By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
Tessa Callwood said she “took a chance” when she left her Australian home for the Caribbean in 1971. She in was in search of a worthwhile business venture.
That chance has since resulted in what she described as 47 adventurous years of marriage to local legend, Philicianno ‘Foxy’ Callwood.
“I was in the hotel business and I thought of coming and looking at the hotel business in the Caribbean … so I took a chance and went to Gibraltar. I was sitting in a bar on the main road waiting for the boat and then down the road comes a group of men. I recognized the skipper of the boat and among them was this black guy in a yellow slicker — he proved to be my future husband.”
She and her soon-to-be husband — who was returning from Europe to the BVI for what was an upcoming tourist season — shared a cabin during the trans-Atlantic journey to the Virgin Islands.
It was during the voyage that Foxy decided to ask her to work in his bar. She agreed. And as Mrs Callowood described it, “the rest is history”.
The union produced three children — Justin, Christian and Jemilla Callwood.
I found what I was searching for
Thinking back on to the moment she decided to venture to the Caribbean and the moment to accepted Foxy’s request work at his bar, Mrs Callwood said she found what she was searching for when she met her husband.
“An adventure — that’s what I was in search of and that’s what I found. You never could predict what was going to happen or what would happen. We had a saying back then: ‘When you come to Foxy’s, expect the unexpected’, and that is what life was like. I threatened to leave a lot! But I never did, I am still here,” she admitted.
“In retrospect, life is different from when you are starting up. I guess I’ve changed my idea about pre-nuptials because maybe it is not such a bad idea,” she said lightheartedly after being asked if she had any advice for persons hoping to marry.
She continued: “You want to decide on your role, and your own route and the other person should decide on theirs so that is all out in the open and you know where you are going, and you are going together.”
Who is Foxy
Foxy, the barefooted musician, is perhaps one of the most famous residents of Jost Van Dyke and the wider Virgin Islands.
He is known for his tamarind bar, his annual Old Year’s Night party, the Hemp Fest, his school of music, among other things.
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