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Bomba Shack dilemma BVI’s newsmaker of 2017

Photo depicting sections of Tortola. Photo by Davion Smith/BVI News Journalist

Post-hurricane articles detailing the impacts of the September weather events on the British Virgin Islands have been marked as the biggest newsmakers for the year 2017.

According to BVI News’ tally, reports that tourism hotspot Bomba Shack was in danger of not being rebuilt is the top newsmaker for last year.

Bomba Shack, which was located in Capoon’s Bay, is owned and operated by Wellington ‘Bomba’ Smith and was leveled during Hurricane Irma.

Bomba reported that the land where the shack is located is owned by a relative who forbade him from rebuilding on the property.

This sparked a major public discussion among residents and visitors; most of whom described the issue as unfortunate.

“Bomba is too big to go down. The government needs to help the owner to re-establish this iconic building,” one social media-user had said in response to the BVI News publication.

“They have to give him back his small piece of land. It has always been one of the fun places to visit on the island,” another commented.

On the other hand, while several readers empathized with Bomba, they opined that he has no real legal defence to retain the land.

Internet report sparked outrage 

In the meantime, the United Kingdom report that branded the BVI as an underperforming country with one of the most expensive internet services on the planet was also another major newsmaker for the year.

United Kingdom researchers reported that, of the 196 countries in the world, the BVI was ranked a miserable 181 in order of internet affordability.

This report caused local internet providers, government, and local telecoms watchdogs, TRC, to face heavy criticism.

Other newsmakers

Other newsmakers for the year included the BVI Airways saga. The airline accepted $7 million from government to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami, then laid off all its staff and claimed that it did not have enough money to fly.

Bishop John Cline’s controversial resignation as Chairman of the BVI Health Services Authority also earned a place among the top newsmakers for last year.

The November 2017 double-murder of a man and an 11-year-old girl was also high on the list.

Other highlights for the year include government representative, Delores Christopher’s remarks that locals should jealously guard their lands, as well as the public feud between Second District Representative Melvin ‘Mitch’ Turnbull and Premier Dr D Orlando Smith.

That feud resulted in what can be described as a rift in the National Democratic Party government.

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16 Comments

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  1. New Year says:

    Wow that’s how much people care about bomba😳

  2. Wow says:

    That Cline made news…smh

  3. HMPH says:

    Who is Delores Christopher?

  4. Just a Boy says:

    Nice. I expected us to be ranked that low around the world. The internet providers are ridiculous with these prices.

  5. Aunt Flow says:

    Me just sitting here, waiting for the article to fully load

  6. Chris K. says:

    We’ve been going to the BVI’s for 30 years, sailing and supporting the economy. We have encouraged many friends to visit the BVI’s and they have. We tell them a “Must See” is “Bomba Shack”. There are few things in the world you can’t explain. This is one of them. It is an experience, not a place. It holds in it’s hands part of the essence of your archipelago. Tortola (particularly the West End) will never be the same without it.

  7. Food for thought says:

    Wasn’t bomba shack built on the beach and bond by a public round I thought the beaches in the BVI belong to the people. Therefore how can the land owner stop him from rebuilding. They dont own the beach. The people do.

  8. sam the man says:

    Bomba’s shack is unique – the first time I visited it wasn’t what I expected but I had a fun night and it has developed a reputation as a fun place to visit…It is sad that a family feud has jeopardized this being rebuilt but selfishness and jealousy will always ruin things…It’s not for Government to sort, Bomba should just buy another parcel of land and move on – forget his brother as he seems determined to spoil the legacy, but people won’t forget his part in this..

  9. Future says:

    We chose our friends but not our relatives so Bomba needs to ditch any hope of persuading his brother to be kind/sympathetic and move on and establish himself somewhere new without having to rely on “family” that clearly don’t care about him and the benefits he brings to the Island – jealousy is poison!

  10. see says:

    With the condition of the country and the people without homes or jobs and the crime situation .. the loss of a pile of wood is major news . SMH

  11. (to see or to understand) says:

    some of us just don’t get it.

  12. Socrates says:

    What is the real story behind this alleged family feud? What is Bomba side, family member side and the the truth. Most often there are least three sides to a story.

    • sam the man says:

      Socrates you are right…but it’s v sad that things have developed as they have…His brother should do the right thing and stand with him rather than use the opportunity to make some money… but profit over family is a recurrent theme here….

    • Drummer says:

      That’s right. There is always another angle. I’m speculating here, but if my family member used my property without enough consideration, I would be upset and would put an end to the abuse at the first opportunity.

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