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Friendship Bay Hotel keeps throughway open for public

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Residents of St.Hilary, Bequia, are being allowed to pass through the grounds of the Friendship Bay Hotel without any hindrance.{{more}}

This assurance has been given by the receivers from Roy Bailey of Ernst & Young in the Cayman Islands after they took control of the Friendship Bay Hotel’s infrastructure on Friday, April 23, 2010.

The initial position was to also close the access route used by locals, but after a meeting between Claire Loebell, Ishmel DaSilva and James Turner of Roy Bailey; and Herman Belmar, Deputy Director of Grenadines Affairs, an agreement was quickly reached.

“The issue involves an easement that is afforded the people who live on the other side of the island and the fishermen who need to get to the jetty. From the early times, when that entire area was an estate, St.Hilary and Friendship Bay was one estate and people had an easement to be able to access the other side of the island through the estate.

“When the … original owner bought the estate, he afforded the people the same right to be able to transit through his property and that arrangement continues right through to today,” Belmar explained.

He noted fishermen protested shortly after news circulated that the gates of the Friendship Bay Hotel had been closed, but he immediately went to the area and resolved the matter.

Belmar explained that the receivers have no problem with the Friendship Bay Hotel being used as an access route.

“They have given the right to the security guards to allow the fishermen and other persons accessing that side of the island to pass through without any hinderance,” said Belmar.

Belmar explained that neither the Guardsman security officer nor the receivers had prior knowledge that there was an easement of traffic through premises of the Friendship Bay Hotel.

“That had to be clarified and it was done pretty quickly,” said Belmar.

Meanwhile, Belmar, who contested the 2005 General Elections on a Unity Labour Party ticket, said the workers who were affected by the closure of the Friendship Bay Hotel said they were paid for the month of April and are being kept on an employment rotation system under the management of Lars and Margaret Abrahamsson, who manage two other businesses in Bequia: Jack’s Bar and Devil’s Table.