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Anegada community centre closes; Sr citizens’ programme suffers

- Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre building roof allegedly unstable; infested with bats
The Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre on Anegada has been closed due to unsafe conditions. Photo: Team of Reporters
The roof of the Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre on Anegada is reportedly unstable and infested with bats. Photo: Team of Reporters
The roof of the Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre on Anegada is reportedly unstable and infested with bats. Photo: Team of Reporters
The Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre was built by Anegada Progressive League, a group of Anegadians living in New York, USA. Photo: Team of Reporters
The Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre was built by Anegada Progressive League, a group of Anegadians living in New York, USA. Photo: Team of Reporters
THE SETTLEMENT, Anegada, VI- The results of the National Democratic Party (NDP) Administration leaving the country broke continue to be felt from Anegada to Jost van Dyke and in almost every community of the Virgin Islands.

It has now directly hit the senior citizens on the sister island of Anegada.

It was around October of 2016 that the building housing the Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre in The Settlement, Anegada was shut.

It is our newsroom’s understanding that the building lacks maintenance and the roof is allegedly unstable. In addition, there is the issue of bats living in the roof and their droppings are affecting the use of the building.

One of the concerns, according to our information, is that there is no money to address the problem of the roof due to the poor state of the territory's finances.

The community centres throughout the British Overseas Territory are under the Social Development Department, a portfolio of the Ministry of Health and Social Development (MH&SD).

Seniors stay home

As a result of the Community Centre in Anegada being closed for months, it resulted in the indefinite suspension of the senior citizens’ programme.

The seniors used to engage in art and craft, playing dominoes, praying together and were also given a hot meal.

The stoppage of the senior citizens' programme also affected economic activities for the already depressed sister island. The hot meal services provided economic opportunities for small businesses on the island and now that there is no place for the programme, it has placed even more economic challenges for some locally owned businesses.  

There are reports that the centre closure has been communicated to the Social Development Department, the Ministry of H&SD and the District Representative, first termer Dr The Honourable Hubert O’Neal (R9).

The Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre was built by the Anegada Progressive League, a group of Anegadians living in New York, USA.

Meanwhile, Anegada District Officer Shirley Vanterpool-Evans confirmed to this news site this morning, January 14, 2017 that the Emile E. Dunlop Community Centre remains closed.

29 Responses to “Anegada community centre closes; Sr citizens’ programme suffers”

  • Lilly (14/01/2017, 11:33) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    SMH even the seniors can't get a hot meal while they spend $7 Million on a airline and $1 Million on a wall SHAME ON THIS GANG
    • the rock (14/01/2017, 15:47) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
      Anegada has a lot of wealthy people, come on guys this is the time to come together--Volunteering is the rent we pay to live on this earth, I saw the bvi little league baseball association got a few of u all to work together and one of the best baseball field was built in the bvi, now its time for another togetherness!
    • Inez (14/01/2017, 18:40) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      All they have to do is spend a few thousand to put on a new roof and the bats will have to go elsewhere. That is what I did to my house. No bats for 14 years now.
      • qc (14/01/2017, 21:04) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
        With the "hand out Mentality" so prevalent among many some of you people what can i say!!!!
    • @LilLY (15/01/2017, 10:44) Like (7) Dislike (4) Reply
      Parasitic behaviour and expectations will be the detriment of folks like yourself. The Govrnment's obligation is to give the seniors a hot meal? Not their children, not members of their family but Gov? It is called a community center so said community ,if they posessd an inkling of decency and respect for their elders would band togther and replace the roof without a whisper and maintain the structure consistently. Shame on the Anegada Community!!!!
  • VG (14/01/2017, 11:45) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    After the xmas break da seniors programme in vg stop too what a shame
  • me (14/01/2017, 12:14) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
    This is so shameful. The youth have to deal with a cracking education system despite how much baldy want to flash his teeth and say otherwise. Now our seniors who are suppose to be the pillars of our country are made to suffer. Smh....shame on all of us as a country because its all of us who voted in this administration twice in a row.....and its all of us that sitting back and taking the nonsense the dishing out.
  • We say (14/01/2017, 12:31) Like (16) Dislike (16) Reply
    Oh please. What Senior Citizens Program? And which small business were getting business from there? There are hardly any Seniors going there. 2 if so much. It was more of a meals on wheels program and the 2 or 3 who go get there just in time to eat lunch and leave.

