When Churchill Visited Bequia on Onassis’s Yacht

Friendship Bay, BequiaDavid Ridley sent Emmett and me this mention of Bequia from the memoirs of Clarissa Eden. In the late 50s, her husband Anthony, lately British prime minister, had retired from politics after undergoing numerous operations for a gall bladder problem.

“On the excuse that Anthony should avoid colds and flu, we took to going to the West Indies each winter. Thus we visited Mustique, which had just been bought by my friend Colin Tennant. From there we saw on an adjacent island a white spot poised above a deserted long white beach flanked by a coconut grove. We rushed over and bought the small gingerbread house on the island of Bequia–then with no hotel, no roads, no electricity, no water, no telephone, and no airstrip. It was paradise. We were the only non-Caribbeans, except a young American who was said to have figured this was the safest place to be if there was an atomic war. Friends could only visit us unannounced from their yachts–including my Uncle Winston on Onassis’s boat. We had halcyon winters and were able to master huge works of literature not possible elsewhere.”

The Eden’s “paradise” was on the west end of Friendship Bay, Bequia. Emmett thinks it may later have been owned by Peter and Bea Seidel. It is now adjacent to or perhaps part of the Bequia Beach Hotel.

Anthony Eden, later Lord Avon, lived another 20 years after his retirement. When Anthony’s health deteriorated further, the Edens began to spend winters in Barbados, where medical assistance was available. (See more excepts from Clarissa Eden: A Memoir at Tweedland: The Gentleman’s Club or buy it at Amazon by clicking on the cover below.)

“Who was the young American?” David asked. “Ross Lulley, perhaps.”

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