Sunday, September 01, 2019

Abaco hit hard by Dorian

I first posted this in December, 2017 and apologize for repeating it. I do so because it explains why I have such a deep love for the Island of Abaco and why it is breaking my heart today to see it being devastated by Dorian.

The winter of 1974 my husband and I took a trip to a small “out-island” in the Bahamas. We knew it was remote and with few amenities but it was within our budget and we agreed that it would be good for Dick who's diabetes & asthma were acerbated by the cold weather.

After a flight to Eleuthra and a short boat ride we found ourselves in a picturesque fishing village on the island of Spanish Wells. The people were very friendly and the island was so small that we were able to see it all on the first day. The fishermen were on shore that week so the local “watering hole” was really hopping and they were thrilled to have a new set of ears to listen to their folklore. We also met the only other visitor to the island. He was a man in his 40’s, casually dressed in beach garb and we could tell he was a regular and very well liked.

We found that we had a mutual interest in cards and spent the night playing penny-ante poker and trading stories. The next day was raining and we took up the card playing again. It was fun at first but then we realized that Dick was starting to have a hard time breathing. Our new friend became quite concerned for him since there were no phones, no doctors and no way to get medications quickly. He told us that he had a good friend, a Scottish doctor, who worked at “Treasure Cay”, a resort on the Island of Abaco. He said he would make all the arrangements and that we could transfer our next 5 days in Spanish Wells to the resort in Abaco.   

He was as good as his word and we soon found ourselves on a small private plane heading to Abaco. When we landed there was a chauffeur waiting for us and the driver whisked us off to our beach-front cabana at “Treasure Cay”. We were still in shock when Dr. Hameish Fraser arrived. He told us his friend (and ours) had contacted him and that he was at our disposal. It was such a comfort to have this friendly man welcome us and it was just in time. Dick was getting in trouble with his breathing again and the doctor put him to bed and started him on medication. It would be three days before he was able to get up and Dr Fraser visited every day.

During that time I wandered the beach and marveled at the white sand and the teal colored ocean that lapped the shore. It truly is a paradise on earth, I thought, but can we afford it? The day before we left I went to the office to settle our bill. “What bill?”, said the manager. I explained about the transfer of funds from Spanish Wells and she just smiled. It seems that our card-playing friend was a co-owner of “Treasure Cay” and both he and Dr. Fraser refused payment. Of course I wrote a heartfelt letter to him but I never got an answer. I have thought of that so often over the years and still marvel at the generosity of those two amazing men.


Blogger troutbirder said...

What a wonderful story and memory. And reminder that wherever we are on earth likelihood is still great we can meet wonderful and caring people, we need more reminders like that particularly when each day in the newspaper we can read about the worst of people in the tragedies seem to appear every day...:(

6:13 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

There is much good in the world and the people in it and this story illustrates that fact. Here’s hoping that the Bahamas are not too badly ravaged by Dorian.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Such wonderful people. I hope the island can withstand the onslaught!

5:12 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, what a wonderful surprise to get no bill plus excellent service. I know the Islands from my years in Florida but also my ancestors came from North Carolina originally, then to Green Turtle Key and finally to Key West.
I still have tons of family and friends in Florida so I am watching the storm closely. So feel for the pounding the Bahamians have suffered.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That story rings a bell, but a darn fine story it is. Let’s hope for the best for the island, but the damage looks severe.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Goldendaze-Ginnie said...

from my friend Jan:

"I loved the post on your blog today... I think I remember it, but it is so timely today after yet another mass shooting. It is so wonderful to hear stories of good, kind people... folks that are there especially in our time of great need. Folks that remind us there is kindness in the world- and thank god more kindness than what we see from the dotard in DC and his followers. How lucky you were to be in the right place at the right time back then."

10:46 AM  

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