726-3572 or +1 (268) 736-3733 Email: Island Taxi & Tours Barbuda Claude Burton, Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 460-0103 or +1 (268) 771-4345

Freestyle Antigua ATV Tours, Antigua

Nat Taxi Tours Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 732-7938 or +1 (268) 778-9301 Email: Pelican Island Tours Tel: +1 (268) 728-2969 Email: Salty Dogs Rentals – Land & Sea Excursions Tel: +1 (268) 562-8341 or +1 (268) 783-5366 Sunshine Island Beach Tours Email: Tel: +1 (268) 560-5871 or +1 (268) 770-1369 IMAGE Photographer Ted Martin Famous for the Day, Photo Tour, Antigua

Tropical Adventures – Island Safari & Island Safari Gold Tel: +1 (268) 480-1225 / 26 / 27 Email:

Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour, Zip Line and Rope Challenge Course, Fig Tree Drive, Antigua


Sunfire Horseback Riding Academy, Fort Beach, Antigua

Antigua Buggys Tel: +1 (268) 789-9686 or +1 (268) 786-1311 / 779-1004 Email: Antigua Equestrian Centre at Springhill Riding Club Tel: +1 (268) 460-7787 Email: Antigua Rainforest Company – Zipline Tour & Nature Tours Tel: +1 (268) 562-6363 | Email: Caribbean Helicopters Tel: +1 (268) 460-5900 or +1 (268) 562-8687 Email: Cedar Valley Golf Course Tel: +1 (268) 462-0161 | Email: Footsteps Hiking Tel: +1 (268) 460-1234 Email: | Happy Heights Hiking Tel: +1 (268) 720-6512 or +1 (268) 728-4453 Reliable Stables Tel: +1 (268) 770-9333 or +1 (268) 773-4086 Email: Sunfire Horseback Riding Academy Tel: +1 (268) 770-6305 Email: Trek Tours - Hiking Tel: +1 (268) 774-8735 or +1 (268) 771-9508 National Parks - Heritage Tours Tel: +1 (268) 481-5028 /21 /22 / 23 Email:

Caribbean Helicopters, Low Bay, Barbuda

KITESURFING - KITE ANTIGUA Written by Jake Kelsick. Edited by Claudia Johnson

Although kitesurfing is considered a new sport, Kitesurf Antigua, a kitesurf school, was actually established in Antigua in 2001. With fifteen years of experience, these enthusiastic instructors are always ready to provide you with a safe and fun learning experience on the beautiful Jabberwock beach, located in the northeast corner of Antigua. This quarter mile long beach has always been popular with windsurfers, due to the warm trade winds which blow during the months of November through to July, which coincide with our tourism season, the main industry in Antigua.

68 | Tourism


he beach is crescent shaped and provides the perfect on-shore wind conditions for learners and further up the beach, more upwind conditions for experienced riders. Indeed, Antigua & Barbuda have some of the best conditions for kitesurf training in the world. These conditions have nurtured kiteboard talent in Antigua and put it on the international map. Back in 2007 three Island boys, Andre ‘Dre’ Phillip, Adam Anton and Derek Camacho saw that there was room for improvement in much of the gear available to the public, and set out to produce a line of user friendly equipment. The team, who already specialised in various aspects of the sport, including Dre being a Pro kiteboarder, decided to launch their own international kiteboarding company, called Tona. The company successfully sells its funky, professional boards around the globe, and future plans involve expanding and providing a full line of everything kite related. Jake Kelsick is one of Antigua’s younger local kitesurf talents, having competed in the USA, Europe and even Russia. He is sponsored by Antigua’s Tona and Ozone, which is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of kites and paragliders. Both brands have international riders from all over the world. Jake channels most of his energy into promoting the sport and his sponsors, using media such as video, print and online releases. He believes that imagery is the most powerful tool for showcasing kiteboarding and educating those who know nothing of the sport first hand. Jake’s latest project is a website called Basixs, which provides a platform for this life-loving soul to share his experiences and memories, and to inspire others to live their dreams. The online shop offers a range of ‘sunsplashed’ merchandise, including tanks, tees, totes and prints. The tropical images, many of which capture Jake having a blast on his board,

do literally make you want to dive into the crystal waters or take to the air. Jake’s passion for his sport and his country are eloquently captured in his own words: I’m a self-confessed kite-o-holic. At the age of 23 I think I have literally spent more time on or in the ocean than on land. I live on the island of Antigua and like most islanders my daily plans are dictated by the weather forecast. While others pray for the steady trade winds just to cool the Caribbean heat, I rely on them to power my passion. Life in Antigua for me means a typical day ends by checking the conditions for the following day. I wake daily with anticipation of a solid 18-20 knots of wind. I don’t need to set an alarm clock. The distinctive rustle of palm leaves outside my window wakes me up. This routine has become my way of life and is one I dare not take for granted. While there are plenty of so-called first-world luxuries we go without in our small twin island state, the abundance of wind and salt water has moulded my identity. Nestled in the Leeward Island chain, Antigua is home to just over 85,000 people sharing 108 square miles of land. Visitors flock here to get away from their day-to-day worries. I live in a vacation destination which is something I’m sure a lot of people dream about. The reality though is that most locals stay busy working indoors with nine-to-five jobs and are far removed from the sun, sea, and sand. For most islanders living in a vacation destination doesn’t mean you get to live your life on vacation. Kitesurfing is more of a novelty here than a pastime with only a handful of locals who regularly kite, including our very own legend Andre “Dre” Phillip and myself. Kiteboarding arrived in Antigua with the opening of Kitesurf Antigua, founded by former Olympic windsurfer Eli Fuller. Eli had returned from his travels with kite gear and introduced | Tourism


Dre to kitesurfing soon after opening the school. Kiting quickly took the small Antigua windsurfing community by storm. Experienced guys who kite are often ex-windsurfers, including Dre. When the sport first hit the island it was very appealing because you needed less wind, the gear was smaller, and it looked like a lot of fun. Most of the windsurfers ended up ditching their old windsurf gear for a set of sketchy new kite gear and stumbling through the process of learning to ride the early equipment. I was 10 years old in 2003 when I was first introduced to the sport, just a skinny little kid and not even heavy enough to hold down a kite yet. By the age of 12 I decided that I was going to do my best to follow in Dre’s footsteps; he was already travelling and growing his career as a pro kiteboarder and I really looked up to him. Once he saw that I wasn’t going to leave him alone, Dre took me under his wing and gave me all the help I needed. He was always building new obstacles so I got to hit kickers and rails pretty early on. Not a lot of young riders have access to obstacles and even fewer have access to someone to encourage them to go for it. Dre has been a huge mentor to me both on and off the water and remains a great friend and mentor to this day. No matter what is going on I can always look to him for advice. Watching Dre push the boundaries of what was possible with a kite as the sport developed, really motivated me to stick with it and made me believe that I could go places with the sport. When I look at kiteboarding now I am amazed by how much it has changed. Just a few years ago it was rare to meet other riders with boots mounted to their boards. Today so many more riders wear them and push the wakestyle side of the sport, even the top guys on the PKRA (Professional Kite Board Riders Association) tour. Now you can go places and find a rat pack 70 | Tourism

of kids wearing boots and some have even built obstacles. The really cool part is that this is attracting a younger group of riders to the sport. By learning to ride under the watchful eye of Dre, it was easy to see the direction he wanted the sport to go and it’s been amazing to see that vision come to life. Dre has been a huge influence on me, but my dad Russell has been my biggest supporter. He has always been a waterman and was heavily into windsurfing years before I was born. Now we get to share that feeling of ‘stoke’ with kiting. He has been dedicated to taking me back and forth to the beach, launching my kites, and allowing me to spend a lot of time on the water from the very beginning. He bought my first kite from Dre, and I used it until it exploded on the beach one day. My first board was something called the Clam, which was the cool board to have in Antigua back then. In my opinion Antigua is one of the best places in the world for people to learn and get into kiteboarding. Jabberwock Beach brings local, regional, and international kiters together to create a cool scene, but for the most part it’s relatively quiet here with lots of room for everyone to get out on the water and have a good time. The island is also one of the top winter yachting destinations and the kite scene quite often picks up during the Charter Yacht Show, Sailing Regattas and Sailing Week with international yacht crews escaping work to go kiting! Even though the kite scene is small in Antigua I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else. Sometimes it’s almost like we have the entire island to ourselves, this is especially true when we travel to Barbuda to kite. We get to go out and explore different parts of the islands and all we have to worry about is if it’s going to be windy enough. We can set rails up wherever

we want and never have to worry about kites getting in the way or people telling us we can’t kite here. At times it feels like both islands are our own personal playground! On the flip side, as a pro kiteboarder living in Antigua I need to travel a lot. Without getting on a plane and getting out there no one will ever see me ride, and it’s hard to get much coverage as a pro kiter when there’s barely anyone else around. Both Dre and I spend a considerable amount of time flying to places to connect with the kite scene in the rest of the world. Its, tough to stay motivated and learn new tricks when you don’t see what other pro riders are doing. My first real travel experience was for the 2009 REAL Triple S competition and I have been back almost every year since then. The event takes place in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It’s an invite only event and is the biggest kiteboarding event in the States. There is a great atmosphere and it attracts riders from all over the globe. Over the years quite a few pro kiters have passed through Antigua. Back in 2004/2005 during the filming of the Metropolis and Autofocus DVDs a lot of top riders came down. Mauricio Abreu, Bertrand Fleury, Moehau Goold, Jason Stone, Jason Slezak, and Tuva Jansen all visited Antigua while Elliot Leboe and Tracy Kraft Leboe were shooting. Those were some really memorable moments for me as a young kid. Not only did I get to meet some of my heroes, but I also had the chance to ride with and feed off of some of the best kiteboarders in the world at the time. Ever since I joined Ozone as a team rider in 2012, I’ve had a platform to penetrate the international kite scene and it’s really helped me be at the top of my game. Collaborating with Tona boards has further solidified both Antigua and my place in the sport. Everyone involved

in the brand has roots in Antigua so we are like a family. I’ve been extremely lucky in that my sponsors have allowed me to stay away from the mainstream competition circuit and instead I get to embrace the lifestyle of the sport. What else can I say about Antigua & Barbuda? It has been a great place to live and ride. While the islands look like paradise to those on the outside, they’re not without shortcomings. However, if my travels have taught me anything, it’s that every place in the world has its own pros and cons. Sometimes it feels like we’re cut off from the rest of the kiteboarding world down here, but every time I travel somewhere else, I feel extremely lucky when I return home to find the whole beach to myself. It’s easy to convince yourself that the grass is greener elsewhere, but I really feel it’s important to learn to embrace where you are. It’s hard for me to imagine a better place to have to embrace than Antigua & Barbuda.

IMAGES Previous pages: Photographer Roddy GrimesGraeme, ©2014 Left: Jake Kelsick jumping a ramp obstacle at Jabberwock beach, Antigua. Right: Jake Kelsick and Andre “Dre” Phillip gear-up on the beach at Jabberwock. IMAGE Opposite page: Courtesy Jake Kelsick Jake Kelsick kitesurfing pristine beaches in Barbuda. IMAGE Below: Photographer Andre “Dre” Phillip Jake Kelsick at home on Jabberwock beach.

Jake Kelsick Instagram: @JakeKelsick www.Basixs.Life www. | Tourism



The world of international yachting means different things to different people. For the professional crews, one of its advantages is that it remains a relatively small, cohesive world. Captains, crews and owners meet and recognise each other from Sydney, Australia to Newport, Rhode Island, from Palma de Majorca to Rio. In the summer IMAGE Photographer Roddy Grimes-Graeme Sunset over Falmouth Harbour, Antigua

72 | Culture

months the Mediterranean is the centre of the bustle and glamour. In the winter months, however, Antigua becomes the hub of the international yachting world.

IMAGES Left: Sir Hugh Bailey’s ‘Hugo B’ spinnaker bears the colours of the Antiguan flag, Antigua Sailing Week. Photographer Ted Martin


he Antigua winter yachting season begins with the Charter Yacht Show in December. This event was started by the Nicholson family in 1961, and in recent years has frequently registered more than 100 yachts. Brokers for the show come from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Monaco, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, Turkey, the UK and the USA, as well as from Antigua and other Caribbean islands. Many of the boats remain in the region for the winter, and are joined by the committed sailors who race here in spectacular events from December to May.

Above: Crew aboard ‘St Briac’, Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta. Photographer Allan Aflak

Sailing races and regattas start with the Superyacht Challenge, which was introduced in 2011 and has since become one of the important international sailing events of the year. The Challenge is a series of pursuit races held over a three day period, starting and ending in Antigua. The second major event on the winter calendar is the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) Caribbean 600, the only offshore race in the Caribbean series. Introduced in 2009, the 600 nautical mile race starts from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, heading north to St. Martin and then south to Guadeloupe by way of Barbuda, | Tourism


Nevis, St. Kitts, Saba and St. Barts. It is a highly competitive endurance race that attracts the fastest offshore racing boats in the world. As the big international events fill the calendar, other local events take place as well. Jolly Harbour Yacht Club puts on a family orientated Valentine’s Regatta in mid-February with contests for paddle boards, canoes and Picos, and three days of competitive sailing for keel boats, with a separate two day regatta for Laser Pico dinghies. To add to the general excitement in the air, there is the arrival of the brave Talisker Atlantic Rowing Challenge competitors. This race starts from Spain in early December, and after a gruelling Atlantic crossing of 3,000 miles and from 40 to 80 days, the boats finish 74 | Tourism

in Nelson’s Dockyard. Touted as the world’s toughest rowing race, the Talisker is sponsored by the makers of Talisker Single Malt Whisky from the Isle of Skye. The most prestigious of our regattas is the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta, which takes place in mid-April. Established in 1988, this regatta is now the first of 10 prestigious, global Classics sponsored by Panerai. The most beautiful yachts in the world, including J-Class yachts, Carriacou sloops, schooners and new Spirit of Tradition classics compete in the Antigua Classic. The 37th Oyster Regatta was held in Antigua in April 2016 for several classes of Oyster yachts. Oyster Marine is the UK’s most successful builder of world class cruising yachts. The competitive six-day event with four days of

IMAGES Photographer Ted Martin Previous page, far left: ‘Highland Fling IX’ competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 Race. Previous page, left: ‘Phaedo3’ breaks RORC Caribbean 600 Multihull Record, crossing the finishing line in 2016 in under 32 hours. This page: Professional race yachts at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 Race. | History


IMAGE Photographer Allan Aflak Left: ‘Elena’ competing in the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta.

IMAGES Opposite page: Photographer Ted Martin Top: Yachts jostling for position at Antigua Sailing Week. Bottom: Youth sailors competing in the Seaboard Marine Optimist North American Championship.

76 | Culture

racing adds greatly to the winter yachting scene. Our winter yachting season wraps up with Antigua Sailing Week, which begins the last Sunday in April and ends in early May. Sailing Week started in the 1960s as an informal race organised between Classic sailboats anchored in English Harbour. The earliest races were set

Several yacht clubs and associations support the yachting industry. The Antigua Yacht Club is the home of sailing in Antigua and one of the best-known Yacht Clubs in the Caribbean. The National Sailing Academy based in Falmouth Harbour runs ‘Sailability’, a programme designed to give disabled adults and

between Guadeloupe and English Harbour. By 1967 the event had evolved into Antigua Sailing Week, and it is now a renowned international regatta, attracting boats from as far away as Australia and New Zealand. Sailing Week is a highly organised and very social event, with five full days of racing. The awards ceremony is held on the evening of the final racing day, and is the last major social event of the winter yachting season. And yet, in 2015, and again in 2016, Antigua was selected to host a further exciting sailing event in mid-summer. The Optimist North American Championships attracted boys and girls aged 8 to 15 from 23 countries competing in 5 days of racing. The Optimist is both a small single-handed dinghy boat sailed in over 120 countries and an international sailing association for young people. The International Optimist Dinghy Association (IODA) holds Optimist Championships annually around the world. Our intense focus on boats and boating has encouraged a thriving industry of support and supply services. There are five important marinas in Antigua and they and other independent operators provide yacht shipping and delivery services, chandleries, fuel and provisioning, engineers, sail makers and riggers, awning and soft furnishings makers, electronic services, painters and varnishers, metal welders and fabricators, customs brokers and yacht storage yards. The industry’s positive impact on the local economy is far-reaching.

children the experience of sailing. Jolly Harbour Yacht Club can berth super yachts up to 200 feet long, and runs a popular Dinghy Sailing Program for local youths. The Antigua & Barbuda Marine Association deals with government advocacy and environmental issues, customs and immigration issues, security, marketing and general development of the yachting product. The Antigua & Barbuda Marine Association, which reports to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), is the national authority for sailing in Antigua & Barbuda waters. Antigua and the yachting community have made a significant commitment to the education of children in the sport of sailing, thereby opening the door to the many opportunities for work in the yachting industry. The National Sailing Academy, founded by visionaries from the yachting world in 2010, is funded by a voluntary assessment of one US dollar per foot of length per visiting yacht each year. The government supports this initiative, and has made sailing a national sport. Children receive initial free sailing lessons conducted by the National Sailing Academy, starting out on Pico dinghies and graduating to Optimists. In 2010 Woodstock Boatbuilders launched a 39 foot Carriacou sloop, Summer Cloud, for use by students who graduate from dinghies to keel boats, and in 2011 Richard Matthews, founder of Oyster Marine, donated a Cork keelboat to the Academy. The heritage of yachting in Antigua and its future success appear to be secure. | Tourism


IMAGE Photographer Roddy Grimes-Graeme Spotted Eagle Ray, Antigua

78 | Culture

THE ENVIRONMENT PRESERVING OUR ISLANDS FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS Written by Daryl T. George, Board member of the Environmental Awareness Group, Antigua.

When most people hear of Antigua & Barbuda, our natural environment and wildlife aren’t what first come to mind: instead, it is the tagline of “365 beaches, one for every day of the year”. However, the environment is definitely a huge factor in the natural beauty and traditional way of life in Antigua & Barbuda.


here are a number of areas that showcase the natural environment, from the lush rainforest on our south-western corner, to our offshore islands, which contain a number of endangered species such as the Antiguan Racer snake and the West Indian Whistling Duck. Significant efforts to improve legislation to protect our wildlife include the Environmental Protection and Management Act of 2015. Managing our environment in a clean, healthy and sustainable way also helps us to be able to feed ourselves. Using innovative ideas

such as composting help us to put our waste to good use for healthy, organic food. And by establishing closed seasons for our marine resources such as parrotfish, conch, and lobster, we can protect these resources from overfishing and ensure that they will be enjoyed in the future. We continue to turn negatives to positives: despite the invasion of the lionfish, a voracious predator that has devastated marine life in other countries, we organised lionfish hunts and put this invasive fish on the menu. Of course the mantra at the moment is

renewable energy, and with the installation of a 3 MW solar plant at the V.C. Bird International Airport, we have reduced our dependence on fossil fuels and reduced our carbon footprint. However, we must not rest on our laurels: with development threatening the offshore islands, great care must be taken to balance immediate financial gain with long term holistic benefits to our country. It is important to continue to properly manage and protect our environment, and to leave a legacy for generations to come. | Environment


IMAGE Photographer Phikwe Goodwin PG Labs - Aerial Photography & Video Top images: Leatherback Turtles nesting under the full moon at Rendezvous Bay, Antigua. Bottom images: Leatherback hatchlings emerging from the sand on Valley Church Beach, Antigua.

80 | Environment

IMAGE Photographer Kate Levasseur Sea Turtle Geneticist & Conservation Biologist Critically endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle taking a deep breath as she deposits her eggs in the sand. | History


THE GREAT OUTDOORS ANTIGUA & BARBUDA STYLE WELCOME TO THE OFFSHORE ISLANDS Written by Natalya Lawrence, Environmental Awareness Group, Antigua.

I once met a man, an Antiguan man, a news reporter, who said to me, “Poor Antigua & Barbuda…We have no wildlife. If we didn’t have beautiful beaches, what would have become of us?!” Listening intently, and musing upon what I heard as we sauntered along the Body Ponds Nature Trail, I arrived at two conclusions. One, this young Antiguan gentleman realised that traditional beach tourism was no longer the sole major driver behind travelling to the Caribbean. We would have to develop and promote other aspects of our tourism product as well. Two, he didn’t have a clue! He was probably deaf to the birds singing around us, or blind to the stunning silk cotton tree bursting through the forest canopy. My Antigua & Barbuda, the country of my birth and of which I am proud, boasts more than just sun, sea and sand! Think about our food, history, folklore, and yes, wildlife too; all the distinct things that make us Antigua & Barbuda. 82 | Culture

IMAGE Opposite page: Photographer Nick Hollands Courtesy Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) Green Heron (Butorides virescens) one of the most recognizable wetlands birds with a velvet-green back, rich chestnut body. The Green Heron is one of the world’s few tool-using bird species, luring fish using small items such as twigs or insects as bait.

IMAGE Above: Photographer Toby Ross Courtesy Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) Male Anolis leachii a species of anole lizard, native to Antigua & Barbuda.

IMAGE Above, right: Photographer Tom Aveling Courtesy Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) EAG Floating Classroom exploration birding field trip to Bird Island with children from New Bethel Seventh Day Adventist School.


et’s talk a bit about some of our offshore islands. These are just some of the other jewels that make Antigua & Barbuda paradise. Our offshore islands, seemingly simple and innocuous at first glance, are troves of natural treasure. They represent one of the closest pictures of what natural Antigua & Barbuda once was before the country was widely deforested, and later developed. In fact, our offshore islands in the northeast nook of Antigua are internationally recognised as a sensitive and significant biodiversity hotspot for rare species of plants and animals. The islands have become a popular getaway for residents and visitors alike who try to escape the busyness of mainland life for the tranquil, peace rendering environs of the offshore islands. Some may be blissfully unaware of the unique wildlife that is surreptitiously observing them from above and beneath the foliage. On these islands, the observant visitor will be a guest of Magnificent Frigatebirds, hovering high like kites in the sky. One may observe Redbilled Tropicbirds, gliding gracefully just out of

human reach. The world’s once rarest snake, the harmless Antiguan Racer, may take a nonchalant slither down to the beach to get some sun. And, not forgetting the Antiguan Ground Lizards, always with food on their mind, whose voracious appetites should keep you on your guard while you consume that delectable sandwich! Observing Caribbean Brown Pelicans, the only diving ones in the world, can be a real eyepleaser. However, a spectacular treat would be to observe the very shy West Indian WhistlingDuck, a vulnerable waterfowl, found solely on a few Caribbean islands. This wealth of wild animals and plants which the offshore islands support are important to Antiguans and Barbudans. They add to our tourism appeal and are important indicators of the health of our environment. The offshore islands buffer the mainland against the effects of hurricanes and storm surges, and contribute to the country’s civic pride. The necessity of safeguarding our offshore islands and their wildlife treasures are therefore of paramount priority and the focus of Offshore

Islands Conservation Programme (OICP). This programme has worked for more than 20 years to ensure that Antiguans and Barbudans are aware of the natural beauty that surrounds us and know how to safeguard and sustainably use these amazing islands. The OICP has restored offshore islands, banishing harmful alien invasive species of plants and animals, including rats and mongooses. Our own wildlife has rebounded including a dramatic increase in the Racer snake’s recovery from 50 snakes in 1995 to 1100 snakes in 2015. Our birds have also increased by as much as 20-fold. The OICP has brought science alive by bringing thousands of teachers, children and parents outside of the classroom and into the field, to experience their own nature, through an initiative called the Floating Classroom. In fact, before the Floating Classroom, many children did not know that we had unique plants and animals right at our doorstep! The programme has also trained many persons from within the country, and even from across the region, to monitor and care for local biodiversity. The data collected by the staff | Environment


and volunteers have helped guide government policies including deciding which species need protection by law. We have lost our Curly-tailed lizards, our parrots, and even the Burrowing owls. Let’s do our best to make sure that we lose nothing else. Tips on being a responsible visitor to our Offshore Islands: • When visiting the offshore islands, choose tour operators that take small groups and are knowledgeable about wildlife. • Before you set out, check your boat and bags for stowaways such as mice, rats, ants and plant seeds, and leave them on the mainland. • Be careful with plastic bags. Sea turtles and seabirds may mistake stray plastic in the water for food. • Be careful with your cigarettes, which if carelessly tossed may easily start bush fires. • Be careful not to disturb nesting birds, and avoid walking through seabird colonies. • Avoid walking on or picking any coral, which, while beautiful, is surprisingly fragile and takes a really long time to grow. • If you stumble upon an Antiguan Racer, please let it go about its business. Our snakes are completely harmless and protected by law. • Do take your garbage home with you. Extra bonus points if you pick up anyone else’s litter! In short, when you leave the island, it should look exactly the way it did when you first arrived... or better. 84 | Environment

IMAGES This page and opposite page: Photographer Tom Aveling, Courtesy Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) EAG Floating Classroom field trip to Bird Island with children from New Bethel Seventh Day Adventist School.

Supporting Organisations: - - - -

Environmental Awareness Group Government of Antigua & Barbuda Fauna & Flora International Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Supporting Donors: - - - - -

Disney Conservation Fund Prince Bernhard Nature Fund The Rufford Foundation Conservation Leadership Programme The Sandals Foundation | History


IMAGE Photographer Jenny Daltry Courtesy Environmental Awareness Group (EAG) Female Antiguan Racer Snake

86 | Environment

IMAGE Photographer Kate Levasseur Sea Turtle Geneticist & Conservation Biologist Magnificent Frigatebird (male) with inflated throat sac during breeding season, Barbuda.

IMAGE Photographer Eli Fuller A free diver takes a moment to pose on a sunken sailing yacht while hunting lionfish off Cades Bay reef, Antigua. | History



Say banana peels, rotten fruits and vegetables, egg shells and other kitchen waste and the average person would probably turn up their nose and maybe even change the topic of conversation altogether. But what if this household organic waste could be used to fight climate change, protect the environment, strengthen food security and generate sustainable livelihoods? Would I have your attention then?

88 | Environment


ell, its already happening right here in Antigua & Barbuda. Everyday organic waste is being diverted from the country’s landfill and composted through a decentralised composting and organic gardening project called: ‘10,000 Strong Climate Action’. Leading this drive is the Agro-Ecology Society of Antigua & Barbuda (ASAB). Its president, Dr. Evelyn Weekes goes to great lengths to emphasize that she is not in this fight alone but is joined by schools, communities, individuals and organisations throughout the country. The goal is to produce large amounts of compost and organic fertiliser for use in sustainable small-scale farms and backyard gardens. These actions could lead to food security while helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change and create sustainable livelihoods. Climate change mitigation refers to efforts to reduce or prevent emissions of green house gases. Large scale climate change adaptation strategies can be costly, like longterm capital intensive mechanisms such as building sea walls and mega dams, but the same sustainable agricultural practices that are necessary to achieve soil enrichment and ready our cropland soils to act as carbon sinks can be applied on a smaller scale in places like Antigua & Barbuda. Composting and organic production methods offer both mitigation and adaptation practices combined. “I want at least 10,000 people in Antigua & Barbuda to join with me in this process” an enthusiastic Weekes said. She is dispelling the widely held view that throwing organic waste into the garbage, which eventually goes to a landfill is harmless because the materials will biodegrade. When these organics decompose without getting oxygen, they produce methane, a greenhouse gas that is a leading factor in climate change. “The only effective way to prevent

methane emissions in landfills is not to allow biodegradable material to enter them. Methane is said to be several times more potent than Co2 in its effect on climate change. By diverting our organic waste away from landfills we can lower methane emissions. Emissions avoidance is one way to slow down global warming and reduce climate change,” the environmentalist said. In the community of Gunthorpes, a series of blue barrels, concrete compost bins, compost piles and biogas digesters can be seen at ASAB. These are some of the innovative techniques of composting that islanders are being encouraged to embrace. Apart from merely diverting waste from the landfill, Weekes insists that home composting organic waste reduces the harmful effects of carbon in the atmosphere. “Right now, there is too much carbon in the atmosphere and not enough in our soils. However, we can create carbon sinks to help abate the impact of climate change. This can happen through good land management practices,” the expert with over 30 years’ experience in composting, said. Some of these practices include composting, organic farming, crop rotations, minimum tillage, agro forestry, poly culture, integrated farming, cover cropping and integrated pest management. The practices can also cut agricultural pollution, particularly the overuse of herbicides, pesticides and synthetic fertilisers that can further harm both terrestrial and marine ecosystems and the country’s biodiversity, and increase the use of harmful fossil fuels by their production. “Applying compost to agricultural soils can help to increase the amount of carbon sequestered and stored in these soils and contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere,” Weekes said. Food security is a growing concern, not just for Antigua & Barbuda but for all Small

Island Developing States (SIDS), as changing weather patterns affect agriculture. Scientists are predicting more extreme weather, including flooding and droughts, and more intense storms in the Atlantic in the long term. Weekes said, “Our food security is one of the most precious things that we have to look at now, and ecologically sound agriculture is what is going to help us protect that.” She’s convinced that her methods of composting and sustainable agriculture practices can help the country achieve its food security targets. Additionally, she sees the practice of waste diversion/composting/integrated organic gardening as avenues to create sustainable livelihoods that can preserve and conserve our ecosystems and biodiversity in protected areas. A small grants fund - the OECS-ECMMAN (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States/ Eastern Caribbean Marine Managed Areas Network) Livelihood Support Fund (LSF) has been obtained to fund this sustainable livelihoods intervention. The objective of the LSF is to support underlying livelihood activities and micro enterprises that could impact positively on marine and terrestrial protected areas. Specifically, a protected area centred around Parham in the north eastern part of Antigua, the NEMMA (North East Marine Management Area) was chosen for this intervention. The livelihoods that can result from this project include sustainable micro enterprises in composting, organic gardening, production of organic fertiliser, building and maintaining biogas digesters or combinations of these. They were conceived to discourage activities that can negatively affect ecosystem functions and

services and biodiversity conservation. Organic production practices, for example, produce species interaction that can control pests through natural processes, reducing the need for artificial controls that may be harmful to the environment. It can curb nutrient leaching through nitrogen fixation practices. This can cause less algal blooms in downstream waters from excessive nitrates and phosphorus fertiliser run offs that can negatively impact marine and coastal waters. Natural practices can help protect and conserve our marine and terrestrial biodiversity not only for ourselves but also for future generations. The NEMMA project is a trail blazing, national public awareness and education campagin aimed at increasing awareness of our natural assets and countering current climate change threats. NEMMA is aimed at students in school science programmes, individuals and farming groups.

WASTE DIVERSION At ASAB waste diversion begins with the picking up of kitchen scraps and food waste from communities, homes, restaurants, supermarkets, grocery stores, and other organisations in the NEMMA. One strategy encourages visitors to the offshore islands to carry back their waste in bags to the mainland, from where it can be incorporated into the waste diversion programme of a nearby school or micro enterprise. Another demonstration waste diversion/ composting/integrated organic garden cycle is being implemented at the Princess Margaret Secondary School. This school near the NEMMA location, has received some of the LSF funds to

IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Opposite page: Dr. Evelyn Weekes (far left) with Agricultural Science students and teacher at the Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School (SDA) farming project. Above: Sorrel (Hibiscus sabdariffa) grown in gravel-filled container, creating the perfect environment for lowmaintenance, drought-tolerant planting. | Environment


strengthen the poultry farming aspect of their integrated organic garden and to set up a small chicken processing plant. Students in the school’s agricultural science programme will be counted in the 10,000 Strong Climate Action. They will pick up their source separated kitchen and food scraps from their households and take them to drop off sites at the schools to be later turned into compost and fertiliser to nourish the soil and plants in their school garden, and help protect the environment. At both sites, the organic waste is first weighed to know how much waste is being diverted from the land fill and as a result how much methane gas is prevented from entering the atmosphere.

COMPOSTING Two types of composting are being used in this programme: aerobic composting and anaerobic digestion. The end product of aerobic composting is humus; a nutrientrich soil amender that is the result of the natural decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. The end process of anaerobic digestion is a rich liquid fertiliser that comes from a biogas digester such as the one shown below, with the organic waste decomposing inside. The liquid fertiliser can be extracted from a slurry overflow pipe. In addition to fertiliser this system also produces biogas, which can be used for cooking and also to produce electricity.

INTEGRATED ORGANIC DEMONSTRATION GARDEN The organic garden is used for demonstration and training of stakeholders in the NEMMA in organic farming practices throughout the project period and beyond. 90

On the demonstration farm at ASAB, the following activities are applied: No agro-chemicals such as synthetic fertilisers, synthetic pesticides, and no GMO are used. Diversity of plants is maintained through intercropping, inter planting, companion planting amongst others. Small scale poultry production is also integrated into the organic garden. Diversity of cropping methods within small areas is achieved by shade house gravel based container gardening, square foot growing, vertical growing and hydroponics. Agro-biodiversity conservation is achieved from planting of local landraces such as Antiguan table squash, different varieties of local fruits, vegetables fruit trees and medicinal plants. We are calling on everyone to join the 10,000 Climate Action; schools, communities, churches, hoteliers, businesses, backyard gardeners, small and large scale farmers, homestead gardeners and individuals alike to support the drive. To date I have received encouraging feed back from inspired students and educators who have already joined the cause to implement and expand on biogas and organic waste reduction projects to help protect and conserve our ecosystems, biodiversity and increased environmental consciousness. Together we can increase food security, combat climate change, create sustainable industries, livelihoods, and alleviate poverty. One way in which you can help is through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) approach. ASAB can assist others in getting their compost piles and organic gardens started so that, combined, we can develop a big composting and integrated organic farming/ gardening industry in Antigua & Barbuda the results of which can only be WIN-WIN for all, including the environment. | Environment

Opposite page, clockwise: Lettuce grown in gravel containers. SDA agriculture student weeding vegetable patch. Dr. Evelyn Weekes constructing a Biogas Digester. This page, clockwise: Princess Margaret Secondary School (PM) agriculture students constructing a compost heap. Testing the temperature of the compost heap. Eggs from PM school’s broiler and layer chickens can be purchased in local supermarkets. SDA agriculture students tending their thriving vegetable patch. Agro-Ecology Society of Antigua & Barbuda Tel: +1 (268) 773-4798 Email: | Environment


CLOSED SEASON FOR FISHING PROTECTING OUR MARINE LIFE FOR THE FUTURE Written by Tricia Lovell, Senior Fisheries Officer, Antigua & Barbuda Fisheries Division.

