A New Beginning
When our brother-in-law, as a joke, sent Dad an advertisement from the Wall Street Journal offering lots for sale in Montserrat, Dad jumped at the chance to own a bit of paradise. He bought the lot, sight unseen, and built a home, called the “Back of the Moon”, in Foxes Bay. Our parents retired to Montserrat in 1968. We remember receiving many long hand-written letters from Dad, one arriving each week in an envelope with those beautiful Montserrat stamps. He described the blue of the ocean, the clouds lingering on Chance’s Peak, and the brilliant colors of the bougainvillea. The house passed to Bruce in 1986 and he continued the family presence on Montserrat. That ended in 1989 when hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage to the island including our home. The property was sold and a few years later, the eruptions in the Soufriere Hills destroyed the capital, Plymouth, and made the homes in Foxes Bay uninhabitable. We watched sadly from the States as the Montserratians fled their homes and their livelihoods as the volcano continued to devastate the island. Finally, as the volcano became less active and with the encouragement of our sister,we returned to Montserrat and again fell in love with this tiny island. We were able to purchase this home, christened “Moonshadow”, in 2014.
Larry Hurley, Bruce Hurley; November 2014
Loss of a Brother
Bruce and I were looking forward to spending Christmas, 2015 at Moonshadow. This would be our first Christmas together on the Island. He said many times that he thought it was going to be “very special.” When I saw him to his plane at the Antigua airport in July 2015 on our return to the States from a trip to Montserrat, I had no idea that it would be the last time I would ever see him. Several weeks later, he passed away from injuries suffered in an automobile accident in Florida.
Without Bruce’s vision and planning, we never would have bought the house. In fact, I probably would never have gotten around to returning to Montserrat. It was the idea of returning with family that was the inspiration for our first venture down in 2013. So, it’s going to be very different at the house without Bruce around. He was my historian, my explorer, my bartender, and my friend. We are putting a plaque up on the new stone wall at the front entrance in his memory. The wall was his idea. He saw the beginning of construction of the wall--I wish he could have seen the final product.
Larry Hurley, November 2015