To Be Afraid Is Unthinkable

Dear Tradewinds,

“…We feel compelled to tell the people of St. John that we do not hold any ill feelings towards you or your wonderful island. We love St. John and we refuse to condemn an entire community for the senseless act of one deranged individual. We have been warmed by your expressions of concern and condolence, and understand that no one wants to see such a horrible tragedy spoil the reputation and spirit of the island…”

— Bill and Jeanie Cockayne
(excerpted from St. John Tradewinds)

The eloquent and forgiving words above were written by the parents of the “boy,” Jamie Cockayne, who was senselessly slain in the Enighed area of St. John last week. They were sent to St. John Tradewinds.

This family has been a long time friend of my husband and I, having met them aboard our charter sailboat several years ago. Their eyes were wide as we led them through the islands and that was all it took.

They fell in love with these lovely islands we here are happy to call home and, now, were thinking of relocating to St. John for their later years. They were looking to buy a home to live in, full time. Not a “new build,” but a wonderful recycled place to call home.

They came to take a deeper drink…and their son was smitten too. He was a straight ahead young man, serious about his future on the sea….encouraged by his parents and excited about the opportunity to live, teach and grow in this area he wanted to call home. This area of sun, sea, sailing…away from the less expansive place known as the “U.S.”

We have it all here, much more than there. What better place for this? We have peace, tranquility and a sense of community frequently lacking in busier parts of the world. And many of us are here just because, less is more.

But, it seems, it was not to be for this young and vibrant man. His life was snuffed out, at the tender age of 21. Why? We might never know. By whom? Hopefully, we will find out. But nothing can bring him back to us.

The best we might hope for is that this situation, taking it’s alarmng place alongside several others of late, might serve to bring this violence, and the potential for more, closer to the attention of those who have a way to affect change. We must have change.

For without serious attention, our people and our tourist industry, will not thrive. To imagine being afraid to be on the streets of St. John is unthinkable.
“…If you have any information that can shed some light on the events leading up to Jamie’s death, please contact the local police department. Our son did not deserve to die such a horrible, violent death, and we implore you to help us in identifying his killer and bringing him to justice…”

(excerpted from St. John Tradewinds)

Margo Rose