The Daily News. Friday. July 1999 Island Lfe 21
Remember Magens Bay, say no to Beal land swap
The proposed land swap. which
includes historic Camp Arawak
deeded to the people of the Virgin
Islands. for Beal Aerospace's plots
at estates Whim and Grange Hill
will come to a climax today. A
hearing to discuss the proposed
exchange is set for 5 p.m. today at
the senate chamber in 'Freedom
City" Frederiksted. I remind you,
this is the same town in which our
emancipation took place 151 years
ago. History will be made again in
"Freedom City" when the citizens of
the Virgin Islands particularly those
on St. Croix tell the world and this
government NO to the swapping of
our land with an outside developer.
The senators of the Virgin Islands
better listen attentively to the people
of these islands. Believe me. this is
not the first lime this government
tried to rezone or swap land deeded
to the people.
Attorney General Iver A.
Stridiron knows what happened to
the Magens Bay land deed issue.
Strdiron was a seator at the time of
the public outcry regarding the
rezoning of Mng-s Bay property.
On Dec. 27, 1946, Arthur S.
Fairchild transferred Magens Bay to
the Magens Bay Authority. I quote
from a portion ofthe deed.
"WHEREAS on June 25, 1943.
Arthur S. Fairchild offered to the
Municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John, a portion of his Estate adjoin-
ing the beach at Magens Bay, the so-
called park area. and all the beach
except for a portion at the South
end. and WHEREAS it being the
intention of Arthur S. Fairchild that
said land shall be accepted. main-
tained and used by the Municipality
as a Public Park for the use of the
people of the Virgin Islands in per-
petuity without discrimination of
any kind. as to race. color, creed, or
natural (sic) origin, and WHERE-
AS it is the desire of Arthur S.
Fairchild that the preservation of the
natural beauty of the area with its
trees and vegetation shall be a prime
consideration in maintaining such
an area for the public; all buildings
should further harmonize with the
scene (sic) both order to enhance the
natural beauty both within the area
and surrounding estates."
I believe Mr. Fairchild was a nat-
uralist and had a vision for Magons
Bay. He also stated. "Another con.
sideration that influenced me great-
ly was my hope that I could preserve
the extraordinary combination of the
beauty of the bay and its surround-
ing hills. To allow those slopes to be
deprived of their well wooded cov-
ering To treat them ol erwise than
according to a general plan: or to
utilize them for any commercial
purpose would have resulted, I
believed, in the loss by our island of
its greatest asset."
He flrther stated. "When normal
limes stum (ie. after the war) we
will tha discover that our climate
vision the community has so largely
In 1984. there was rezoing of
Magens Bay property to build a lux-
ury resort. I am sony I cannot go
into detail due to space in this col-
H Rnintet umn. However, the Beal Acrospace
swapping of land is similar to the
rezoning of Magens Bay property.
The Magens Bay issue was a politi-
and scenic beauty are our best. cal and social one. There was inter-
though intangible. exports. I should nal fighting politically within the
be strongly inclined to do every- Magens Bay Authority.
thing possible to prevent any one
person. or class, or element in the On Aug. 2. 1985. a conference
community from doing so, (i.e. was held regarding developing a
exploiting die area for personal ben- resort at Magens Bay. Some rn-
eit). The deed would state tha Ihe be of Magens Bay Authority
property is dedicated to ithe benefit attended the conference to discuss a
and enjoyment of the inhabitants of master plan with the developers for
the Virgin Islands of the United Magens Bay property. I quole. "The
Slates in perpetuity." Magens Bay Authority disclosed
In 1946. The Municipality of St. that they had worked closely with
Thomas and St. John acquired r he developer to devise a muter
Magens Bay Beach along with 50 plan for the Mages Bay area. John
adjoining acres as a gift rron Madro, one ofthe member of the
Fairchild. The 1947 annual report of Authority, objected to Armour's
the Governor of the Virgin Islands participation. and opined that
sated the following in regard to Armour's assistance would appe
Mags Bay property.-...The beach to the general public as if the
which is more than 00 yads long. Authority favored Anmour's deved-
is regarded by world travelers as one opmini plans.
of themost magnificent lo be found Mr. Guido Moron, a member of
anywhue. The grove contains nmay the Authority for more Ihnu 30
rare and beauiful tres. The entire years, resigned from thF board.
area is to be developed by the St. Moron, a friend of the In Farchild.
Thomas Parik Aulthoity for public sated in the Daily on August
recreation in acordce with the 6, 1985,"... hedoes wal to si
wishes of dbe public spirited donor on the Board while Mgens Bay is
through whode generosity and turned into a general Coney island "
Do we want the Great Pond area
to be turned into a rocket factory for
41 jobs according to Beat IDC
application? What will happen to all
the tax breaks Beat will get from
this govemment? Here it is another
big corporation paid little or nothing
into our treasury while we the little
people pay tax on our property.
Well. the senators on the voted to
rezone Magens Bay. And in the
1984 election. only five incumbent
senators were re-elected, eight were
voted out of office and two did not
to run for re-election.
The new elected senators repealed
the bill to rezone Magens Bay. The
bill was forwarded to the Governor
for signature, but the Governor
vetoed the repeal. However, the veto
was overridden and the repeal
What happened to Magens Bay
land rezoning deal should be a
warning to senators and our
Governor today. Believe me people.
the life of the Great Pond Bay is in
our hands. Stand up, I say and fight
for the Great Pond Bay environ-
ment. In closing, I acknowledge Dr.
Eddie Donoghue for giving me this
information on the Magens Bay