So, ....when was the last time that you took a leisurely stroll down the Reduit beach, out past the Rex deconstruction, to the sand swept faded yellow walls of the Papillion resort (now Starfish Resort).
This beach, which still has the reputation of being ' the most beautiful beach' in st lucia, however you may be disappointed that the memories do not match up with the reality.
Reduit beach captured this prestigious reputation from way back in the 1970's with its calm waters and wide shore breaks.
However, Reduit beach over the years has also held a unique reputation as one of the few Queens Chain assets on the east cost with free and total access by locals.
This stretch of beach with it's flat 'near white' sand, runs unencumbered from The Bay Gardens Resort, past the popular Ramp site, directly in the front of the Royal St Lucian, framing the waterfront of the RexResort and extending past the Papillion to the rocky coastline at Caribbean Jewel.
Seems peculiar, that this abboration to the present day requirement that hotels must own the beach that fonts their property.
For years the access to this beach was non competitive with locals and visitors enjoying the ' best beach in St. Lucia'
The Reduit beach site was well maintained, and all seemed in harmony with all enjoying the beach, as hardly anyone stormed the hotel faciliity for precious free drinks or food, .....and for 30 years (or more) the happy medium was a successful test of a radical philosophy that beach access is a right, and not a privilege.
However I sense the beginnings of yet another struggle, brought on by the conflugation of the elements of climate change and the manipulations of 'big business' given the recent changes in ownership of the resorts in question and their perception on our rights to shared assets.
With the sale and deconstruction of the Rex Resort resulting in an eighteen (18) month neglect of that beach and the recent use of the Papillion ( STARFISH) as a covid quarantine property, and the cordoning off at the end of the Caribbean Jewel beachfront, the south side of this beach has taken on the personality of a NO MANS land.
The neglect, mounting beach garbage, broken fences and sense of abandon, as well old sea fences from the COVID quarantine era, which now has become integrated into sandy banks and shorelines.
The result now is qan unsafe, dangerous and unsettling environment that no one seems responsive to repair.
Even at 8am, the sense of danger abounds ' best beach in St. Lucia'.
I wondered why the NCA had not followed up with the usual beach maintenance....if only from a position of security. Or why the new owners were not required to upkeep their property, the responsibility has to fall somewhere.
With the creeping changes in climate the barrier at the south end is also slowly closing as the breakwater, now at the wall, will soon ensure that access is closed at that location.
These are some worrying signs and call for diligence on our part..
Your viligence. We already know that some of these battles are lost in the boardroom, before we evenn start to fight on the outside. We are lulled first to neglect, then to destroy ....only to rebuild and exclude