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July 2014

link to Beef Island, part 3 article

Beef Island
Pirates, Pioneers and Progress, Pt. 3

Story by Julian Putley

Many colorful personalities have been associated with this small island located off Tortola's eastern shore and one of Beef Island's most famous residents was Hollywood's mega film star from the '40s and '50s, Maureen O'Hara. She had starring roles in over 30 productions and was a favorite co-star of Hollywood giant John Wayne. Her third husband, Charles Blair, was a famous aviator and something of a maverick, like Wayne. He founded the seaplane company, Antilles Air Boats in 1969 with the "Grumman Goose," a WW2 flying boat. Blair died in 1978 when an engine exploded on a seaplane he was piloting between St Croix and St Thomas and crashed into the sea. O'Hara took over the company and became the first woman president of an airline. Sometime later she fell in love with Tortola and built a house on Little Mountain, Beef Island. For a while she was editor of the Virgin Islander, a regional magazine based in Road Town. ...Read More