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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, March 3, 2024
HomeCommentaryOpen forumOpen forum: This Magnanimous Gift Should Not Be Abused

Open forum: This Magnanimous Gift Should Not Be Abused

Magens Bay beach on St. Thomas. (Source photo by Sian Cobb)

I was so moved by Shaun Pennington’s editorials on Magens Bay that I wanted to add my fond memories of that beautiful beach and its impact on my life and others.

My father and my siblings were one of the few families living in Estate Rosendahl in the 40s/50s.  My father, Frederick Esannason, loved nature and against all taunts from the town folks as being a “country bookey,” built the first house in that area.  No electricity, no paved roads nor transportation, no shops existed but there was Magens Bay — our own summer camp.

We would hike down to the beach using our own shortcut (which fortunately had a cool spring at its end) and spend the entire day there. The only two employees were Charlie Malone, the caretaker, and my uncle, Etienne Querrard, who took care of the grounds.  Both kept an eye out on us as we swam, dove off boulders, skylarked and ate sea grapes and coconuts under the shade of their trees.  Usually too exhausted to go back up the trail, Charlie would let us hitch a ride part way up the road on his donkey if the donkey would allow.

Beyond serving as a fun summer activity for us, Magens Bay was an important learning place for the many boys my father “Scoutmaster Esannason” trained. For many of them it was the first time to see and enjoy the Northside and Magens Bay. But beyond learning how to swim, serious life and camping skills took place which many testified helped them through adulthood.

Magens Bay is a precious and valuable place that has played an enormous role for generations of local citizens. Its beauty has also captivated many from other places to enjoy. Arthur Fairchild’s magnanimous gift should not be abused nor its deed’s stipulations be ignored by greed nor by an over population of visitors.

Magens Bay Authority will be hosting a town hall meeting at 9 a.m., this Saturday, Jan. 27, at Magens Bay at Shed 2 for the public’s feedback on future plans for both Magens Bay and Smith Bay. Your attendance and input are critical to help safeguard our natural treasures.

— Thyra Hammond of St. Thomas

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