In 2013 after a process that started nine years earlier, the Fisheries Division successfully enacted new legislation for managing and conserving the marine and coastal resources of Antigua & Barbuda. One provision, however, that has garnered much attention and consternation in some quarters, is the introduction of closed seasons for several species of marine fish and invertebrates that are of critical commercial value.


he enforcement of these closed seasons by the Division has also raised a number of concerns and questions. This article aims to answer some of the most often asked questions and clarify the aims and purpose of introducing such stricter regulatory measures into the fishery. Many would appreciate that the marine and coastal resources of Antigua & Barbuda, as in the rest of the globe, are severely threatened and in some cases have been depleted to the point that strong and decisive conservation action is needed. In particular, near-shore resources are impacted not only by high fishing pressures but also by external drivers such as habitat alteration and/or loss, pollution, severe weather and a changing global climate. It is, therefore, imperative that strict measures be taken to


ensure these resources are protected and harvested in a manner that is sustainable. The establishment of closed seasons helps to achieve sustainability objectives. In fact such measures have been successfully applied in many fisheries throughout the region. You may ask – what is a closed season? Simply put, a closed season is a specified period of time during which it is illegal to harvest, sell, purchase or have in your possession particular marine products. Closed seasons may run for as long as the law prescribes, but are generally long enough to impact critical ecological processes and key life stages. To be impactful closed seasons are typically enacted to coincide with peak spawning periods. This is the period within which most members of the reproducing sector of a fisheries population engage in breeding | Environment

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Fisheries Division

Top: Restaurants and hotels comply with closed season regulations to help save local marine life

Bottom: Dishes made from Diamondback squid encourage consumption of less-endangered species.

IMAGE Photographer Eli Fuller Live Juvenile Conch on the seabed.


IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Fisheries Division

Restaurants and hotels comply with closed season regulations to help save local marine life.

Parrotfish and Reef fish are vulnerable to overharvesting. | Environment

activity. The closed season is designed to ensure populations are able to replenish and rebound from fisheries losses. Some may ask why these species were selected? All of the species for which a closed season has been enacted are of high commercial value, exhibit traits that make them particularly vulnerable to overharvesting and/ or play significant roles in ensuring ecosystem balance within their habitat. For instance parrotfish are important for maintaining coral reef health, while sedentary or slow-moving species such as the queen conch are vulnerable to fisheries collapses if fishing effort is not controlled. Similarly, populations that spawn in aggregations can easily be overfished if these aggregations are not protected. To further aid in protecting our national stocks fisheries are encouraging fisherfolk to diversify their catch. The Diamondback squid is a new sustainable marine alternative. Up until now this species hasn’t been caught on a commercial level. However, about six years ago, training at the fisheries resulted in a small group of fisherfolk targeting Diamondback squid with specialist jigging. Although not a commonly consumed seafood, the squid, which can grow several feet in length, is similar to octopus. The consumption of Diamonback squid is being encouraged to allow overharvested seafood species to replenish naturally. Another important question that is often raised is how were these periods chosen? Generally speaking, the fisheries closed seasons were selected to coincide with key biological processes, such as peaks in spawning. They were not selected based on fishing pressures and were largely negotiated with the fishers themselves. During the development of the Fisheries Act and Regulations the Fisheries Division held a number of consultations with key stakeholders,

the fishers themselves being the most critical to the process. These negotiations were one of the reasons that the closed seasons for lobster and queen conch were designated in this way so as not to severely disenfranchise this group of fishers who often alternate between harvesting both species. Finally, perhaps the most frequently asked question concerning the closed seasons is “why am I not allowed to stock up on these species prior to closure so I may have ready supply throughout the year?” Control measures, like fisheries closures, can only be effective if they are easily enforced and do not bring about unintended impacts outside the closed season. Increasing fishing effort just prior to a closed season could, in the long term, have the same or greater impact as allowing fishing to continue year round. Removing more reproductive adults from the population prior to each spawning cycle over time could accelerate population decline as fecundity decreases. Fecundity refers to the reproductive rate or capacity of a population and may be measured by the number of eggs that are available for fertilisation. Secondly, and more simply, a provision that would allow stocking up is extremely difficult to enforce and would require significant manpower and resources to ensure companies are not restocking mid-season. Fisheries closures may be inconvenient for a short period but in the long term everyone benefits from sustainable and resilient fisheries populations that can withstand mounting external pressures. Contact Details: Fisheries Division Tel: +1 (268) 462-1372 or 462-6106 Email: Updates and information are available via the Division’s website and facebook page.


Closed Season Under the Fisheries Regulations 2013, it is illegal for a person to fish for, take, place for sale, purchase or have in their possession any of these species during closed seasons.

January 1 – March 31 Nassau Grouper Red Hind Coney

May 1 – July 31 Parrotfish (locally referred to as Chub)

May 1 – June 30 Spiny Lobster

July 1 – August 31 Queen Conch

No Open Season Marine Turtles It is illegal to take, capture, disturb, sell or purchase marine turtles or their eggs. Turtle nests are not to be altered or disturbed.



Written by Madeleine Jardim McComas.

In 2013 after a process that started nine years earlier, the Fisheries Division successfully enacted new legislation for managing and conserving the marine and coastal resources of Antigua & Barbuda.


eauty and the Beast is an old fairytale with a happy ending, but the very beautiful and very foreign red lionfish (Pterois volitans), native to tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific waters, is a beast that is causing much grief in its newest habitat, the Caribbean Sea. Lionfish were first spotted on the east coast of Florida after Hurricane Andrew caused havoc there in 1992, and it has been suggested that damage to an aquarium that contained these fish may have led to their entry into Atlantic waters. Lionfish now feed in and around the reefs of Antigua & Barbuda, eating the small reef fish, as well as invertebrates and mollusks that live there. They are voracious eaters, and have already begun to denude our reefs of the lovely, vividly coloured small fish that make reefs their normal habitat. They protect themselves from predators with long, venomous quills and only moray eels and large grouper will attempt to feed on them. They breed rapidly and copiously, and they are now a menace of major proportions to our reefs and to small native fish in Caribbean waters. The Caribbean islands have gone on alert to combat the lionfish invasion, and divers and


fishermen are now the predators of this invasive species. In Antigua, divers and fishermen are now sharing information on lionfish spottings and kills, which are plotted on a map to encourage more aggressive hunting and killing of the fish. Shawn Clarke, who runs Soul Immersions dive business in English Harbour says, “We should encourage the community to eat them because they taste really good.” Shawn has seen the destruction caused by the lionfish when out on his dives, and frequently catches them and grills them on his outdoor grill. The good news about this beautiful beast is that it is delicious to eat, and in Antigua & Barbuda no instances of fish poisoning have been reported. However, due to the fish’s venomous quills it is advised that one should always seek instruction on how to catch and clean the fish safely before eating. So invite a lionfish to dinner and turn the tables on this beautiful predator. When you eat lionfish not only will you have a delicious meal, you will be doing your bit to reduce the numbers of this invasive foreign fish in our waters, and help protect the small reef fish native to the Caribbean Sea. | Environment

Ingredients: Lionfish Bouillabaisse 2 fillets lionfish, cleaned and washed 4 tbsp olive oil (divided use) 1 carrot, finely diced 1 celery stalk, finely diced 1 onion, finely diced 2 garlic cloves, crushed Rosemary sprig, chopped 1 whole star anise 1 fennel bulb, peeled and finely diced 1 shallot, finely diced 1 lb (500 g) small rock fish pieces, boned 1 tbsp tomato paste 4 cups (1 ltr) water Salt & freshly ground black pepper Ingredients: Purple Mashed Potatoes 14 oz (400 g) purple potatoes, peeled and cubed 9 oz (250 g) unsalted butter 1 cup (200 ml) heavy cream Salt & pepper to taste

Chef’s Precautionary Note: Once a lionfish has died the venom in the spines remains active for hours before the toxins gradually start to decline. Always be cautious when handling and preparing this fish. Always wear gloves and cut away all the spines and fins using heavy kitchen shears. The venom is only in the spines, not in the flesh.

Method for Bouillabaisse Season lionfish fillets and set aside. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a stock pan over medium heat. Add all vegetables and herbs and cook until translucent. Do not allow to brown. Add rock fish pieces, tomato paste and water, and stir to combine. Cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes. Discard star anise. Pour the soup into a blender and process until smooth. Return to the pot and cook on low heat until the soup is reduced to a thick consistency. Keep warm. Method for Purple Mashed Potatoes Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl with butter, cream and season with salt and pepper. Mash until smooth, stir for 5 minutes to aerate (fluff). To Serve Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over moderate heat. Place lionfish fillets, skin side down, in the pan and cook for 1 minute each side. In two wide deep soup bowls, place 2 large tbsps of purple mashed potato, layer one fillet of lionfish on top, and finish each bowl with two cups of the thickened soup. | Environment


IMAGE Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Sunset sky at Codrington Lagoon, Barbuda.

BARBUDA Written by Veneta Burton, Product Development Officer Barbuda Council and Ministry of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment & Energy.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to my island, Barbuda, an untouched paradise with its own unique beauty. Antigua’s sister island is remote, but not isolated, private, safe and supremely peaceful. Here one does indeed feel close to Heaven.


arbuda is known for azure waters and spectacular pink coral beaches, including one that spans seventeen unbroken miles. A third of the island is given to the expansive Codrington lagoon and nestled within its boundaries is the largest Frigatebird Sanctuary in the western hemisphere. These glorious birds are known locally as “Man of War” and are a valued asset of Barbuda’s tourism sector. For the adventurous visitor, Barbuda is riddled with a series of ancient caves and caverns. These intriguing hideaways are rich in legend, home to bats, crabs, iguanas and a rare

species of amphipod (blind squid). Local guides will be happy to impart their knowledge to those with geological and historical interests. View artefacts from both the historic and prehistoric past at the museum, then visit the interactive Children’s museum and experience Barbudan life, nature and traditions. Boutique hotels and cottages have become synonymous with Barbuda. The most recent addition, Barbuda Belle, features on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2016 Hot List, as one of the best new beach resorts in the world. Its ecofriendly practices adhere to international green

standards, as do those of Barbuda Cottages, listed in The Guardian (U.K.) newspaper as one of the top ten budget beach accommodations in the Eastern Caribbean. The island embraces barefoot luxury, whilst ensuring visitors get the very best rest and relaxation. Fish and seafood are the staple diet on island and Barbudans still practice modern day hunting and gathering and living from the land and sea. Fancy a fresh-caught grilled lobster, cooked over an open fire? Come and visit beautiful Barbuda. This island is a must visit for travellers who seek a location with a difference. | Barbuda


IMAGE Photographer Phikwe Goodwin PG Labs - Aerial Photography & Video Aerial view of the Caribbean Sea and Codrington Lagoon divided by the sandbank beach at Low Bay, Barbuda.

100 | Barbuda

IMAGE Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Magnificent Frigatebirds during breeding season in the Codrington Lagoon mangroves, Barbuda.

BLUE HALO INITIATIVE BARBUDA FROM PAPER TO PRACTICE, REVIVING THE OCEAN’S ECOSYSTEM Written by Robin Ramdeem, Blue Halo Initiative Site Manager, Barbuda & Montserrat. Edited by Claudia Johnson.

Barbuda is an island full of magical charm and tranquility. The long stretches of beach, untouched landscapes, community spirit, and the natural beauty of the island are all to be treasured. Barbudans have always had a passionate union with the sea – fish frys, camping on the beaches, children growing up learning to fish with their elders and experienced fisherfolk providing food security for the islanders. However, below the surface of the sea, some serious problems have become apparent and certain aspects of the underwater world have become threatened over recent years.


he reefs are covered with algae and very little living coral remains. Fish, lobster and conch are becoming scarce and fishermen have been driven into deeper waters to haul in a decent catch. This deterioration of sea life is a threat to Barbuda’s economy, livelihood, and food security, all of which depend upon the ocean. The gradual deterioration of Barbuda’s waters is partly due to illegal fishing, in which the use of nets is destructive. Overfishing of the parrotfish (Chub as it is locally known), which eats algae and cleans the reef, upsets the underwater equilibrium further. And finally, the catching of immature fish, conch and lobster is interfering with reproduction rates and therefore the next generation of these species. However, at this stage none of these problems is irreversible and marine resources can be used in a way that is simultaneously sustainable, profitable, and

102 | Barbuda

enjoyable. Use the ocean without using it up! The Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda is a collaborative coastal zoning project which is now well into its fourth year on this picturesque Eastern Caribbean island. The programme works to deliver an ocean management toolkit to Caribbean governments willing to hit the refresh button on outdated coastal and fisheries management regulations in order to help preserve their subaquatic environments. The Waitt Institute is currently partnering with three Caribbean governments, Barbuda, Curacao and Montserrat. The Governments bring the political will and the Waitt Institute provides a toolkit to help reverse damage and revive the ocean. The toolkit includes: 1. Community consultation 2. Stakeholder survey

3. Scientific assessment 4. Habitat mapping 5. Education and outreach 6. Zoning analysis 7. Policy development 8. Legal analysis and drafting 9. Enforcement support 10. Scientific monitoring 11. Financial planning 12. Building local capacity

IMAGE Above: Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Measuring conch shell. IMAGES Opposite page, left to right: Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Holy Trinity Primary School children pretend to be fish on a field trip to the beach. WildAID course graduation group. Beach fun. First Blue Halo Initiative ocean camp class. Gathering lobsters for export.

Barbuda is the pilot country, with scoping and research activities commencing in 2012. Conducting extensive stakeholder surveys to understand marine resource use, hundreds of underwater scientific surveys assessing habitat types, plus a legal analysis of the existing laws for ocean governance on the island, the Waitt Institute made recommendations towards sustainable fisheries and coastal zoning in

Community meeting for SeaSketch ocean zoning. Conch survey underwater expedition. Gathering lobsters for export. Barbuda fisheries worker. Lionfish tournament catch. WildAID course group work. The 6th graders at Holy Trinity school learn that mangroves are found between the beach and salt water.

BARBUDA COASTAL ZONING MAP 1 LEAGUE (3.45 MILE) BOUNDARY Area under jurisdiction of Barbuda Council. COASTAL SANCTUARIES All fishing prohibited. LAGOON SANCTUARY All fishing prohibited, except hook-and-line from shore. NO-NET ZONES No use of nets within 20 meters of reef or in other no-net zones. ANCHORING/MOORING ZONES Anchoring and mooring permitted only in designated zones, except if fishing or diving with permit. SHIPPING ZONE Anchoring, mooring, fishing, diving, and swimming prohibited. | Barbuda


IMAGE Courtesy Catlin Seaview Survey Barbudan children and Blue Halo Initiative staff explore a patch reef with gorgonians (soft coral), mustard hill coral and some finger corals (hard corals) off the coast of Princess Diana Beach.

104 | Barbuda | Barbuda



Barbuda. In August 2014, the Barbuda Council passed new coastal regulations which established a set of sanctuary zones closed to all fishing, which collectively encompass 33% of the coastal waters. No net zones, anchoring zones and a shipping zone were also established. The premise is that if conservation planning

important to the success of our ocean zoning work on Barbuda.” says Robin. The third Blue Halo summer camp programme was held in July 2015. The camp introduced classroom and underwater lessons to local children aged 7-11 in order to foster a sense of wonder and love for the ocean and the life it supports.

the Blue Halo Barbuda 2016 timeline. Science and field manager Mr. Andy Estep, is seeking the support of the Antigua & Barbuda coast guard to facilitate some of the safety-at-sea training on site in Barbuda later this year. “Fisheries enforcement is a difficult job, as Fisheries officers you are sometimes dealing with hostility

is based on the best scientific information, engages stakeholders throughout the process, and yields economic benefit, it will be set up for success. However, since the laws were passed, it has become apparent that building local enforcement capacity and conducting community outreach to encourage compliance with the regulations, are critical to the realization of these benefits: • Healthier coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass • More abundant fish, lobster and conch • Improved fishing and tourism livelihoods In April 2015, therefore, the Waitt Institute brought WildAid, which is dedicated to environmental enforcement, to Barbuda. WildAid drew up an enforcement plan to ensure Barbuda Fisheries and Codrington Lagoon National Park staff received the training needed to enforce the regulations. The goal of the local community outreach is to ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the new regulations, are able to follow the status of implementation, and given an outlet to voice any concerns. Some concerns have been expressed about the ban on parrotfish, but with the population rapidly declining, something had to be done to protect these reef fish and the coral they help protect. In July 2015, Site manager Robin Ramdeen was recruited by the Waitt Institute to administer the toolkit to the islands and execute project strategy. “Education and outreach are hugely

A lionfish tournament was also held in July, encouraging fisherfolk to hunt the invasive predatory fish which are causing a decline in other native reef fish. “The tournament was a success and concluded with a tie between the two groups of 3-4 fishers. They brought in 28 lionfish each, or a total of 56 lionfish, which ranged from 22-40 cm in length.” says Nathaniel Hanna-Holloway, the Waitt Institute intern, who managed the event. A sea turtle workshop, organised in August 2015, was the second session of the turtle monitoring workshop run by the environmental group EAG, based in Antigua. This workshop successfully trained 8 Barbudan participants in turtle tagging and turtle monitoring methods, including data recording and GPS use. “The team seems ready to go it alone and continue the surveys and we are starting to see the committed individuals emerging,” commented Mykl Fuller, the EAG Scientist who led the workshop. In 2016 the focus has shifted to the installation of marker buoys to demarcate the marine sanctuaries, anchoring and mooring zones and shipping areas, to assist in identification of these zones for residents and visitors. The Waitt Institute, together with the Barbuda Council, is working closely with the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, & Barbuda Affairs, Minister Arthur Nibbs to seek permissions from the Port Authority in Antigua. Training of Barbuda Fisheries officers, building their knowledge of enforcement procedures and protocols, is another key task on

and even violence,” explains Fisheries officer Rishma Mansingh. The Barbudan Fisheries officers will also benefit from a regional course on MPA (Marine Protected Areas) enforcement, including situational awareness, officer safety, surveillance and apprehension techniques, to be held in November. “The Barbuda Fisheries is already doing an amazing job at fisheries enforcement; they are indeed receiving the support of the Barbuda Police necessary to conduct potentially dangerous patrols. It’s a lot of work to secure coastal areas and resources, and its taken a lot of different departments working together to get our plans from paper into practice.” says Robin. The entire Waitt Institute team is very proud to be working alongside the Barbuda Council, the people of Barbuda, Barbuda Fisheries and the Codrington Lagoon National Park to envision, create and implement comprehensive sustainable ocean policies. The revival of the ocean’s ecosystem will take time, and Barbuda is not unique in facing the mission to revitalize its marine life and underwater habitats. Lobster and conch take three years to grow big enough to reproduce and some other fish take even longer. Coral reef grows only one centimetre a year, but healthy reefs are more resilient to the impacts of climate change and sea level rises. Barbuda is the first Caribbean island to put in place strong measures to create marine sanctuaries and prohibit the catching of parrotfish and sea urchins in order to allow fish populations to rebuild and habitats to recover. | Barbuda

IMAGES Courtesy Blue Halo Initiative Barbuda Below: Above and below the surface of the mangroves in the Codrington Lagoon. Opposite page: Staghorn Coral (Acropora Cervicornis) at Palastar Reef marine sanctuary, which was created in 2014 as a result of collaborations between the Barbuda Council, Barbuda Fisheries Division, Codrington Lagoon National Park, Government of Antigua & Barbuda, and the Waitt Institute, under the Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative. The no-take marine reserve was created to ensure the sustainability of Barbuda’s marine resources, after thorough discussions with community members. B L U E H A LO I N I T I AT I V E B A R B U DA Additional information, including the full regulations, are available at Check online for updates on the Barbuda Blue Halo Initiative: Facebook: /BarbudaBlueHalo Twitter: @BarbudaBlueHalo Instagram: @waittinstitute




As a remote tourist destination, the beautiful island of Barbuda is at risk from rising sea levels, water scarcity and impact damage to its eco-system from the advancement of overdevelopment. With today’s growing threat of adverse weather conditions, rising sea levels could have catastrophic effects on Barbuda, which at its highest point, is only 120 feet above sea level. The implementation of proposed extensive tourism developments will put immense pressure on fresh water resources, which are limited on this underdeveloped island.

he island’s eco-system and sustainable existence has been under attack from commercial interests for a number of years. These threats include large-scale development proposals, neglected properties and sand mining. A concerted effort is therefore being made to reverse this trend and Barbuda is greatly benefiting from revived interest in its environment. This has encouraged a move towards establishing more eco-friendly, low impact tourism developments. In recent years, boutique style properties have replaced the drive for vast tourism developments. These smaller projects create minimum environmental impact, prioritising the preservation of Barbuda’s eco systems. The Barbuda Council and local government are actively canvasing developers to regenerate already existing, abandoned properties rather than encouraging new developments on virgin lands. One such proposal is ‘Paradise Found’, an exclusive beachfront resort with 40 eco-lodge cottages to be established on the footprint of the former K Club. Plans by movie star Robert De Niro and Australian billionaire James Packer to build this luxury resort at Princess Diana’s favourite Caribbean hideaway are underway. The Barbuda Council has also passed a new bill to delegate an area of land along the same coastline as ‘Paradise Found’ for the proposed development of several small boutique tourism properties under the umbrella of the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP). Barbuda currently has two popular ecofriendly tourism facilities, the oldest of which is Barbuda Cottages, first established in 2005. Demand for accommodation at this property has lead to its recent expansion. Barbuda Belle, a lagoon side and beachfront resort, opened in 2015 with a similar low-impact concept.

BARBUDA COTTAGES Owned and run by Barbudan Kelcina George, Barbuda Cottages is located on a long stretch of empty beach on the southern coastline. Described by many as one of the nicest coastal views on the island, it is positioned on the calm and natural beach at Coral Group Bay. It is a perfect spot for safe swimming, exploring the rock pools, offering a relaxing and intimate holiday vacation for those looking to get away from it all.

This eco-friendly hideaway comprises of four secluded self-contained villas with an ocean view from every room, even the closet! Barbuda Cottages are fully solar-powered by the renewable energy resource of the sun, which is used to generate electricity for appliances, lighting and heating water. Eco-friendly electrical appliances, energy saving devices and the irrigation of ‘backyard gardens’ assist with meeting self-imposed environmental criteria of practices that minimize environmental impact in line with “RRR” (Reduce, Re-Use, Re-Cycle). Despite Barbuda’s extremely dry climate, the

property successfully utilizes captured rainwater to nurture small garden plots growing fruit and vegetables, which guests are invited to consume. The traditional wooden cottages are built on stilts to minimise interruption of the unspoiled fragile environment. Their elevated position takes advantage of the cooling trade winds, naturally ventilating the interiors, helping to reduce insects and the use of repellents; there is no need for air-conditioning. Each cottage has a full kitchen with energy-efficient appliances and king size beds with all the comforts of home. The cottages have been built with the visitors’ well-

being and enjoyment in mind at all times. Adjoining the property is Uncle Roddy’s restaurant, the first, fully solar-powered beach bar and restaurant on the island. Uncle Roddy’s specialises in lobster and local catch of the day dishes. For those who arrive in Barbuda by yacht, mooring buoys are available or you may anchor at Coco Point. The venue is perfect to host an intimate beach wedding or occasion party. Barbuda Cottages has been listed in The Guardian (U.K.) newspaper’s travel section as one of the top ten budget beach accommodations in the Eastern Caribbean. | Barbuda

109 | Barbuda


BARBUDA BELLE The newly built Barbuda Belle Boutique Hotel consists of a small cluster of luxurious beachfront bungalows and a clubhouse, located at the edge of Codrington Lagoon National Park. This eco-luxury escape is situated on the northern side of the Codrington lagoon on a deserted 17 mile pink sand beach. The familyowned hotel is the first of its kind to be built by a local workforce. The one and two bedroom bungalows 112 | Barbuda

each have their own private balcony with an outdoor shower. Luxurious bathing and skin care products from L’Occitane are made from 100% natural ingredients. The spacious bedrooms are stylishly furnished, featuring a glamorous kingsized four-poster bed and outdoor dining and living areas provide panoramic ocean views. The minimal footprint structures are all built from entirely sustainable wood and raised on stilts almost 2 metres above sea level to maintain the natural drainage of the mangrove and protect the landscape. The bungalows are fitted with eco-aware lighting in order not to

disturb nesting turtles. Entirely solar powered, the resort is powered by 128 solar panels, producing 30 kWc of energy. Each bedroom is equipped with the only cooling system compatible with solar power. EveningBreeze creates a cool microclimate with an intelligent thermostat, which cools only the air around each bed. This Intelligent cooling system wastes no energy, effeciently reducing your carbon footprint. A sewage treatment facility processes grey-water, along with rainwater as part of the garden’s irrigation system. The property uses a reverse osmosis process to filter the water drawn

from its own wells. The Mangrove restaurant is situated on the first floor of the Clubhouse where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Barbuda Belle prides itself on serving their guests locally sourced produce wherever possible, favouring homegrown crops. Seafood and fish are sourced from the island’s fisherfolk and the resort fully supports closed season regulations. Fresh picnic baskets can be arranged for excursions or for a day relaxing on the beach. Guests are encouraged to explore the surrounding area using a network of foot trails or

IMAGES Barbuda Cottages images Photographer: Janie Conley-Johnson Barbuda Belle images - Photographer: J. Rainey Tropical Studios,

in electric cars or bicycles. Non-motorized beach activities are offered in order not to disturb the wildlife and guests are taken on tours around the Frigatebird Sanctuary in the Codrington Lagoon National Park. Barbuda Belle’s activities are educational and nature orientated focusing on the protection of wildlife. Barbuda Belle is much more than a hotel, it is a peaceful sanctuary providing the ultimate in rest and relaxation. Barbuda remains unspoilt and represents an ideal Caribbean destination where the implementation of an ethically managed,

sustainable ecotourism framework can be beneficial to the island’s economy. Tourism has the opportunity to educate, inspire and transform travellers’ experiences through meaningful engagement with the land and its people. Eco-friendly tourism is the fastest growing tourism component, commanding 6% of the worldwide GDP. Ecotourism is currently responsible for about 7-10% of the global tourism market, and worth around $70 to $100 billion USD each year. Some experts predict that by 2025 the ecotourism market could represent 25% of all travel, and be worth over $700 billion

USD annually. Eco-resort concepts encourage tourists to respect the environment of their holiday destination. Designed to protect and be in harmony with the surrounding environment, eco-resorts such as Barbuda Cottages and Barbuda Belle can help to preserve the delicate landscape of Barbuda. Nature lovers, academic researchers, conservationists, birdwatchers, fisherfolk and adventure seekers are all welcome to immerse themselves in the people, culture and beauty of the island. Take only pictures, leave only footprints. | Barbuda


DISCOVERING OUR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PAST AND THE BARBUDA RESEARCH COMPLEX Co-written by Prof. Sophia Perdikaris, Director Human Ecodynamics Research Center, The Graduate Center, CUNY & Director, Barbuda Research Complex and Drs. Allison Bain and Rebecca Boger.

The Barbuda Research Complex (BRC) is a local not-for-profit organization whose goal is community education, as well as the preservation and conservation of island heritage. The BRC team includes community members and international researchers working together on educational initiatives. With cooperation from the Barbuda School System and the Barbuda Council, this collaboration has been exceptionally productive in all levels of archaeology, paleoecology, marine biology, ethnography and climate history research. Community based “citizen-science� projects also play a key role in these projects.

I IMAGES Opposite page: Aerial view of Highland House ruins and archaeological sites. Photographer: Assistant Professor Rebecca A. Boger, Brooklyn College, USA This page: Stone oven and kitchen area excavated at Highland House. Photographer Dr. Allison Bain, Université Laval Québec, Canada

slands in the Caribbean are in many cases in close proximity to one another but often have diverse sets of natural resources. Understanding the use of these resources in the past are vital pieces of the archaeological record that must be identified in order to better understand them. Barbuda, unlike its sister island of Antigua and other islands of the Lesser Antilles, never faced the ecological devastation of areas used for sugar production. Archaeological sites which predate sugar production are often very well preserved. Through specialised studies on soils, landscapes, bones, and seeds, we can learn how humans lived on Barbuda in the past, and reveal the complex relationships between

culture and environment that have persisted for several thousands of years. The interplay between people and environment has been at the core of the human existence on the island of Barbuda. Through paleo-environmental work and study of archaeological sites we are able to see the response of plant and animal communities to droughts, increased rainfall and hurricanes (Burn et al., 2011). We can also look at shifts in settlement and examine the locations where humans take shelter or establish campsites (Perdikaris et al 2013). We have learned that Barbuda was atypically settled by peoples from the south, even when it was thought that peoples

from the south would only desire larger islands. Barbuda continues to be an “atypical” island in the Caribbean in that it has special legislation so that the land is owned in common by all its people, and it might be one of the last Caribbean islands that practice modern-day hunting and gathering and living from the land.

THE ISLAND’S FIRST VISITORS: The Strombus Line and River Site (circa.1330 - 840 BC)

Close to the beautiful beaches of the Southeastern shore of Barbuda, several prehistoric sites dating to the Archaic Age (215050 BC) tell us about Barbuda’s first visitors. In

the Lesser Antilles, prehistoric peoples came to fish the rich beds of Queen conch that live just off the southern shore. Archaic Age peoples arrived by canoe, bringing their stone tools from Antigua, and fished for conch. They may have smoked or dried some of the conch for later consumption. The trash from harvesting the Queen conch resulted in the creation of a huge shell waste dump, called the Strombus Line. It is up to almost three kilometres in length and follows the prehistoric coastline. Associated with the Strombus Line and located near the commercial wharf, the River site was excavated in 2011 and tells us about the daily lives of the first visitors to the island. Visiting Barbuda’s Coral Group Bay for a swim, a walk or a beverage will allow you to stroll along the prehistoric shoreline and view the conch middens within the old road cuttings. There may still be evidence yet to be gathered from these middens so we ask that you help conservation efforts by not gathering conch shells, pottery fragments, stone tools, or any other artefacts around the island. As they say, take only photographs, leave only footprints.


IMAGES Above, top and bottom: Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Barbuda Research Complex - The Barbuda Museum Historic artefacts used for body adornment by the earliest inhabitants of Barbuda (circa 200-400 AD). Made from shell, stone and mother-of pearl. Human skeleton of an adult male (circa 450 AD). Unearthed in the 1990s by hurricane George, Barbuda.

116 | Barbuda

The Seaview archaeological site is a large Saladoid or Ceramic Age site (100- 650 AD), located close to the north east coast, just inside the dunes. It has been affected by erosion and hurricanes for over two decades resulting in a significant loss of portions of the site. Rescue excavations on the erosion face undertaken from 2007-2012 tell us about the site’s occupants who made specialised pottery, grew gardens, fished and hunted. Ceramics featuring human and animal faces have been recovered and the analysis of fish, animal and shellfish recovered by archaeologists suggests that people ate a rich variety of local marine and terrestrial foods. This was also confirmed by the study of carbon and

nitrogen isotopes values found in a skeleton unearthed at the site by Hurricane Georges in 1998, dating to ca. 450 AD (Perdikaris et al. 2008, Tamara Varney, pers. comm. 2009). This diet is similar to that of Saladoid individuals analyzed from Antigua, but it appears their diets changed through time, which may be due to 14th century climatic shifts. At Seaview, rescue excavations between 2008 and 2011 resulted in the discovery of three dog burials, extant racer snake bones found in a hearth, and extinct Curly-tailed lizard bones. The Seaview human skeleton “George” along with select artefacts is on display at the Barbuda Museum in Codrington.

HIGHLAND HOUSE 1720-1730 AD Since 2009, the Barbuda Research Complex (BRC) staff and collaborators have been researching and monitoring the remains of many buildings at Highland House. The main house at this complex of a dozen buildings was built at the behest of William Codrington between 1720 and 1730 and was originally intended as a retirement residence (Tweedy 1981). The Codrington family, an important planter family in the region, was also the primary leaseholder of Barbuda from 1685 until 1870. William Codrington never lived at Highland House, but the family stocked the island with fallow deer and wild boar which still live on the island today. Currently, archaeologists from CUNY Brooklyn (USA) and Université Laval (Canada) return annually to photograph and document the buildings and undertake small excavations in order to better understand this 18th century leisure site. A trip to Highland House and to Darby’s Cave is a great way to see the Highlands of Barbuda which overlook the northern and eastern coasts of the island. As the work in Barbuda continues, we are able to understand the Barbuda of the past. As

a young island nation, Barbuda has no history books and archaeology is one of the few tools allowing Barbudans to document their history. Community involvement in collaborative research to record the past is another way in which preservation and conservation efforts move forward year round.

HISTORIC WELLS Unlike its Caribbean counterparts, Barbuda was not suited to large-scale agriculture due to its arid climate and relatively thin soils. Instead, the captive (and eventually free) people of Barbuda developed a complex herding ecology that was centred on common land ownership. As a result, carefully designed historic wells are located in strategic positions around the island. The wells were used during previous centuries for livestock, agriculture and human needs, and some of the wells continue to be used even today. Indigo Well, near the local secondary school is one of the better preserved wells and some of the features include a wall that encloses the well, a trough and a pen. Most wells were used for multiple purposes, watering livestock, garden irrigation, drinking water and as gathering places for specific groups or activities. Perhaps not surprisingly, fewer wells were used for livestock in the village itself, as well as the Martello Tower and Spanish Point Wells to the south. Spanish Point Well and three wells in the village area were mainly used for drinking and other human consumption. About half of the wells were used by people in the village and scattered around the island. Pie Crust Well in the Highland area is said to have very tasty water and it is still used by hunters as a welcome spot to refresh and recuperate from the day’s heat. Bumpy Road Well was a meeting place for women to do their laundry and spend the day working and socializing. While it is only a few minutes by car from the village, it was quite

a lengthy walk for the women with their laundry back in the day. Historic and modern photos of Barbuda’s monuments and wells are on exhibit at the Barbuda Museum.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE Barbuda’s Government House was built in 1694 and was used as an administrative centre for the island during the colonial and historic times. A plaque from 1743 marks the entrance to the complex’s yard along with a mounting block for all the horse riders arriving at its gate. In more recent times, it was used as a school, hospital and offices for the Barbuda Council. It was damaged by hurricanes and left in disrepair for several decades. BRC has joined efforts with the Barbuda Council to restore this historically significant building. The old roof has been removed and the new roof should be in place by the end of 2016. The project is entirely funded by donations. Once the building and grounds are restored, it will become the new home of the Barbuda Museum.

