Thursday, December 15, 2011

Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park

In Road Town, on Wickham's Cay I, near the Administration Complex and cruise ship dock, there is a restful little spot called the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park.

The Park commemorates the Positive Action Movement of 1968. In 1968, the government of the BVI was contemplating leasing the area now known as Wickham's Cay I and the entire island of Anegada to a man named Ken Bates. The term of the lease would be 199 years, and Mr. Bates would be granted exclusive rights to develop the area.

 Perhaps the "Bates Hill Lease" as it was known would have gone through, but Mr. Bates made clear his intention that he would not allow BVIslanders access to the lands granted in the lease except as workers on the properties he expected to develop.

Understandably, this proposition upset Mr. Noel Lloyd, and on the 3rd of December 1968, he took positive action: he marched alone in Road Town to protest the lease. The next day, many other BVIslanders joined him, and the marches continued for several weeks until finally, the Bates Hill scheme was scuttled.

Today, the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park stands on Wickham's Cay I - the very land BVIslanders would have been kept from had the Movement not occurred. It is the site of many festivals and gatherings throughout the year, and offers a peaceful pause from the hustle of Road Town.

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