Eight Bells: Peter Haycraft

Published on June 1st, 2021

Peter Haycraft, OBE, one of the British Virgin Islands’ leading businessmen and philanthropists, passed away in the early hours of May 29. He was 88 years old.

Peter migrated to the British Virgin Islands in 1959 to run a ferry service between Tortola and St. Thomas, later to be the former Founder, Shareholder and Director of RoadTown Wholesale Trading Ltd.

He served as Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club on thirteen occasions, and was part of the team who created the BVI Spring Regatta in 1972 and, over the years, was involved in every aspect of the regatta. His vision and business acumen were instrumental in creating a regatta that gained international renown and remains one of the foremost regattas of the region today. Not only that, he won his division and Best BVI Yachtsman too many times to count.

Following the 2017 hurricanes, he contributed substantial funds to rebuild Enis Adams Primary School (where his wife Mrs. Penny Haycraft has worked as a teacher) into a state-of-the-art educational facility. He also provided support for the youth sailing program to purchase new equipment to enable the young people of the BVI to return to the water.

In 2020, Mr Haycraft was awarded the Order of the British Empire from Her Majesty the Queen for his services to the British Virgin Islands.

Peter and his wife Penny made the BVI their home from 1960, raised three children and enjoyed 62 years of married life. He is survived by Penny, son Chris and daughters Susan and Julie.

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