FUTURE PROJECTS BRC will be working on an animal sanctuary for the horses, donkeys, deer and land turtles of the island. Land has been secured and fundraising efforts are under way. Once operating support is in place you will be able to see our activities, visit and volunteer. In the meantime, come and visit BRC for a tour of the current facilities, aquaponics farm and recent animal rescues. We are located in the centre of Codrington next to the basketball court.

Map Above: Courtesy Barbuda Research Complex. Map of archaeological dig sites.

IMAGES Left to right: Courtesy Barbuda Research Complex. Photographer Dr. Sophia Perdikaris Artefact found at the Indian Town Trail site. Earplug, found at Seaview site. Pottery with adorno found at Seaview site. Pottery with incised decoration found at Seaview site.

Contact Details Barbuda Research Complex Tel: +1 (268) 732-0297 Email:

Ground stone hand axe, found at Seaview site. Stingray barb, found at Seaview site. Pottery with adorno found at Seaview site. Flint stone tool, found at Seaview site. | Barbuda



BIRDING IN BARBUDA A LOVE AFFAIR WITH BIRDS Written by Joseph Prosper, member and volunteer of the Environmental Awareness Group. Edited by Dr. Lisa Sorenson.

Barbuda is definitely torn between two lovers and probably feeling like a fool. This island holds two tomorrows in its hands. One is for it to remain a remote, low-key ecotourism destination, with a small economy that preserves and features the island’s wealth of pristine natural resources and traditional culture. The other tomorrow is Barbuda becoming a tourist destination with mega resorts, modern lifestyles and greatly lessened natural beauty. 118 | Barbuda

limate change looms over both of these tomorrows, as the low relief is highly threatened by sea level rise. This is their moment to consider and decide. I know what I would choose. I have been involved in bird watching for 14 years. I crudely define this activity as a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of birds is a recreational activity. Watching birds in Barbuda can be done with the naked eye, through binoculars or by listening for bird sounds. Surprisingly, in Barbuda, many bird species are more easily detected and identified by ear than by eye. Most birdwatchers, including myself, pursue this activity for recreational and social reasons. I have also engaged in the study of birds using formal scientific methods. Many birdwatchers maintain life lists, a list of all of the species they have seen in their life, usually with details about the sighting, such as date and location. The criteria for the recording of these lists are very personal. Some birdwatchers “count” species they have identified audibly, while others only record species that they have identified visually. Some maintain a country list, parish list, state list, county list, yard list, year list, or any combination of these. My ‘birding’ life started in 2002 when I attended a “West Indian Whistling Duck and wetlands education” workshop hosted by Dr. Lisa Sorenson of BirdsCaribbean (formerly the Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds) and the Environmental Awareness Group (EAG). This was my introduction to the West Indian Whistling Duck which sparked and sealed a lasting interest in birds and birding. This tall, graceful, brownspotted duck is found only in the West Indies. It was once abundant and widely distributed throughout the Caribbean, but is now scarce and limited in its distribution due to illegal hunting,

introduced predators like the mongoose which eat eggs and ducklings, and loss of much of its wetland habitat from development. In my pursuit of the duck, I traversed little known parts of Antigua & Barbuda, spending many hours observing the duck and widening and deepening my knowledge and experience with birds. My fascination and surprise grew as I realised through my association with other local birders, notably Victor Joseph and Andrea Otto, that as small and as dry as Antigua & Barbuda is, the country hosts well over 182 species of birds including numerous migrants. Unlike many birders, I do not have a life list, but strive to see as many birds as possible, and rarities and endemics are at the top of my list. I was therefore thrilled to learn that, as tiny as my country was, Barbuda is home to the endemic Barbuda Warbler, recently elevated to species status after genetic research deemed it worthy of this designation. One of my best birding moments was setting eyes on this warbler in 2005. My guide, Mr. Calvin Gore, took me to the spot for the Barbuda Warbler. This is quite easy to find: Going south on the main road, about 2 miles from the airport is a thick section of pipe on the left. There is an embankment about 100-200 feet to the left, which holds water occasionally, but was bone dry with no signs of having been a pond on my visit. There is a pond on the right as well, mostly dry. Just before reaching the embankment I heard a warbler sing, and shortly thereafter spotted the Barbuda Warbler, flitting about in the dry scrub. It is a beautiful little bird with gray upperparts, bright yellow underparts, a yellow line above the eye and a yellow or whitish crescent below it. I saw and heard many Barbuda Warblers during the 3 hours I spent here. I spooked a pair of Helmeted Guineafowl and got excellent looks at Lesser

Antillean Flycatcher, Mangrove Cuckoo, and Caribbean Elaenia. I saw many migrant and resident shorebirds and waterbirds, including White-cheeked Pintails, Stilt Sandpipers, Shortbilled-Dowitchers, Black-necked Stilts, Wilson’s Plover, White-rumped Sandpipers, Common Snipe, and a pair of Pectoral Sandpipers. I walked around the town - there were Cliff Swallows with Barn Swallows at the airport, supposedly rare for Barbuda. There is a place in the lagoon where West Indian Whistling-Ducks come in the evening, uttering their beautiful haunting whistling call as they fly in. Visiting Barbuda to see the warbler and the many other special birds that one can see in Barbuda makes it a worthwhile trip for any birder or nature lover. My love affair with birds and birding led me to BirdsCaribbean, dedicated to studying and conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats, and to my travels through Trinidad, Tobago, Puerto Rico, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, Guadeloupe and beyond to Canada, South America and Europe. Birding allowed me to feed my other great love which is education. I studied birds, focusing on the West Indian WhistlingDuck, and advocated for their conservation on Antigua & Barbuda. I happily shared my discoveries with many children, residents, and visitors wanting them to experience a similar amazement at the world of birds. At the Codrington Lagoon in Barbuda the Magnificent Frigatebird engaged my attention - oh what a sight for my eager eyes! I took a small boat from the Codrington harbour to the Frigatebird Sanctuary in the northwest of the lagoon. I thoroughly enjoyed the crossing and at the sanctuary I was taken within 2 metres of thousands of birds nesting on top of clumps of short Red Mangrove bushes. They were totally unmoved by my presence. Surveys show there are over 5,000 Frigatebirds using the site,

making it the largest colony in the Caribbean. It is really something to see these birds and the way they live in the wild. By this time George Jeffrey, my tour guide, was moving me along with a pole, the boat was silent except for the sound of my camera shutter. I was there during mating season (February) and it was fascinating to see the males puffing out their brilliant red neck pouches to attract the females. I could hear the sound of the males drumming their pouches all around me. Fascinated, I asked where the ‘downies’ go when there is a hurricane? “When there’s a storm the babies climb deep into the mangroves and wait it out, while the adults fly away,” George said. “Some people call them Weather Birds, because there will be hundreds of them going off in a cloud before the storm hits.” George then provided a demonstration of how important sticks are to the male Frigatebirds for building their nests. He threw a stick up in the air and then gave a play-by-play commentary of the male frigates fighting over the stick and even pulling it away from another bird while in flight until they could find a way back to their nest. There were males displaying, chicks and females sitting on nests - an incredible sight. A definite must see if one is in Barbuda. My hope is that these birds and pristine nature of Barbuda will still be here for generations. Let’s choose a tomorrow that does not succumb to the bulldozer but instead preserves this natural wealth for all to experience and enjoy. To learn more about birds and birding in the Caribbean, visit www.BirdsCaribbean. org and We encourage you to support the conservation of the Caribbean’s unique birds and wildlife by joining a local environmental group such as the Environmental Awareness Group of Antigua & Barbuda. Visit 120 | Barbuda

IMAGES Previous pages, left inset: Photographer Andrea Otto Previous page, right main: Courtesy BirdsCaribbean. Photographer Binkie van Es The Spotted Sandpiper (Actitis macularius) is a medium-sized shorebird. In breeding season they have bold dark spots on their bright white breast and an orange bill. The back is dark brown. In winter, a Spotted Sandpiper’s breast is not spotted; it’s plain white, while the back is grayish brown and the bill is pale yellow. A White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis) preening. These marshland ducks are widespread in the Caribbean and South America, and are readily identified by their red bill spots and by pure white cheeks for which it is named.

IMAGE This page: Courtesy BirdsCaribbean. Photographer Ted Eubanks A pair of West Indian Whistling-Ducks (Dendrocygna arborea). They are among the rarest ducks in the Americas and are listed as a globally threatened species. They are non-migratory, and endemic to the Caribbean. IMAGES Opposite page, left: Courtesy BirdsCaribbean. Photographer Ted Eubanks Opposite page, right: Photographer Andrea Otto The Barbuda Warbler (Setophaga subita) is a species of bird in the Parulidae family. It is endemic to the island of Barbuda and known locally as the Christmas Bird. Its habitat is dry scrubland near wetlands and mangroves. This small warbler has a distinctive bright yellow throat and breast and gray upperparts. The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) is a compact shorebird with distinctive tortoise shell plumage and short bright orange legs. The name “Turnstone” comes from the way it flips over small stones and shells.

B I R D S CA R I B B E A N BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. They raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. This non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organisation has over 2,000 members and supporters in the Caribbean and globally. More than 100,000 local people participate in their programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broadbased conservation organization in the region. You can learn more about their work and how to join at | Barbuda


IMAGE Photographer Chavel “DotKid” Thomas That Kid Paint Series, titled ‘Forsaken’

122 | Culture

CULTURE ANTIGUA & BARBUDA’S CULTURAL HERITAGE EXPLORED Written by The Honourable Paul Chet Greene, Minister of Trade, Commerce & Industry, Sports, Culture & National Festivals.

Our Carnival, aptly tagged the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival, is the best known event on our cultural calendar. However, it is, as we say of our beaches, just the beginning of the pulsating core of Antigua & Barbuda’s diverse and vibrant cultural landscape.


y ministry is currently committed to working on several projects including an intense cultural mapping exercise; the establishment of a national audio-visual cultural archive; and a sculpture park and cultural signage project. Projects such as these are intended to afford locals and visitors alike candid snapshots of the peculiar tangible and intangible cultural assets that mark Antigua & Barbuda as a unique Caribbean destination. The following pages offer tantalizing

glimpses into some of the elements old, new, and still evolving - our calypso, soca, and our famous iron band, mas’, and steel pan traditions as well as the now staple fêtes - that make our Carnival and Barbuda’s Caribana - such spectacularly spirited cultural events. You will also learn the latest about our immensely talented performing, visual, and literary artists - those emerging and those already established - whose works continue to enrich and expand our cultural repertoire.

Our artists’ works are heavily influenced by our rich and diverse cultural heritage, their natural environs, and, in some cases, their own predilection for social activism. Join us in celebrating their deserved successes on local, regional, and international circuits. We here in Antigua & Barbuda invite you to come revel in the warmth and creativity for which our people are renowned. Come for the Carnival; Stay for the Culture. | Culture

123 | Culture

IMAGE Left: Photographer Alexis Andrews

IMAGE Above: Photographer Kwasi Overton Courtesy Gemma Hazelwood

Film poster for Vanishing Sail documentary film by Alexis Andrews.

Graphic artist and painter Emile Hill live painting at ‘Soothe’, neo-soul, jazz and spoken-word event.

IMAGE Photographer Gulliver Johnson Carnival reveller poses to be captured in the moment during Tuesday Carnival Mas. | History



THE CARIBBEAN’S GREATEST SUMMER FESTIVAL Written by Claudia Johnson and Janie Conley-Johnson

Thousands of likeminded carnivalites from near and far descend on St. John’s to come together as one in a harmonized celebration of freedom of expression. An energetic kaleidoscope of costume masqueraders, street revellers, sweet pan music, pulsating rhythms, intoxicating fêtes, glamorous pageantry and fiery performances allow all to shake off inhibitions Bacchanal style.

IMAGE Photographer Allan Aflak Mas troupe with colourful costumes dancing across the stage at Carnival City, Antigua Recreation Grounds.

126 | Culture


ountries around the world celebrate carnival for many different reasons. Antigua celebrates the abolition of slavery on August 1st 1834. The carnival officially starts in late July and culminates in early August, although, unofficially pre-carnival events start as early as April. 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of this historic celebration. During the run up to carnival weekends become quickly filled with fêtes and events, with Barbuda’s Caribana exploding for five days every year over the Whitsun public holiday. Post-emancipation, the people of Antigua looked forward to the time of year when the Old Time Christmas Festival was held. During this festive occasion various groups would join forces, gathering on the streets of their neighbourhoods to perform, dance and play music. This festival was the precursor to the modern day carnival, first held in August 1957; many of the cultural traditions still visible today stem from the original Christmas Festival. Iron bands, drum beating, Moko Jumbies, John Bulls and stilt dancers are all still an essential aspect of our current Carnival. With the emergence of the first summer carnivals, steelbands were already an important melodic component of the celebration. In the areas of Point, Ovals and Greenbay steelbands such as Hellsgate, Brut Force and Red Army were already established. These bands caught the attention of many, but some people objected to the cacophony of sound and show. The aristocrats thought that such music, dance, singing and revelry was unbecoming. Others viewed this loud, boisterous merriment as an intrusion into their everyday lives. Two aristocratic gentlemen Sir Ferdinand Shoul and Maurice Michael held a different view, interpreting these festivities as a coming together of a people with an opportunity to

unite cultures. They saw the ceremonial beating of the African drums, steelpans and the frenzied dancing as a celebration of liberty rather than as unruly behaviour. They seized the opportunity to form a separate event and moved the festival from Christmas to the 1st of August in observance of emancipation. This saw the birth of what we now call Carnival. What started as a spontaneous concept to unite the country’s cultural groups, has sixty years later grown into the premier event of Antigua & Barbuda. Carnival has become an integral component of life in our islands and is often used to market the warmth, vibrancy and creativity of the people. It has become arguably the largest contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) accounting for an influx of visitors during the off-peak season. Persons from as far as Europe, Asia, USA, Canada and the other Caribbean nations come to participate in what is now the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival.

FÊTES Hyping up the carnival vibe and building momentum before the official start to carnival, fêtes are held across the island showcasing local and regional soca talent. These high energy, themed parties are a core part of the precarnival experience. Aloha-Hawaiian themed beach party, Stage – International soca party with Machel Montanta from Trinidad, LOL – Lots of Liquor a bring your own cooler event, Wet Fête – go expecting to get wet, White Fête – wear white and party the night away at this longstanding event, Blue Jeans – a casual affair with local soca DJ’s, Colours – annual, themed, Charity event sponsored by Rotary Club, Red Eye – stay awake all night long to enjoy the live staged entertainment, Breakfast Fête – wake up and party at this popular preJ’Ouvert beach front day fête.

IMAGE Photographer Randy Candy Photography Barbuda Caribana J’Ouvert mas. | Culture


J’OUVERT J’Ouvert begins just before the dawn of carnival Monday where crowds chip (a rhythmic shuffle) along the roads to a booming, alcohol fuelled daybreak party in the streets. Sign-up with a J’Ouvert troupe in advance and get ready to dance, jump, sing, blow whistles and get ‘dutty’ in all manner of dress and undress. This is a no holds barred street party where anything goes. What is your J’Ouvert ritual? Does it include water, mud, paint, oil or powder? There is a mas troupe for every one, from the likes of Renegade, Wadadli Brewmasters, Joe Mike’s, Nuff and Edge Up, DumzTree, and the Mud band.

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Mud troupe band on the streets of St. John’s for J’Ouvert morning.

IRON BANDS A surviving tradition from the emergence of carnival to modern day is the Iron Band. Band members gather with old metal pipes, tyre rims, cowbells, tins and other metal objects fashioned into rudimental instruments. This creative music has a distinct hypnotic sound which echoes through the streets of town as revellers follow in sync like the pied piper. Urlings Iron Band is the most famous in Antigua and has been in existence for over 100 years.

IMAGE Photographer Allan Aflak Urlings Iron Band, playing instruments and parading through the streets of St. John’s for carnival.

MAS TROUPES Carnival Monday and Tuesday are the main Mas days for Antigua’s carnival where merrymaking and street parading of bands in their costumes provide a visual spectacle. The costumes range from elaborate plumage to barely there feathers and beads – from contemporary bands such as Myst, Beautiful People, Insane to well-established bands such as Dynamics, Ali & Associates and Just Good Friends who continue to build traditional costumes. All inhibitions are stripped by the pulsating music. The colours and the infectious energy will make you wish you were playing rather than just watching.

STEELPAN Made from recycled oil drums fired, beaten and tuned, steel pans are the essence of carnival, with a sound that is pure and timeless. To savour the true soul of the steelpan, you will have to go to the Panorama competition night where the pan players bring their unique brand of performance to the stage with bouncy rhythms of melodic interpretations of popular music. Steel Pan orchestras also hit the streets on J’Ouvert morning firing up revellers at the start of the two day Mas on the streets of St. John’s.

CAYLPSO The sweet sounds of calypso music fill the airwaves and Calypso tents leading up to the competition for the annual title of Calypso Monarch. As the forerunner to soca music these live theatrical performances engage crowds with a distinctive style of social commentary ranging from politics to sex. Look out for talented calypsonians old and new like King Fiyah, Young Destroyer, Princess Thalia, Blade, Naturalist, Lady Raw, Kaseba, Swallow, Short Shirt, King Obstinate, Onyan and Calypso Joe. 130 | Culture

ALL IMAGES Photographer Allan Aflak

SOCA Soca artistes make a significant contribution to the music of the carnival, creating the good time vibes guaranteed to keep you dancing around the clock, for the entire carnival season. Groovy and Jumpy Party Monarch competitions see the likes of Claudette Peters, Tian Winters, Ricardo Drue, MnM, Laurena Davis, Mad-T-Guans, Tizzy vying for the Monarch titles whilst fans come to be entertained. Soca rules the road from J’Ouvert morning to Last Lap as revellers wave their rags as instructed. Of course soca in Antigua is not complete without a dose of Flames whether they are Burning, Red Hott, Red Hot Nation or Onion Effect.


IMAGES Left top and bottom left: Photographer Justin Peters Top right: Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Bottom right: Photographer Allan Aflak

Barbuda’s Caribana festival activities are held over five days and include calypso and soca competitions, Barbuda Triathlon, fishing tournament, beach bash, breakfast fête, seafood fair, horse racing, dancing in the streets with lots of gyrating action. It is an explosion of culture and excitement as the sleepy village of Codrington comes to life with an influx of expectant visitors who descend on the island to party away their Whitsun weekend. Captivating scenery of pristine sandy beaches surrounded by crystal clear waters form the picturesque backdrop to the celebrations. The essence of Carnival in Antigua & Barbuda has taken many twists and turns over the years. In Antigua, the original one day celebration now covers twelve, with a variety of shows and events beginning with Carnival’s Opening Parade with T-shirt mas, moving on to the pageantry of Jaycees’ Queen Show, and young talent Teen Explosion. These are followed by Junior Carnival, Panorama, Party and Calypso Monarch shows, J’Ouvert, Monday/Tuesday parade of the bands concluding carnival each year with a final celebratory circuit of St. John’s at Last Lap. We invite you to carnival in paradise. You Ha Fuh Cum Man, You Ha Fuh Cum! | Culture


ARTIST SPOTLIGHT A CROSS-SECTION OF PRACTISING ARTISTS Written & edited by Amina O. Doherty and Claudia Johnson.

The cultural wealth and ethnic diversity of our twin island state has endorsed art in every shape and fashion to evolve, allowing artistic expression to take on many forms. Much of this art is created from the islands natural resources such as palm leaves, shells, leather, wood, clay, stone and found objects which are recycled or up-cycled. The nation’s tropical flora, land and seascapes inspire an array of paintings and photography. They also draw on our deep-rooted heritage and our growing multi-cultural society. The artistry of our local talent has achieved increased recognition, with artists exhibiting around the world. Younger artists are breaking into experimental and digital forms of artistic expression, which now cross over into the mainstream. Be sure to visit some of our talented artists; they’ll be delighted to show you their work, and you’ll be surprised by the variety of creativity on show. 132 | Culture

Artwork by GuavaDeArtist Title ‘Busy Headlines’


C Photographer Chavel “DotKid” Thomas Tel: +1 (268) 724-4227

havel “DotKid” Thomas is a 22 year-old conceptual photographer living and working in Antigua. He is self-taught and uses his unique style of contemporary photography as a storytelling outlet. He describes his camera as his passion, and works with multiple mediums including face paint, powder, water, liquid latex and much more. Chavel says of his work, “I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and I try to work with people who have the same level of passion and creativity. I want to inspire people to be themselves, no matter how ‘weird’ they think they might be.” Chavel exhibits his work primarily via social media, under the alias @dotkidchavy. | Culture



In 2013 after a process that started nine years earlier, the Fisheries Division successfully enacted new legislation for managing and conserving the marine and coastal resources of Antigua and Barbuda.

Artist Katie McConnachie Tel: +1 (268) 460-1417 Tel: +1 (268) 764-0340 Email:



atie McConnachie was born in Los Angeles, California and began her artistic career painting special effects for Hanna Barbera Productions. She left California in1985 to “go sailing” and settled in Antigua. She started Seahorse Studios, supplying graphic design facilities for the local businesses and yachting communities. She was lead artist on the Wyland Marine Mural on the island of Grenada. The project is funded by the World Society for the Protection of Animals under the auspices of Antigua Barbuda Independent Tourism Promotion Corporation headed by Martha Watkins Gilkes, in conjunction with two Grenadian organizations; the Grenada Fund for Conservation Inc. and YWF-Kido Foundation Inc., which have a long history of working to raise public awareness and promote conservation of both local and Trans-boundary natural resources. In 2013 she was inducted into the Ocean Artists Society founded by Guy Harvey, Wyland and Bob Talbot. Katie’s delightful wildlife illustrations utilize ebony pencil, pen and ink, acrylic paints, prismacolor pencil and airbrush techniques. Her favourite medium is using prismacolor pencils, which afford her drawings an incredible amount of detail. She often works in acrylic paints. Her subject matter spans from portraits of birds, dogs and cats, to native island and underwater wildlife.


Artist GuavaDeArtist THOCSHOP, Gallery/Store, Redcliffe Quay, St. John’s Tel: +1 (786) 400-0685 Email:

orking out of Antigua, Japan and Miami, GuavaDeArtist is a selftaught Antiguan artist with a unique cartoon/anime inspired style which he calls “GUAVARIZED”. He uses a variety of materials to create art pieces on apparel, footwear, walls and canvases – exploring new art techniques and ways of working. Guava is a professional artist with a diverse range of international clients. Art lovers and tourists from across Europe and North America love Guava’s style and flock to his gallery and store - THOCSHOP - which is centrally located in Redcliffe Quay in St. John’s. Visitors love Guava for his fun-loving, entertaining personality, and most days he can be found producing art at his store. When it comes to creativity Guava knows no boundaries. | Culture




eborah Eckert’s love for landscapes and portraits developed from a life spent living in and travelling through many parts of the world. Her experiences of many cultures and vistas inspired a great passion for people and for the planet we all share, which fuelled a desire to express those feelings through the arts. Her favourite painting medium is soft pastel. Pastel is almost pure pigment and is perhaps the oldest artistic medium of all, having been used on cave paintings thousands of years ago. Applied with one’s hands and fingertips, it is thus an immediate communication between the artist and the surface of the painting. Self-taught as an artist, her work has won awards and been exhibited at the Antigua Artist’s Shows, Harmony Hall and Jumby Bay. In addition to pastel paintings, Deborah loves creating sculptures from found objects and fabric wall hangings. Deborah is also a teacher and musician, and worked for several years as a radio producer and host.

Artist Deborah Ann Eckert Tel: +1 (268) 463-2522 Tel: +1 (268) 723-3007 Email:

136 | Culture


G Artist Stephen Murphy Tel: +1 (268) 562-7662 Email:

rowing up in Antigua, Stephen Murphy’s dream was always to become an artist. Now a brilliant practitioner in his prime, he expresses his wide ranging talents through his store and art studio, Zemi Art Gallery. Nestled in the trendy retail district of Redcliffe Quay, Zemi captures the essence of traditional Antiguan and Barbudan art and crafts with a fresh approach. The gallery store sells unusual and highly original artistic offerings and a collection of quality t-shirts, tote bags and jewellery which make irresistible gifts.

Zemi as a concept derives from the art of pre-Columbian Caribbean peoples, who left traces of their culture in pictographs or rock carvings and petroglyphs. By incorporating these ancient symbols in his work Stephen pays tribute to our island’s ancestors. Stephen’s work incorporates ‘up-cycling’ a variety of mediums including recycled wire and metal, sea glass, pebbles, wood and shells. Stephen can be found at Zemi working on his vibrant and visually powerful paintings trademarked under the name “Wadadli Watercolours”. | Culture




edars Pottery began in 1996 when Antiguan born sculptor and ceramicist Michael Hunt returned to Antigua with his English wife the ceramicist Imogen Margrie. They collaborated to produce a range of hand thrown decorated tableware. Whilst continuing a limited range of domestic ware, they are now developing an eclectic mix of architectural, one-of-a-kind pieces made to commission, in collaboration with architects and clients. Their works are sought after by interior designers, the hotel trade and the general public. The portfolio of works at Cedars Pottery ranges from giftware items such as ceramic wall pieces, light fixtures, teapots and vases to large-scale commissions of relief wooden carvings, highly individual fountains and imaginative ceramic sculptures. As individuals both Michael and Imogen have continued to experiment, their creative energy feeding into all aspects of their production. Imogen’s portfolio of unique pieces reflects her eclectic sources of


inspiration. Recently she has been working in porcelain and Buff stoneware. Michael and Imogen work across a variety of mediums including locally sourced wood and stone for sculpting, whilst their intricate ceramic designs are formed from porcelain. Their work continues to be admired for its sense of design, consummate craft skill and attention to detail. A visit to Cedars Pottery studio in Buckley’s located in the centre of Antigua takes you through a lush sculpture garden setting. A tour of the garden reveals an eclectic range of found objects, ornamental ceramic designs and sculptural installations.

Artists Imogen Margrie and Michael Hunt Cedars Pottery, Buckley’s, Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 460-5293 Email: | Culture




onathan Murphy is an IT Professional with 14 years experience. This background has enabled him to create a happy marriage between photography and the latest digital technology. His love affair with photography began in 2008, and has become a driving passion. His eye for detail and balance is striking. Jonathan has worked with several local professional photographers and his love for landscape and nature photography has resulted in a personal collection of incredible photos. Photographer Jonathan Murphy Tel: +1 (268) 783-7035 Email:



olin F. Christ was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1964. He grew up in a newly independent country at a time in history that saw the blossoming of ‘freelove’, the Beatles, the ‘cold war’ and the rise of disco, the spiritual power of Rastafari, reggae music, Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. The art of Matisse, Picasso, and Andy Warhol all significantly influenced his life and art. Through a palette of bold colours Colin paints the world as he sees it, using deceptively simple imagery and bold almost primitive brushwork. His art is distinctive in style and while being uniquely Caribbean in flavour, has a universal appeal. His work has been shown in many private and corporate collections throughout the Americas, Europe and beyond.

140 | Culture

Artist Colin F. Christ Tel: +1 (268) 723-1906 Email:



illy Gobinet was born in England. She wanted to go to art school, but was advised to get a “proper� career first, as the ability to paint would never leave her. Thus she studied Biological Sciences at the University of Sussex. On completion she worked in a veterinary laboratory, in a London teaching hospital as a ghost writer for a professor of epidemiology & social medicine, and then as an international civil servant in Strasbourg, France. A happy coincidence found her on vacation in Antigua where her husband was offered a job. Delighted with the prospect of a challenge she dropped everything and moved to Antigua in 1984, seizing the opportunity of fulfilling her childhood dream of painting full time. Whilst bringing up her three young children, she slowly developed her painting techniques, mainly in watercolour and acrylic. Her subjects reflect the beauty and charm of

the enchanting island of Antigua and to this day, inspiration is never lacking. Many of her subjects are of Caribbean flora and fauna and marine art, although painting nudes, preferably from life, continues to be her particular pleasure. In addition to the vibrant colours in her tropical art, Gilly uses a palette of mellow tones in some of her paintings, reflecting her European origins. She has exhibited in various shows and galleries around the Caribbean and Venezuela. At present she runs her own Art Gallery in her delightful secluded waterfront residence in leafy Fitches Creek, close to the airport, on the east coast of Antigua. Artist Gilly Gobinet Gilly Gobinet Art Gallery, Fitches Creek Tel: +1 (268) 464-6084 Email: | Culture




mile Hill is an Antiguan artist, graphic designer, teacher, photographer and author. Having developed a love for the arts at a young age, he has always incorporated his passion for the performing arts into his visual practice, allowing different influences to define his approach to art and design. A graduate of the University of Technology (UTech) Jamaica, Caribbean School of Architecture, Emile is a multi-talented individual who published his first photographic coffee table book “The Angels Project” in December of 2011. The subject matter of his artistic work tends to be very personal, ranging widely from dance, to his love for performance and music, extending to explorations of the human condition and relationships. His passion for the visual arts propels constant exploration within these themes and within various media. In January of 2015, Emile staged his first solo exhibition at the Sugar Ridge Resort, St. Mary’s, Antigua. Presently, his affiliation with the visual and performing arts has led to his new project which involves organising and collaborating with various local artistes.

Artist Emile Hill Tel: +1 (268) 464-8572 Email:

142 | Culture



ane Seagull has been making art since she was six years old, learning to crochet and knit from her grandmother. As a young artist she explored a variety of mediums, including leaded glass, painted furniture, papier-mâché and textiles. Many describe Jane’s work as playful and innocent, and she has an undeniable bond with children of all ages including those she teaches art. Since moving to Antigua in 1992, she has become known for her acrylic, oil and watercolour paintings, and her eclectic and often quirky sculptural pieces, which have become sought-after collector’s items. More recently, Jane has begun to explore mural art, completing a large wall mural at the St. John’s

Hospice as a community outreach project and has collaborated with local artists including Michael Hunt of Cedars Pottery. Jane is an active community volunteer who uses her artistic talents to promote charitable causes.

Artist Jane Seagull Tel: +1 (268) 560-2334 Email:


M Artist Mako Williams Fitches Creek, Antigua Tel: +1 (268) 783-3000

ako Williams is an Antiguan-American visual artist, author, technologist and concept developer. She grew up in Swetes Village, Antigua and studied Visual Communication, Graphic Design and Fine Art at the Hartford Art School in the United States. She went on to complete a Masters of Arts Degree at Columbia University. One of Mako’s murals “G-Train Girl” is currently on display at the Clinton-Washington G-Train Station in Brooklyn, New York. Mako’s philosophy about art highlights the creative and orgasmic power of the universe; her work on canvas communicates an ethereal and spiritual message that speaks to the soul. | Culture




aydene Gonnella is best known for her encaustic images of doorways, sea turtles and pelicans. She works with a blend of beeswax and oil paint in a process that involves layering, collaging, glazing and painting elements together. She captures her subjects with an agitated sensitivity that exposes her command of the medium, unique colour sense and expressive quality. Her latest pieces are a collection of expressive portraits that capture the diversity of the Caribbean. Naydene has had many solo and group exhibitions across Antigua and her work has won numerous awards. The Copper & Lumber Store Hotel, Nelson’s Dockyard, English Harbour hosted her latest solo exhibition.

Artist Naydene Gonnella Tel: +1 (268) 720-2423 Email:

144 | Culture



Artist: Mark Brown Tel: +1 (268) 779-5672 Email:

ark Brown is one of Antigua & Barbuda’s leading contemporary artists whose work has, over time, gone from scenic Caribbean imagery to work which is firmly planted in the inexplicably complex nature of human existence. Mark’s aesthetic in art was honed from an early age. By the time he finished his secondary education his work was garnering the attention of many fine art connoisseurs, trade publications and artists. He became an art teacher, whilst developing his art and experimenting with media – from photography to ceramics and, eventually, oil on canvas. As a figurative painter not afraid to break boundaries, Mark draws inspiration from his heritage, his religion and the questions he has about life, choices and journeys. He continues to produce work which brings to consciousness the issues which are rarely engaged, challenging us all to tap into our own humanity and to see the world differently. His body of work expresses immense waves of controlled power and emotional sensitivity as he looks out at the world and attempts to share through art the touchingly sincere philosophical search for truth and meaning in our human existence. Mark was recently selected as an artist-inresidence at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville, Louisiana as part of TOSTEM, the French acronym for Cultural Tourism through the Footsteps of Slavery. In discussing the experience, Mark says “The experience has been one of growth, both artistically and personally...I hope for it to be a turning point in how I relate to slavery and my own identity and understanding of who I am and where I came from.” | Culture




aritza Martin is a young Antiguan artist from the parish of St. Philip, for whom art has always been an outlet, a tool for growth and spiritual exploration. She describes her work as “a constant experiment” with both medium and technique. Her oil and acrylic paintings display emotionally charged people surrounded by wild flora. Her portraits evoke a deep connection between human life and nature. Martin describes her work as an “exploration and illustration of a universal story; that of a soul having a human experience.” Maritza paints and exhibits alongside gallery owner/artist Stephen Murphy at Zemi Art Gallery and she exhibits her work at Harmony Hall Art Gallery.