    I would say shame on NDP if there was an actual program but there isn't one. The people who go and again the 1 or 2 don't need to go. Only one person who goes there is really in need of a hot meal..persons who work all their lives outside of BVI retiring and collecting huge pension now come back and going to eat there while the persons who work hard for BVI can't get a plate. It needed to close. I am more concerned for the people who were working there so I hope some provisions were made for them to collect a stipend while they look for something to do and not indefinitely because work is available.

    The community Centre needs to be repaired and used for what it was intended for in the first place. Because of this pseudo Senior Citizens program other community members were denied access for community events. In addition the SS Department shopped their groceries in Tola and send it by Ferry so no small business in Anegada was not getting any sale from them.

    VINO you are usually spot on but you missed the bus on that one. Sometimes you need to investigate a little further before publishing.. Inquire again take a poll and tell me 1. How much Seniors go there. 2. How much get a meal. 3. Which small businesses they do business with in Anegada. When you give the answer to those concerns I will support the reopening of the program. Until then let it stay closed please.. Too much tax payers hard earned money going to waste.

    Disclaimer: I am not against the Seniors or having a program for them but it must be functional and must serve them well otherwise it is just another money wasting, time wasting forum that no one benefits from. I expect some likes and dislikes but that's ok I don't expect everyone to agree but that's my opinion from the knowledge I am privy too and I am sticking with it.

    Thank you VINO for allowing me to express my opinion.
    • @ we say (14/01/2017, 14:26) Like (11) Dislike (12) Reply
      Stop trying to mislead the public up to 6 senoirs atteded the programme and the smith lady use to provide the meals..vino you are spot on as always
  • facts (14/01/2017, 12:35) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    you need to get some, the meals got stopped due to the Hodge ferry refusing to carry them anymore, they were never made on island, everything else is correct, perhaps you should run a story on the subsidies the government give the ferry companies yet they then tell us we can do a full shop when we travel down as they dont want to haul it.
  • vip (14/01/2017, 13:02) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    The ndp killed the vip's legacy
  • eye doctor (14/01/2017, 13:04) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    So people up in anegada stop getting old?
  • Hmmmmm (14/01/2017, 14:14) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Anegada senior's center is not the only one closed down Tortola have some closing as well
  • Lion's Club (14/01/2017, 15:08) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    It was the Lion's Club of Virgin Gorda that started the seniors programme,and it was one of the best programme that was started for the seniors of VG. Well organized with craft,games,playing dominoes,prayers,singing,and even to have little concerts.
    From the time the government took on the role,it was never the best, perhaps the Lion's Club, Roteract,Interact, and all other clubs should get together,and take it back from the hands of the government. It will be better off.
    Too much of a disgrace to see the seniors treated this way.
  • island man (14/01/2017, 21:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    As a small place like us of 35 thousand people I wonder why we can't get it right.
  • dog (15/01/2017, 06:38) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you vino for the light into darkness
  • Thing to talk (15/01/2017, 09:24) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    But they can frig up our money on a a airline 7 mil that can't come to light they could of give it to bratwaite a "local" i bet he wod of have it together by now they can find money for a airport beef island that the country don't need but can't find nothing for the locals but we locals is the dummy's that have to stand in the line in the hot sun to vote so the whites can benifit it's a shame
  • casper (15/01/2017, 10:29) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is how we honor our sad.
  • Schuups (15/01/2017, 10:58) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    What a disgraceful set of Christian believing nondogooders in this place and Anegada have the audacity to go public with the bs. The two or three seniors on that Island who is in want of a donated free meal and none of you could give it? Waiting on the Government? A new roof on the small structure built for the community at large free for their utilization known as the Community Center and all the able bodied and big house owners and moneyed and wont give service or material..Waiting for Government hand out?....Go suck an egg you disgusting maggots!

