Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

Ms Parsons comments on Ellis Thomas Downs matter ‘misleading’- Hon Fraser

Ms Parsons comments on Ellis Thomas Downs matter ‘misleading’- Hon Fraser

Former legislator Elieene L. Parsons OBE recently sought to shift blame on the state of Ellis Thomas Downs and the current impasse that has resulted in a ban on its use to Third District Representative Honourable Julian Fraser RA.

Ms Parsons, an avid fan of horseracing, had said Hon Fraser should use funds allocated to his district to help repair the grandstand and restore the statue of Ellis Thomas that was destroyed by Hurricane Irma since September 2017.

She had also falsely stated that legislators are allocated $300,000 to execute works in their district.

Ms Parsons has been advocating for the Government of the Virgin Islands to legally take the land from the Thomas family after neither of the parties could come to an agreement on the way forward and the government subsequently terminated the agreement- although it has denied this- and the Thomas family placed a ban on the use of the track.

“The roof of the grandstands, why hasn’t that [been] fixed? It is in his area and [Hon Fraser is] talking that he is not going to go along with taking peoples’ land. You should be the one talking to that family and showing them the error of their ways and you should be backing the people of the territory who want to run the races down there,” Parsons has said.

Misleading

According to Hon Fraser; however, Ms Parsons statements are erroneous.

“To that, I would say it is misleading. As a representative of the district, there was a time when I was Minister and had certain control over the track. I decided to maintain control over the upkeep and maintenance of the track and the many developments that were necessary.

“However, I made sure that I distanced myself from the administrative side which were the leases and the operations and whoever found themselves conducting any activities on the track, I distanced myself from that. I made sure I gave that to the Premier who was Minister of Finance, and a reason for doing that is because he has the wherewithal to do the negotiations that no other Minister would have,” Hon Fraser told our news centre in an exclusive interview.

Further, Hon Fraser related that when he was in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of Ellis Thomas Downs, he was responsible for resurfacing the track completely.

“I placed new rails around the track. The platform that covers the ghut between the grandstand and the track itself, I placed that there, all of it, so that people now can congregate in that area and maintenance of the facility was well done, whether it was the stables or what have you.”

He noted that, as District Representative, his role is probably non-existent as far as the track is concerned, adding that the track is under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry takes care of that. “There is no specific role at all for the District Representative.”

‘I put up statue of Ellis Thomas’- Hon Fraser

Regarding the destroyed statue of Ellis Thomas, Hon Fraser made it known that it was he who had it erected when he was a Minister and held certain responsibility for the track.

“I am the one who put that there when we named the track Ellis Thomas Downs, I did that too.”

The senior legislator noted that over the last recent years, starting when the National Democratic Party (NDP) came into office in 2011, a different approach was taken towards the maintenance and operation of the track, and the District Representative was left totally out of the picture.

“The operators of the track who facilitate horse racing, I guess they themselves opted to go the route with the Ministry and leave the District Representative out.

District Reps get $100K NOT $300K

Regarding comments by Ms Parsons that District Representatives received $300,000.00 and that Hon Fraser should use some of those funds to maintain the track, Hon Fraser said Ms Parson’s statement was not accurate.

“I saw mention [by Ms Parsons] of District Representatives getting $300,000.00 and they can use that to do things on the track, but it is not true. We don’t get $300,000.00. The last time I checked we had $100,000.00 and that is to do roads and that is under a different Ministry,” Hon Fraser clarified.

A matter for the Premier

Meanwhile, Hon Fraser maintains that the matter being resolved remains ultimately at the feet of Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).

While all the details surrounding the lease agreement between Government and the Thomas family regarding the use of land occupied by Ellis Thomas Downs, Elaine M. Thomas-Griffith, the daughter of the late Ellis Thomas, had told our news centre in September that Government without warning had cancelled the contract due to what was termed as a “technicality”.

This resulted in the Thomas family placing a ban on the use of the track, due to liability concerns.

“My sources told me that it is the government not the landowner who terminated the lease. The lease has not run its course as yet. I understand that it is supposed to go until February of next year, but the government decided to terminate it, not the landowners.

“And the reason the landowner has decided to prohibit the use of the track is because of liability. The lease had immunity against any form of prosecution of the landowners. It indemnified the landowners, so if you withdraw the lease, it means that the landowners become exposed if there is any accident or anything on the track. So, they have made sure that they protect themselves by saying don’t use the track,” Hon Fraser explained.

He said he is aware the Thomas family has made efforts, even under the current circumstances, to get the Premier to agree under some form of condition to which the track could have been used.

“They had no intention of depriving people of the use of the track or else they would have done it in August and not after August [Tuesday Races].

“And even at this late stage maybe there is some salvage that can be done for Boxing Day Races, I am not sure because I am not involved,” Hon Fraser stated.

The statue of Ellis Thomas at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay was destroyed by Hurricane Irma in September 2017 and has not been restored ever since.

There have been no horse races at Ellis Thomas Downs in Sea Cows Bay since August 2, 2022, due to an impasse between Government and the landowners over differences in the lease agreement.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Beautiful Virgin Islands
Close
0:00
0:00
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
BVI Freedom Song
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Billy Preston - You Can't Beat God Giving (Live)
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
VIRGIN ISLANDS REGGAE CARIBBEAN RIDDIMZ
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Oh Happy Day Edwin Hawkins - Anthony Brown w FBCG Combined Choir
China's first population drop in six decades
'Stand by Me' performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
National Anthem of the British Virgin Islands - Oh, Beautiful Virgin
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Hello Dolly
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
for KING & COUNTRY - Amen (Reborn) [feat. Lecrae & The WRLDFMS Tony Wi
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Bob Marley - Get Up Stand Up
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Yes He Can
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
What A Friend We Have In Jesus
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Unforgettable
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Touch The Hem Of His Garment
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
The Lord's Prayer
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
THE GOD MOVEMENT...BEAUTIFUL BVI
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Siyahamba
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Ray Charles And The Voices Of Jubilaton, Oh, Happy Day
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Ramblin' Rose
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
Protoje - Who Knows ft. Chronixx
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Pressure - Virgin Islands Nice
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Phil Wickham - House Of The Lord
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
My God Is Real (Yes, God Is Real)
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
The Lion King Circle of Life by LEBO M. — LIVE at the HAVASI Symphonic
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Louis Armstrong - When The Saints Go Marching In
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Kanye West Sunday Service - hallelujah, salvation, and glory
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Jonathan Nelson - I Believe (Island Medley
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
From The Virgin Islands Sqad Up
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
Common, John Legend - Glory
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Anthony Evans vs. Jesse Campbell - If I Ain't Got You
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
I have a dream, MLK inspiring speech
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Aretha Franklin, Marvis Staples - Oh Happy Day
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
BVI Freedom Song
×