Artist Maritza Martin Tel: +1 (268) 788-4373 Email:



nson “Jay” Henry is one of Antigua & Barbuda’s leading photo-realistic pencil artists, specialising in portraiture and nature forms of photo-realism. Anson became a visual arts teacher, and began developing his drawing skill using graphite and charcoal pencils. Although he favours working in only black and white because of the nostalgic feel it creates, he occasionally incorporates colour in his work. Anson’s work can be found in many businesses and private residences both locally and internationally. He accepts commissions, in addition to original and print work. Anson says of his work “my inspiration evolves constantly, and is drawn from any random thought or moment…”

146 | Culture

Artist Anson “Jay” Henry Tel: +1 (268) 782-2145 Email:



ntiguan-based artist Jennifer Meranto captures the beauty of the Caribbean people and places through her renowned black and white, sepia toned and hand painted photographs. Each image is a reproduction of a unique original that has been individually bleached, toned, painted and reprinted on linen paper. Jennifer’s stunning collection of handtinted photos of Antigua and the Caribbean are increasingly popular, as are her unique one-off shots capturing the essence of the island life. In 2010, Jennifer started a personal art and documentary project called ‘Project Trash’ in response to increasing shoreline trash she had noticed. In 2013, Jennifer went on to found ‘Adoptacoastline’, creating a series of artworks called Vintage Beach, of which all proceeds support Adoptacoastline. Through this effort Jennifer has managed to combine her environmental clean up efforts with her own art making. She says of this project, “we can learn a lot by how nature works...Nature recycles everything, nothing is wasted... everything is used and reused. I now use [nature] as a mentor in my art making and lifestyle choices.”

Artist Jennifer Meranto Tel: +1(268) 764-8035 Email: Facebook: /Adoptacoastline | Culture




aena Bird is is the daughter of national hero and former Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda - Sir Lester Bird. With a Multimedia Art and Design degree already under her belt, and a Communication Design degree underway, she considers herself to be a professional designer & illustrator. Her website doubles as a portfolio of both current and upcoming projects. Raena primarily works on independent projects and accepts commissions for handdrawn illustrations and digital paintings as well as custom items like mobile phone and laptop cases, bags and pillows. She is known best for her one-minute speed illustrations of both local and regional artists that she shares regularly



hem Alexander is an emerging young visual artist who works in oils and acrylics on textured surfaces. He is recognized for his innovative and unique paintings on the West Indian Turpentine Tree bark. He also paints portraits and figures inspired by the traditional Antiguan way of life. Shem paints from his daydreams and from his imagination exploring the orally transmitted beliefs, myths, tales and practices that are an essential element of the Caribbean social tradition. His work can be found at the Harmony Hall Art Gallery in Brown’s Bay. Artist Shem Alexander Tel: (268) 782-1384 Email:

148 | Culture

on her YouTube page. Recent projects include a series of hand-crafted Valentine’s day cards that feature drawings of famous dancehall/reggae artists which are accompanied by their song lyrics. She says of the project, “what started off as a social joke garnered much public attention and has been featured by the popular website Buzzfeed.”

Artist Raena Bird Email:



here is something extraordinarily special about being born in the Caribbean”, notes the artist Vernon Grigg whose work seeks to capture true Caribbean life, portraying everyday social activities, local pastimes and sports in all of their diversity. Vernon is proud to be dubbed a ‘son of the soil’. He was born on the eastern end of Antigua in a village called Newfield in the parish of St. Philip. Vernon’s love for art was nurtured at elementary level and encouraged by his mother who was an artist in her own right. He now

lives between New York and Antigua and is a renowned, award-winning artist. He has been painting for more than 30 years, specializing in the use of oil, water and acrylic, and has attained the prestigious title of ‘Best in Show’ for many years at the Antigua Artists Society’s annual exhibition. His most recent exhibition was held at the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda where his work can currently be viewed. Vernon gives back to his community on a voluntary basis, teaching art to public school children in Antigua and New York.

Artist Vernon Grigg Tel: +1 (718) 282-3894 Tel: +1 (301) 675-9417 Email: | Culture




arl Henry is one of Antigua’s most renowned wood sculptors. His works are fashioned from Antiguan mahogany, eucalyptus, almond and other Caribbean hardwoods. His seahorses, turtles, fish, warri boards, sailing boats and fabulous centrepiece bowls are much sought after by locals and tourists alike. Carl carved the coat of arms which hangs in Antigua’s Parliament building and his life size sculpture of the Holy Family which stands in the new Catholic Cathedral is remarkable.

Wood Carver Carl Henry Things Local and Unique, Nelson’s Dockyard Tel: +1 (268) 770-5780



uis Jarvis and his distinctive artworks are a familiar part of the Antiguan cultural landscape. His rich folk background is evident in the Caribbean scenes depicted in his vivid oil, watercolour and acrylic paintings. Born in the Dominican Republic in 1955, Luis’s artwork emphasises the intense colours of tropical forests and rainbow colours of his Dominican and Haitian heritage. He is the owner of Taino’s art gallery located in Jolly Harbour. Taino’s exhibits and sells Jarvis’ renowned paintings along with prints and photos from other Antiguan artists. Taino’s gallery also exhibits a popular range of natural cockleshell lampshades and other artefacts. Gift items include local cookbooks and cocktail recipe books, CDs, and souvenir items such as Cuban and Dominican cigars.

150 | Culture

Artist Luis Jarvis Taino’s Art Gallery, Jolly Harbour Commercial Centre Jolly Harbour Marina Tel: +1 (268) 562-5851 or +1 (268) 773-3544




Artist Rhonda Williams Fashionista LLC Tel: +1 (268) 789-0770 Email:

honda Williams is a multi-talented freelance artist who has had a love for all things artistic for as long as she can remember. She attained a BSc in Studio Arts and Educational Theatre at New York University with extensive knowledge and experience in painting, sculpture, illustration, ceramics, wig and costume design, stage management, showroom staging, stage makeup, prop and mask-making as well as tap. She works out of her home studio and is co-founder of Fashionista LLC, a company that specialises in seasonal backdrops, props, carnival makeup and costume customisation. Williams currently tutors visual arts students at the Christ the King High school as well as holding private and group art sessions with adult art enthusiasts. She is the Tap and Jazz dance instructor and theatrical technician at The Dance Theatre of Antigua & Barbuda.


Artist Jan Farara Tel: +1 (268) 764-8803 Email:

an Farara is an internationally recognised artist whose large-scale paintings and murals grace hotels and restaurants across Antigua. Jan studied commercial and fine art in London. In 2005, she started painting full-time, and has had numerous successful exhibitions and many commissions since. Her large, colourful canvases are much in demand locally, in Antigua. She also receives regular commissions from many other countries. Her subject matter is always the Caribbean, featuring lush landscapes and vibrant sea scenes. She recently opened a small studio and gallery at her home in Buckleys, Antigua. Jan has an engaging personality and gives her visitors a warm Caribbean welcome. Tour groups are invited to come and visit for an insightful experience, learning how Jan creates her original paintings and artwork. | Culture




ehalah Spencer was born and grew up in Antigua. Growing up, she remembers that whenever she complained of boredom, her mother (internationally renowned artist Sallie Harker), would tell her to “go out and paint a picture”. Soon painting pictures became a habitual and enjoyable way to spend her time. With her adventurous spirit, Mehalah spent her summers at sailing camps across the island where she became a keen sailor and environmentalist. Mehalah has sailed around Antigua and to neighbouring islands seeing, exploring, and becoming ever more familiar with sailboats and the sea. These

vivid formative experiences infuse her art. Mehalah’s current medium of choice is printmaking. She spends her time developing her delicately engraved lino prints depicting scenes from her childhood.

Artist Mehalah Spencer Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery, Fig Tree Drive Tel: +1 (268) 460-1234 Email:



allie Harker has been living and making art in Antigua since 1987. She was formally trained as a sculptor in the UK and makes sculptures by commission. She also paints and has developed an innovative technique using gold leaf and oil paint. Sallie exhibits her work along with the work of other Caribbean artists at her Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery. The gallery features a selection of Sallie’s original oil and watercolour paintings including the popular “Cruising the Caribbean” series painted in oil on wooden Wallaba shingles. These Seascapes depicting traditional Caribbean sailing craft, such as yoles from Martinique, the Carib canoes, Cariacou sloops and Bequia boats capture the romance of sailing in the tropics. Sallie also

152 | Culture

uses the technique of watercolour to capture the effects of light on water. Her magical series of beach and coastline paintings radiate with the colours of sun, sea and sand. More recent shingle paintings include a series of native birds, turtles and fish decorated with pacific pattern styling using gold leaf.

Artist Sallie Harker Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery, Fig Tree Drive Tel: +1 (268) 460-1234 Email:


L Artist Lyris Tracey Island Mantra Studio, Marble Hill Road, McKinnon’s Tel: +1 (268) 725-8561 Email:

yris Tracey is a creative mixed media artist who works on varied surfaces including salvaged natural objects. Influenced by Caribbean life, lore, and culture, her work is boldly colourful, innovative, and refreshingly different. She says of her work “My most compelling influence is the Caribbean. I love the cacophony of colour, noise and excitement found in the people, markets and Carnival celebrations.” Art, hand-dyed & painted natural textiles, unique jewellery, and home decor accents can be found at Lyris’ home studio, Island Mantra, close to St. John’s and Dickenson Bay. | Culture


In 2013 after a process that started nine years earlier, the Fisheries Division successfully enacted new legislation for managing and conserving the marine


and coastal resources of Antigua & Barbuda.

“MY ART SPEAKS THROUGH ME, FOR ME AND TO ME” Written by Claudia Johnson.

Heather Doram is one of Antigua & Barbuda’s leading contemporary artists, carrying a household name for her contributions to the Arts and Antiguan culture as a whole. With her unwavering passion, enthusiasm and determination, she has harnessed her creativity, demonstrating how a love for what you do, leads to a productive and happy life. Heather is an artist, a designer, educator, actress and social activist. She is also a wife and mother. Above all this, she is content and fulfilled as she continues down her path of spiritual growth.

154 | Culture


IMAGES Artworks by Heather Doram Opposite page and this page: “We have so many stories to tell”, multi-dimensional fibre art pieces.

orn in Antigua, Heather Doram was educated at the Antigua Girl’s High School, the Leeward Islands Teachers’ Training College in Antigua, and the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. At a later stage, she went on to achieve a Master of Fine Arts degree (in Fibres) at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the U.S.A. This later period in Heather’s life was essential to her development as an artist and individual. Time spent alone encouraged a period of introspection and exploration of her spirituality. She has described having a form of epiphany on her return home to her family in Antigua; she found innerstrength, confidence and love for herself. With this came a sense of peace and direction, which Heather is keen to share with women through her art and other media. These ideals are vividly expressed in a collection of works aptly named ‘The Strength of a Woman’. A bold collection of portraits and nudes, these images project female empowerment, sexuality and womanhood through a celebration of colour and beauty. The women are portrayed as beautiful beings, with an array of decorative hairstyles, jewellery and make up. Many of the subjects seem to meditate, eyes closed, and almost appear to be inhaling or exhaling, as their images relax into dreamy backgrounds. They exude inner-resolve and peace. Another subject stares out from a background of red and orange hues, alarming the viewer with piercing cat-like eyes, projecting a will of power and spirit. The butterfly motive, which features heavily across the collection is a personal symbol of the artist, which speaks of freedom, spreading of wings and taking flight. Most of Heather’s art is vibrant and full of colour-traits reminiscent of the artist’s well established relationship with Antigua’s carnival, a celebration of emancipation from slavery. The | Culture


festivities are an explosion of colour, music, dancing and artistic expression on all levels. For over twenty five years she and her husband designed and constructed successful carnival costumes for individuals and groups in the carnival. Heather’s talent for design, combined with her husband’s ability to build costumes, resulted in the creation of many award winning costume designs. While she has downscaled her involvement with Carnival over the years, the artist still designs for smaller carnival groups and is part of a group called ‘Just Friends’, which has 10-12 members. They are set on reviving carnival costume, looking back to traditional concepts and local characters. Heather’s design talent propelled her to become the winning designer of Antigua & Barbuda’s National Dress competition in 1992. 156 | Culture

Each participant was asked to base their designs on the type of clothing worn in Antigua & Barbuda during the immediate post- emancipation period; they were to be judged on historical guidance & rationale, creativity, practicality and creativeness. Heather succeeded and was honoured with Best Female Design, Best Male Design and Best Overall Design. The male outfit integrates elements of European and African culture. It features a madras waistcoat and straw hat with matching band. The fabric’s colours, red, green, yellow and black reflect African heritage, while the white shirt worn with black pants were commonplace in both the pre and post-emancipation period. The female attire consists of a below-the-knee madras dress with matching head tie. A white apron with frills and large pockets overlays the dress, and recalls aprons worn during this era

by women eager to protect what may have been their only dress. The designs were approved by Cabinet for Independence Day in 1994 and the first official ‘National Dress Day’ was celebrated on October 26th of that year. On this day, all are free to wear National dress to work or school as a sign of civic pride. Heather Doram is an artist who continues to challenge herself through different mediums and has achieved recognition at home and at an international level. In 1994 she participated in the Venice Biennale, a major contemporary art exhibition, which takes place in Italy bi-annually. In 2002, she was granted the Grand Cross of the Most Illustrious Order of Merit for services to the Arts and in the following year was granted the post of Director of Culture in Antigua & Barbuda, which she held for three years. However, the role

IMAGE Artwork by Heather Doram Above: Found objects are introduced into the design of “Memory Books”, a popular collection of works that have been aged, shaped, painted and mounted. They represent Heather’s history, ancestry and culture.

IMAGES Artworks by Heather Doram Opposite page top: Artist Heather Doram with her market scene mural. The mural is located in the arrivals area at V.C. Bird International Airport. Bottom: “Bottled Memories” repurposed glass bottles with vibrant surfaces, forming decorative fibre art scenes, made from layered fabrics, felt, found objects and acrylic paints.

that she relished was that of Chief Examiner for Art at CXE level across the Caribbean over a ten year period. In this guise, she was able to connect with young aspiring artists and was stimulated by the wealth of talent emerging out of the islands. As an extension of her academic contributions, Heather’s work has been featured in the ‘Longman Visual Arts for Secondary Schools’, a text book used in the syllabus across the Caribbean region. With a full schedule that continues today, it is incredible that Heather still finds the time and ‘mind’ space to add to her more recent collections. As a fibre artist, these pieces are individually crafted, using a mix of materials, from felt to found objects and acrylic paints. One such vibrant collection, We Have So Many Stories to Tell, presents scenes of island life with a sense of nostalgia. These quaint village scenes, full of colour and texture, seem to come to life; capturing moments inspired by the people and culture of Antigua. Local characters engage with one another casually, perhaps just ‘shooting the breeze’. Caribbean sunsets and landscapes are created as intriguing materials are layered and merged. This multi-dimensional technique has been successfully employed on glass bottles of varying size and shape. The vessels are firstly covered in a chosen fabric, such as burlap or silk, and then paint may be applied, before the process of layering begins, creating rich and tactile surfaces. Heather states, “I layer because no one surface can tell the whole story. They conceal and reveal layers of humanity. An interest in the past and the old is analogous to my layering of fabric and compulsive stitchery to reveal identity and chronicle memories”. Sands of Time is a collection which seems to evoke the past, conveying narrative and cultural experiences through the juxtaposition of decorative pictorial imagery. Here Heather uses

a more abstract style, full of colour and familiar motives, such as the butterfly and lizard, entwined and almost camouflaged in their surroundings. Small silhouetted figures hold hands and appear to almost dance in one piece - children playing - whilst more statuesque, robed women wearing hats, bow their heads in what appears to be greeting or prayer. There is a ritualistic nature to this series and the overall style carries an Aboriginal theme, which is reinforced with the use of concentric circles and dots throughout; associated with the body art of these people. This would not be the first time Heather has drawn inspiration from these ancient peoples, as she also compares some of her earlier felt works to Aboriginal bark paintings. She explains that the felt in her work represents the skin or bark of life, with a lot going on, on the surface, as well as beneath. The felt is transformed by printing, burning and stitching to create ancient rock faces or skins. As with Aboriginal bark paintings, the Sands of Time series convey historical, religious, mythological and social information through pictorial representation and patterning. Similarly to her art, Heather Doram continues to add layers and substance to her life. Today, already with a substantial amount of acting experience under her belt, this insatiable woman has raised her profile once again by appearing on ABS’s hit show Keepin’ It Real. A segment of the ‘chat’ show, which is filmed live on a weekly basis, sees Heather ticking items off her bucket list. Along with completing physical challenges such as driving a backhoe, she has become the star of her own risqué photo shoot, donning fishnets, a bustier, feathers, top hat and strutting her stuff. Here we find images of a grown woman comfortable in her skin, ready to push boundaries and fulfil her dreams. Heather will tell you, “I don’t intend to die without having lived”- a mantra to be shared. | Culture



A MEDLEY OF MUSICIANS & BANDS Antigua & Barbuda has a rich and extremely diverse musical history. The small twin island nation is recognised for producing some of the Caribbean’s biggest stars in a variety of genres including Calypso, Soca, Steelpan, and Reggae.

Burning Flames


n the days following slavery, Benna (bennah) music, an uptempo indigenous folk sound, gained significant popularity. Known primarily as a folk method of communication, Benna music was known to address scandalous and bawdy rumours and gossip and political commentary, in a call-and-response form with a leader and an audience. This music paved the way for Calypso, which then became the main style of music, with Calypso competitions becoming the highlight of Carnival. Leading Antiguan Calypsonians have included Samuel “Styler” Ryan, Paul “Obstinate” Richards, Mclean “Short Shirt” Emmanuel, Joseph “Calypso Joe” Hunte, Rupert “Swallow” Philo, Toriano “Onyan” Edwards and Trevor “ Zacari” King. Soca, a more modern upbeat take on traditional Calypso fused with the sounds of American soul music, surged in popularity in the 1970s. It is now an integral feature of the Antiguan & Barbudan cultural and music scene.

158 | Culture

BURNING FLAMES Burning Flames are a Soca band from St. John’s, who formed in 1984, and went on to appear in the Antiguan Road March carnival in 1985. The original line up included three brothers - Toriana “King Onyan” Edwards, David “Bubb-I” “Krokuss” Edwards and Clarence “Oungku” Edwards - along with drummer Rone “Foxx” Watkins. Burning flames celebrated their Silver Jubilee in 2010 after 25 years of leading the country’s Soca scene. Their music was influenced by Calypso, Reggae, Funk and Zouk and became the forerunner for what is now a familiar sound in Antigua & Barbuda.

Krokuss, Burning Flames

SPIRITED BAND Formerly ‘Dread and the Baldhead’, the Spirited Band are a talented group of musicians that includes two of Antigua’s cricket greats Richie Richardson and Curtly Ambrose. Their music is an exciting mix of the infectious rhythms of Soca and Calypso, ‘Old Skool’ Reggae, conscious and love groove, and some R&B. Their style ranges from funky and upbeat to smooth and laid-back. They perform regularly in Antigua for both local and tourist audiences.

SOUND CITIZENS Sound Citizens are a group who gather from all corners of the world. Based in Antigua, they play their high-energy sound of Swunk (Swing, Funk & R&B infused with Brazilian rhythms), throughout the Caribbean. The band directs, records and produces their own music shoots and edits their own music videos. SWUNK, their second album of original material was recorded in Antigua at Pelican Lodge Studio with legendary sound engineer Steve Jackson (Elton John, The Police, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder) at the mixing board. They are, without doubt, a band to watch as they seem destined for a global audience.

Spirited Band

ASHER OTTO & ITCHYFEET Over the years, Itchyfeet have established themselves as one of Antigua’s leading party bands, catering primarily to yachties and tourists. They play a variety of music including Rock, Reggae, Soca, Pop and Folk. Asher, the lead singer for the band has been singing with them for four years. Together they’ve travelled and performed around the Caribbean and have shared the stage with many international artists such as Tessanne Chin, Rick Ross, Third World, The Wailers and Jimmy Cliff. Asher released her debut album in 2015.

Tizzy and El A Kru Band | Culture


CLAUDETTE “CP” PETERS Claudette “CP” Peters made her mark on the regional and international Soca scene with her hit single Something’s Got A Hold On Me with Da Bhann in 1994. Antigua’s beautiful Soca Diva has had a hit every year since, including Make Waves, Showtime, Go, Claudette Go, and the Trinidadian penned hit All I Know, which won her first Antigua Party Monarch Title. CP moved on to make Antiguan Party Monarch history with a straight four consecutive wins from 2005 to 2008, and receiving other awards including gospel artist, new female Soca artist, female artist, Soca artist and song of the year in regional and international competitions. She became such a force on the Soca scene that by 1995, mobile phone company Digicel recruited her to be spokeswoman for their Antigua branch. She was also awarded the title of Order of The Most Princely Heritage by Antigua’s Governor General. As lead vocalist for The Taxik Band, CP has shared the stage at venues across the Caribbean and the US with Reggae headliners Beenie Man and Tanya Stephens, and Soca stars Destra Garcia and Machel Montano.

TIAN “THE WINTER MAN” WINTER Tian Winter has a unique ability to infuse popular and R&B singing styles into contemporary Caribbean rhythms. He has a string of hits including Heaven – with which he placed 1st runner-up in the 2008 Groovy Soca Monarch Competition – a remake of the King Obstinate classic Shiny Eyes, Want it Bad and End of Time. Today Tian is a household name across Antigua and one of the country’s brightest exports. In 2016, two energetic tracks Smooth Criminal and In de Middle have paved the way for Tian’s regional success. 160 | Culture


Promise No Promises

Roland Prince & Calypso Val


Claudette “CP” Peters

Tian “The Winter Man” Winter

RICARDO DRUE After being influenced heavily by Soca, Reggae, R&B and Hip-hop, Ricardo became the lead singer of Crossovah, and later became the co-lead singer of the Roy Cape All Stars band in Trinidad and Tobago. Ricardo became a brand ambassador for Digicel Antigua & Barbuda, and 2013 saw the release of his first studio album, Dreams of My Reality, with the breakthrough single Dreaming. In 2014, Ricardo released his second album My Time and subsequently became the Power Soca Monarch of Antigua & Barbuda. In 2015 Ricardo launched Vagabond which became his first international hit.

ZAMBAI Antiguan-born singer, songwriter and musician Zambai describes his music as “music that uplifts and teaches in a positive way.” The artiste, who hails from the village of Freetown, specialises in conscious Reggae music. Zambai sings with the Hardcore Band, which he says aims to share positive and conscious music with the world. Fans can catch Zambai in action playing live at venues across the island.

RED HOT FLAMES Formerly Endless Vibration band, the group was known best for its rock-n-roll offerings. The band’s move into Soca led to the creation of Burning Flames whose first hit Stylie Tight paved the way for multiple hits. Today, its latest iteration, Red Hot Flames is one the Caribbean’s best live entertainment bands playing Soca, Calypso and more.

REVO BAND Revo Band started out as Revo Combo in the 1970s as a String Band. It has progressed over the years and the name was eventually changed to Revo Band. 162 | Culture

Ricardo Drue

talented, energetic and creative group who have pooled their skills to form the unconventional, but highly entertaining style. Members of the group – former Soca King Joel “Hard Knaxx” Lewis, Dorian “Twenty-Two” Sampson, Seth “SetOn” Alexander, Raffique “Lyrical Reds” Edwards, Juney “Jukey Dan” James – are known for their high energy performances, incorporating both Soca and Dancehall.


MnM Music Group and the Unruly Band

RICO & THE 4PLAY BAND Ricardo Anthony was born to a family with a strong musical lineage, being the first grandson of cultural icon Oscar “Music” Mason, one of the pioneers in Antigua’s steel pan movement. With years of experience, Rico is one of the most sought after drummers and entertainers in Antigua. He has toured Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and the Caribbean. Rico’s style pulls from a number of influences including Calypso, Dancehall, Reggae, Brazilian Samba, Hip-Hop, R&B and Rap. He released his debut solo CD Rum in the Soca in 2007, and is currently working on his fourth studio album Perhapsability. Rico Anthony

MAD-T-GUANS Antigua’s homegrown “boy band” are a

Soca siren Tizzy was only 18 when she began doing background vocals for El A Kru and within a matter of time, she became part of its formidable front line. Tizzy has performed around the world delivering energy-filled performances. In 2007 she was recognised by the International Soca Awards and voted Best New Female Soca Artist, Female Soca Performer of the Year, and Favourite Uptempo Soca Female. With a vast number of hits including Expose, Kick It Off, Da Bounce Wuk Meh, Tz Wine, Klymaxx, Fly, Just Can’t Wait and Antigua Nice, Tizzy is taking Antigua to the world stage.

PROMISE NO PROMISES Kobla Mentor also known as “Promise No Promises” is a multi-talented artist, actor, film director and producer. Also known as “The Conscious Rebel”, Promise has worked with Caribbean and European producers and has released several singles including Draw We Out, A Just Herb Officer, We’re Gonna Make It, and more recently Everything Soon Alright , Choose Life and Life Is No Bed Of Rose.

ROLAND PRINCE & CALYPSO VAL The late Roland Prince and his partner, Calypso Val made up one of Antigua’s best known Jazz, Reggae, and Calypso groups. A legend of his time, Roland Prince has been recognised as | Culture


one of Antigua’s greatest Jazz guitarists and was active on the world stage in the 1960s and 70s, before returning home. He remained active on the music scene across the Caribbean, playing jazz with the Roland Prince Quartet. Calypso Val describes herself as a Calypsonian, Jazz vocalist and bass guitarist. The couple used to write and sing their own material together. Their last recording as a duo, Pop! Goes the Jazzle, was recorded in Antigua at Pelican Lodge Studios and features Clifton Byers, Lester “Doc” Simon and O’Neil Mason, with guest artists Renato Daiello on tenor sax and Hani Hechme on fuzz guitar.

LAURENA DAVIS & TKO BAND Laurena is an extremely powerful and versatile vocalist. She first started performing in the Church, where she was a member of various choirs and gospel groups. In 2010, she entered Antigua’s Party Monarch Competition where she was a finalist in both the groovy and uptempo categories. Laurena and her band have performed at a number of Caribbean carnivals, New York labour day, Miami carnival and for several roadshows around the region. Laurena and the TKO Band are currently in the final stages of producing an album entitled The Music in Me.

Sound Citizen

Laurena Davis

Justin “Jus Bus” Nation


JUSTIN “JUS BUS” NATION Self-made producer, visual artist, singer and songwriter Justin “Jus Bus” Nation has an eclectic musical taste, which can be heard rippling through his music. This winning formula led to an A&R at Sony Records enlisting Justin to do an original remix of John Legend’s track No Other Love. Justin went on to work with Grammy award winners such as Jazmine Sullivan, composed alongside artists such as Jamaica’s Jah Cure, had a studio session with the infamous Bobby Brown and has been recruited to do a mix/mash-up on BBC 1xtra. He has also received attention for co164 | Culture

producing a Snoop Lion and Collie Buddz track Smoke The Weed. The album gained success on reggae billboard charts worldwide, leading to a Grammy nomination. Determined to inspire and encourage aspiring young artists throughout the Caribbean Justin believes “anything is possible” and adds, “music and creativity saved my life”.

DRASTIC Art “Drastic” Philip exploded on to the Soca scene with his groovy song Sugary Waistline, a hit which took him to the finals of Antigua’s Soca Party Monarch Competition in 2010. Drastic has worked with other notable artists such as Sean Kingston, Spragga Benz, Honorebel, Jemere Morgan, Ricardo Drue, and Jah Cure with whom he teamed up to record the song Kiss Me Girl. Drastic became a Grammy nominated songwriter for his contribution to No Friend of Mine, Jah Cure’s album - The Cure. Drastic has also penned other hit songs for popular Caribbean artists such as Tizzy, Supa Mario, Shurwayne Winchester, Sean Kingston and Patrice Roberts.


Asher Otto & Itchyfeet

The MnM Music Group comprises of three artists, Menace, Melo and Boasta, whose roots are planted in Urlings village. The group is immensely humbled by their achievements, having attained numerous Carnival awards over the years. For carnival 2016, Menace released Smooth Sailing, which spent over eight weeks on the Cross Caribbean Countdown, topping at 2nd position Melo’s hit One Dance is nothing shy of being exceptional. In addition, the group has branched out in record time to create their own band, the Unruly Band, a musically masterful combination. | Culture



ARTISTIC EXPRESSIONISM IS DELIVERED IN MANY FORMS Written by Amina O. Doherty. Edited by Claudia Johnson.

Over the years, Antigua & Barbuda’s up-and-coming performing arts scene has built a reputation for itself, with the emergence of community-led performance based events, such as the long running, Expressions: Poetry In The Pub. This popular open-mic and visual arts night is known for nurturing local talent and offering an energizing space for Antigua’s creative community.

IMAGE Photographer Kwasi Overton Courtesy Gemma Hazelwood Poetic performer Fayola Jardine, at the ‘Soothe’, neo-soul, jazz and spoken-word event.

IMAGES Left top: The cast and production crew from “When a Woman Moans”. Photographer Robby Breadner Left bottom: Musician Promise No Promises performs at the ‘Soothe’, neo-soul, jazz and spoken-word event. Photographer Kwasi Overton Courtesy Gemma Hazelwood


elatively new to the Antigua & Barbuda performing arts scene is Soothe, a vibrant and dynamic neo­soul and spoken word event founded by local photographer Gemma Hazelwood. Soothe, now in its third year, merges spoken word and poetry in a jazz lounge atmosphere. Over the years Soothe has featured inspiring local and international talent such as musician Aubrey “Lacu” Samuel and the Kutting Edge Band, JustSoul, Khan Cordice, the Mason Brothers, Daina Barnes and Lyrical among others. Recognising the need to showcase local musicians and performers more regularly, Soothe has paved the way for events like Acoustic Nights - a free monthly event organised by P Social and Art.Culture.Antigua. Acoustic Nights is the perfect spot to discover Antigua’s undiscovered musical talent. Antigua’s robust theatre scene has a long and lively history with established writers like Dorbrene O’Marde whose Harambee Open Air Theatre was considered one of the

most influential groups in the 70’s and 80’s, alongside others like the Antigua Community Players, known for its folk music productions. Productions in the vibrant theatre scene range from political commentary to pantomime and folk-inspired cabaret. Antigua boasts a number of well-known local playwrights such as Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams, and Barbara Arrindell, whose stand out production of Dreams…Faces…Reality was first performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group in 2001. Kanika Simpson-Davis is another playwright whose youth theatrical group Stage One, has become to known for its lovable adaptations of popular tales such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Anansi and Snake. Today, many Antiguans are familiar with the work of young playwrights like Owen Jackson - a writer and director with the National Youth Theatre, and Zahra Airall, whose work spans generations through Zee’s Youth Theatre, Honey Bee Theatre, Sugar Apple Theatre and the

recently established National Secondary Schools Drama Festival. Airall alongside her partner Linisa George (another well-known writer and poet), are responsible for the well-loved local production of When a Woman Moans - an innovative and fresh new approach to ‘theatrical activism’. This locally inspired home-grown production was modelled on the internationally acclaimed Vagina Monologues first conceptualised by Tony Award winning playwright, performer, and activist Eve Ensler. In Antigua, the cast of When a Woman Moans includes many well-known Antiguan women writers, such as Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Marcella Andre, Brenda Lee Browne, D. Gisele Isaac and many more. There has been a burst of new energy in the direction of filmmaking and screenwriting. Howard Allen and Mitzi Allen have been named some of the most prolific filmmakers in the Eastern Caribbean, producing four feature | Culture



films in ten years. In 2001, HAMA Films became the first indigenous company in the Eastern Caribbean to produce a feature length film with the release of The Sweetest Mango, a romantic comedy based on how the couple met and fell in love. Together the couple have gone on to produce and direct No Seed (2002), Diablesse

for the continued expressions of our culture as a people.” The Antigua Dance Academy is a selfsustaining, non-profit organisation. They are also the masterminds behind a number of events including Antigua’s only Caribbean Folk Dance Festival, an annual show that takes place usually around July. They hold additional family events

(2005) and The Skin (2011). Other up-and-coming talents include Alexis Andrews whose film Vanishing Sail was declared winner of the Caribbean Spirit Award for Best Overall Feature at the Caribbean Tales Awards and People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival. Tameka Jarvis-George is another dynamic creative talent whose short film Dinner, produced by Cinque Productions, was honoured at the Jamaica Film Festival. Jarvis-George has also collaborated with award-winning cinematographer Shabier Kirchner who, together with his father Bert Kirchner (the owner of Papa Zouk restaurant), has played an important role in establishing the Motion Picture Association of Antigua & Barbuda’s Film Festival. Antigua’s ever expanding cultural repertoire also includes spaces such as the newly established Irie Fire Studio, a recording studio that produces high quality recordings by local musicians. Irie Fire seeks to foster Antigua & Barbuda’s untapped talent as well as offering international artistes the chance to record in a laid back, island-style environment. Antigua & Barbuda is home to an incredible array of dancers and performers whose work is inspired by the island’s diverse influences. As one of Antigua’s longest running dance schools the Antigua Dance Academy (over 25 years old), led by respected local talent Veronica Yearwood, is known for its focus on teaching and performing traditional forms of African and Afro-Caribbean dance, which it describes as “our way of allowing

throughout the year such as Bring Yuh Drum and Come – said to celebrate the sound of the drum and movement of the feet. The Shiva School of Dance is another driving force within the dance community. Founded in June 2003 by artistic director Tavia Hunte, this dance school is based at the University of the West Indies Open Campus. The school offers a wide variety of dance disciplines ranging from modern dance, jazz, hip-hop to soca and Caribbean folk. Shiva’s school trains students from the age of 3 to women over 70 years of age. The school’s mantra is “creating unity through diversity”. This signifies the appreciation of all cultures, ethnic backgrounds, and expressions of the art form and life lessons. Tavia Hunte believes that we are all here for each other and sees dance as a transformational art form that can address, change, assist or highlight issues in the community in a non-threatening manner, while promoting love and community spirit among the generations. Tavia describes the school as “being committed to ensuring that dance gains the love and respect needed to continue to educate and transform minds and bodies through this dynamic art form.” As you will soon see, there is plenty to do across the island of Antigua & Barbuda with a creative community that strives to keep pushing the boundaries in new and innovative ways, as well as maintaining homage to our culture and our past. In Antigua, we say the beach is just the beginning, as we all know there is so much more to do and see. | Culture

IMAGE Photographer Howard Allen HAMA Film’s poster for The Skin feature length film.

