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Ocean View chief defends clubhouse closure

revelation: government MP Kim Swan (File photograph)

The board of trustees of a public golf course has “taken possession” of the facility’s clubhouse bar and lounge and referred the matter to the police.

Government MP Kim Swan, who is the chairman of the consolidated board of trustees of the Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire, made the revelation in the House of Assembly on Friday night.

The clubhouse was shut down last month by police. It has remained closed ever since, although members are still able to play the course.

A concession was granted to Kacey Smith of Clubhouse 25 in April.

Contacted about the closure earlier this week, Mr Smith would only say: “I’ve got no comment because it’s a mess.”

He also refused to comment yesterday.

Club members complained that Mr Smith appeared to have been forced out.

Mr Swan had previously declined to comment on the matter when contacted by this newspaper.

But in a statement in the House of Assembly, he claimed that the board had been “misrepresented” by one former trustee, and that Mr Smith owed “thousands of dollars” in rent.

Speaking under parliamentary privilege during the motion to adjourn, Mr Swan, a professional golfer, told MPs: “I’ll make representations as the chairman of the consolidated board of trustees and I’m speaking this evening with regards to the Ocean View bar and restaurant concession.

“We, the consolidated board of trustees, we now have taken possession of our premises following a failed tenancy agreement.

“We apologise for being unable to offer our restaurant services while we recalibrate - but given the complaints about the conduct of persons illegally occupying our premises that was not befitting of a golf course’s clubhouse - we will endeavour to reorganise in a timely fashion.

“Sadly, Mr Speaker, the board of trustees were misrepresented by a now former trustee, and Mr Speaker, we are also owed thousands of dollars in unpaid rents and utilities by our former tenant who worked in collaboration with the former trustee.

“For the record, we have referred the matter to the Bermuda Police Service. Mr Speaker, and we thank the golfing public for their patience, and respectfully Mr Speaker ask them to bear with us while we reorganise. Thank you, Mr Speaker.”