Tuesday, 18 December 2012 02:47
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John's - When you visit a country year after year for a whole decade, some one is bound to take notice, as with the case of Mr. and Mrs Geoffrey, and Carol Cable.
The retired couple from Essex, UK, has been practically living in Antigua & Barbuda since 2002, having visited the island for months at a time on at least 12 separate occasions over the past 10 years.
And that’s what earned them a plaque of recognition from the Ministry of Tourism, presented on Monday.
The couple has only just returned to the island for their customary “Caribbean Christmas” vacation at a small cottage in English Harbour.
Senior representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, including Permanent Secretary Millinette Ambrose and Community Development Officer Caudley George, made the presentation during a brief ceremony on Monday. Communications Officer Samoya Kirby and Elizabeth Mayson of the FAM unit within the ministry were also on hand to show appreciation.
Expressions of both surprise and elation were evident on the retired couple’s faces, as they spared no emotion in expressing gratitude for being recognized simply for choosing Antigua & Barbuda as their second home.
“We are really appreciative of this gesture. This is so amazing,” said Mrs. Cable.
She told Caribarena that she and her husband’s first trip to the country was in 2002 when they came to attend a party for their best friend, who is of Antiguan heritage.
“We come every Christmas now and we stay for as much as three months, because that’s all the insurance would allow for us to be outside the UK,” Mrs. Cable said. This year the couple will only be spending seven weeks.
But unlike many tourists who come to Antigua & Barbuda, the Cable couple sees no reason to spend their time cooped up in a hotel room or around a pool at some remote end of the island. Instead, they fancy the outdoors and mingling with the locals, and opt every year to simply rent a cottage on the waterfront. There, they get a vehicle of their own which they use to treat themselves to island wide tours whenever they want – discovering for themselves the beauty of both Antigua and Barbuda.
Being an avid fisherman and engineer, Mr. Cable can tell endless stories of impressive catches in Antiguan waters and of his clear fascination with Antiguan colonial architecture and engineering. And he can practically tell you more than most locals about both islands, with loads of pictures to prove what he knows.
Just about every day during their stay, the couple would drive part of the way and hike the rest to the top of the highest hill. There they not only enjoy a panoramic view of Antigua, but also get a chance to embrace two of their favorite scenes – sunrise and sunset.
“Apart from the place, it’s the people as well. We have made so many great friends. And the food, oh the food… we would try anything. It’s like coming back to family every year.”
Besides enjoying themselves, the Cable couple gives back to the community in their own unique way. Every Christmas the couple participates in a charity program in English Harbour where they purchase items for the holiday celebrations from which the proceeds would go directly to charity.
On New Years Eve, the couple catches up with friends they only see at this time of the year, and they all gather at Shirley Heights with drinks and food as they usher in the New Year.
“We always have Christmas here. Its lovely and relaxing … the way Christmas should be,” said Mrs Cable.
They said that somewhere along the line, but not just yet, a notable investment would be realized in an island home.