Feisty Tilly Off and Swimming

By:Curtis Morton

Charlestown-Nevis– The prestigious Four Seasons Resort was the venue for a significant ceremony, on Monday 17th July.

On that day, Resort officials and their guests, celebrated the eleventh annual sea turtle release.

The event attracted quite a large gathering at pier side, at the prestigious resort, as a brief ceremony was held, which was ably chaired by Director of Guests Communications, Mr. Mackay France.

In his opening remarks Mr. France noted that one turtle was released the previous day, even though not with the same fanfare and thanked the partners who every year team up with the Resort, to make the event a success. The two other entities are: Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Nevis Turtle group. He thanked both groupings for their continued assistance in the preservation of the endangered creature.

Also speaking at the ceremony, was Mr. David Godfrey, executive Director of the Sea Turtle Conservancy who thanked all present for showing up to learn more about the incredible creature. He also thanked the Four Seasons Resort and the Nevis turtle group for their assistance over the years.

He stated that the progress of the turtle to be released and others like her, can be monitored by accessing the web page www.tourdeturtles.org.

Lemuel Pemberton, the man in charge of the Nevis turtle group, used the opportunity to introduce two of his youthful volunteers, in the persons of Brandon Claxton and Saida Liburd.

He indicated that up to a few days before the event, it was difficult to locate the turtles but almost as if the turtles knew that the significant day was coming on, they were ably to sport and catch turtles within the last two nights and have them available for the release.

He further indicated that in the past, similarly released turtles have been tracked as far as Nicaragua; Puerto Rico; Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda and other islands and countries.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Eric Evelyn, stated in his remarks that one of the mandates of his ministry is to preserve the turtle and expressed delight and appreciation with the three entities who had teamed up in partnership, for a common good.

He congratulated the Nevis turtle group and opined that they were doing a great job.

“You have the blessings and support of this ministry, ” he stated.

Mr. France then conducted a unique count down, utilizing the letters in the word, TURTLE, assisted by the many children present.

At the call of the last letter, the turtle named TILLY and nicknamed ‘Feisty Tilly,’ was officially released and headed towards the open water at full throttle.

She teasingly paused at the water’s edge, as if to seek some more attention, before entering and disappearing beneath the water.

The sizeable gathering applauded, fully aware that another turtle had been saved, at least for the time being.

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