IMAGE Photographer Gemma Hazelwood The Shiva School of Dance adult company dancers, with artistic director Tavia Hunte (centre).


Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said: “it is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old; they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams”. And like Marquez, Joanne C. Hillhouse, founder of the Wadadli Youth Pen Prize, shares a belief in the importance of youth and dreams. “I want people to feel that it is OK to daydream; telling stories helps us to find solutions which are out of the box,” she says.


oung people must be able to use their voice… Teenagers need to feel that they can be heard – it improves their confidence and helps in all aspects of their personal development.” It is under this premise that the annual Wadadli Pen Challenge, initially literary but more recently incorporating visual arts, was formed. Hillhouse’s principle has perhaps stemmed from the fact that she herself has always had an innate love of storytelling. Being born and bred in Antigua, however, has meant that opportunity for aspiring authors was lacking. Despite the odds, Hillhouse has become a published author and is a freelance writer, workshop facilitator and writing coach. As a testament to her own experience, she wanted to create opportunity for other aspiring writers to begin their literary journey. In 2004, the Wadadli Pen Challenge, the flagship project of the Wadadli Youth Pen

170 | Culture

Prize (WPC), was born. The WPC was created to establish a new creative platform for young prospective writers, allowing them to express themselves and realise their potential. “The competition is about encouraging the contestants to think intensely and experimentally”, she says. “The younger writers grasp this idea easiest and they allow their imagination to run free. They are not as boxed in by conforming to the traditional rules that limit our world.” The concept of the WPC has developed over the years and the competition has expanded. The age limit is now 35, and poetry, creative nonfiction, and some years visual arts are accepted along with fiction. Written entries must be no longer than 600 words and Hillhouse insists that brevity is key in the development of apt writers: “Short pieces are the best way to practice telling your story in a concise way. It teaches persons to edit - trimming their baby, and

cutting their best lines.” For Hillhouse, reading these aspiring authors’ pieces is what makes the competition worthwhile: “My favourite part of the competition is reading all the entries and seeing what the writers have come up with. There is huge talent in Antigua & Barbuda but the work is undervalued.” Indeed, the competition has filled a former void in Antiguan & Barbudan literary education. There have been hundreds of entries over the years and the challenge gains more publicity each year. What is even more commendable is that the WPC is run entirely voluntarily. “It feels so good doing something that matters. It is energising, it feels purposeful and worthwhile and it gives me stimulation” Hillhouse says. In terms of next steps, Hillhouse aims to conduct more workshops so that more creative talent can be discovered and ultimately hopes for the competition to ripen as its own entity.

Nurturing and showcasing the arts in Antigua since 2004, the WPC stands as a fundamental cultural symbol with the goals of inspiring the youth of Antigua & Barbuda. The Wadadli Pen website features a substantial list of writings which Hillhouse has compiled antigua-and-barbuda-writers/. Her list features Antiguan & Barbudan writers, by birth, born elsewhere and ‘adopted’, Writers with nonspecific connections who feature Antigua & Barbuda prominently in their writings may also make the cut . Within contemporary Antiguan & Barbudan literature there is much to engage, enlighten, and entertain with many titles which should be essential reading for anyone wanting a deeper insight into the lives of our people or wanting a personal narrative about the culture of our enthralling islands.

A COLLECTION OF BOOK COVERS FROM ANTIGUAN & BARBUDAN WRITERS Antigua & Barbuda have produced a number of prolific writers, poets, literary thinkers and historians. Pictured above are a small sample of varied works, recounting current social issues through fact and fiction. Our history has been well recorded, often through oral memories of our elders, which take us on a fascinating journey through the past, helping us make sense of the present.

IMAGE Photographer Ted Martin Aerial view of English Harbour, capturing Fort Berkeley (1704-1745), Nelson’s Dockyard (the only surviving Georgian naval dockyard in the world), Galleon Beach, with views towards Falmouth Harbour.

IMAGE African Beads from the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda


Our nation has an incredibly rich history, which can be traced back approximately three thousand years. The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, faithfully run since opening in 1985, along with the Dockyard museum, opened in 1997, interpret this journey from geological birth, to our political independence and beyond. There is a further wealth of materials to discover which lay ‘hidden’ within the walls of the National Archives. The Barbuda Museum and Children’s Museum contain the first permanent exhibit on Barbuda’s past and present, housing artefacts from the island’s historic and prehistoric past.


n Simply Antigua Barbuda we have covered only certain aspects of our complex history, highlighting current archaeological and historical research, of which there is plenty. We visit a number of ambitious restoration projects, which reflect a commitment toward expanding our heritage tourism assets. Government House is once again to become an exciting landmark building and a new visitor experience. Clarence House, long in disrepair, has undergone major renovations to a high degree of accuracy to become a living museum. International collaboration with Spain

has led to an archaeological survey of the site at Monk’s Hill, an eighteenth century hilltop fortress with the most spectacular views. And the awe-inspiring restoration project of our Cathedral Church, which can only be referred to as a ‘labour of love’, has turned up some intriguing surprises! We revisit the unearthing of numerous human skeletons at the Royal Navy’s cemetery at Freeman’s Bay, a once in a lifetime archaeological excavation; and we explore the archaeological digs at Betty’s Hope, which continue to unearth our human story and the legacy of colonialism.

We have purposely addressed inspiring and lesser known stories, such as that of the Hart sisters. Through their love of Methodism, these siblings of mixed African descent, established the first Sunday school in the Caribbean, here in Antigua. We look back and embrace our past, in the knowledge that it has made us who we are today. We are particularly proud that Nelson’s Dockyard and related archaeological sites recently became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a phenomenal achievement accomplished by Dr. Reginald Murphy and his team. Congratulations. | History


IMAGE Courtesy Museum of Antigua & Barbuda The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda was founded in 1985 and resides in the former St. John’s Courthouse, built in 1750. It is believed to be the oldest remaining building in the city.

174 | History

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson St. Philip’s Anglican Church, in the parish of St. Philip, dates back to the early 1800s. It was restored with a donation from the Mill Reef Fund after hurricane Luis caused damage to the structure.


The story of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine is a very human story of faith and perseverance, of catastrophe and recovery, and of the love and dedication of many people over a period of almost three centuries. The story begins in the 18th Century when the first simple church was built, and continues today with the third church built on the same site, which, after many years of forced neglect due to lack of funds, has become so dilapidated that it is now closed to the public for an ambitious programme of restoration work.


IMAGES Previous page: Photographer Chelsom Limited IMAGES Top row: Photographers Unknown Main image: Casting of new brass candelabrum arms by Chelsom Limited, United Kingdom. Inset image: When the conversion of the candelabrum was made from from candle to oil lamp, a letter was found in the candelabrum dated 1886.

Left: Historic image of the Cathedral dated 1865. Centre: Interior image of the Cathedral, date unknown. Right: Historic image of the Cathedral circa 1940’s.

IMAGES Middle and bottom rows: Photographers Bruce Arrindell and Joseph Jones Exterior images of the Cathedral before and after replacement of the roof. Interior images of the Cathedral’s timber interior frame before and during the rebuilding.

he first church was a humble wooden structure built in the 1680s as the Parish Church of St. John. It was said to be “totally destitute of beauty or comfort”, but was used for general worship and for marriages and christenings of the small colonial society of the time. This building eventually became too small for the congregation of St. John’s and fell into disrepair. It was replaced in 1746, when the second, much larger church was built a little to the north on the same site. The second church was built of brick, and was cruciform in shape. Great attention was paid to the beauty of the interior. The altar, pulpit and communion table were richly embellished, and a fine brass candelabrum was suspended from the centre of the ceiling, with 12 branches and ground-glass burners. A marble font stood near the west entrance and the interior was lit by six windows on both the north and south walls, and by another two on each end wall. A bell tower was added some 40 years later. The only grave within the church in all the years that it stood on its hill above the town of St. John’s was that of Mary Gilbert, the first wife of Nathaniel Gilbert, a well known lawyer, owner of two sugar estates and Speaker of the House, who later introduced Methodism to Antigua. The Diocese of Antigua was created in 1842, and the first Bishop was appointed at that time. By the mandate of Queen Victoria the parish church of St. John was designated its Cathedral, and on Tuesday, February 7, 1843 church officials met to plan improvements to the building in recognition of this great honour. It was not to be. On Wednesday, February 8, 1843, a violent earthquake destroyed most of the second church. The Council and House of Assembly approved the erection of a new Cathedral on the | History



same site and appropriated the sum of £40,000, part of a loan from the Imperial Government, to finance the construction. The cornerstone was laid on October 9, 1845, and on Sunday, October 10, 1847 the church was opened for public worship. The building was consecrated as the Cathedral and Parish Church of Saint

of the Cathedral might be described as NeoBaroque, a derivative architectural style of the later 19th Century. The new Cathedral was richly furnished. Three stained glass windows were placed over the high altar in the sanctuary. The high altar and the elaborate, octagonal pulpit were made

Christmas music with students of the Antigua Girls High School fell through the floor near the font. This incident was the final warning that the building was dangerously unsafe. It was closed to the public and a restoration fund was established. Restoration work on the Cathedral began in 2010.

John on July 25, 1848. This is the building we know today as the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. The architect of the new Cathedral was Thomas Fuller of Bath, England, and its intricate structure has been described as “a church within a church”. The outer structure was built of limestone to resist the hurricanes that frequently plagued the island, and the stonework was covered in a light wash of Portland cement. The interior was completely encased in pitch pine, creating a second structure designed to resist the destructive force of earthquakes even if the stone exterior crumbled away. The clerk of the works who oversaw the construction work was F.W. Rowe of Bristol, England, and he employed 8 masons, 12 carpenters and 150 labourers, all of them free men. The building was over 150 feet in length and 50 feet wide, with a ceiling height of 30 feet. It was cruciform in shape like its predecessor, but here all resemblance ended. Among its more unusual features was a novel method of ventilation; low arched openings were placed on the east side of the building, below the main floor. These openings captured the trade winds which blew through air ducts up to the floor of the nave, where they debouched into the aisles, and were covered by discreet round grills. Two matched towers with baroque cupolas were built on either side of the west entrance. They were 70 feet tall, and the Cathedral bells were hung in the north tower, while the south tower became the clock tower. The architectural style

of beautifully carved mahogany and were matched by the altar rails, which were also carved. The brass candelabrum from the second church was restored and hung from the centre of the domed ceiling, and the marble font was also used again. The grave of Mary Gilbert was left undisturbed in the chancel, and was well known. The organ, built by J.W. Walker in the UK, was encased in solid mahogany, which was also carved. No effort was spared to embellish this magnificent building, which became the pride of the community and a dear and familiar landmark on its hill overlooking St. John’s. In the mid-20th Century two chapels were created on either side of the High Altar. The War Memorial Chapel on the right is dedicated to Antiguans killed serving in the two great wars, and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel on the left is dedicated to the memory of Archbishop Edward Hudson, Archbishop of the West Indies, and Bishop of Antigua from 1911 to 1936. Yet another earthquake brought destruction to the Cathedral in 1974, and essential repairs were made as funds allowed over the next 10 years. After many years of neglect due to lack of funds, the roof had deteriorated, termites had become entrenched in the woodwork and had made huge nests in the foundations, the stonework was mouldering under its Portland cement wash, and the windows and doors needed much work. The stone structure was cracked and severely damaged by rain and the floors were unsafe. One day in December, 2009 a school teacher conducting a rehearsal of

The scope of work for the restoration of the Cathedral was vast. Just getting started was a leap of faith. The government of Antigua & Barbuda made a generous contribution to the fund, and other sources of funds include the Mill Reef Fund, which makes an annual contribution, and Sir Vivian Richards, who gave his share of a celebrity fundraiser at Lords Cricket Ground in London to the fund. Lord Sainsbury, Baron Sainsbury of Preston Candover, has agreed to make a generous contribution. New sources of funds are being actively sought. In the daily progress of a project of such vast scope there are many sorrows and much joy. Inadequate funding is a constant headache but most of the surprises have been uplifting. The brass candelabrum was again sent away for restoration by Robert Chelsom in England. In the initial examination of the piece a small camera was inserted into the main cavity, and some tightly folded pieces of paper were discovered. When carefully assembled, this message from the past read that the chandelier was “ taken to pieces and cleaned by John Parker Maw on Feb. 27th 1886 a native of Thornton Le Dale, near Pickering Yorkshire, arrived in Antigua April 26th 1883.” On another unplanned but serendipitous occasion, the rotting wooden floors added to raise the height of the two 20th Century chapels on either side of the high altar were removed, and the forgotten grave of Mary Gilbert was rediscovered. It will be given a visible place in the restored Cathedral. | History

IMAGES Above: Stained glass window design by Alvaro F. Riscanevo Below: Photographer Bruce Arrindell One of the twelve stained glass windows representing the islands in the Diocese designed by Alvaro F. Riscanevo. Altar area of the Cathedral where the twelve new stained glass windows will be inserted.

While moving the furnishings before work began, workers at the Cathedral were surprised to learn the significance of the wooden propeller that hung from the ceiling in the Memorial Chapel. It came from a WW1 plane similar to the one flown by fighter ace Captain Ian Donald Roy McDonald, an Antiguan born former Grammar

IMAGE Photographer Joseph Jones Exterior image of the Cathedral by night.

School boy who became a quadruple fighter ace before he was killed in action. At the end of 2015 EC$7 million has been raised and much work has been accomplished. The roof has been completely replaced, some work has been done on the west side of the stone façade, the termites have been eradicated and the pitch pine inner “church” has been completely replaced. Work on the repaving of the nave is well under way. Some furnishings, including the famous candelabrum, have been sent away to be restored. A local woodworking craftsman, Leroy Silston, has begun the work of replacing the many pews that fill the nave and the galleries. Twelve stained glass windows representing the islands in the Diocese have been commissioned, the work to be done by Alvaro F. Riscanevo. But there is still much to be done. The outer stone work, which is in a cracked and crumbling state, loses chunks of masonry every so often and needs a great deal of skilled work. The masonry work on the floors must be completed. The organ needs to be fully restored, and all the beautifully carved furnishings, the high altar, the pulpit, the altar rails, and the organ housing, need to be brought back to their original splendour. This is a labour of love. It is about what the lost beauty and the significance of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine mean to us all. The devoted project manager of the restoration project, Bruce Arrindell, estimates that another EC$3.5 million would substantially complete the project. | History


GREAT GEORGE FORT MONK S HILL Written by Dr. Reginald Murphy. Edited by Claudia Johnson.

In 2015 the Government of Spain offered to assist the Government of Antigua & Barbuda with the restoration of an historic site. The purpose for the international collaboration is to shift focus from Antigua & Barbuda’s usual tourist attractions, ‘sun, sea, sand’ and instead draw attention to its cultural heritage.


reat George Fort on Monk’s Hill was subsequently selected for this programme and work commenced in July that year. The objective of the project was to survey and map the entire site, and to archaeologically sample each structure for insights into its function and use. It was not, at this stage, intended to be a major archaeological study designed to recover a large volume of artefacts, instead, the documentation of the

180 | History

structures will assist with cost estimates for developing a scope of works and management plan for the site. Great George Fort is located on a plateau overlooking Falmouth Harbour. The hilltop fortress, the largest enclosed fortified complex on Antigua, has a spectacular view of the island and this facilitated the use of the site as a signal station. From its crumbling and wind swept ramparts the distant islands of Guadeloupe and

Montserrat are also easily observed. The fort has had a long and fascinating history that dates to the earliest and most violent years of settlement and colonialisation. Although it never saw its guns fired in combat, the impressive status of the fortress may have proved to be an effective deterrent. Little is known about the fort by modern day Antiguans. Most residents and visitors have never ventured up the rough and difficult road to the site. But

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Panoramic coastal view of Falmouth Harbour, looking towards Nelson’s Dockyard from the summit of Monk’s Hill. The ruins of Great Fort George, an important and large defense post, built in the late 17th century, can be viewed at this site.

Original map courtesy of the John Brown Library at Brown University, USA. | History



those who have made it to the top of Monk’s Hill in search of the Great George Fort are greeted by the most majestic panoramic views out over Falmouth Harbour and the undeveloped rural interior of the island. In its isolated setting, it is only accessible by the serious, four-wheel drive enthusiasts and hikers seeking the unusual

place immediately following the ‘blowing up’ of the government house on Clark’s Hill. All of the island’s white elite, -the planters, military officers and militia, were to attend a ball in honour of the coronation of King George I, presenting a timely opportunity for their demise. However, their plot was discovered and the

some pretty impressive technology the work began. Using a 1752 map of the fort (by Royal Engineer, Kane Horneck) a drone equipped with GPS, camera and 3-D photogrammetry capacity was employed to develop a 3 dimensional image of the site. GIS software was used to create overlays for placing newly discovered buildings

outdoor experience, and so the fascinating history of this site remains relatively unknown. A year of French occupation in 1666 and subsequent destruction of the fledgling British colony created a determination in the English colonists to protect themselves and their economic interests from future invasions. Added to the threat of French invasion were the persistent raids by bands of marauding Caribs who caused much damage, killing large numbers of settlers and carrying off the women and children into captivity. These relentless threats created the realisation by the colonists that they needed to build a fort of significant size to serve as a place of refuge. The large table hill, 688 feet in elevation, overlooking the first town of settlement, Falmouth, was chosen and construction began in 1689. By 1702, one hundred slaves were employed in the project, which would take sixteen years to complete. The new fortress was named Great George Fort after the patron Saint of England. The hill on which it was built was known as Monk’s Hill. The latter name has two likely sources. The first was Nathaniel Monk, a planter who owned the surrounding lands, and the second may have been in tribute by the Royalist Antiguans to General George Monk, Duke of Albermarle, the greatest of the ‘Generals at Sea’ in the Dutch Wars who played an important part in the return of Charles II in 1660 (Nicholson 1994:6) In the 1736 uprising on Antigua, a primary objective of the slaves was the capture of Great George Fort. This event was planned to take

blood bath and reprisals that followed is marked in Antigua’s history as the Prince Klass Revolt. The expansion and upgrading of the military infrastructure on Antigua following the War of American independence did not include Great George Fort, as it was not a crucial front line platform necessary for the defence of the Royal Naval Dockyard. In the post Napoleonic era, and eventual emancipation of the slaves, Monk’s Hill lost her strategic military importance and by the latter part of the 19th century the fortress had seen her best years. She was to spend her final years as a signal station. A cannon was fired to mark the end of each working day and a black ‘time ball’ was hoist on the prominent flag staff to signal midday to the field workers. In the early 20th century the signal man would report the sighting of ships via a single wire telephone, but in 1923 the signal station was closed and the fort abandoned (Nicholson 1994:6: Nutting ND: 243). It was also used briefly as a lookout station during WWI and WWII but was not as important as coastal sites. In 1991, the now heavily overgrown derelict fort was placed under the management of the National Parks Authority. Up to date, the site is still isolated and covered in dry tropical vegetation such as loblolly, wild tamarind, thorny acacia, yellow balsam, black willow and others. The roots of these trees has caused major damage to most buildings and some sections of the walls of the fort. Despite the rough terrain, a team of keen archaeologists was assembled for the archaeological survey and with the help of

and features onto the 1752 map and to develop a new series of site maps. Sections of walls were surveyed using a 3-D technology which permits the computer to determine the amount of wall that is missing or damaged and provides measurements for each area of wall to be rebuilt. As a result, we now know that the fort is approximately 8 acres of enclosed space and is comprised of two sections. The first, the Upper Citadel was on the south side of the complex. On this high ground stood the flagpole, two to three stone buildings, a round platform on which the flagpole was erected and gun platforms. The second, a lower area referred to as the Lower Citadel, was considerably larger and only a small gunpowder magazine was observed. A television (CTV) tower and communication antenna for the Antigua Barbuda Sea Rescue and an emergency generator now occupy the eastern most area of the higher ground. On the lower level were barracks, mostly of wood, cisterns, powder magazines, the hospital and other structures. The surrounding wall is a total length of 988 metres of which 512 metres will require major reconstruction. A total of 45 structures were found, 15 on the upper citadel and 30 below. Of these, 28 were buildings. This in itself is an exciting find, as the 1752 map only had 14 structures recorded in total. The most prominent structure and perhaps the most important on site is the north entry gate, where today’s visitor can take in some of the most fantastic views on the island. The arched entryway consists of a | History

double stone arch and the entry was at one time encased with a triangular shaped demi-bastion outside the gate, where visitors were contained and checked before admission. On top of the arch were twin sentry turrets. These were tall, cylindrical capsules where guards could stand in security and shelter whilst observing the access

later addition to the complex. Additionally, all the readable headstones indicate burials dating to the first three decades of the 19th century. Of the 14 headstones identified during the survey, 8 had inscriptions. Stones without writing either did not originally contain writing or suffered from weathering that, over time,

road further up to the fort. The floor in the entrance is a mixture of square cut blocks and elongated stones laid vertically or on edge. This is typical of the ancient cobblestone courtyards and roads of Antigua. Essential to any defensive military compound would have been black smith shops, bakeries, storerooms, servants and worker/slave quarters, latrines, a chapel, a commissary, a hospital, cisterns, and quarters for the doctor and medical staff. Married soldiers and officers were usually quartered in separate barracks or cabins. In light of the fact that the fort was built as a fortified area for housing women and children (Nicholson 1994:6) it was expected that there would be an abundance of barracks or housing facilities. There was also accommodation for visitors in times of war as well as provision for their valuables, documents and trusted servants. Further to this, as the Caribbean was rife with yellow fever and malaria, a substantial cemetery was also expected. The Monk’s Hill Cemetery is located west of the main gate on the outside of the northern wall and covers approximately 56 square metres. The cemetery is currently beneath tree cover with light to moderate under-bush. To the north of the last identifiable headstone the land slopes down to a small plateau after which it drops into a deep gully. The lack of defining boundary walls for the cemetery make it difficult to identify its precise size at this time. The map dating to the 18th century does not include the cemetery location which suggests that it is a

eroded the surface leaving them devoid of the inscriptions once present. Of the 8 with writing, 5 could be at least partially read. All of these had a preamble which started with “Sacred to the memory of…” These were all dated between 1821 and 1833. Of these, two were for children aged between 1 and 2 years of age. In addition to partial names and dates, the 35th and 36th Regiments were identified on a few headstones. The readability of the inscriptions varied from highly legible to completely illegible. In the near future it is highly likely that the inscriptions on all the headstones will become unreadable if proper conservation steps are not taken to preserve the grave markers. However, as a result of this initial survey, National Parks has put the Great George Fort on their priority list and funding for a more expansive archaeological programme will be sought. Great George Fort proved to be a rich and fruitful site. It dates to the entire historical period of Antigua with artefacts representative of the early colonial lifeways, domestic and military culture. Buttons from several British Regiments were recovered and clustering dates in the cemetery reflect the yellow fever epidemics of the 1820s that claimed the lives of many British soldiers, their families and others. Thanks to the work of Dr. Reginald Murphy, a new field-school for archaeology students will take place on the site during the summer of 2016 and discussions have begun with regard to the development of an annual research programme.

IMAGE Photographer Dr. Reginald Murphy Opposite page: Headstones in the Monk’s Hill cemetery.

IMAGES Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Above: Distinctive green stone perimeter walls of Great Fort George. The massive fortifications exceed a kilometre in length. | History



Set in a picturesque location overlooking English Harbour and the Naval Dockyard on Commissioner’s Bay sits Clarence House. Popular legend holds that stonemasons

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

travelled from England to build the original house as the intended residence for Prince William Henry, Duke of Clarence when he was a naval officer based in Antigua.

Local stonemasons use their craftsmanship skills to painstakingly handcut stones for the outer floor and walls of Clarence House.


he location of this early structure is unknown, but the current house was built by the Navy Board between 1804 and 1806, as a home for the Commissioner of the Dockyard. Today, Clarence House officially serves as the country State House of the Governor-General but it has been in a state of disrepair in recent years. Many dignitaries have been entertained here, including Princess Margaret who spent her honeymoon at this special place. Clarence House has had a turbulent history, suffering severe hurricane damage on numerous occasions. During the 1990s, a series of hurricanes devastated the residence and the once elegant architectural masterpiece was again a ruin. Despite efforts to stabilize the structure, termites and moisture further ravaged its condition and a complete structural restoration was required. Several studies and restoration efforts were launched but no major progress was made for years. In 2004, the site’s ownership transferred to the National Parks, and an intensive study of the site was done. The site was established as a Registered Charity with the Charity Commission in the UK. Sir Peter Harrison, a philanthropist and long-time friend of Antigua, became a trustee and the major financial contributor. Sir Peter insists that the house must remain open for all Antiguans & Barbudans to enjoy and not be utilized as a private residence. With his generous donation and dedicated efforts of the project’s local management team, the long awaited restoration work began. This work has gone far beyond just rebuilding a replica of the past. The committee have selected skilled Antiguan craftsmen, stonemasons and foremen to carry out the restoration with a high degree of accuracy and authenticity. Young apprentices from

Dr. Reginald Murphy is the Director of Heritage Resources for the National Parks Antigua and the Secretary General for the National Commission UNESCO Antigua & Barbuda. He is an Affiliated Professor of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, a co-director on the Human Eco-dynamics Research Group CUNY Graduate Center, the current President of the Museum of Antigua, a Director of the International Association for Caribbean Archaeology, and a Director of the Barbuda Archaeological Research Centre. As an active archaeologist, he has brought major international connections and projects to the National Parks, placing Antigua & Barbuda on the map of “cutting edge” research. He is an active Trustee of the Clarence House Restoration Trust and the Chairman of the Betty’s Hope Estate Project. Strongly committed to archaeology and cultural heritage in the Caribbean, he also serves on several regional associations. In 2013, he was awarded Grand Cross of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage (GCH) for distinguished contribution in archaeology and preservation of heritage sites. Despite his busy schedule, he continues to host and supervise the annual Antigua Archaeology Field School, which he has done for 22 years. He has successfully secured Nelson’s Dockyard National Park and related archaeological sites as a prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site. | History


IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Main: View of Clarence House from Nelson’s Dockyard. Inset image: Historic photograph of Clarence House circa 1970. Courtesy the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda

186 | History

the GARD Centre have worked alongside stonemasons and tradespeople with the hope of encouraging a new generation to become involved in the restoration arts. This skilled and painstaking work included handcutting and replacing all the blocks on the outer floor and walls of the building. The raw limestone

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Left, top and middle: External and internal renovation images of Clarence House. Bottom: Historic photograph of Nelson’s Dockyard taken from Clarence House, date unknown. Photographer Joseph Stackhouse Courtesy the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda.

and other volcanic stones used for blocks were donated by Mill Reef. The house will feature authentic reproductions of period furniture and efforts are being made to acquire original works of art related to the property, some of which are currently held in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Information about the history of the site and people who built the house and resided there, has assisted in sourcing other household items from UK auctions. The site and its contents will be comprehensively interpreted, creating a strong, positive visitor experience through this living museum. The ground floor will serve as a modern, multi-media conference centre and place for interior events, while the main floor will be a public museum of period themed rooms. The grounds and courtyards are to be transformed into venues for events, weddings and receptions, with extensive catering facilities. The 8 acres of gardens, terraces and new nature trails will be open to the public with specially arranged tours. Clarence House is an outstanding example of European Palladian architecture within the Caribbean environment. Further to this, its historical context and waterfront setting makes it a cultural heritage site of great significance. The restored building will be an excellent addition and attraction to the heritage tourism assets of Antigua and a welcome boost to the rich legacy of historical English Harbour. | History




ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATIONS KING SUGAR’S UNWRITTEN HISTORIES Written by Dr. Georgia L. Fox Ph.D, Professor of Anthropology, California State University (Chico), USA.

As a cultural heritage site on the tourist route, Betty’s Hope is a popular stop, where visitors like to have their photos taken in front of the restored windmill. Visits from school groups and local Antiguan youth who are learning about the island’s archaeological past, have been a vital part of our summer field projects. The goal is to continue to work with Antiguans in protecting sites like Betty’s Hope not only for tourism, which is so central to the island’s economy, but also as a part of the human story and the legacy of colonialism.


s passengers disembark from a fleet of Island Safari Jeeps shambling up the long gravel driveway to Betty’s Hope they wander off to view the grounds, read the interpretive signs, and follow their tour guides to the site’s Visitors Centre. Two tourists walk up to where we are excavating a section of the Great House. Nothing of it exists above ground anymore, leaving its history well hidden from visitors and archaeologists alike. The visitors ask what we are doing and wonder why we are working so hard in the blazing hot sun. “Do you ever find gold?” one of them asks. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this question, and it won’t be the last. “No” I say, “Our real gold is the bits of broken pieces

188 | History

of pottery, buttons, and small artefacts, we find.” They chuckle and saunter off, questioning the sanity of these crazy archaeologists. What they may not realise is that the ground they are walking on was once home to a vast army of free and enslaved labourers to produce ‘green gold’ known as sugar, a commodity whose sweet taste impacted human cultures globally, and these profits helped propel Britain’s rise to power by the eighteenth century. As the largest sugar plantation on Antigua, Betty’s Hope played a role in these key events. The site harkens back as early as the 1650s, when Governor Christopher Keynell was sent to Antigua to sort out mounting troubles for the fledgling

IMAGE Courtesy Tropical Adventures. Tourists visiting Betty’s Hope, with Tropical Adventure’s Island Safari Tours.

English colony. He acquired the property, but his time in Antigua was cut short when he died, leaving Betty’s Hope to his widow, Joan Hall. Unfortunately for Hall, she lost the estate after fleeing to the nearby island of Nevis during the French invasion of 1666-1667. Instead, the land was deeded to Christopher Codrington II, the son

government and in consultation and under the supervision of Dr. Reginald Murphy, Antigua’s archaeologist, the first excavation concentrated on the area where the Great House once stood. By 2012, about 90 percent of the Great House and nearby kitchen was excavated. In 2013, we switched our focus to the Still House, where

of a wealthy sugar planter from Barbados. Once Codrington assumed active ownership in 1674, a new era of the “Codrington dynasty” began, which lasted until the plantation was sold in 1944, making it one of the longest private land tenures in the history of the Caribbean. Now known as the Betty’s Hope Trust, established in 1990, the site serves as an outdoor museum that is characterised by several extant buildings and ruins, as well as the two iconic windmills, one of which has been carefully restored. The small Visitors Centre museum details the estate’s role within the broader story of British colonization and the Caribbean sugar plantation system. Since 2007 students, researchers, and volunteers from Antigua, the U.S.A., Britain, Canada, Africa and elsewhere, have participated in the excavations at Betty’s Hope. I first began this project through my home institution, the Department of Anthropology at California State University, (Chico). In the time that we have surveyed, excavated, and studied the site, we have barely scratched the surface of its 50 acres. As historical archaeologists, we work with old documents and compare them to what we find in the ground. In the case of Betty’s Hope, the archives consist of the Codrington Papers, a voluminous collection of correspondence and accounts kept by the Codrington family. These documents now reside in the National Archives of Antigua & Barbuda. In its heyday, Betty’s Hope comprised 700 acres with several hundred slaves that was part of a large agro-industrial complex. Beginning with permission from the Antiguan

the rum was produced. Beginning in 2014, new excavations were carried out in one of two known slave villages, which took several years to locate. We have extensively surveyed, mapped and conducted shovel tests to determine the locations of buildings and other features at the site. Our team has been utilizing scientific research to determine the nature of the landscape and history at Betty’s Hope. Cory Look and Erin Friedman conducted this through remote sensing such as drone technology. Ben Kirby has carried out chemical analysis of local pottery. Dr. Christian Wells and his graduate students have managed soil analyses to examine the longterm impact of cane agriculture on Antigua’s environment. Dr. Wells has also been conducting informal interviews with local farmers about land use practices to see how past land use connects with the present. University of Chicago doctoral student Genevieve Godbout is investigating hospitality at Betty’s Hope, while Alexis Ohman of the College of William and Mary is carefully studying the small animal bones and shells from the site to determine what people were eating. Catherine Davis from Chico just finished her graduate work, employing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to assess spatial use at the site. From Syracuse University in New York, doctoral student Christopher Waters, is currently studying Antigua’s fortification system, as it links to protecting Britain’s sugar interests like Betty’s Hope Plantation. In all of these endeavours what mysteries | History



have we unlocked about life on a Caribbean sugar plantation? Like most archaeologists, we have more questions than answers; however, definite patterns are emerging from our multidisciplinary research efforts. As an industrial complex, plantations like Betty’s Hope existed to meet the consumer desire for sugar while amply filling the

gunflints, tiny children’s toys, buttons, sewing notions, iron, glass bottles, and tons of old nails! At the Great House, we have architectural elements such as lead caulking, window glass, some painted wood, and large iron bolts, as well as window shutter pins, and painted plaster, reflecting the last vestiges of a once grand home.

coffers of wealthy planters like the Codringtons. As with most long-term occupations, Betty’s Hope experienced modifications in response to changes in technology, the vagaries and unpredictability of climate and weather, and availability of slave labour. One of the most interesting things emerging from our work is seeing the rise and fall of Betty’s Hope, as it correlated to the market demand for sugar. The hints are subtle, but our team is witnessing them through the archives indicating expansion through the importation of more slaves and the acquisition of land, as well as add-ons to the recently excavated kitchen area adjoining the Great House. Evidence of decline are seen in patches made to walls and floors exposed through excavation, and to existing standing structures, such as the north windmill, which had a major crack repaired. Through soil analyses, we have discovered, that over the course of almost four centuries, cane agriculture impacted Antigua’s environment, through colonial-era deforestation and ensuing soil erosion and soil depletion. Over the years, thousands of artefacts have been recovered, spanning more than three centuries of material culture. Most of the artefacts we find are comparable to those found at other British colonial sites in the Caribbean. In our work, we have discovered imported ceramics such as transfer print wares manufactured in the great pottery works of Staffordshire, England, porcelain imported from China, locally made pottery, German and English stoneware bottles, as well as clay tobacco pipes, musket balls,

One of the most rewarding aspects of archaeology at Betty’s Hope has been the discovery of the seventeenth-century foundational structural walls of the Great House, made from large, hand-carved limestone blocks brought over as ballast on sailing ships from the British Isles, as well as locally carved limestone. You can still see the chisel marks of the seventeenth and eighteenth-century masons who shaped these large blocks of stone. Welllaid flooring in the form of imported brick and tile from Britain was also recovered, including slate tiles from Wales that were once used for the Great House roof. More architectural features in the form of walls and floors identified during shovel tests were located north of the Great House, and would have comprised part of the “Great House complex” of support buildings, such as the servant’s quarters, the overseer’s office, stable, and blacksmith shop. Moving over to the Still House, where the rum was made, our work has proved challenging over the last three years, especially in trying to make sense of a confusing arrangement of stone walls, floors, and platforms. As Betty’s Hope was a major producer of rum for the Atlantic rum trade, Charlotte Goudge from Bristol University has been comparing the excavated remains of the Still House to other rum production sites in the Caribbean. Finally, after many long years of trying to locate one of the slave quarters, we were successful. This was accomplished by using the old maps of 1710 and 1755 from the Codrington | History

Papers, which were overlaid with satellite imagery and survey information we acquired through Global Positioning Systems (GPS) data to pinpoint the village location. Hidden under heavy vegetation, we made our way through the bush and began excavations of the quarters in 2014 and 2015. Our work yielded very exciting

on the island today, as the ruins of old windmills and plantation structures dot the landscape. With the collapse of the sugar plantation economy, many Caribbean nations have struggled with the post-colonial realities of transitioning from sugar to tourism and other industries. As archaeologists, we search for meanings about

results that hint at daily life in the quarters. As archaeologists, part of our goal is to elicit information about what Eric Wolf refers to as “peoples without histories,” meaning those people who have left no written records of their lives. In our excavations of the slave village, we hope to reveal more about the lives of enslaved peoples through the things they left behind. Doing so is not only important for archaeologists, but especially for Antiguans, many of whom are descendants. The impact of “King Sugar” is still visible

the past and try to link them to larger historical events. In our archaeological investigations we hope to better understand Betty’s Hope in all of its manifestations and complexities. Our excavations reveal the daily lives of those who lived and worked there, as they relate to the transformations that occurred in the Caribbean, and greater Atlantic world. I would like to thank Dr. Reginald Murphy, Nicola Murphy and the Antiguan people for their generous and continued support of our research at Betty’s Hope Plantation.

