This morning I was hit with some sad news when I learnt of the passing of Business Entrepreneur Mr. Aubrey Levons, owner of Big Bamboo Restaurant on Anegada. Mr. Levons, also known as “Deego” in the Anegada and Virgin Gorda communities was a popular musician/entertainer, hotelier, bar and restaurant owner.
He was indeed a staunch supporter of tourism - not just to Anegada, but the entire Virgin Islands, as he lent his voice to the entire marketing of the BVI as a premier destination, serving at one time as a member of the BVI Tourist Board as the Anegada Representative.
He was the owner of the popular bar and restaurant Big Bamboo, which began on Virgin Gorda and then later moved it to Loblolly Bay, Anegada. His decision for this move was very instrumental in putting the island of Anegada on the map as a very important part of the BVI Tourism product. To enhance his product offering, over the years, he started a day trip to Anegada called, Discover Anegada, and then he added a dive shop and cottages to offer both local and visitors an authentic experience at his establishment. Overall, he was very instrumental in developing Anegada as a formidable extension of our tourism brand.
I particularly remember that his restaurant was world renowned for fresh lobster and conch, and he was a very big supporter of the annual Anegada Lobsterfest. Now that Lobsterfest is approaching, I know that he would’ve been making preparations for this event, as his beach bar and restaurant was always one of the favourite stops on the Lobsterfest tour.
He loved music and as a member of the popular calypso band Vibrations, he played a huge part in completing an album with the band in Toronto Canada in the late 1970s. His love of music, especially the song by his favourite calypsonian - Mighty Sparrow’s Big Bamboo - inspired the name of his restaurant at Loblolly Bay.
Mr. Levons was a man of many words with a passion for these Virgin Islands. He was a strong community activist for the people of Anegada. He was very political minded and strongly believed and advocated for the development of Anegada for its people. One of the things we would always remember about Mr. Levons is that he swelled with so much pride in being an Anegadian, that every chance he got he would tell you just that.
The friendship shared between Mr. Levons and myself go back a long way. I considered him a personal friend of my family. When the opportunity presented itself we would talk about many things – world news, the preservation of culture and Anegada’s natural beauty. Mr. Levons was a serving member and a stalwart of the National Parks Trust Board and a member of the Festival and Fairs Committee.
Many will remember Mr. Levons as someone who told you exactly what he thought – never afraid to tell you what he was thinking, how he felt, what he was going to do and how he was going to get it done. That’s the Aubrey Levons I know.
His passing is a great loss to the Anegada community and to the wider Territory. His contributions to the tourism and cultural development of the Territory are invaluable and he will be greatly missed and will long be remembered as one of Anegada’s icons.
On behalf of the Government, the people of the Virgin Islands, my wife Alice, and our children, I extend deepest condolences to his wife Deanne, his children, and grandchildren.
May God grant us all comfort during this difficult time.