The Roy’s Great Journey Continues… Across The Sir Francis Drake Channel!

Betty, Charles and the kids moved from Tortola to Virgin Gorda in 1965.  Laurence Rockerfeller had just opened up Little Dix Bay, and Charles and Betty both worked there in the early days while they built a place of their own. Charles was the Pavillion Manager, and Betty manned the gift shop. I guess now we know where the shopaholics in the family come from!

Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot on Virgin Gorda at the time, but they still needed to get to and from work each day. The Roys owned the second motor vehicle ever on Virgin Gorda – Gafford Potter owned the first. We have come a long way since then.

Guavaberry plans

Cashew was the first home at Guavaberry that was completed, almost 50 years ago now, in 1969.  They did end up selling this to gain more capital to build the others – and build they did! By the end of 1970, there were 5 houses in the collection: Mango, Plum, Lime, Flamboyant, and Cashew, which the new owners were happy to keep renting. After Treasure Isle, they did know one thing: they didn’t want the added stress of a restaurant and bar.


They chugged along quite comfortably with these 5 houses, though we aren’t sure how they managed with three kids to put through school. The boys were in Scotland at the same school their father attended, and Tina was moving her way up north. She billeted with a family in Puerto Rico for grades 3-8, which is why her Spanish is excellent even today. She then journeyed on to Schenectady, New York for a year. Apparently this wasn’t cold enough for her though, and she moved further north to Toronto for the rest of her high school education.

Incidentally, one of Tina’s school roommates, and best friend, was the lovely Lisa Williams, who caught Chris Roy’s eye. Tina and Lisa graduated in 1974, and Lisa joined the Roy clan in 1976, when she and Chris wed on her home island of Bermuda, where they still live today.  We have all been lucky enough to visit them there, and thoroughly enjoy ourselves when we do! Good choice, Chris, we will keep her 😉

If you think that’s cool, hear this: Edward is married to Nina, and Nina is the daughter of Jack and Margaret See. Jack was the first veterinarian officer who came to the BVI in the 1930s, and was hired by Edwards grandfather,William, to oversee the local livestock. (Agriculture was the main livelihood of BVIslanders in the day). The families stayed in touch over the years.

Edward was at university in Jamaica, and after riots broke out on the campus in 1968, Edward transferred to the University of Toronto. Naturally, he was welcomed into the See’s family home while he continued his studies. Their lovely daughter Nina was a newly qualified nurse, and dropped in often to check out (on… check ON) the new tenant. Her tenacity paid off, and we welcomed her into our family in 1973.

But I digress. You all want to hear more about Guavaberry’s inception. So stay tuned, more on that next week! (Hows that for Hollywood suspense?)

The Guavaberry Concept

Guavaberry Concept

6 thoughts on “The Roy’s Great Journey Continues… Across The Sir Francis Drake Channel!

  1. I am just loving learning the history of Guavaberry! This is the only blog I read, and I’m always so excited to see the notification of the latest post in my in-box or on FB. Thanks so much for taking the time to write it!


  2. Thanks for doing this. In addition to all the times we’ve visited, you may have known I stayed with your parents for 6 weeks in the late summer of 1977 to help out on cabin repairs and maintenance. It was one of my first extended stays away from home…but who could beat it?!? I have many many memories and stories from the trip, and the wonderful time with Betty and Charles.

    We always had breakfast on the open porch of the (then) office and residence. Charles often regaled me with tales of life with the RAF. Usually these tales came with a handy lesson. I’ll share two (both of which you’ve likely heard:)

    –He recounted borrowing someone else’s Wellington aircraft to train a new crew (Charles was the pilot.). All went well until landing, whereupon he was so occupied discussing a training item he just forgot to extend the landing gear. They ended up belly-landing the aircraft, essentially wrecking it. And all this by the pilot known as “the Wimpie King” for his flying prowess and derring-do. Afterwards, he had to explain what happened to the base Commanding Officer.

    “What happened out there, Roy”? the CO demanded.
    “Sorry sir, gross negligence on my part for which I take full responsibility.”

    The CO looked at him hard, and said, “Right. Carry on. And Roy? Don’t ever let it happen again.”

    Charles’s Breakfast lesson: Always own up honestly to your mistakes in a forthright manner.

    –Charles and Betty were posted to an air base near London when command was transferred from US Air Force personnel back to the RAF…along with an immediate change in the currency used on the base. They had lost track of the currency transfer date, and had no British sterling whatsoever. They consequently spent a wet evening (unsuccessfully) searching along the perimeter of the base fence for any lost Pound notes so they could get a pint at the Officer’s Club that night.

    Charles’s Breakfast lesson: Always have two types of currency available, and KEEP TRACK OF IMPORTANT DATES!”


  3. Great job with the blog, as usual. I had thought that Flamboyant was the cottage that was sold, not Cashew. All very interesting. And the Charles and Betty stories (from Mr. Gayley) were great!


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