IMAGES This page: Photographer Georgia L. Fox, California State University (Chico), USA.

IMAGES Opposite page: Courtesy the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda. Top: Historic photograph of people outside the Great House at Betty’s Hope sugar plantation, Antigua, 1904. Bottom: Historic photograph of sugar cane processing at Betty’s Hope sugar plantation, date unknown.

Top left: Archaeological excavations in the Slave Village at Betty’s Hope sugar plantation. Bottom left: Archaeological excavations at the Still House, Betty’s Hope sugar plantation. Above left: Field school students and staff at Betty’s Hope. University students come from all over the world to learn about plantation and Antiguan archaeology and history for course credits. They also learn about field archaeology in the Caribbean. | History



Government House in St. John’s is the official residence and office of the Governor-General. The house, originally known as the ‘Parsonage’, was selected as a permanent residence for Governors in 1800, when St. John’s became the main trading and business town of Antigua.


s the needs of the Crown’s representative evolved, significant modifications included the expansion of the property on the northern side, and the diversion of Newgate Street, which was originally connected to East Street in the area where the roundabout is now located. Throughout the property are interesting objects and artefacts of historical interest, including furniture, china and tableware with Royal insignia, paintings, architectural details, brass ceremonial signal guns and much more. Over 200 hundred years on, Government House is once again to become a landmark building, open to the public and delivering a great visitor experience. The present GovernorGeneral, Sir Rodney Williams, is working with the government of Antigua & Barbuda, and private benefactors to restore Government House, establishing the site as a significant heritage tourism venue. This historic building and grounds are to be included as part of an organised walking tour of St. John’s, alongside the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, the National Archives and several

192 | History

prominent churches. Recently, Dr. Barbara Paca, of the American Society of Landscape Architects, has contributed a striking concept plan for the development of the grounds. Her image illustrates ‘A Vision of Shared Paradise in St. John’s’ and reveals the potential of achieving a welcome leisure oasis in the city. “Teaching pathways” for school children and tourists are to be incorporated into the landscaped gardens. Sir Rodney Williams is raising funds by embracing local talent and providing an opportunity for a range of different sectors to be involved in the restoration project. He is keen to express that the site is to become a “People’s Government House” and is exploring new fundraising concepts centred on the Arts. Fundraising events to date have been versatile and hugely successful. In 2015 these included an art auction with 22 local exhibitors, a photography exhibition of local photographers, a literary evening of prose and poetry, a children’s essay competition addressing the theme of ‘A Changing Caribbean’, an Ambassadors Gala Dinner, and a Head of State Conference attended by

representatives from across the Caribbean. So far in 2016, Government House has displayed a photographic exhibition by Margo Davis to celebrate Commonwealth Month. Future events include a musical lawn party with calypso and steel pan orchestras. The rebuilding of the perimeter wall was in fact sponsored by an old time calypsonian; whilst prisoners were able to contribute, by demolishing old outhouses, clearing the courtyard and surrounding grounds. The staff at Government House have also benefited from the facelift of the residence, receiving customer training on protocol and etiquette. This project is really bringing the local community together. The next phase for attention will be the southern side of the site on Church Street, which houses the garage and maintenance section. This will require approximately EC$600,000.00 to complete. The western annex, previously burned by fire, will cost approximately EC$800,000.00 to rebuild in the historic style in which it was originally constructed. The restoration of the main building is under the consideration of architects and engineers and the project proposal is in progress. Government House promises to bring further interaction with the public and welcomes new fundraising initiatives to restore this heritage site to its former glory.

IMAGES Opposite page: Top left: Historic photograph of Government House, date unknown. Courtesy the Museum of Antigua & Barbuda Bottom left: Guests seated at the Ambassadors Gala Dinner, Government House state room. Photographer Joe Martin, Photogenesis Imaging Antigua

IMAGE Above: Illustrated artist’s impression of the proposed renovation of the Government House gardens, designed by Dr. Barbara Paca, of the American Society of Landscape Architects. | History



UNEARTHING OF THE ROYAL NAVY’S CEMETERY FOR SAILORS From the earliest days of human occupation, English Harbour and its surrounding hills have provided a safe harbour and shelter during hurricane season. It was a strategic position that was quickly utilized by the British Navy as it enabled them to keep and maintain


a squadron of frigates on the front line during the competitive and violent days of colonisation, sugar and slavery. 194 | History

Written by Dr. Reginald Murphy. Edited by Claudia Johnson.

Top left: Historic anchorage map of Freeman’s Bay. Date and artist unknown.

Above: Photographic reproduction of a print of English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard, looking towards Monks Hill, circa 1754. Courtesy Dr. Reginald Murphy.

IMAGES Above left: Archaeologists unearthing human skeletal remains at the site of the Royal Navy cemetery for sailors, Freeman’s Bay. Photographer Dr. Reginald Murphy Above right: Aerial view of yachts at anchor in Freeman’s Bay, with Fort Berkeley, built in 1704 in the foreground. Photographer Ted Martin


ut, with the rapidly changing technologies, industrialisation and economic interests of the 19th century, the Antiguan Naval Dockyard and its related sites were left behind; trapped in the ‘Age of Sail’ they are today monuments of Georgian architecture, technology and history. The Dockyard rose again to prominence in the mid 20th century, giving birth to the yachting industry and is today a sailing mecca and heritage tourism destination for the region. In stark comparison to the naval dockyard are

the numerous ruins and the related archaeological sites on the hills, beaches and waters nearby. The coastline of Freeman’s Bay (known today as Galleon Beach) consists of several sandy beaches, the largest of which was used by the Royal Navy as a cemetery for sailors who died on board ships at anchor. The exact time or dates for which the beach was used for burials is unknown, for English Harbour has been used by the navy for shelter and repairs as early as the late seventeenth century. Throughout this period yellow fever, malaria, typhus, typhoid, smallpox and other diseases

often ravaged many crews rendering ships unfit for duty for lack of available men. To protect the fleet and dockyards, several forts, defence platforms and batteries of cannon were setup around the harbour. One of these, known as the Masked Battery, was established on the beach somewhere between the Galleon Beach Hotel Office and The Inn at English Harbour hotel. Another defence platform was Fort Charlotte on the south-eastern point above the Pillars of Hercules and opposite Fort Berkeley, established around 1744. Both the Masked Battery and Fort | History


Charlotte would have had a full complement of soldiers, equipment and supplies. However, the low areas behind the sand dune on Freeman’s Bay were never developed by the military. They were partially swampy and held large pools of water after storms. Despite this, the sand dune was used as a cemetery and historical records show that the enslaved Africans in the area often had dances, drumming and other festivities to the amusement of the Naval personnel in this area (Thomas 1798). While this activity will leave no physical remains or artefacts associated with it, it holds significant sociocultural implications for the area. 196 | History

On 29th October 2007, extreme rainfall from a tropical storm flooded much of Antigua. The low lying areas behind the sand dune at Freeman’s Bay were inundated with over a metre of water that flooded the restaurant and car park behind the dune. To drain the flooded lands, a small channel was cut by backhoe into the dune near the low concrete wall on the beach. The surge of water rapidly washed out a large channel in the dune about two metres wide and one to two metres deep, revealing a large number of human skeletal remains scattered along the beach and others protruding out of the sand and sides of the

pit, indicating numerous burials. Over 265 bones were collected by concerned residents and yachtsmen anchored near the beach and presented to the archaeological team. The hotel managers, disturbed by these findings, notified the archaeologists that they would be filling in the washed out area on the next working day, which presented the opportunity for a ‘one day’ study of the open site. Salvage excavations were conducted, retrieving several skeletons in an excellent state of preservation due to the burial in soft sand. There was no evidence of coffin wood, nails, or soil discolouration and grave shaft

marks were not observable. In addition, there was evidence of multiple burials in two areas of the washout, and these were only 50cm below the surface, while most protruding bones were about 1.5 metres below the surface. The finding of small numbers of shellfish fragments, including broken conch shells, and the known presence of a prehistoric settlement nearby led to early assumptions that the burials were prehistoric. This was reinforced by the scattered haphazard nature of the remains. However, as excavations began to expose the intact remains, it was immediately evident that the burials were

IMAGES Photographer Dr. Reginald Murphy Opposite page: Archaeologists carefully unearthing human skeletal remains at the site of the Royal Navy cemetery for sailors, Freeman’s Bay. Above top: BBC4 television team filming the archaeology documentary Nelson’s Caribbean Hell-Hole: An 18th century Navy Graveyard Uncovered, 2012. Above bottom: Local children acting as time detectives, unearthing history at Freeman’s Bay.

historical period males, who were hurriedly buried on the beach; the three skulls found washed out on the beach were of male European or Caucasian ancestry. A large workspace was cleared around the bones and it became clear that the shallow burial, closest to the road was actually a multiple burial pit. The remains lay atop and

in order to follow up on earlier bone chemistry research, which uncovered evidence of lead poisoning and high levels of mercury in the bones. Further to this, as this was a once in a lifetime excavation, it was decided to document it. BBC 4’s Cardiff Studio, Wales made ‘Nelson’s Caribbean Hell-Hole’ (June 2012), a

Multiple burials are suggestive of epidemic diseases and the high mortality rate, albeit periodic, would result in these multiple burials, erratically positioned on the beach nearby, where the soft sand required minimal labour to excavate. These bodies had to be quickly disposed of in the hot, tropical environment and the beach

across each other in various positions. As this large number could not be excavated within the short time available, only partial remains from two individuals were sampled from the estimated six in the top layer. In light of the shallow depth from the top, it was concluded that there were a large number of individuals in this pit and that it may extend down to two metres in depth. In another pit lay the remains of a partial individual who was buried in a typically Christian position, east to west, facing east. His hands were placed over his pelvis and, as he lay in a slightly rounded position, it was considered that he was laid to rest wrapped closely in his hammock. The passage of Hurricane Igor in 2009 again flooded the grounds at Freeman’s Bay and the Galleon Beach Resort. Massive landslides from the Lookout Point on Shirley Heights carved through the resort covering tennis courts, roads and damaging buildings. The hurricane washed away graves and littered the beach with bones. The chasm was quickly filled with rubble from the landslide, but a more comprehensive archaeological excavation was planned for 2012. To this effect, archaeological excavations were conducted in a small area of the dune that still remained intact. It was an effort to investigate the last remaining section of the beach in order to learn more about the eighteenth century life in the navy and the frequent epidemics that took so many to their untimely ends. In addition, early researchers wanted samples from secure, scientifically recovered, undisturbed archaeological contexts

documentary by naval historian Samuel Wilson. In an effort to maximise the two weeks permitted for fieldwork, two units were dug. One closer to the road did not have any human remains but it did turn up shell artefacts, ceramic shards, a damaged stone axe of St. Martin greenstone and a burnt post hole, all evidence of a prehistoric site that dated to about AD1250. This was an important find as it had been feared that the entire Freeman’s Bay pre-Columbian site had been destroyed by the construction of a tennis court and nearby cottages. Historical period artefacts found include a small copper thimble and fragments of broken glass from a bottle. The other unit contained prehistoric Ceramic age (600BC-1400AD) material and revealed six individuals with further burials underneath. It was clear that this was also a multiple burial site, and that some had been disturbed to make way for additional individuals. There was no orderly orientation of the remains typical of formal organised cemeteries. Metal buttons, brass with mother-of-pearl inlays, were noted and it became clear that they belonged to one or two youths that were buried there. Very young men were often accepted into the navy as apprentices from as young as ten years old. Some also worked as powder monkeys carrying powder to the gunners during battle and others as midshipmen in training. All the remains excavated at Freeman’s Bay were of Caucasian racial type and likely British sailors in light of the fact that English Harbour was a British Naval facility from 1725 to 1895.

provided a convenient place for this task. This is supported by the fact that none of the bones displayed evidence of violent death or traumas suggesting battle injuries or executions. Traditionally, sailors who died at sea where thrown overboard, and those sick at port would have been transferred to the nearest naval hospital, which was located close to the dockyard. Those who died at the hospital were interred in its cemetery at Hospital Hill. Therefore it can be assumed that the burials on the beach were beyond hospital care, died onboard, and required a quick, convenient place for burial. In addition, there were hulks moored within English Harbour that were used to confine prisoners of war. These men may have also been interred on the beach. Furthermore, no religious personnel were available to provide the normal formal burial services. Burials were rapid non-ceremonial affairs, done as quickly as possible in the tropical climate. There were often no wooden coffins used, probably as there was no time to acquire them. Traditional coffin burials, that had a large volume of heavy soil on top of the lid, usually resulted in the crushing of the skull and bones, as the lid decayed and the grave slumped. At Freeman’s Bay, the soft sand immediately surrounded the remains, protecting them over time, and keeping them in abnormally good condition. The unfortunate circumstances that led to these individuals being preserved in this fashion have however resulted in one of the most exciting excavations to be conducted in Antigua. | History


THE HART SISTERS FOUNDERS OF THE FIRST SUNDAY SCHOOL IN THE CARIBBEAN Written by Dr. Charles Sandeman-Allen, Retired Senior Lecturer of History, University of Westminster, UK.

Anne (1768–1834) and Elizabeth Hart (1771–1833) were two sisters whose father, Barry Conyers Hart, was a plantation and slave owner. What was unusual at the time was that both the sisters, and their father, were coloured (to use the language of the time).


arry Conyers Hart had been bequeathed the estate, with its slaves, by his late employer Mrs Elizabeth Turner. She was married to Thomas Turner, who was described by a nineteenth-century genealogist as a ‘spendthrift’. They had no legitimate children, although it seems Thomas did have illegitimate ones in Antigua, as a result of a relationship with a slave. It also seems their marriage suffered, as he left to live in America (divorce was very difficult in those days). Elizabeth stayed in Antigua, running the estate at Popeshead, in the north of the island, with the help of Barry Hart, her manager. In her will made in 1775, she

198 | History

left the estate not to her feckless husband (who received £50 a year), but to Hart ‘…my faithful steward, and steady friend’. History does not record how Hart felt about this situation. Black or coloured ownership of sugar estates was not unknown, but it was not usual, and it was generally frowned upon by the white population. However, Hart’s position, on the death of his employer, would probably have been that his only source of income lay in the efficient running of the plantation; so he had little choice. Barry Hart was known for trying to help his slaves, but there is no evidence that he was an abolitionist. His daughters,

IMAGES This page and opposite page: Above left: Commemorative Antiguan Methodist Church stamps, 1967. Courtesy Museum of Antigua & Barbuda Above top: Photograph taken during the Methodist Church Confirmation Service, at the Ebenezer Methodist Church, St. John’s, December 2013. Photographer Charles Bellot Opposite page: The Historic Gilbert Memorial Methodist Chapel, located at Zion Hill, Antigua. The church was named in honour of Nathaniel Gilbert who, in 1760, introduced Methodism to Antigua. Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

IMAGES Over page and opposite page: Left & opposite page top: Photographs taken during the Methodist Church Confirmation Service, at the Ebenezer Methodist Church, St. John’s, December 2013. Photographer Charles Bellot Opposite page bottom: The Sawcolts Methodist Church was built between 1840 and 1846 by recently emancipated slaves. Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

200 | History

highly educated and very religious, were not necessarily strong abolitionists (the jury is out on that), but they were strongly committed to improving the lives of the slaves, both on their father’s plantation, and on others. What drove the sisters more than anything else was their love of the Methodist faith.

owner’s agreement. This was usually given, albeit sometimes reluctantly. In 1813, when the sisters wanted to open a school to teach slave children, some of the adult slaves built them a house which Anne called Bethesda, from which the village of Bethesda took its name and which is still a thriving community

This had first been brought to the island in 1759 by Nathaniel Gilbert, a lawyer, planter and politician on the island. He had recently returned from a two year stay in England. While there he had met John Wesley, the father of Methodism, and heard him preach in London. Inspired by this, on his return he started to preach to his own slaves and tried to spread the word wherever he could. The number of converts grew rapidly, and the Hart family were enthusiastic followers. This was, perhaps, not surprising since Methodism reached out to all, regardless of social class, or race, or condition of servitude, and was therefore very attractive to those who wanted to confront the ruling elite, most of whom were Anglicans. Both women married within the Methodist community, but, unusually both married white men. This was frowned upon by some, and life cannot have been easy, but nineteenthcentury writers on Antigua tended to praise the marriages, and condemn the critics. Elizabeth married Charles Thwaites, a schoolteacher, while Anne married John Gilbert, a cousin of Nathaniel who had brought Methodism to the island. John was also a preacher, but it was not to preaching that Anne and Elizabeth felt themselves called, but it was to teaching. In 1809 the sisters established the first Sunday School in the Caribbean, open to everyone. Unlike conditions in the slaveholding states in the US at the time, it was not illegal to teach slaves in Antigua to read and write; one merely had to have the plantation

today. Around 1817 the sisters founded the ‘Distressed Females’ Friendly Society’ which was later called the ‘Female Refuge Society’; one has to wonder, ‘refuge’ from what or whom? Also in 1817 Anne became the supervisor of the Sunday school in English Harbour; a role that Elizabeth took over in 1821. For the sisters, slavery was principally evil because it demeaned people, and did not allow them to develop. To provide education, especially so that they could read the Bible, was crucial to these crusading women. As one writer noted in 1856, with reference to Charles and Elizabeth Hart Thwaites whom he called the ‘parents of schools’ on the island: ‘Employed by the Church Missionary Society, he lived in a house belonging to the Ladies’ Negro Education Society in Willoughby Bay, whence he proceeded, day after day, and night after night with his laborious wife, to the estates in the Windward quarter and in the vicinity of Parham, teaching and instructing the little slave children. It ought to be mentioned to the honour of the planters of the day, that they never sent the children to the ‘grass-gang’, till they could read the New Testament. Mr. Thwaites’s energies were therefore embarked on preparing them for the task which, as slaves, awaited them. Such children were taught by day. At night, in rough chapels, constructed on the estates, the adult portion of the population would come to “koolmassa and koolmissis,” (schoolmaster and schoolmistress,) “for get one lesson.” Thus was the native peasant mind early imbued with religious light’. | History




he National Archives of Antigua & Barbuda contain a wealth of materials, in astoundingly good condition. The collection is housed in the Rappaport Centre, a purpose-built structure on the outskirts of St. John’s which is open to the public five days a week. The building is easily accessible, provides parking, is air-conditioned and is run by a team of friendly and helpful staff. Considering the documents stored here are virtually priceless and much sought after on an international scale, it is intriguing that the National Archives are not over-run with crowds of knowledgehungry people. In fact, the exact opposite is true, with the historic records of our country sitting undisturbed in their respective storage boxes the National Archives have always had a fairly low profile. Acting Director Joseph Prosper is keen to educate people on the importance of the archives. He would like to engage public interest in the materials that lie ‘hidden’ behind the walls of this institution.

202 | History

THE EXTENSIVE COLLECTION COMPRISES OF GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE RECORDS AND INCLUDES: GOVERNMENT RECORDS • Court Records ............................................................................ 1676-1990 • Leeward Island Acts ................................................................... 1690 • Land Registers ........................................................................... 1668 • Codrington Papers ..................................................................... 1681 • Seasonal Papers ......................................................................... 1694-1884 • Antigua Acts .............................................................................. 1694-1992 • Legislative Council Minutes ....................................................... 1725 • Names of 500 slaves on Antigua Plantations .............................. 1789 • Admiralty Records ......................................................................1793-1800 • Slave Registers ........................................................................... 1817-1833 • Governments Correspondence ................................................... 1818 • Leeward Island Despatches ........................................................ 1822-1867 • Registers (Marriage, Births, Deaths) ...........................................1856 • Leeward Island Estimates ...........................................................1881 • Leeward Island Blue Books .........................................................1889 • Leeward Island Gazettes .............................................................1889 • Sugar Factory Records ................................................................1904-1987 • West Indies Federation Records ................................................. 1958-1962 PRIVATE RECORDS • Anglican Church Records ........................................................... 1696-1990 • Moravian Church Registers (Baptism, Marriage, Burials) ........... 1807 • Methodist Correspondence ........................................................ 1833-1890 • Holy Family Church Registers (Baptism, Marriage, Burials) ....... 1862 • Leon Matthias’ Collection of Moravian records .......................... 1884-1999 • Bennett Bryson Records ............................................................. 1895-1983 THE ARCHIVES ALSO INCLUDES • Censuses • Photographs • Maps of Antigua • Newspapers ................................................................................1814-present • Philately • Rare book collection • Theses • Reports • Government non-current records from several departments • Drawings and sketches | History


THE SLAVE REGISTERS The National Archives hold six volumes of slave registers dating from 1817, when a law was passed that all British colonies had to provide an official Triennial Return of Slaves. Regrettably, there are no written records for all those who went before this date. These registers had to be compiled by proprietors or their agents every three years; lack of accuracy, whether through neglect or omission, was punishable with a fine of up to ÂŁ200 per slave. Furthermore, a registrar was required to close and authenticate the registry by inscribing his name and seal of office under the last entry of the book. These large, imposing books are approximately 30 inches in width and 20 inches in height when open, and each consists of exactly 288 pages. The outside covers, now slightly worse for wear, are bound in goatskin and some still bear signs of the original gold embossment. The registry inside is made up of 8-9 vertical columns, which record in some detail any alterations in the number of slaves belonging to a plantation or owner. The mode of acquisition, such as a slave being born or purchased is recorded, as are slaves who died, were sold, otherwise transferred or permanently deserted. These individuals are recorded by name, sex, colour, age and of course ownership. Reading these entries can be harrowing, but what is truly alarming is the fact that only sixteen years of official slave registers were produced over a two hundred year period. The last entry is made in 1833, the year before emancipation was granted. IMAGES Previous pages and opposite page: Pages from the first volume of the Triennial Return of Slaves for Antigua, circa 1828. Far right: Original red wax seal from the register of slaves. Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

204 | History

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ARCHIVES The archives date back to the early colonial settlement of Antigua & Barbuda by the English in 1632. The colonial governors were required to keep the English government informed of their accounts and significant governmental affairs. Although an abundance of material was produced during this early period, no provision was made for the storing of the documents. The archives suffered in unsuitable conditions for several hundred years until in 1910 the then governor of Antigua requested that they be transferred to the police station and stored in the old dungeon. By 1940 the conditions in which they were kept had deteriorated but no action was considered until 1950, when a large amount of Antigua’s documentation was lost to fires and hurricanes. The following year, it was suggested to the Antigua council that the remaining collection be moved to England for safe keeping. In 1954 the archives were sent to the Colonial Office and later transferred to the Public Records Office, where they remained until the establishment of the National Archives in Antigua in 1982. The National Archives first occupied a renovated building on Newgate Street, before being transferred to the Old Court House on Long Street. It was not until 1991, however, that the archives were housed in a permanent, purpose-built structure, where they remain. This building was donated to the people of Antigua & Barbuda by Mr. Bruce Rappaport, primarily to house the Codrington Papers. The Rappaport Centre was officially handed over to the government of Antigua & Barbuda in 1997. The Antigua & Barbuda National Archives Tel: +1 (268) 462-3946 or 462-3947 Email: Victoria Park, Factory Road, St. Johns, Antigua. | History



THE DEVELOPMENT OF POST-EMANCIPATION COMMUNITIES Written by Dr. Charles Sandeman-Allen, Retired Senior Lecturer of History, University of Westminster, UK.

Antigua’s slave population became free people at midnight on July 31st, 1834. Many people celebrated this momentous event by going to church or chapel to thank God for their deliverance. Then they went home to the plantations where they had been forced to work as slaves growing sugar. They may have been freed, but still needed to work (now for wages) and still needed a roof over their heads.

206 | History


f all the Caribbean islands, Antigua had one of the highest population densities compared to cultivatable land, so rather than becoming independent farmers, most exslaves continued to work on the plantations. Indeed, it has been said that the plantations, or estates, were so dominant that until emancipation there were no villages in Antigua. The drive for independence following emancipation began slowly, with there being very little cultivable land available for the newly freed people to settle on. Many of them found themselves caught in a cycle of dependence, working and living much as they had before independence was granted. Gradually the churches, particularly the Methodist and Moravian congregations, began to lease parcels of land for settlement adjacent to their chapels, and the first free communities along the road from St. John’s to English Harbour were established. Some plantation owners (a female owner being a very early example) followed suit. By 1842 there were twenty-seven such villages, housing 3,600 people, and by 1864 more than 15,000 former slaves and their families, half the entire population of Antigua, were living in ‘free’ villages. When visitors to Antigua drive from St John’s, south to visit historic Nelson’s Dockyard, they pass through a succession of these villages. It may not seem obvious, but many of the communities owe their existence to the drive for independence following emancipation. The history of emancipation is written in the villages themselves. The names of some of these villages reflect their origin: Freetown and Liberta were among the earliest settlements. Liberta, straddling the main road a few miles north of English Harbour, grew up around Grace Hill, the site of an early Moravian chapel. Today the landmarks in Liberta include the church of

St. Barnabas, built between 1824 and 1842 by Bishop Coleridge, of the famous Antigua green stone which is quarried in the surrounding district. Christianity was central to the new free communities, and visitors to the island after emancipation reported very large, well-dressed congregations clearly passionate about their Sunday services. The churches provided not only spiritual guidance, but also schools for the children and help for the old and infirm, who were no longer cared for by the sugar estates where they had spent their productive years. The early villages tended to be ribbon developments along the road, and close to the plantations, which continued to offer the best chance of employment. Most of the houses were built of the cheapest materials, stone or wood, or even wattle and daub. Mrs. Lanaghan (or possibly Flannigan), writing in the early 1840s in the book Antigua and the Antiguans, described houses in the new villages as being generally “very neatly finished, and containing two rooms, a hall, and chamber, and here they reside, supporting themselves by working upon different estates,” where, she claimed, they received better wages than those still living on the estates. Mrs. Lanaghan went on to describe the method by which the villagers built their small dwellings: “A sufficient number of stakes are firmly driven into the ground at regular distances, these are interwoven with the branches of the ‘black cherry’, stript (sic) of their leaves, and the interstices filled up with clay. The roofs are composed of a species of coarse grass fastened on with the bark of the soursop tree.” They cooked out in the open air, “unless they fence in a small portion of ground, and loosely throw a bundle of dry cane-leaves on the top, in which case it frequently answers for stable and kitchen.” Joseph Sturge, an American Quaker missionary who visited the island in 1837,

described the typical village house thus: “ … very comfortable, consisting of one, and sometimes two rooms, of from ten to fourteen feet square, and kept very clean, a few of which are furnished with a four-post bed, and other household goods. Each kitchen is a little detached shed, thatched…” Also in 1837, two American abolitionists, James Thome and Horace Thimball, arrived in Antigua and visited various plantations, including one at Fitches Creek. There they were met by the manager, Mr. Armstrong, who told them of his plans for a new village for the workers: “The houses are to be larger than those at present in use; they are to be built of stone instead of mud and sticks, and to be neatly roofed. Instead of being huddled together in a by place (sic), as has mostly been the case, they are to be built on an elevated site, and ranged at regular intervals around three sides of a large square, in the centre of which a building for a chapel and school house

IMAGES Previous page: Traditional village houses, Old Road, St. Mary’s, Pre-1940. Photographer Unknown Below and right: Exterior and interior of St. Peter’s Anglican church, Parham, circa. 1840. Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

IMAGE Photographer Nigel Francis

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

208 | History

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

ESTABLISHMENT DATES OF FIRST FREE VILLAGES 1834 1834 1834 1835 1835 1837 1837 1837 1838 1839 1840 1840 1841 1842 1842 1843 1843

Liberta was the first village to be built, named after the word “Liberty”. Liberta’s proprietors sold 30’ x 50’ land plots for $30. Two-room houses built. Freemansville was the second village built. Greenbay was established after emancipation, when people crowded into St. John’s. Freed slaves sought land in the hills when planters denied them land, e.g. Hamilton’s. “Ten acre lands” were made available for ex-slaves to settle off estates. Free villages were spurred on after Governor released Government (ten acre) lands. Near Grace Hill (Liberta) an estate was sold in acre lots to labourers. Ex-slaves owned 1,037 houses in 27 villages created. Many labourers had purchased land and settled in villages. Planters found it necessary to sell off estate lands, e.g. Buckleys, Swetes. All Saints was originally called Free-Centre Village. First mention of Cedar Grove, when land was bought for a Moravian mission. A group of houses near Liberta was called the Hamlet, (possibly now Tyrells). There were 27 independent villages with a population of 3,600 (growing to 9,273 in 1846). Freetown’s population grew after earthquake damage at Bridgetown (Willoughby Bay). Many ex-slaves had purchased land and built houses.

IMAGES Previous page and this page: Traditional trades emerged from living off the land and sea, still practiced in modern day life. Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson

is to be erected. Each house is to have a garden.” Very few of these buildings survive today. The strongest earthquake to hit Antigua in living memory occurred in 1843. Few buildings on the island, not even the large and well-built Cathedral of St. John the Divine in St. John’s, predate this calamity. The great hurricane of 1848 also caused a great deal of damage to all but the sturdiest structures. But the early “free” village communities rebuilt and still thrive. People who now work outside of their communities in the capital, or at coastal tourist resorts when asked their origins, will proudly claim that Liberta, Old Road, or Freetown, is home, or where their family comes from. As they settled into independence, some village communities sought new ways to be selfsufficient, or less dependent on their former owners. An English botanist from Kew Gardens in London visited Antigua in 1890, and wrote: “At Liberta village the land is occupied by small settlers, who cultivate fruit trees and pineapples. The pine-apples grow very freely on hillslopes in a black friable loam apparently peculiar to this part of the island. This district produces nearly all the Black Antigua pines exported from the island.” And today, villages ‘round south’, such as Urlings and Old Road, cultivate crops including the majority of pineapples grown in Antigua. They are also known to be proficient fisherfolk who supply the island with an abundance of produce from the sea. This history shows that after emancipation in 1834, the people of Antigua worked together to build their own homes and their own communities. The churches and chapels, through their worship and schools, brought people together and gave them the strength and the knowledge to build for the future. This legacy can still be seen in the landscape and the communities of Antigua today. | History


CULINARY ANTIGUA & BARBUDA’S LOVE OF FOOD Written by Julian Waterer, Chef and Owner of Chef’s World.

