top of page

Beaches Turks and Caicos- Connecting Lives Through Music

Local entertainers share lens with Beaches Management and Staff, including Managing Director James McAnally (forth from left back row) at the Beaches Appreciation Luncheon

An appreciation luncheon was recently held to honour the external entertainers who have been offering their services at Beaches Turks and Caicos over the years.


Beaches Turks and Caicos staff gathered in the resort’s Caribbean Village Conference Room to honour its longstanding part- time entertainers, who, through their musical expertise, have been helping the resort maintain its vibrant and engaging entertainment package.


Present were: Barbara Johnson, Julian Garland, Reuben Hall, Quinton Dean, Jervon Laporte, Keno Hall, Noel Browne, Dexter Landy, Craig Archibold, Kitchener “Kitch” Penn of the We Funk Junkanoo band, Arnold Simmons and Neilton Bonner.


There were expressions of gratitude shared by the administrators of the resort and leaders of the entertainment department. Toasts also flowed in abundance from the entertainers who were being honoured.


As they shared how their journey at Beaches began, it became evident that they were all connected either by extending an invitation to another entertainer for a gig, or playing a supportive role, sharing musical equipment or soundtracks. Connections were also made as the more experienced entertainers helped to hone the talent of the incoming artistes.


 It was beautiful to witness how this network of love for music and their fellow countryfolk has blossomed throughout the years.


In fact, one of the speeches that exemplified the impact these entertainers have had throughout the years was that of Emily Merriman, one of the fulltime entertainment playmakers at the resort who detailed her experience of coming to the island on vacation.


 From as early as eight years, she recalls coming to the islands and experiencing the cultural music and the sweet, soulful singing of the likes of Noel Browne, Barbara Johnson, and Quinton Dean to name a few. “I will never forget Barbara Johnson’s voice. As a child I would sit near Turtles Bar and listen to her beautiful voice.


On my visit to the resort for my 18th birthday, when my mom told Miss Barabara it was my birthday, she stopped her set and sang me a birthday song. That was so special. Experiences like these made me decide that I wanted to leave England and join the entertainment team here at Beaches Turks and Caicos.”


Members of the internal entertainment team deemed it a privilege to perform for the guests of honour. The trio of Shanice Maxwell, Emily Merriman and Mariela Rodriguez belted out the classic tune originally sang by Tina Turner, “Simply the Best”. The audience clapped and sang along, signaling their enjoyment of the performance.


Managing Director, James McAnally, could not resist commenting on how apt the song, “Simply the Best” was. He shared, “all of you have given of your best throughout the years and you have helped to bolster our entertainment team and keep our guests entertained. Your dedication is evident, and we want you to know that we appreciate each of you for you are indeed, among the best.”


Quinton Dean, veteran musician who has established a relationship with Beaches since 1996 commented, “this luncheon is a big deal. I am elated over the fact that they considered us. We appreciate the gifts, but it didn’t matter whether we were given any gifts. Just being recognised was most important. As artistes, we sometimes feel that with all our efforts no one really understands all that we put into what we do, but, today’s appreciation luncheon shows us how much we are appreciated. Thanks to the whole team at Beaches for having us.”


Songbird of the TCI, Barbara Johnson delivered an emotionally stirring expression of gratitude. She recognised Quinton Dean for his instrumental role in creating the Beaches connection for her. She also thanked Beaches for maintaining their 28-year relationship. “Mr. Quinton Dean was very instrumental in getting me to work here in 1996 when it was Royal Bay at the time. So I am indebted to him for recognising my talent and pushing me forward to come here to perform. Thank you, Beaches Turks and Caicos. There were times when I did not even have a babysitter, but I was allowed to bring my children in a stroller. Up to the point when I started having medical challenges with my legs on the main stage, I was not told to go home. I was told, “we are aware that you are having difficulties but how would you do in a lawn setting?’ I thank you Beaches for recognising that my vocal chords are not in my knees and for keeping me working to provide for myself and my family.”


Noel Browne, vocalist and Jervon Laporte, saxophonist also credits Quinton for having “jumpstarted” their relationship with Beaches. “Quinton has been very supportive throughout the years, and we appreciate that,” stated Jervon.


When Quinton was asked what compelled him to help forge so many connections between Beaches and fellow entertainers, his response was, “I find it a pleasure to assist other artistes to get on the bandwagon because it’s just normal. That’s part of my character. Once I see the potential for another to gain, I will involve as many persons as I can. There are many talented musicians in our country and sometimes they just need a little boost.”


Garett Bailey, in his new role as entertainment divisions manager of Beaches Turks and Caicos noted, “I have been with the company since 2002 but coming to this resort, I have learnt a lot by observing the operations here and seeing the external entertainers in action. You have impacted the guests and our entertainment team each day. We appreciate what you do, especially from a cultural standpoint. Having witnessed your impact, I was passionate about us meeting in this fashion, where we recognise your efforts and you in turn can feel the love from us, for indeed, we are a family.”


Garett also noted that the event surpassed his expectations as the expressions of love, gratitude, and the connectivity among the entertainers especially, transcended anything he could have planned for.


Each external entertainer had the opportunity to address the audience to express their gratitude or share a fond memory of their work experiences at Beaches. Barbara Johnson echoed the sentiments of all the entertainers when, in directly addressing Garett she shared, “I am grateful, and I feel appreciated today. Persons may see this as a small gesture, but this is huge for us.”

0 comments

Comments


bottom of page