  • Political Observer (PO) (15/01/2017, 14:21) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Residents of Anegada, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, the Southern Cays (Peter. Salt, Cooper) and other outlying islands have always been treated as second class citizens. But this is gross neglect and a bridge too far. Seniors must be treated better in their golden years and in the sunset of their lives. The VI find $7M to fund a bankrupt airline, BVI Airways, wasted $1M on a wall at ESHS........etc. Surely, we can find a couple thousand $$$$$ to keep a senior center on Anegada in operational shape and operational. It is shameful and embarrassing. Common on Hon Skelton, you are more compassionate than this so fix the center and open it soonest. Where is the Premier, Hubert, Walwyn, and Archie? We know that election is several years away but Anegada seniors need you know and urgently. Residents diaspora in America and elsewhere, rest of world and voters are watching with interest. You too Andrew! Stop treating Anegada as an unwanted outpost.
  • @PO (15/01/2017, 17:32) Like (3) Dislike (5) Reply
    An island with 300 or so residents and two or three seniors requires a community center? Funded and maintained by Government, Seriously? Since they have no caring family there, then it would be more cost effective to rehouse the 2 or 3 seniors who are berefit for a hot meal, on Tortola. The cost to maintain a building, and this one is not itty bitty in size, for three or so alone seniors would not be worth it and being on Tortola where they could interact with their peers would be a win win for all.
    • Factcheck (15/01/2017, 22:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
      Firstly, this story is kind of misleading on that it gives the impression that the centre was there for use by the Seniors only and that's not what it was built for. It was built for the community to use for any event: concerts, meetings, parties, wedding receptions and more. It is not under the control of the people; it is under Social Development now, therefore for accurate info I would advise VINO to start there.
      Furthermore, for someone to come on here and blog that people are "maggots" or people to insinuate that family members aren't feeding their elderly family members is unnecessary- there are not two seniors attending but somewhere between 9 and 12, which isn't a big difference from the number that was in the VG Seniors group.
      The point is.. we as a people can do better and so can the Govt. Together, we can all achieve more. That centre was even more importantly a shelter in the event of any disaster so rather than focus solely on whether there should be a Seniors programme or not, put more energy into coming up with solutions
    • Political Observer (PO) (15/01/2017, 22:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ @PO, delivering social services, including senior services, is a cost of governing. So seniors on Anegada regardless of the number should be deprived of even basic senior services because they reside on Anegada, the most remote point from Road Town, BVI capital and seat of government? So seniors have to live on Tortola to enjoy the benefits of a community center where they can interact with other seniors at the sunset of their lives? Government needs to refurbish the Emile E. Dunlap Community Center or find a temporary location for the center until a multi-purpose facility that includes senior services is constructed, equipped and opened.

      Just closing the current community center and walking away is a slap in the face to seniors at the sunset of their lives and will be a national disgrace. Seniors on Anegada are equally as deserving to senior services as seniors on the main island of Tortola. For too long residents on Anegada and residents on other outlying islands have been treated as second class citizens. Similarly, residents on Anegada for too long have received poor political representation. Stop the marginalization of Anegadians. Enough is enough.
  • Stop whiming (15/01/2017, 21:16) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    All the people who in Anegada collecting government salary for work they are not doing ; the firemen, ones at the airport who on government time setting fish and lobster pots ; the electricity cooperation workers and some of those lazy teachers in that school need to get up off their asses and help to improve their community. Most of them already being paid by government for doing nothing anyways so they could help to maintain the community for free. Yes the government is responsible for doing certain things in a country but responsible citizens do help to fill the gap when necessary.
    • zip it (02/06/2017, 09:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @stop Whining. you sound like you are hating? are you not working like the folks you listed? Apparently the ones receiving paychecks are a factor in Anegada! Teachers especially! How is a teacher lazy they can only produce the material for a child to learn? It's up to the child to recieve it. You sound like a disgruntle parent? the program is a government Program so THEY are responsible not the community. Just because it is called a community center uhmmm they don't mean it literally!! lolololol
  • wake up (16/01/2017, 19:09) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    No one truly cares about the seniors. Most people have sweet talk and nothing substantial to offer. If the care was genuine, the seniors wouldn't be experiencing such treatment no matter where they reside. And who all think they better than us who live on the outer islands, think again. Time to stop using sister island terminology.

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