The Simply Antigua Barbuda team have done it again, producing a journey through beautiful Antigua & Barbuda, via a book that is second to none, covering all aspects of life on our little island in the sun. It speaks to us, the readers, about the culture, the history, the people, the love and the culinary aspects of our nation.


his wonderful country has been a source of culinary knowledge and inspiration for me since I arrived in 1987. Little did I know that this would continue to be my home three decades later and I consider myself fortunate and blessed. Over these years, I have learnt so much about local cuisine and tastes. Here, we make use of certain cuts of meat, fish and offal that elsewhere in the world would be discarded as being unworthy of the chef’s talents. Items such as bull foot, goat heads,

testicles and fish heads for soups, salted pig snout for seasoned rice and souse, pig’s blood for rice pudding to name just a few and believe me, they are simply delicious! In this book you’ll find all sorts of delicacies and recipes to taste whilst visiting our wonderful paradise and you could even attempt to replicate the recipes at home. Where else in the world can you find a culinary balance between local and international cuisine? Many of our innovative chefs do just that, creating flavour

marriages between mango served with lionfish, conch ceviche with pomegranate, tenderloin of venison with local sorrel jus, mango with jelly coconut to make crepes, and of course let’s not forget my favourite salt fish, lobster and avocado combination. I hope you enjoy your culinary journey through Simply Antigua Barbuda. Make the most of our many indigenous restaurants, bars and roadside vendors, whose food is prepared with zest and vigour… Bon appétit! | Culinary


IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Left: Cocktail mixed at Carmichael’s restaurant, Sugar Ridge Resort, Antigua Right: Barbuda Smash cocktail mixed by Rodman George from Uncle Roddy’s Beach Bar & Grill, Barbuda. Barbuda Smash Recipe Ingredients - Serves 1 1 tbsp fresh coconut, finely diced 2 oz English Harbour 5 Year Old Rum 1 oz Cointreau 3 oz pineapple juice ½ oz freshly squeezed lime juice Dash of Angostura Aromatic Bitters Method: Add the finely diced coconut to an ice filled highball glass. Then add the rum, Cointreau, pineapple juice and lime juice to a shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Pour over the coconut pieces. Add a few dashes of Bitters and stir. Garnish with a slice of lime.

212 | Culinary

IMAGE Photographer Janie Conley-Johnson Garlic-herb seared Grouper with sweet potato custard and a seafood foam. Prepared by Christopher Terry at Jumby Bay resort, Antigua.



Sampling authentic island dishes at food fairs is a thriving part of our Caribbean culinary culture. Not only are they a popular local event, but our food fairs are recognized all over the world, being at the core of the Caribbean experience. No feature on traditional cuisine would be complete without mention of pioneers such as Auntie Gwen and, more recently, Rosemary McMaster. Alongside food fairs, these ladies have captured the taste buds of the nation, keeping our traditional foods alive.

The late Dame Gwendolyn “Auntie Gwen” Tonge hosted one of the world’s longest running television cookery shows, Cooking Magic. Filmed in Auntie Gwen’s kitchen in Antigua the show is today continued by her daughter Erna Mae Tonge. Together they have educated several generations on the value of good nutrition. Auntie Gwen explained, “We should cook locally grown food, use natural ingredients and live within our means.” Another mother-daughter team, the producers of Susie’s Hot Sauce range, have spiced-up our local food since the 1960s. Rosemary McMaster has taken her mother’s original hot sauce to new levels, creating an international brand found on the shelf of every spice cupboard. Today, our cuisine may have evolved, but the values of traditional foods remain the same. Co-written by Janie Conley-Johnson, Claudia Johnson and Valerie Hodge.

ALL IMAGES Courtesy Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide


amaican ackee and saltfish, Kittitian monkey stew, Barbadian flying fish, Guyanese callaloo cook-up– they’re all dishes that we don’t normally have easy access to here in Antigua & Barbuda. But you can get them all and many more exotic and local culinary delights at the St John’s Anglican Cathedral’s Caribbean & International Food Fair, held annually at the Deanery Grounds, Antigua. Continuing to offer something innovative every year, the nation’s oldest Food Fair started in 1989. It is held on the last Saturday in May. Over the years the fair has represented all the English speaking Caribbean countries/ states namely Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts/Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, The Bahamas, Trinidad & Tobago. It is called the Caribbean & International Food Fair since it has, on occasion, had the participation of dishes from other countries. These include Venezuela, Japan, China, The Dominican Republic and also Haiti. One year the students at the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute represented Nepal by preparing traditional Nepalese dishes for the fair. For the past few years the food fair has been adding attractions to the event which include a large entertainment programme, gate prizes, auctions and face painting, toys, and bounce castles for children. Annually the fair averages 26 food stalls, with a large number featuring Antiguan cuisine. The favourite dishes currently at the food fair are fungi & shad and bull foot soup, which edged out the national dish of fungi and pepperpot from the number one spot. However, you’ll find that everybody gravitates to the Barbudan stall early,to partake in the country’s speciality fare. The most popular food fair is the National Food Fair, held annually over the Independence public holiday. Independence is celebrated with many cultural events taking place on both | Culinary


Ants know hard time a’come, dat mek he does carry plenty food fo’ put In he house.

Antiguan proverb.

216 | Culinary

Good fungi nebar meet good pepperpot. Hungry belly an’ full belly no’ walk one pa’’ (road).

Antiguan proverb. | Culinary


islands. These events range from church services to parades and banquets. Citizens also take time to participate in community beautification initiatives, such as cleaning beaches. Independence is a public holiday where families come out to salute their country wearing the distinctive madras fabric embellished national costumes to show pride for their nation. In Antigua, the highlight of the festivities is the National Food Fair, which is an essential ingredient to the Independence merriments.

Churches, community groups, top chefs, family groups and associations set up colourful booths draped in flags and decorations to display their cooking skills. This culinary event is set apart from many others through its revival of ‘ole time’ Antiguan & Barbudan delicacies. You will find on the menu bambula, cha cha dumplings, ashum, pepperpot, cassava pudding, roast dumplings, shellfish and other fare. The sizzling sound and pungent aroma of fried fish, dumplings and roast corn fills the air. There is

always great excitement at the Barbudan food booth as fresh grilled lobster, land crabs, stewed deer and curried conch are served to the hungry crowds. Hand-churned ice cream in a rainbow of flavours is also a fun spectacle to watch and even more enjoyable to eat. You will find stalls selling traditional sweets like peanut slice, coconut drops, guava cheese, fudge and black fruitcake. Learn about historic culinary utensils at the heritage stalls displaying antique kitchenware and relics from a bygone era.

Food fairs for churches, fund-raisers, sporting events, reunions and festivals make up an important part of the social fabric of both Antigua & Barbuda. You’ll notice these wellattended community events which are listed on a weekly basis in the local media. If you are able to attend these mouth-watering events make sure you sample as much as you can and, if you just can’t fit anymore in, bring a bag and take something home for later. As we say here, “Better man belly bus’ dan good t’ings pwoil.” | Culinary








Ingredients: Pumpkin Soup 2 lb (1 kg) pumpkin, peeled and chopped A knob of butter 1 onion, grated 1 sprig fresh thyme 1 sweet pepper, grated 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 celery sticks, grated 2 cups (½ ltr) vegetable stock

Method for Pumpkin Soup In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook pumpkin until soft, 10-15 minutes. Drain water, mash pumpkin and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat a little butter and sauté the onions, thyme, sweet pepper, garlic and celery for 5 minutes. Mix in pumpkin, add stock, simmer for 15 minutes. Method for Cream Sauce Heat butter in a pan until melted, stir in flour and add a little salt and pepper. Remove pan from heat and pour in milk slowly whilst stirring. The mixture should be smooth. Add the cream sauce to the soup and mix well. Strain soup or blend. To Serve Heat through to serve and sprinkle with croutons to garnish.

Ingredients: Cream Sauce 2 oz (50 g) butter 3 tbsp plain flour Salt and white pepper to taste 1 cup (250 ml) full-cream milk or half & half cream

Ingredients: Ital Patties 1 cup (240 g) minced soya chunks, pre-soaked 1lb pack lentil peas, pre-cooked 1 whole onion, finely diced 1 clove garlic, finely diced 2 stalks of celery, diced 1 tsp fresh thyme 2 tsps herbal seasoning mix ½ cup soy sauce 1lb wheat flour Oil for frying Ingredients: Tropical Fruit Salsa 1 medium Antigua Black pineapple, finely diced 1 fresh smooth mango, finely diced 1 local papaya, finely diced Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime 4 tomatoes, diced 1 each, sweet red and yellow pepper, finely diced 4 scallions (spring onions), finely diced ½ oz (15 g) fresh ginger, finely grated ½ oz (15 g) fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped 3 tbs olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Susie’s Hot Sauce to taste

Method for Ital Patties Using a large mixing bowl and spatula mix all ingredients together. The consistency should be that of sticky dough. Turn mixture out onto floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out mixture until it is ½ inch thick. Use an overturned glass to cut out pattie shapes and place on a floured plate or cooking sheet. Heat one inch of oil in a frying pan over a mediumhigh heat. When oil is hot, fry the patties on both sides for approximately 2 minutes, until golden brown. Serve patties hot with fresh salsa and fried green tomatoes. Method for Tropical Fruit Salad Combine all ingredients gently in a mixing bowl. Refrigerate until service. Serve chilled.

Chef’s Note: Chef Clinton suggests that the tropical fruit salsa recipe is also wonderful with fish and chicken and can be tossed together quickly to compliment any meal.

ALL IMAGES Courtesy Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide

220 | Culinary | Culinary







Method for Crepe Filling Gently combine all ingredients in a bowl.


Ingredients: Crepe Batter 2 eggs 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) milk 1 ½ tbsp melted butter ¾ cup (105 g) all purpose flour, sifted 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp raw brown sugar Pinch of salt 3 tsp finely grated dry coconut Zest of 2 limes

Method for Rum Butter Sauce Add the diced mango, sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a light boil for about 2 minutes. Add the rum and pour the mixture into a blender. Purée until smooth. Pass through a fine strainer and return it to the pan. Warm the mixture on low heat and swirl in the butter.

Ingredients: Marinade 1 tbsp Cajun spice seasoning 3 oz (45 g) soy sauce 4 oz (60 g) vegetable oil

Ingredients: Crepe Filling 2 cups (1 lb) ripe mango cut into cubes 1 cup (½ lb) jelly coconut Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon to taste Ingredients: Rum Butter Sauce ½ cup (¼ lb) firm mango, diced 1 tsp sugar 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) water 1 ½ oz (45 ml) English Harbour 5 Yr. Old Rum

To Serve Lay each crepe flat on a work surface and place a portion of filling on the crepe. Roll up the crepe and place on a serving plate. Pour some rum butter sauce over the filled crepe and serve.

Ingredients: Sorrel Sauce 1 cup (235 ml) aged red port wine ½ lb (225 g) sorrel sepals (fresh or dried) 2 shallots, fine diced 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock 3 oz (90 ml) heavy cream Dash cumin powder Sea Salt and pepper to taste Ingredients: Tenderloins 2 fresh deer tenderloins, peeled & trimmed 2 tbsp Cajun spice seasoning ¼ stick salted butter

2 tsp butter, softened Method for Crepe Batter Beat together eggs, milk and butter. In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder with sugar and salt. Now mix these ingredients together until smooth. Add the grated coconut and lime zest. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat a lightly buttered cast iron pan. Pour 1⁄12 of the batter into the hot pan and tilt until a thin layer of the batter coats the pan. Keep the heat low and wait until the edges are brown before you flip it. Repeat. 222 | Culinary

Chef’s Note: The tenderloin of a deer is also known as the backstrap. Deer meat, or venison, is lean meat that requires careful cooking to prevent over drying. Use a method with high heat that cooks the meat quickly to preserve the natural tenderness such as grilling or pan-roasting.

Method for Marinade In a glass dish season the deer tenderloins with Cajun seasoning and soy sauce, then rub with oil. Cover dish with cling film and refrigerate meat to marinate for up to 2 days. Method for Sorrel Sauce In a saucepan over a medium-high heat reduce the port wine and sorrel sepals. Add the shallots and chicken stock, reduce the sauce by half. Once thickened, reduce the heat and simmer slowly for 10 minutes. Add the cream, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce for a further 5 minutes. Strain the sauce and keep warm. Method for Tenderloins Remove the tenderloins from the refrigerator and from the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towel and roll in Cajun spices to coat. Heat a sauté pan with the butter over high heat. Wait for the pan to get hot. Place the tenderloins in the pan and allow them to sear for about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into medallions for service. To Serve Arrange the medallions on 4 serving plates, spoon over the sorrel sauce. Serve with sweet potato gratin, roasted garlic and grilled zucchini slices.

ALL IMAGES Courtesy Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide | Culinary



The pleasures of a tropical island are well known. Dazzling sunshine and stunning sunsets, soft gleaming beaches and the breathtaking blue of the warm surrounding seas are all to be found here. For visitors to Antigua & Barbuda the sun, sand and sea provide a beautiful backdrop to the pleasures of eating well. The islands offer a wealth of eating experiences from casual street food to fine dining and simple bistros to elegant international resorts. Good food on our islands is the fourth pleasureseeking dimension - the final element that makes the simplest vacation a very special experience indeed.

ALL IMAGES Courtesy Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide



ntiguans enjoy their food, and they are very serious eaters. In the streets of downtown St. John’s and on almost every country road vendors sell fresh fruit and vegetables in season, provide peeled sugar cane sticks for the sugar-sweet juice, roast corn on the cob over charcoal and chop open coconuts for their nutritious sweet water. Long ago “sweetie ladies” on the street offered traditional sweets like coconut sugar cake, guava cheese, fudge and tamarind balls to hungry school children hurrying out of schoolrooms. Nowadays sweetie ladies are difficult to find but traditional sweets can still be bought island wide in local shops and even in supermarkets. Roadside snackettes provide hearty fare for breakfast and lunch. On Fridays and Saturdays their menus expand to include a wide range of local dishes. They offer delicious patties, meatballs, fritters and pies, as well as grilled chicken and pork. At fishing villages along the southwest coast, seafood and conch chowder can be found at the weekend, renowned for their restorative and virility-inducing properties. “Ital food”, the food of the Rastafarian community, is vegetarian, well-seasoned with herbs, and cooked with coconut milk. Ital shacks, such as One Stone, can be found at Cobbs Cross in Falmouth, and on Independence Drive in St. John’s.

In Barbuda street food vendors are the catalyst for outdoor eating. Every Saturday morning Barbuda comes alive with their infamous roadside fish fry. Just sniff it out – the air is thick with the pungent aromas of frying fish. Select your own marinated fish from an iced cooler and then hang out with the locals while your fish is being fried right in front of your eyes. Don’t forget to order a homemade dumpling (baked or fried), for a perfect accompaniment. For a local roadside breakfast, there’s always lots to choose from: traditionally prepared ling fish (salt fish) to mackerel and chop-up made with spinach, okra and antrover or anchoba (stewed eggplant). There’s avocado pear, pumpkin fritters, green salad, fried plantain, boiled eggs and sausages to sample, and always fresh fruit available. Barbudans like to choose from a great array of dishes at breakfast time! And the same can be said for lunchtime, a roadside feast of baked or stewed chicken, okra, fungi, spare ribs, boiled green banana, potato salad, coleslaw, rice and peas, macaroni pie, curry goat, conch water are just an example of the selection you can pile on your plate. Don’t forget to try ducana – sweet potatoes grated with coconut and spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon, then boiled in banana leaves to form a succulent savoury dumpling. | History


FISH ON FRIDAYS AND OTHER TRADITIONS Island fishermen supply a wide variety of fresh fish daily, including snapper, old wife, barracuda, king fish, wahoo, tuna, and mahi mahi (dolphin fish), as well as lobster, conch, cockles, whelks and land crabs. On Friday evenings the traditional meal is fish or seafood. The Copper and Lumber Store restaurant at Nelson’s Dockyard has a weekly Seafood Friday event and Chippy Antigua, the fish and chip van at Dickenson’s Bay is bustling with patrons. The Seafood Festivals at Urlings Wharf on Old Road are well known for their abundance of fresh fish and seafood. Local cooks vie with each other to offer their best dishes, bringing together stakeholders in the fishing sector, tourism industry, visitors and residents. This is a family affair so don’t forget to bring the kids and camera along! Other culinary traditions include the special dishes and drinks served during Christmas. The old custom at Christmas was to serve stewed pork or yard fowl (chicken) but today, turkey and ham are more popular. Traditional Christmas drinks include Sorrel, a brilliant crimson drink made by steeping the sepals of a flower of the hibiscus family, which has its bearing season in December. The drink is flavoured with cloves, fresh ginger root and orange peel, and is sweetened with sugar sometimes a splash of rum is added. It is served chilled and is most refreshing. Antiguans and Barbudans love punch. Two favourites are Guinness Punch, made with Guinness stout and milk, and Rum Punch, with the traditional formula of 1 part sour (lime

juice) 2 of sweet (Demerara sugar) three of strong (dark rum) and 4 of weak (crushed ice). It is a deceptive drink and should be sipped with caution! Black fruit cake, adapted from English fruit cake, is uniquely Caribbean because of the rum used to soak the fruit, and the burnt sugar caramel that colours the batter to a glossy dark brown. Black rum cake is very rich and is served in small slices at Christmas as well as at important family events like weddings and christenings. It is one of the most distinctive culinary experiences of the Caribbean.

ONE POT COOKING One pot cooking is an island tradition, and it starts with Antigua’s most famous dish: Pepperpot. Antiguan Pepperpot is the National Dish - a savoury stew made with pork, salted meats, ground provisions, vegetables and served with fungi. Vegetarian versions of pepperpot are an option and occasionally it is prepared with ingredients such as seafood or fresh land crab. Goat Water is a hearty goat stew flavoured with pimento (allspice) and other “waters” (soups) include conch or fish water. There is a tradition of Saturday soups on both islands, and they are substantial one dish meals like pumpkin soup with pickled pig tail and salt beef, bull foot soup, callaloo soup, fish tea and chicken soup with provisions. Another great one-pot medley is Seasoned Rice in which all leftover foods (meats and vegetables) can be combined in a savoury rice dish that can feed an entire family.

RUM SHOP CULTURE Rum shops are havens for the seriously competitive mind games of warri and dominoes, and because the rum flows freely, they are also great places to be entertained by energetic banter. To welcome in the weekend until “de rum done” rum shops are familiar gathering places for locals. Across Antigua, in places such as Johnson’s Point and Bolans, where Bushy’s Bolanda rum lives on in his memory, the rum shop culture is alive and well. Rum-fuelled Warri tournaments are held at The Pitch in St. John’s, and continue far into the night. The Spanish bars, whose roots stem mainly from Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic serve pork and fried cassava with their rum, and play Latin music for their customers. Papa Zouk’s off Dickenson Bay Street has one of the finest rum collections in the Caribbean, serving its famous fish ‘n’ rum menu to all rum-lovers. It is the favourite haunt of rum aficionados, including many famous visitors to the island. The original “Papa Zouk” was an old deaf-mute man in Dominica who danced to the rapid zouk music of the French islands. The newest rum tasting experience can be found at one of Antigua’s oldest establishments, Le Bistro French restaurant in Hodges Bay.

BEACH BARS AND WATERFRONT VENUES One of the most enjoyable ways to eat is at casual beach bars, often overlooking breathtaking scenery, where all the ingredients for a great tropical experience can be found.

Some of the best southwest coast beach bars for authentic Caribbean food are Dennis’, OJ’s, Turners, The Nest and Darkwood Bar. BeachLimerz at historic Fort James and Castaways at Jolly Beach, the longest beach in Antigua, offer great food, drink and music for those wanting to dance after their meal. Pigeon Beach in Falmouth Harbour offers front row harbour views with two contrasting dining experiences. At one end of the beach is Bumpkins rustic beach bar serving fresh caught fish, burgers and ribs. At the other end of the beach is Catherine’s Café Plage, which offers fine French food in an airy pavilion. For other sophisticated dining experiences, try our waterfront restaurants like Jacqui O’s “The Love Beach”, The Bay at Nonsuch Bay, La Bussola, Cecilia’s Highpoint Café, Coconut Grove and Ana’s on the Beach. Falmouth and English Harbours have endless waterfront options for dining which include Cloggy’s, Mia Cucina, South Point, and Sun Ra, as well as Cambusa and Captain’s Quarters at the Catamaran marina. Papa’s by the Sea, on the eastern side of Falmouth Harbour, is the perfect place to spend the day with the kids. Situated in expansive gardens, on a beachfront location, the restaurant offers the freedom for children to explore, dip in the pool and jump on the trampoline. These waterfront eateries provide an even more beautiful location at sunset and are deliciously stunning on a clear starry night. Whilst some turn into romantic hubs, others ramp it up and evolve into full swinging parties.

BBQ FOOD Late at night and on weekends the grills are out, and delicious smoky aromas call to peckish passersby. The BBQ grills themselves are usually welded from modified steel drums and the cooking is fuelled by locally-made charcoal to enhance the smoky flavours. This inexpensive culinary experience is popular for its great tasting food and the vibrant social aspect too - lively gatherings can be spotted around BBQ joints which pop up all over the island on street corners and village roadsides.

CARIBBEAN FOOD Well-established BBQ hubs include Tucker on the Grill in New Winthorpes and Jerk Master on the Old Parham Road. In Barbuda, nighttime is the right time for a BBQ bite: stroll into the heart of Codrington Village, follow your nose to the nearest charcoal grill and be welcomed to feast. Wanda Desouza’s BBQ tent in Madison Square is an institution. On both islands, BBQs do a roaring late night trade serving everything from simple beef burgers, jerk chicken and pork to grilled fish, shellfish and lobster.

In recent times Antiguan and Barbudan people have embraced culinary influences from other Caribbean islands. Some dishes from Trinidad, such as phoulourie, doubles and rotis have become familiar on Antiguan menus at places like Roti King, Verna’s and The Captain’s Table in St. John’s. Spicy Jamaican jerk chicken and pork and curried goat are offered by many Caribbean styled restaurants like Grace Before Meals in English Harbour, Miracles at Jolly Harbour and Dennis’ at Ffryes Bay.

In the Backyard Bar on Sir Vivian Richards Street, stuffed crab backs are served in season. These are a Dominican delicacy worth trying. In the small east coast village of Seatons, with its stunning view of Mercer’s Creek Bay and Pelican Island, a tiny restaurant called Island View Bar & Restaurant offers a lunch of local fish, chicken or pork to cruise ship visitors after their adventures kayaking with Paddles and swimming with stingrays at Stingray City.

HISTORIC RESTAURANT VENUES Some hidden gems for good food can be found at the historic sites of Nelson’s Dockyard, Fort James, Shirley Heights and at Harmony Hall, where an old sugar mill has become a focal point for their well-stocked bar. The Copper and Lumber Store restaurant inside Nelson’s Dockyard National Park is housed in a restored building that was originally a copper and lumber store in the 18th Century. The Admiral’s Inn inside the Dockyard has two restaurants. Pillars restaurant sits in full view of the old stone pillars of the original sail loft. Boom restaurant located across the water, is a waterfront dining pavilion adjacent to an old powder magazine store. Russell’s at Fort James serves great traditional food such as black pudding, souse and cockles in a venue overlooking the old cannons that hint at its military past. The Lookout at Shirley Heights is a restored military lookout and gun battery. They serve potent sundowners at twilight, as visitors anticipate the sunset’s fleeting green flash, at Antigua’s longest running Sunday party. Visitors to Barbuda wiggle their toes in sand, sipping local drinks at the Pink Sands Beach Bar which is opposite Martello Tower, a small historic defensive fort.




Antigua has become a melting pot for food from all over the world, mirroring the multi-cultural personality of the Caribbean region and beyond. An Italian influence is evident at restaurants such as La Bussola and Sottovento on the north coast and Ticchio at Woods Centre. Le Bistro at Hodges Bay and Catherine’s Café Plage in English Harbour offer some of the best French food in the region, and the menu at Cap Horn in Falmouth is also French-influenced. Many people of Middle Eastern descent live in Antigua, and in recent times Syrian and Lebanese venues have blossomed with their distinctive spiced dishes. The likes of Ali Baba on the Old Parham Road and small shawarma eateries across the island, serve delicious meat kebabs, silky houmous (humus), tangy tabouleh and vegetarian falafels with pita bread. Indian food is relatively new on the island and is served at Spices of India and the New Taste of India restaurants in St John’s. Chinese food has a longstanding presence on the islands and can be found at established restaurants such as Delightful and New Thriving. Touloulou Asian Restaurant, off Marble Hill Road, has a menu which journeys around South-East Asia, taking in bold flavours from Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. Freshly made Japanese sushi is prepared daily at Club Sushi and South Point, both located in English Harbour, as well as at The Larder on the outskirts of St. John’s. Our restaurants and resorts have grown to embrace the diversity of other cuisines.

PREPARATION TIME: 3 hrs. COOKING TIME: 1 hr. 10 mins. SERVES: 4 | Culinary


Ingredients 8 large chicken egg yolks (or turkey yolks) ½ cup breadcrumbs 2 (100 g-120 g per portion) fresh, whole Red snappers 4 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped 2 cups water 4 small shallots 10 seasoning peppers, roughly chopped 8 thin slices homemade Italian bread 4 spring onions, diced 400 g green peas 3 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced thinly on a mandolin Oil for frying Salt, pepper, olive oil to taste Garnish 4 sprigs rosemary 8 sundried tomatoes, diced Pinch of Alfalfa sprouts

Method Delicately place egg yolks in breadcrumbs, coat well and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Clean and fillet snappers, reserve head and bones for stock. Season the 4 fillets with rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil. Set aside and refrigerate. In a saucepan with boiling salted water prepare

a broth with reserved fish head and bones, shallots and seasoning peppers. Reduce broth until it thickens, strain and set aside. Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF/Gas mark 7. On a baking sheet, season the Italian bread with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a hot oven, bake until golden brown. In a saucepan over medium/high heat add a splash of olive oil and fry the spring onions. Add a little water, fresh peas and season with salt. Bring to the boil and reduce heat. Once cooked blend peas gently into a rustic purée. Reduce oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6. Remove fish fillets from refrigerator, place on baking tray. Cover the top of the fillets with overlapping potato slices, season with salt and pepper, place in oven for 8-10 minutes until potatoes are crisp. Remove egg yolks from refrigerator. When fish and potatoes are almost cooked, gently fry the egg yolks in hot oil until golden brown on the outside. Remove from pan and rest gently on paper towel, being careful not to break the yolks. To Serve On each plate, spoon the puréed peas in a rectangle slightly larger than the fish fillet. Cover with 2 slices of crusty bread, spoon a little fish broth over bread. Top the bread with the fish fillet, then top with 2 egg yolks. Garnish with a sprinkling of sundried tomatoes, Alfafa sprouts and a few drops of broth. Just before service, skewer the egg yolks with the rosemary sprigs, so the yolks ooze out over fish.

Raised with a respect for fresh ingredients, Executive Chef Cristian Cristicchi has followed the path of simplicity in the preparation and presentation of this dish, to unearth the delicate essences of the ingredients without altering their tastes. The 40-year-old chef, born in Rome, combines Mediterranean cooking characteristics with the flavours of the Caribbean, always maintaining an honest cooking style, in pursuit of uncomplicated food to satisfy body and soul. | Culinary




Some of the most exciting dining experiences in Antigua can be found at the international resorts that circle the island. Beachfront resorts like Carlisle Bay, and Curtain Bluff with its remarkable wine cellar, offer several restaurant choices, from fine dining with Asian and European influences to casual beach food. Hermitage Bay resort offers guests gourmand cooking classes using produce from their onsite organic garden. Carmichael’s at Sugar Ridge presents its international fusion food from its hill top position overlooking Jolly Harbour. This restaurant boasts the most spectacular views across land and out to sea of any restaurant on the island. Independent restaurants, some of them long-established, others only a few years old, offer high quality and imaginative food. Le Bistro restaurant opened in 1981 and was the first authentic French restaurant in Antigua. It is still one of the best of its kind. One of the latest and most exciting restaurants for fine dining is Sheer Rocks at Cocobay Resort. Perched on a private cliff-edge, dining pavilions enhance the Mediterranean tapas menu. By night, gourmet dishes make evening dining a deliciously romantic experience. Cecilia’s High Point Café serves its Mediterranean food to regular guests from Mill Reef and Jumby Bay, and to business professionals. Catherine’s Café Plage has taken fine dining to the beach in Falmouth Harbour.

Fine dining in Antigua was for a long time the preserve of the best resorts and a few scattered international independent restaurants. However in the 1990s a local chef, Carl Thomas, opened the Home Restaurant in St. John’s and started to serve local and Caribbean dishes prepared in the meticulous manner of haute cuisine. By his example, Carl influenced numerous local chefs, and although Home Restaurant closed some years ago, his legacy remains. Over time, local chefs have been influenced in their decision to enter the industry by fine dining ambassadors such as Carl, and many have gained formal accreditation after graduating from the Antigua & Barbuda Hospitality Training Institute (ABHTI). The ABHTI opened as a Catering and Hotel Management School in 2003, when its predecessor, the Hotel Training Centre, closed. The Institute now offers extensive one and two year programmes and professional and short courses, to aspiring chefs and hotel management students. It is affiliated with Monroe College and its course in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts is accredited by the University of the West Indies. The growth of tourism in the Caribbean and the resorts and restaurants that have been established in Antigua and in Barbuda have offered many challenging opportunities to local chefs, resulting in some wonderful success stories of which our islands are very proud. ALL IMAGES Courtesy Antigua Barbuda Food & Drink Guide

Dream of your ideal dining experience, look through the lists of Antigua & Barbuda’s eateries, and you will surely find exactly what you are looking for. From humble street food to the heights of fine dining, food in Antigua & Barbuda is indeed as important as the sun, sand and sea. | Culinary


IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Aerial view of downtown St. John’s and cruise ships in harbour.

THE ECONOMY THE CASE FOR GROWTH Written by Brian Stuart-Young, CEO of the Global Bank of Commerce and Antigua & Barbuda’s non-resident Ambassador to China.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, in the aftermath of World War II, sugarcane as a crop ceased to be cultivated in Antigua. At the same time, the concept of travel as a vacation activity began to build momentum. Antigua’s tourism industry was born with the creation of the Mill Reef Club, which was opened to a select membership in 1949. Other resorts soon followed.


oday, almost 70 years later, our economy is service-based, with tourism and government services representing the largest sources of employment and income. Tourism and tourism related economic activities, including real estate, construction, transportation and financial services, account for over two-thirds of gross domestic product (GDP). The economic outlook appears to be favourable, and is bolstered by growth in foreign direct investment. The citizenship by investment programme has funded major infrastructure investments, and the Chinese government

has financed the new airport terminal and the planned redevelopment of St. John’s Harbour for expanded cruise ship and container ship traffic. These initiatives reinforce our commitment to tourism as a fundamental sector of our economy. They will also lead to economic diversification as the country moves to increase manufacturing production, agricultural output, with a greater focus on marine resources. From the worldclass rums produced by the Antigua Distillery Ltd., to the sizzling hot condiments made by internationally famous Susie’s Hot Sauce, we are poised for growth.

The fiscal operations of the government indicate that economic activity will remain on a growth trajectory as contributions from the private and productive sectors and publicprivate partnerships continue to improve. The government aims to achieve primary surpluses of 3 per cent of the GDP by improving market attraction, expenditure management and controls, revenue generation and debt management. Growth prospects of the global economy will enhance the tourism sector, as an increasing number of stay over visitors and cruise passengers will visit our islands. | Economy


IMAGE Courtesy Nonsuch Bay Resort, Antigua Nonsuch Bay Resort is a luxury private resort comprising beach cottages, villas and apartments located at the south-east corner of Antigua.

236 | Economy

SME and micro-entrepreneurial businesses contribute significantly to our nation’s economy. | Economy


THE HEALTH OF A NATION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS IN ANTIGUA & BARBUDA Written by Brian Stuart-Young, CEO of the Global Bank of Commerce and Antigua & Barbuda’s non-resident Ambassador to China.

Following democratically held General Elections in June 2014, the administration of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda was peacefully changed to a Gaston Browne led administration, and the economic vision to develop the nation into an “economic powerhouse of the Caribbean” was born.

IMAGE Photographer Andreas Linder, PV Energy Ltd. Completed PV Energy photovoltaic solar panel facility, installed at V. C. Bird International Airport in 2015.


he key elements identified by Government to recover and grow the economy have been its focus on implementing structural transformation, attracting foreign direct investment, reviving the private sector and encouraging public/ private sector development. The successful implementation of these elements within the first three years of this administration is considered as the necessary foundation to stabilize the economy, increase lifestyle benefits and employment, and prepare the country for dramatic growth.

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS SUPPORT INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT As an island community largely dependent on tourism, structural transformation must address the need for substantial investment to improve its air and sea transportation infrastructure. In this regard, Antigua & Barbuda has been able to establish economic cooperation with the People’s Republic of China, with whom it has held a strong friendship since 1983, and derived significant benefits and concessional funding for Antigua’s international port infrastructure. First, there was the construction of a new international airport terminal, which must clearly rate amongst the best airport hubs in the region, and, since opening the new facility, has welcomed several new airlines, increasing the seat capacity to our destination. Second, again with the assistance of China, a major modernization and upgrade to the St. John’s Deepwater Harbour Port will commence in 2017. The existing Port, which is over 50 years old and had never been designed to manage containerized cargo, could not accommodate the growth of commerce projected for the economy. There are two phases for the modernization

programme, one for improving container cargo services and the other for expanding cruise ship accommodation for tourism services. It was on the basis of the planned expansion and improvements for the Port that the Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Guatemala-based entity that is undertaking the construction and operation of the Interoceanic Corridor of Guatemala. This will facilitate the transfer of shipped containers from the Pacific side to the Atlantic side via railway, as opposed to the canal transfer service by Panama. The MOU identifies that Antigua’s Deep Water Harbour will be designated as the transshipment hub for shipping lines traversing the planned Interoceanic Corridor of Guatemala. The operation of these activities would make Antigua the crossroads for commercial shipping across the Caribbean. The Port’s renovations to improve its acceptance of the larger cruise lines commenced in 2016, with some additional dredging and the extension of the Heritage Quay Pier, to accommodate the Royal Caribbean’s 4,200 passenger Quantum class of cruise ships in the 2016/2017 Winter Season. A further Tourism Upgrade Project will also include long-term improvements to the downtown waterfront of Lower St. John’s; redevelopment of the duty-free shopping areas and development of a homeport terminal, a hub for shore excursions and taxis, a downtown international hotel development, and a cohesive master plan to double the number of annual cruise ship visitors to over one million by 2023, and establishing an additional 60,000 homeport cruise visitors per year. Given the plans associated with increased activity at the air and sea ports, the country will also need an improved infrastructure for roads, and Government has received financing granted under the UK Caribbean Infrastructure

Partnership Fund to improve the road network by developing and refurbishing major and secondary roadways across Antigua & Barbuda. The Government also intends to inject its own resources to refurbish and upgrade government buildings and to renovate key historical and cultural sites.

