The Saba Islander

by Will Johnson

Now happening on Saba

1006125_10201448569716731_1415369232_n0f376801c6487e1631736ba66ebe677f37886d1c1ffbf1c347a5b2bf0cf5cd96   There are those who want to pretend as if nothing is happening on Saba. All over the island there is construction going on. The GEBE underground cabling is finally underway connecting the old power plant on St. John’s with Windwardside and Hell’s Gate. The airport had already been connected to Hell’s Gate. When this is all completed most of the island will have underground cabling. The poles can then be removed. A number of private buildings are in progress, and also work continues on the upgrading of the hospital. There are also plans to upgrade the airport runway.

What is also interesting are the two large murals being painted unde05d026cbbf7d006916e458d01ec047b391afc86da0387e683759851038469a0er the guidance of the artist Joan Bourque. I put my two cents in by suggesting the people who should be honoured on these murals. So at the harbor we have people like William Rudolph “Chila” Dinzey who used to be the boat captain bringing goods and people safely to shore in former times. Before him through the centuries there were other boat captains but we only went back as far as “Chila”. He was followed by William James “Jimma” Heyliger (and his two sons Nederville and Carlton) so in effect “Jimma” represents three boat captains of the Heyliger family. Also Marion Every who “manned” the signal station from her home on St. John’s. Mr. Alva Hassell who grew up around Miss Marion travelled with me to Curacao last week. I realized that he would be able to tell me what the balls represented. When they were all horizontal it meant there was no vessel in sight. When in the distance a vessel was sighted one ball was displayed vertically. This alerted the boatmen and porters in The Bottom to be ready if the boat was coming to Saba. As it got closer to the island a second ball was raised and a third one as it became clear that the vessel was indeed coming to Saba. When it went out of sight behind the hill the fourth one was raised so it was time to then rush down to the Fort Bay. If the vessel came in sight from behind “Old Booby Hill” three balls were raised immediately and then the fourth ball when the vessel went behind the hill above the Fort Bay. If it appeared that the vessel was not coming in to Saba then all four balls were immediately dropped into their permanent horizontal position. The mural at the Fort Bay also honours Mrs. Rebecca Levenston-Jones who for many years brought up the mail from the Fort Bay a0nd Ladder Bay and who also was a porter carrying large trunks and other goods all over the island. The Leo Chance pier was opened on his birthday November 8th, 1972 and made a vast difference in how passengers and goods were brought to the island. Over the years because of destructive hurricanes several times the harbor had to be repaired and expanded. The mural makes a good statement to arriving tourists to Saba.

The other mural is at the Juancho Irausquin airport. This year on September 18th will be FIFTY years since the airport was officially opened. This airport made a great difference in the lives of Sabans. A number of people will be honoured by having photo’s of these people posted over the door and over the mural. This project is being financed by the Saba Enhancement Fund. We want to congratulate Joan on her fine work and also people, like Malachy MacGee, Glenn Holm and his staff at the Tourist Bureau and others who helped her in this undertaking. These murals are now there for all to enjoy so even if you are not travelling take a drive down to either the Fort Bay or the Airport and enjoy the murals.13229

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