Small Island, Big DreamsShana Jones October 27, 2017
Originally written for Mélange Magazine. Re-printed with permission.
Union Island is a teeny tiny Grenadine island roughly 30 miles south of its mainland, St. Vincent. Tourists will find the usual paradise experience in its sunswept beaches, crystalline waters perfect for snorkelling, laidback atmosphere, and tranquil hideaways like Sparrow’s Beach Club, but what of the locals? What’s there to do for those who see this picture every day and for whom it’s not so special? Sure, you can hang out with friends or involve yourself in church activities, but some locals are looking to do more and see more in Union. One such individual is Lindell Tittle, a young, energetic entrepreneur seeking to increase activity on the island and its exposure to the outside world.
I met Lindell a few years back as a check-in agent at my airline and remember him to be very quiet; studious even. He did his work quietly and diligently and kept to himself. Little did I know that behind the handsome smile, ideas-a-plenty were brewing. Today, he has moved on from the airline to a customer service position at the SVG Teachers’ Co-operative Credit Union and one very active extra-curricular schedule: one in which he pools efforts with other like-minded individuals to revive Union’s community life and attract more visitors to its shores.
For one thing, he has always enjoyed sports and fitness, and has therefore started FitQuest, a weekly fitness program geared towards women. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, the women meet Lindell or his fellow instructor, Kevon Joseph, at the local basketball court to do aerobic and strength training exercises. Added to this is the monthly hike to different parts of the island. Although it’s always a challenge to motivate people to get in shape, these guys are enjoying success with the program, especially with the middle-aged attendees. At $10 month, it’s a very cheap investment for some long-term health benefits. Lindell has also revived the Union Island Basketball Association (UIBA), with big plans to “restore Union’s basketball scene to its former glory”. Both males and females of different age groups can join a team and lively half-time shows add to the entertainment for a growing number of spectators at the weekly games.
Lindell’s most significant (current) project, however, is Utopia Festival, a cultural showcase/beach party to be held on Oct. 26-29, 2017. On this Independence Day weekend, locals, visitors, and specially invited yachtsmen from Martinique will immerse themselves in Union culture through food, sports, music and art/craft. It will truly be an opportunity for the island to show off its finest as spectators partake in a “fun day” of activities, live performances featuring local and regional artists, a local art/craft/food/clothing fair, a white themed party in honour of the visiting sailors, and one full beach day of partying and beach/water sports. It promises to be epic, and Union invites one and all to come and be part of the excitement!
It is clear that Lindell has his hands full spicing up Union’s life from within and without (did I mention that through his groups Black Table Entertainment and Silver Curtain Entertainment he also hosts parties and writes for local and regional artists?), yet he remains ever ready to exploit the next best opportunity. He is ambitious, talented, and genuinely interested in his native island’s development, and so remains steadfast in bringing it to new heights. To all who have the privilege of working with him or benefiting from his efforts: embrace his vision, engage with his ideas, and help him strive to do greater things for Union Island!
beaches, local art/craft, local events/activity, parties, Union Island