PRIVATE SECTOR CATALYST Earlier in 2015, the new Government demonstrated its ability not only to revitalize the environment for the private sector, but also to initiate significant financial transactions which contribute to the engine of growth for the country, especially in terms of its energy supplies. The Government had been a 25% owner of the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC), a corporation that held the exclusive importation of all fuel supplies into the country. WIOC was 75% owned by a European investor and the Government was able to arrange the financing of the purchase of overseas shareholding to enable it to own 100%. Soon after the purchase was concluded the Government was able to sell 49% of the shares at a cost that covered the value of its purchase price, and allowed the government to separate certain lands that were acquired in the original purchase. The acquisition is expected to have a multiplier effect in the economy, for as WIOC expands its role in supplying local and regional fuel demands and introduces extraregional sales, it will also access the acres of land that came with the purchase for conversion to commercial and residential use.

CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITMENT Antigua & Barbuda is a concerned participant in the Climate Change dialogue, and Government has been aggressively pursuing alternative systems for the production of both electricity and water. It was amongst countries | Economy


in Paris in December 2015 which brokered the agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avoid catastrophic environmental damage. Government’s commitment to play its part in making energy-efficient choices and reduce our carbon footprint is evidenced by its partnership with a private sector investor, PV Energy Ltd., to implement a number of photovoltaic installations with the total capacity of 10 MWp. The first phase of the project was the installation of a 3 MWp photovoltaic ground mounted solar farm on the southwest shoulder of the V.C. Bird International Airport. The generated power covers most of the energy consumption of the airport. The remaining 7 MWp are being implemented by PV Energy Ltd. with 4 MWp in another farm or farms in Antigua, 1 MWp for Barbuda, and a further 2 MWp for rooftop installations on Antigua’s governmentowned buildings such as ministries, schools and hospitals.

WATER SECURITY SOLUTIONS Furthering this renewable energy initiative, Antigua & Barbuda has successfully negotiated to receive US$15 million from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) for a 4 MWp wind and solar project to provide energy to desalinate water and increase climate resilience. This addition of alternative energy supplies to the APUA Water Department will immediately service the reverse osmosis plants located at Falmouth, English Harbour and Piccadilly and will aid in suppressing current water rationing, following more than two years of drought conditions. At this time, more than 95 percent of the country’s water is generated from reverse osmosis, but the process is very energy intensive and therefore quite costly. The transition to drive the process by renewable energy will 240 | Economy

therefore reduce the cost of production and improve the efficiency of reverse osmosis to convert the abundant supply of sea water to drinking and service water supplies. Additional reverse osmosis plants are planned to be established which would be able to cater for the 100% distribution of clean household water, regardless of future drought conditions. Another important infrastructure improvement, which would serve to produce secondary water supplies, is the investment and development of a sewage system and plant for St. John’s city. Not only would it assist in creating a cleaner environment to accept the major developments to be undertaken with the modernization of St. John’s Port for cargo and cruise ship activity, but the sewage plant would also strengthen its commercial viability by servicing those ships. The secondary water obtained from this source can safely be utilized for landscaping, agriculture and other nonhousehold and drinking purposes.

LIFESTYLE CONVENIENCES Another goal of implementing structural transformation is to improve the “ease of doing business”, and the report published by the World Bank on this subject has pointed out that there is room for improvements in general in the Caribbean, including Antigua & Barbuda. In response, the Government’s Ministry responsible for information and IT services has pursued the creation of an e-Government platform to include the digitization of all public records and develop the provision of online services that will allow the community to purchase the services online. Those online services are expected to include: reissuing of drivers licences, business registration, land registry services; payment of APUA bills, statutory contributions to MBS, Social Security

and Board of Education and property taxes, and will expand to facilitate payments to Customs and other Government departments.

RESIDENTIAL & TOURISM DEVELOPMENTS A major contributor to the health of the economy has been the growing performance by the Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) which in 2016 has yielded more than $200 million dollars in non-tax revenue since its inception. These earnings are being used by Government to support a variety of fiscal measures that have helped to reduce the national debt, meet certain salaries and wages and ensure a cleaner nation. CIP is also serving as an added economic benefit to attract both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and local investors to participate in construction projects. Several tourism or second-home projects are in different phases of development and include: • Construction of a three-star, 500 room Royalton Hotel at Five Islands by the Sunwing group, in which government will have 20 percent ownership stake. • Proposed conversion of the Rex Halcyon Cove into the world famous Beaches brand that is part of the Sandals Group. • Development of high-end residential properties on Maiden Island and a hotel resort on Pelican Island, by a private investor who intends to spend US$100 million in development. • Construction of the infrastructure for a five-star hotel by the Canadian investor Replay Resorts, who have already purchased the lands at Half-Moon Bay for US$23 million, and are expected to begin construction by 2017.

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority Aerial view of downtown waterfront of Lower St. John’s and Heritage Quay Pier, both areas proposed for expansion development.

Construction of a new hotel resort at Long Bay, which is which is targeted to commence by the end of 2016.

Development of resort and residential tourism projects continue at Pearns Point, Harbour Island, Hodges Bay Club, Morris Bay, and Tamarind Hills.

The start of the construction of 50 three and four bedroom villas by Yida International on the mainland, as part of the Guiana Island development project, the lands for which US$80 million have already been invested. Development of a hotel resort at Valley Church, which is designed as a joint venture between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and the Government of Venezuela, and is another spin-off from the earlier WIOC acquisition transaction.

In Barbuda, three major tourism development real estate projects are proposed and, with approval, would commence construction in 2017. These developments would include a new airport terminal and runway, a port, and renewable energy and reverse osmosis water services.

FINANCIAL SECTOR STABILITY With such a significant influx of large scale real estate developments, structural transformation projects and environmental improvement projects, the Government understood that in establishing the country as an economic powerhouse, it was necessary to revamp the financial services sector to maintain its integrity and financial stability. The first step for the Government was to resolve the issues necessary for the strengthening of the domestic commercial institutions which had 242 | Economy

been lingering under the prior administration. The second step was to address the reputation of the jurisdiction and ensure its continued compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements in meeting the current standards and requirements of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international economic organisation of 34 countries, and the United States’ Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) standards. To demonstrate its compliance, the Jurisdiction became an early adopter of the OECD’s Common Reporting Standards by legislating the required reporting infrastructure in August 2016, and also providing the US with an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) addressing its compliance with FATCA. Antigua & Barbuda has continued to strengthen its national supervisory infrastructure for financial services by making two major legislative improvements for regulated banking services in 2015/2016. First, the Banking Act 2015, replacing the Banking Act 2005, provides the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank with stronger responsibilities to supervise the domestic commercial institutions that are part of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). The new Act enhances the Central Bank’s role to regulate its licenses in conformity with international best practices. The Act requires full transparency and approval of all ownership, increases minimum paid up or assigned capital requirements and restricts ownership exceeding 20% of the voting stock without the approval of the Central Bank. Second, the International Banking Act 2016 legislates the licensing and regulation of International Banking Services, which previously was regulated under the International Business Corporations Act 1982. This new Act updates the

legislative framework for licensees regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC) in keeping with international standards, and aligns the regulation with the Banking Act 2015 for domestic commercial banks. The Act broadens the scope for licensees to participate in the national economy and introduces taxation and permitted domestic activities, including collaboration with domestic institutions to provide permitted banking services. Economic developments are also taking place at more of a ground level for the residents of Antigua & Barbuda, with the intention of improving the lifestyle of residents in respect of making daily payments and settling fees and taxes to the government. The Government has collaborated with local financial institutions and processing services to increasingly position themselves as an e-government, allowing local online payments and services. Plans are in place for integration with different departments of government and a broad cross-section of merchants are being established to significantly improve the local banking services and the settling of local payments.

ACHIEVING THE VISION Antigua & Barbuda is on a path towards achieving its goal to become an economic powerhouse and has been laying the economic cornerstones necessary for the foundation to restore the economic health of the nation. The recovery process may appear longer than expected, as significant structural transformation and investments in infrastructure and real estate developments must follow a process and observe environmental principles and regulatory governance. Importantly, once the path is established it becomes easier to enable the commitment of the people and government to achieve success.

IMAGES Top to bottom: Brian Stuart-Young delivering a speech. Courtesy Global Bank of Commerce The Excellence catamaran manoeuvring between St. John’s harbour cruise ships. Courtesy Pia Baptiste, Tropical Adventures Themeeco Group guided tour of solar panel facilities at V. C. Bird International Airport during Schools Energy Week. Photographer Andreas Linder, PV Energy Ltd.

IMAGES Top to bottom: Billionaire entrepreneur Peter Virdee, founder of PV Energy Ltd., with the Prime Minister Hon. Gaston A. Browne, cutting the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the airport solar plant facilities. Photographer Andreas Linder, PV Energy Ltd. Executive lounge at the new V. C. Bird International Airport terminal. Image courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority, Photographer Mario Charles | Economy


INVESTING IN PARADISE CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM Written by Romell Tiwari, MBA, FCCA Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program Agent.

Citizenship by Investment is the granting of citizenship status to an individual (and immediate family members) contingent upon a specified and quantifiable investment in the country. Countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Cyprus and Great Britain are among the countries that offer residency and a fast-track to citizenship to wealthy individuals for investment in their country.

IMAGE Courtesy Tamarind Hills, Antigua

244 | Economy


aribbean countries such as St. Kitts, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada and St. Lucia have all introduced their particular Citizenship by Investment Program as a means of helping with the development of their respective economies. Antigua & Barbuda joined these countries with its own version of the Citizenship by Investment Program when the Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Act was published by Order of the then Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda in 2013. The program was officially launched in October 2013 and allows an Applicant to obtain citizenship by way of investment into the country. In September 2014, a modified version of the National Development Fund (NDF) option was approved and has been renewed in April 2015 and now confirmed in April 2016 as the regular NDF option. Once an applicant is approved to be a citizen, he/she will receive a passport which can provide visa free travel to 132 countries as well as all of the other benefits associated with being a citizen of Antigua & Barbuda.

requires a minimum acquisition of real estate property of US$400,000.00. At the date of writing the number of approved developments stood at 40. Applicants who use this option to citizenship are required under the Act to maintain ownership of the real estate investment for a minimum of 5 years from the date of approval of citizenship.



National Development Fund Contribution US$200,000.00 Under the Act, an applicant may apply to be a citizen under this program by investing US$200,000.00 into the National Development Fund (NDF). The contribution to the NDF is a one-time payment to the fund.

The Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program was designed to attract investors of good character to make a substantial contribution to the development of our beautiful twin island state. As a potential applicant for citizenship, an investor is given the opportunity to apply for economic citizenship and a passport under the terms of the Citizenship by Investment Act, with additional guidelines provided by the Citizenship by Investment Unit and within the strict legal and regulatory framework. No other jurisdiction in the Caribbean region conducts the in-depth and detailed due diligence and

Real Estate Investment - US$400,000.00 (Minimum) A second option for citizenship is to acquire real estate property in an approved zoned area, in an investment that can deliver an annual rate of return. Such an investment

Investment in Business – US $1,500,000.00 (Minimum) A third option for citizenship is to invest in an approved business in Antigua & Barbuda with a minimum investment of US$1,500,000.00. In the event two or more investors wish to be joint partners in a business venture, the minimum investment required is US$5,000,000.00, with any one partner investing a minimum of US$400,000.00 in the business venture. Applicants who use this option to citizenship are required under the Act to hold their ownership of the business investment for a minimum of 5 years from the date of approval of citizenship.

verification checks before citizenship is approved as does the Antigua Program. This is done to maintain the integrity of the Antigua Program and to provide security and comfort to both the Government and citizens of Antigua & Barbuda. In January 2016, Thomas Anthony,

Programs and the passport has been ranked as the 25th most powerful passport in the world. The economic benefits to the country since the implementation of this program have been tremendous. The Honourable Gaston Browne, fourth Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda, has

EC$200 million in NDF Contributions for the year 2016 to be used to finance Government expenditure and for development projects. Contributions from the NDF are exclusively responsible for the completion of the 3 megawatt Solar Renewable Energy project in collaboration with PV Energy from

in real estate to the economy of Antigua & Barbuda over the life of the projects is expected to be in the billions of dollars. The Investment in Business option has been slow in growth (11 at the date of writing) but is expected to pick up steam with business investments in aquaculture, investing in

the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit reported that Antigua & Barbuda was invited to become an Observer Country Member of the Investment Migration Council (IMC) and that this approval will help raise the country’s international profile and place Antigua & Barbuda on the same level as countries such as Malta. In April 2016, Arton Capital, the global leader in residency and citizenship solutions rated Antigua & Barbuda first among Caribbean countries offering Citizenship by Investment

repeatedly credited the NDF Contributions from the Antigua Program as a significant contributor to the financial recovery of the country after the Antigua & Barbuda Labour Party’s (ABLP) victory at the national elections in June 2014. By August 2015, the Prime Minister reported that more than EC$50 million dollars had been pumped into the Antigua economy from NDF contributions made by approved applicants. During the presentation of the Budget for 2016, Prime Minister Gaston Browne also indicated that the country was expecting to collect

the United Kingdom. This sun2live solar energy generating and storage system is expected to provide almost all of the power needs of the V.C. Bird International Airport and generates up to 4.645 MWh per year, saving CO2 emissions from Antigua, contributing to the strategy of the Government of Antigua & Barbuda (GOAB) to address climate change and environmental degradation to our planet. Overall, the collaboration with GOAB and PV Energy will produce 10 Megawatts of solar energy. This is a major move by the GOAB to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels and cause Antigua to become a greener, environmentally friendly island. From the Real Estate option, existing approved applicants under the Antigua CIP will have invested approximately EC$100,000,000.00 when the real estate transactions for approved applicants (91) are closed. The Citizenship by Investment Program has been credited with the resurgence of the real estate industry in Antigua & Barbuda. Major projects such as the Guiana Island/Maiden Island/Crump Island project by Yida International, Paradise Resorts by Robert DeNiro and James Packer, Pearns Point Development by Orange Ltd, Nonsuch Bay Development and Verandah Estates are in various stages of construction. With a total of 40 approved real estate projects and proposed approval of resorts such as Best Western Premier and the Marriotts brands, the economy is poised for unprecedented growth in the real estate industry. The expected investment

special interest Hollywood feature movies and other business investment opportunities. In September 2015 the ABLP Government announced the establishment of a $125 million Fund under the Antigua Citizenship by Investment Program to fund the production of five (5) Hollywood feature films collaborating with Rudy Langlais (of The Hurricane & Sugar Hill fame), Valmiki Kempadoo and Don Allan. The Fund will be the first ever to use a Citizenship by Investment Program to finance Hollywood movies and is seen to be a groundbreaking move in the world of Hollywood film financing. In August 2015 the ABLP Government also announced that it is going to allow investors to invest in APUA through the Investment in Business option under the Citizenship by Investment Program. This is expected to provide capital to APUA to upgrade its telecommunications infrastructure and to make APUA competitive with International Telecoms providers such as Digicel and Flow. The benefit to APUA and the economy of Antigua & Barbuda is expected to be in the triple digit millions. The Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program has been credited by the ABLP Government as saving the economy from collapse and disaster. It is expected to be a major pillar for the future development of the economy and an integral platform making Antigua & Barbuda a major economic powerhouse in the region.

IMAGE Courtesy Nonsuch Bay Resort, Antigua | Economy


IMAGE Courtesy Tamarind Hills Antigua Resort Interior view of a Tamarind Hills villa. A stunning collection of freehold beach and ocean front villas and apartments. “Quite simply the finest address in Antigua.�

246 | Economy

IMAGE Photographer Phikwe Goodwin PG Labs - Aerial Photography & Video Aerial view from Valley Church Beach looking towards South Beach, Jolly Harbour Marina and Five Islands. | Economy


ANTIGUA DISTILLERY LTD. “WHAT SUGARCANE WANTS TO BE WHEN IT GROWS UP” Written by Lisa Farara, Antigua Distillery Ltd., Export Manager UK, EU, Australia & Asia.

Antigua’s rum history dates back to the 1700s. Our rums have since been recognised as some of the finest in the Caribbean. By the middle of the 18th Century, about 70,000 acres or half the arable land in Antigua was planted with cane. More than 150 stone sugar mills dotted the island, with their adjacent boiler houses and outbuildings. The Plantation Act of 1793 established sugar cane as the principal crop in Antigua to be exported worldwide.


n the 1920s rum shops on the island were importing rums from other Caribbean islands, blending, aging and making their own brands to sell to the public. Rum shops were a natural meeting place for the men of the village, and domino games were often played along with the inevitable banter which accompanies many glasses of rum. Many rum shop owners were Portuguese immigrants from the island of Madeira. In 1929 a group of eight of these local businessmen came together to buy molasses in bulk and control the distillation process for their rums. All were successful merchants, most were rum shop owners. In June 1932 they formed the Antigua Distillery Limited (ADL). All the founding members served as active directors of the new company. Their initial request for land in the St. John’s area was denied as the colonial government did not want a ‘smelly’ distillery in the town. They were instead given land on Rat Island, next to a onetime leper colony. The early ADL distilling equipment was a three column copper Savalle still from France. The rum produced from this still was characterised by a pronounced sweet, sugar cane nose combined with a dry, medium-bodied flavour. The rectifying section of this Still is still in use today. The first rum produced by ADL was sold in casks to local rum merchants by allotment and blended and bottled by each merchant under distinctive private labels. These rum labels had colourful names such as Red Cock, Silver Leaf, White House, Black Cock and Bolanda. In the 1940s, the company created its first brand; Caballero Rum, which was changed in 1947 to Cavalier Muscovado Rum. A lighter version of this rum, using a faster fermentation process, is still marketed today as Cavalier Antigua Rum. | Economy


TODAY’S ANTIGUAN RUM ADL is still managed by descendants of the founding directors. The Antigua Distillery continues its fine tradition of distilling rums at the Rat Island site, using one of the only two remaining continuous copper stills in operation in the Caribbean. Today, rum is an established export and has an on-going presence in the global market place. ADL are market leaders in the production of award winning Caribbean rums. In almost 100 years of continuous production, ADL have gone from strength to strength establishing ourselves in the international rum market with our pioneer brands. ADL now buys molasses in bulk on the world market in partnership with other Caribbean buyers, and the company concentrates its efforts on producing fine rum. In 1991 ADL replaced its old Savalle still with a new five column copper still from John Dore & Co. in England. With the new still in place, ADL began to expand its product mix. English Harbour Rum was introduced in 1993, a new brand of fine rum named after Antigua’s English navy heritage. In 2016, a new limited edition range of English Harbour cask-aged rums launches on island and internationally. It comprises three expressions, Oloroso Sherry, Malmsey Madeira (Blandy’s), and Port Cask (100 year old Royal Oporto Cask). The project is sentimental to ADL, inspired by the heritage of the distillery itself. The Madeira Cask Finish marries English Harbour 5 year old rum with barrels from the birthplace of the distillery’s founders. The range is built on the English Harbour 5 year old, then finished in selected casks for between 3-6 months. Anthony Bento, ADL’s Managing Director describes the expressions 250 | Economy

as maintaining “that true Antiguan rum backbone with notes of vanilla, slight pepper spice and toasty smoke.” These are mid-range rums; bought to share with friends. “The aim of the project is to create something interesting, and approachable.” Antigua Distillery is one of the Caribbean’s well known distillers of high quality rum, with products sold in over 20 regional and international markets including Germany, Sweden, Spain, Italy, France, the UK, USA, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia. Since 2014, ADL’s rums carry the Authentic Caribbean Rum Marque, which is the symbol of provenance and quality that can only be found on rums from this unique Caribbean family. This seal of approval represents integrity, authenticity and all that is ‘true’ about rum. ADL’s range of rums include English Harbour 5 Year Old, English Harbour 10 Year Old and English Harbour 1981 Vintage, which are available in local and overseas markets. Cavalier Antigua Rum is exclusive to the Antigua & Barbuda market. The Antigua Distillery’s history and ever evolving sense of adventure are reflected in their passion to develop superior quality rums. This long and interesting journey has produced a product which today unites people around the globe, spreading the love of rum far and wide. ADL rums reflect the warmth of our spirit, the Caribbean climate and our culture… both on the palate and in person. With every sip these elements shine through.

Antigua Distillery Ltd. St. John’s, Antigua, West Indies Tel: +1 (268) 480-3200 Fax: +1 (268) 480-3215 | Economy


EXCEPTIONAL ANTIGUAN RUM Every day our historic harbour front distillery makes our distinctive rum from a very simple recipe.

SKETCHES Artist GuavaDeArtist





ADL now buys molasses in bulk on the world market in partnership with other Caribbean buyers, and the company concentrates its efforts on producing fine rum.

Being near to the sea, wild yeasts visit and compliment our fermentations. Our open top fermentation tanks are integral to this process.

English Harbour Rum comes from our unique 100% copper continuous still specially made to fit the dimensions of the distillery itself. | Economy




Copper is considered to be the preferred metal for distilling high quality spirits. The choice of copper instead of stainless steel is important, as copper imparts a finer flavour to the distilled product. The “leeching” of chemical elements in the copper contributes to the mellowing of the rum as it ages.

Our ageing is very much affected by our dry tropical climate. Spirits in the Caribbean age quicker than in Europe. Our rums show a maturity and complexity comparable with European spirits twice their age. ADL ages its rum in once used 200 litre Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whisky barrels, charred on the inside to give extra depth of flavour. The aging period is never less than 2 years, and ranges from 2 to 10 years, with the occasional barrel or batch being held for as long as 25 years.

Our blending is a small batch process which takes place in 9,000 litre oak vats as old as the Company. Rums from different casks are “married” in these vats for at least 1 month for the 5 Year Old, 2 months for the 10 Year and even longer for the 1981 Vintage. The vats are vital to the production of English Harbour rum. It is here that the rum picks up its characteristic taste. This creates a distinct end product that truly speaks to its creation and has a real sense of place. | Economy



The first airline services to land in Antigua in 1927 facilitated the transportation of airmail between the United States and the Americas. In these early days, aircraft did not have a great fuel capacity, so their pilots would hop down the island chain to refuel en route to the South American continent.


eaplanes were the first aircraft used for this purpose, as few airstrips were then in existence. By the 1930s, seaplanes frequently visited the island, arriving at St. John’s Harbour. The first passenger aircraft to land in Antigua was a Dornier seaplane in August, 1931. The United States Army Air Force built and operated the first registered airport in Antigua in 1941. The airport was named after Captain Hamilton Coolidge, a US Army Air Force pilot who was killed in WW1. Renamed Coolidge Air Force Base in 1948, it was closed after a year as a result of budgetary cutbacks. The United States retained the right of re-entry and agreements were subsequently reached with the United Kingdom and later, after Independence, with the Antiguan government, to establish and maintain missile-tracking facilities on the site. Upon its closure by the United States government in 1949, the airfield became a civil airport, renamed Coolidge International Airport. In 1985, it was renamed V.C. Bird International Airport (VCBIA) in honour of Sir Vere Cornwall

254 | Economy

Bird, Antigua & Barbuda’s first Prime Minister. The original structure has been altered significantly over the years, finally resulting in the recent construction of a new terminal building, which opened in 2015. VCBIA is strategically positioned as the main hub for the Eastern Caribbean. It is one of the largest airports in the region and the most modern in the Caribbean, employing over 900 staff. This new state-of-the-art terminal, which spans 23,000 square metres, became operational in August 2015. It boasts four passenger-loading bridges, modern security screening facilities, up-to-date passenger processing and monitoring facilities and a CCTV security system. Servicing more than 50 destinations worldwide, VCBIA handles over 860,000 passengers per year. The airport is designed around the critical aircraft, the B747-400, and it can accommodate 13 aircraft parked in nosein arrangement. The airport’s exceptional Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) offer essential support services for business and private aviation, including refueling, hangarage and a variety

of other amenities essential to the safe and efficient operation of an aircraft. Antigua prides itself on leading the way toward a greener economy and in this vein has incorporated a 3 megawatt solar power plant as part of the new airport’s development. The solar energy installation includes more than 12,000 photovoltaic panels, and was developed and constructed by United Kingdom-based PV

IMAGE Courtesy The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda Above: The Dornier sea plane was Antigua’s first passenger carrier to land in St. John’s harbour on the 20th August 1931.

IMAGE Courtesy Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority, Photographer Mario Charles Opposite page: Convenient passenger airbridges at the new V. C. Bird International Airport terminal.

Energy Limited. The plant will generate up to 4.645 MWh of clean energy annually, supplying most of the energy needs for the passenger terminal of the airport, saving 3.019,50 tons of CO2 emissions on the island in the same time frame. It is hoped that this initiative will allow our nation to reduce the importation of fossil fuel, develop our own energy resources, and contribute toward the goal of reducing our carbon footprint. With VCBIA being the official gateway into the twin island state, Barbuda is home to Codrington Airport and Coco Point (private) airstrip, both modest facilities. Their short runways can accommodate light aircraft, which hold up to eight persons, and even then they are subject to take-off weight. Current scheduled airline carriers are SVG Air and Fly Montserrat, alongside private aircraft. As ‘uncontrolled aerodrome’ facilities, air traffic services for these small airports are provided by the control tower at VCBIA. The Caribbean tourism market is a

competitive one and the development of the new airport terminal in Antigua has strengthened first class Caribbean travel with a facility that can process passengers efficiently and with the modern amenities that today’s discerning traveller needs. The departure lounge offers more space to relax and an enhanced shopping and dining experience. Premium passengers will be able to access a luxury lounge facility that includes sweeping views of the airfield and the sea beyond from air-conditioned comfort or from an outdoor deck. Colin James, CEO of the Antigua Barbuda Tourism Authority states, “Our ambitious new terminal ensures that visitors have a world-class customer experience from the moment they step off the plane. The opening of the airport terminal currently marks the largest single infrastructural investment in Antigua & Barbuda and further cements our position as the Caribbean’s premier tourist destination.” An upgraded Caribbean experience is absolutely critical to the success of Antigua & Barbuda’s tourism industry.

IMAGES Clockwise: Courtesy The Museum of Antigua & Barbuda, Joe Martin-Photogenesis, Airport Services Authority (Antigua) Ltd. Charles Lindbergh’s plane landed at St. John’s harbour, 1927. Runway 10 private jet terminal and Barnacale Point, circa 2005. Coolidge International Airport, view from the ramp, circa 1950. British Airways concorde, V. C. Bird International Airport, circa 1980. Aerial view of the runways, V. C. Bird International Airport, circa 2005. Lindbergh’s aircraft preparing for departure from St. John’s Harbour, 1927. Sandals Resort’s Boeing 737 charter plane on runway at V.C. Bird International airport, 2013. British Airways concorde, V. C. Bird International Airport, circa 1980.

256 | Economy

IMAGE Courtesy Airport Services Authority (Antigua) Ltd.

Arriving British Airways Boeing 737 plane being directed by an ASA Aircraft Marshall with hand signals.


IMAGES Courtesy Airport Services Authority (Antigua) Ltd. Below: ASA providing ramp services to Concorde circa 1980. Right: British Airways ground staff at the opening of the new V. C. Bird International Airport terminal, 2015.

Airport Services (Antigua) Ltd. was founded in 1968, and was the first to handle the B747 Jumbo Jet, the B777 aircraft, and both the British Airways and Air France Concorde aircraft landing in Antigua. ASA has served British Airways as their main client from the company’s inception to the present. During 48 successful years of business they have built a prestigious client base servicing many well established airlines. ASA ground handlers provide a comprehensive range of services to airlines

including passenger services and baggage handling, supervision of flights, crew briefing, operations, aircraft ramp handling, aircraft loading and off-loading, baggage sorting and ground support equipment among others. Their passenger services unit provides airport ticketing, arrival and transfer services, special passenger and VIP services, disabilities and special needs assistance, check-in, gate services, security clearance, lost and found and baggage services. On the ramp they provide aircraft

loading and off-loading, baggage sorting, lavatory and potable water services, ground support equipment and cabin cleaning. ASA has received many accolades and awards from clients and international organisations, among them the following prestigious awards for excellence, service and safety: • IATA Certificate • British Airways Award of Excellence • British Airways Outstanding Service Award • Pan Am Superior Service Award • British Airways Customer Service Award • US Airways Safety Award • 2 British Airways awards for Customer Service Performance • First Choice Airways Award for the best long haul station

Safety is an important element of dayto-day airport operations. To date there have been no incidents or accidents with any aircraft handled by ASA and they received the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification in March 2015. They are the only ground handler in the entire Eastern Caribbean to achieve this prestigious certificate. The new Antigua airport facility is considered to be one of the best in the region and ASA Ltd. in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Airport Authority, plan to keep our destination at the top of the airport services industry. Utilizing the new airport technology to sustain their competitive edge, ASA make the business of ground handling more efficient, therefore improving the passenger experience and making Antigua & Barbuda a sought after Caribbean vacation destination. | Economy



Ffryes Bay

Mount Obama

Darkwood Beach


Turners Beach

CAPITAL: St John’s. SIZE: 108 square miles. LOCATION: Leeward Islands, Eastern Caribbean. POPULATION: Approximately 85,000. 260 | Culture

North Beach Billy Point Goat Island Rabbit Kid Island Island

Cedar Tree Point

Hog Point

The Caves

Frigatebird Sanctuary

Palm Beach

Lagoon ington Codr

Low Bay

Highland House


Two Foot Bay Gun Shop Cliff

Indian Cave Darby Cave

Hog Cliff

Codrington Airport

Pigeon Cliff

Castle Bay Martello Tower

Bryant Cave


River Beach Palmetto Point

Coco Point Airstrip

Coral Group Bay

Pelican Point

Diana, Princess of Wales Beach

TEMPERATURE: 26-32 degrees Celsius (78-90

TEMPERATURE: Similar to Antigua, but often feels

degrees Fahrenheit) all year round.

cooler, especially at night.

LOCAL TIME: Standard Time is 4 hours behind

LOCAL TIME: Standard Time is 4 hours behind

Greenwich Mean Time.

Greenwich Mean Time.

LANGUAGE: English.

LANGUAGE: English.

CURRENCY: Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC)-1US

CURRENCY: Eastern Caribbean Dollars (EC)-1US

Dollar usually exchanged at 2.65 EC Dollars.

Dollar usually exchanged at 2.65 EC Dollars.

BANKS: St. John’s, Airport, some shopping centres &

BANKS: Antigua Commercial Bank, Codrington.

main hubs such as English Harbour and Jolly Harbour.

Opening hours Monday 9:00-16:00, Tuesday-

Opening hours Mon-Thurs 8:00-14:00, Friday 8:00-

Thursday 8:00-16:00, Friday 8:00-15:00

16:00. Some banks open on Saturday morning.

Closed Saturday. ATM Available. Tel: 481-4215.

GOVERNMENT: Independent since 1981, member of

BARBUDA COUNCIL: Tel: 460-0077.

the Commonwealth.

AIRPORT: Barbuda Codrington Airport

AIRPORT: V.C. Bird International Airport.

AIRLINES: Air Montserrat and SVG Air.

AIRLINES: Air Canada-America-Alitalia-British

DOCUMENTS: A passport is required to travel to

Airways-Caribbean Airlines-Condor-Delta-JetBlue-

Barbuda from Antigua.

PAWA Dominican-Seaborne Airlines-Thomas Cook-

FERRY SERVICE: Barbuda Express,

Virgin Atlantic-WestJet-United

Tel: 560-7989/764-2291

DOCUMENTS: A passport and return/onwards

Caribbean Helicopters: Tel: 460-5900.

ticket is required. No visa required for Europeans,

DRIVING: On the left.

Americans & Canadians.

TELEPHONE: The dialling code for Barbuda is 1-268.

DRIVING: On the left.

To call Europe dial 011 + country code. For all other

TELEPHONE: The dialling code for Antigua is 1-268.

countries dial 1+ country code.

To call Europe dial 011 + country code. For all other

ELECTRICITY: 110 volts and 220 volts.

countries dial 1+ country code.


ELECTRICITY: 110 volts and 220 volts.

Hospital/Pharmacy: Hanna Thomas Hospital,


Tel: 460-0076.

Spanish Point Gravenor Bay White Bay Coco Point Palaster Reef

BARBUDA CAPITAL: Codrington Village SIZE: 62 square miles. LOCATION: 30 miles North-East of Antigua. POPULATION: Approximately 1,800.

TOURIST OFFICE: Tel: 562-7065/6.

OVERSEAS TOURISM OFFICES USA 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza - Suite 6A 305 E. 47th Street, New York, NY. 10017 Tel: +1 (212) 541-4117 Fax: +1 (646) 215-6008 Email:

CANADA 60 St. Claire Avenue East, Suite 601 Toronto, Ontario - Canada M4T 1N5 Tel: +1 (416) 961-3085 | Fax: +1 (416) 961-7218 Email: UK & EUROPE 2nd Floor, 45 Crawford Place London W1H 4LP | Tel: (0) 44 203 668-3800 Email: | Island Facts


IMAGE Photographer Justin “Jus Bus” Nation Beach football at sunset in Antigua

IMAGE Photographer Justin Peters Justin Peters Photography. Fort James (1706 - c. 1850), is situated at the mouth of St. John’s harbour. The fort still has many of its original cannons and is the site of Russell’s Seafood restaurant.


THANK YOU for taking time to read our book.

Simply Antigua Barbuda presents our islands and their people in all their natural beauty and vibrant talent. In 264 riveting pages you will learn about our winning ways with visitors and the delicious food we prepare for them, our respect for the environment and the living creatures that share the land and sea with us, our broad and vital cultural heritage and our renewed focus on the history of our nation. You will read about the progress being made to transform our nation into an economic powerhouse in the Caribbean. And you will discover Barbuda, the tranquil isle, with its eco-friendly resorts and charming pink sand beaches. Enjoy the astonishing range of our involvement in the arts, from music and dance to painting, writing and sculpture, and the amazing spectacle of Antigua’s summer festival, Carnival. We are proud to present Simply Antigua Barbuda.

ISBN 9789768254122

9 789768 254122

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.