British Virgin Islands

Thursday, Apr 15, 2021

Deceased billionaire Petr Kellner was 'looking forward to retiring' in VI- Hon Wheatley

Deceased billionaire Petr Kellner was 'looking forward to retiring' in VI- Hon Wheatley

Petr Kellner, the Czech billionaire who died in a helicopter crash in Alaska, USA on March 27, 2021, was looking forward to retiring in the [British] Virgin Islands someday, Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Ninth District Representative Hon Vincent O. Wheatley has revealed.

Kellner, 56, was among five people killed in the crash of the Airbus AS350 B3 chopper, which went down near the Knik Glacier in Alaska, according to local authorities.

The Czech businessman was the owner of Saba Rock Resort and Sugarcane Restaurant on Virgin Gorda.

“I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Petr Kellner. Mr Kellner was a very private individual but his love for these Virgin Islands, especially Virgin Gorda, was well known. This love shown was manifested following the devastating hurricanes of 2017 when he jumpstarted recovery efforts by making funds available to start the clean-up process,” Hon Wheatley said in a statement on March 30, 2021.

Kellner took recovery of VG 'as a personal project'


Hon Wheatley said that after a meeting with then Premier Dr D. Orlando Smith and then Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert in 2017, Mr Kellner took the recovery of Virgin Gorda as a personal project.

“He brought in building materials, generators, refrigerators, ice and whatever else was needed and donated to the people of Virgin Gorda. It was through his efforts that many homes got repaired and lives restored.”

Mr Kellner was described as a very humble, quiet and unassuming person. “If you did not know who he was, you were very likely to bypass him as a regular tourist. Just last week he was seen relaxing at Bay 6 enjoying a cup of coffee.”

Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration and Ninth District Representative Hon Vincent O. Wheatley said the late Petr Kellner was a true friend to the Virgin Islands and had hopes of retiring in the VI.

Petr Kellner was the owner of Saba Rock Resort and Sugarcane Restaurant (in photo) on Virgin Gorda.


Love for VI was demonstrated in deeds


Hon Wheatley stated that Mr Kellner had told him that he bought Saba Rock Resort to ensure that locals always had a place to go in the North Sound area.

“This was the character of the man I knew. I held Mr Kellner in high esteem as he not only spoke of the love he had for these islands but also demonstrated it in deeds, without fanfare. He was looking forward to retiring in the Virgin Islands at some point in time and making the BVI his permanent home.”

The Ninth District Representative said the people of the Virgin Islands and in particular, the Ninth District Community, have lost a friend that has shown his love for the VI when it was at its lowest and most vulnerable.

“Mr Kellner was also a significant stakeholder in the tourism industry and was willing to assist whenever called upon. He will truly be missed.

“On behalf of myself and the people of Virgin Gorda, I send sincere condolence to his family and friends. May his soul Rest in Peace,” Hon Wheatley stated.

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