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Another disruption for St David’s

Dear Sir,

When the Atlantic Charter and Land Lease Act was signed between Sir Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt in 1941, it led to a painful period in the history of St David’s. This agreement led to the sacrifice of their land and properties for the building of the American base.

In 1942, Henry Mortimer “Tommy” Fox, who owned Ruth’s Bay and more than 30 acres of land, declared he would do anything for the King of England and the war effort. His land was taken and two years later he was dead; possibly of a broken heart. The devastation of his property was more than he could bear. The Americans converted the beautiful Ruth’s Bay, which was frequented by many picnickers, into a dump. Trash was routinely set alight, sending offensive black plumes of smoke into the air that affected not only the laundry but also the health of the St David’s Islanders.

If you look for Ruth’s Bay today, it cannot be found. For those who know where it was, it is a desecrated area filled with boulders, casuarina trees and trash that has been carelessly thrown into the sea.

In recent days, I see that the people of St David’s are facing another disruption. Their primary school, established in 1893 and the oldest racially integrated school on the island, has been slated for closure. In those days, it was not easy to get to St David’s Island. Dedicated teachers travelled by boat, often in inclement weather from St George’s, to fulfil their commitment to the parents and students.

How much more do the people of St David’s have to sacrifice? For goodness sake, have we no compassion, have we no feelings for the history of disruption and the loss this community has already endured? Here it is, more than 80 years later and they are once again being asked to give up something they cherish — their beloved school. What will become of the building? Will it sit there as a modern-day reminder of another painful loss?

Once again, I am reinforcing my plea to this government to have some sensitivity in decision-making, particularly as it relates to the history of this island.



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Published December 02, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated December 02, 2023 at 7:09 am)

Another disruption for St David’s

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