« Choosing Candidates for the Bahamian General Election | Main | The Impact of Cruise Ships on Small Bahamian Islands »

May 10, 2006


Jacqueline Edgerton Olson

My younger brother who is a firefighter in Key Largo sent me your article in an e-mail.

I was thrilled to read this bit of history about an island that I spent many summers on from the time I was 13 until after I graduated from Miami Palmetto High School in 1972.
My Dad was an extraordinary man. His accomplishments were insurmountable. Some family members thought that may have been the reason for his suicide. He'd done it all and then his dream and love for Rum Cay melted in front of him. He had been to the top, there just wasn't much more for him.
Anyway, thank you for the good story, it brought tears to my eyes. Of course there is much, much more to Dad's story, but you got closer to the truth than even National Geographic did about 20 some years ago on an article about Rum Cay. Don't get me wrong, I've been a National Geographic reader for almost 30 years. But you hit some good spots.


It's amazing how somebody can throw so many words in row in one sentence to deliberately tear apart a person's character. Billy Davis is not bankrupt. In fact, he has proven to be a successful and credible entrepreneur. He was never a preacher, although he did work as a DEACON in a church in the early eighties for a short time. He was a politician in the early eighties who was elected TWICE by the people, so they must have liked him. You think? Billy Davis never blocked ANY public roads in Rum Cay. In fact, he helped the locals on the island gain government support to finally get their roads paved. He does not simply CLAIM to own properties, he DOES own them and it is factual because the Bahamian Government recognizes the deeds as legal and factual. Also, the Miami Supreme Court agrees. Learn your facts. I'm sure you'll post this for everyone to see since it is the truth. Right?

larry smith

Davis is a disgraced Arizona politician and bankrupt who was convicted and imprisoned for bank fraud in the US during the 1990s.

I did not convict him.

I saw the roads that he blocked.

His - and almost every other - claim to property on Rum Cay is in dispute.

Of course, he may not be bankrupt now.


Before the arrival of Billy Davis on Rum Cay, there were no roads to block. The only roads he may have blocked were the ones that he himself built on HIS property which the Bahamian Government recognizes. Prove to me that a public road was blocked. Prove to me. And if you can't then you owe your readers an appology for your spoken falsehoods. The dispute is over. The Davis deeds are legit. The gavel has been pounded.

I would like for you to explain to me how YOUR word is higher than that of the Bahamian government.

I do know that bank fraud was not the conviction, and I also know that there was no money involved in the charge.

A disgraced politician? I have yet to find research to suggest that he would be disgraced. I suppose it would be one's own definition. By typical standards, I haven't seen a politician that hasn't made a mistake.

Walt Disney went bankrupt 3 times. Albert Einstein failed out of high school. Many people have had their ups and downs financially. I'm sure your readers would agree with me that you should not cut somebody down because they were broke at one time in their life.

You seem to make your judgements and accusations based upon your own feelings and opinions and just like most of the media, you spit out your words before doing your research. That, my fellow human being, is a disgrace.

Mr. Davis has given more blood, sweat, and help to that island and many other islands in The Bahamas than anybody else. Stop your slander. You speak harshly of people you do not know.

I would have to base my feelings and opinions about you on the simple notion that you have a lifelong hatred for good people because of your own jealousies.

These other people you speak of may be what you say and they may still be disputing with each other, but there is no more dispute in the courts.

Explain to me what his disgrace is. I've found that he gives money to charities. He has been married to the same woman for over 40 years. He has given computers and other technologies to the schools of the islands. He has flown the sick to good hospitals in Nassau and Florida. He has paid for and given medical supplies to the people including an ambulance. He has been a leader in civil rights movements throughout the world. He is still a member of the Republican committee. There is so much more. The people of Rum Cay appreciate Mr. Davis and all that he brings to them.

What have YOU done for the world, Mr. Smith?


You state about Montana - "..... It marked the start of a $90 million residential/resort development, that could expand to a $700 million investment at full build-out."

Must be big condos for $700 million and jus 200 of them. I read that the other 100's of millions that Montana said past the $90 million was what the utilities on Rum Cay would be worth to them through the Government in their Heads of Agreement.

The Tribune said early on that they were involved with some kind of company in England or Europe called Sath (not sure of spelling), and that the electrie or phone would be controlled by Sath. Is this true? What does BEC say about dem getting that controll? Is that not a lot of money for utilites?

larry smith

Perhaps Jason could enlighten us on the specific court decisions he so confidently refers to.

larry smith

I can't answer Angee's question directly. But I do know that the provision of utilities in small isolated settlements is not cost-effective. That's one of the reasons successive governments have tried to enlist foreign developers. Morton Salt on Inagaua, for example, is trying to offload its power plant to BEC right now. And BEC can barely keep up with demand on New Providence. It must spend $80 million to build a new power plant within the next two years.

Bill Peterson

Is there any word on the Eastern portion of the island...the Rum Cay Ventures portion? Did the ruling come back in their favor thus determining clear chain of title?

Also, I have heard they are going to be extending power to that side of the island...is there any truth in it?


The conviction was in simplest terms: Giving false records to the credit bureau.

From what I gathered, these actions were made by his accountant, but he (Davis) said " . . . that as CEO, I have take full responsibilty for the company's actions."

I'm quoting this because I read the the court transcripts.

I also must apologize, Mr. Smith for speaking to you in a derogatory manner. I strongly uphold my opinions and beliefs, but I should be civil and polite when speaking about them.


Davis was sentenced by the Northern District Court of Alabama in 1994 to a fine of $5,000 and two-months imprisonment followed by a three-year probation (which he subsequently violated).

The charge (to which he pleaded guilty) was that in November 1989 he made false claims to America's First Credit Union in Birmingham, Alabama to influence the approval of a $200,000 loan.

The indictment included the following passage: "At various times in 1986 Davis attempted to negotiate the purchase of Raymond and Merrill McDonald's interest in the Effie Knowles estate, which consisted primarily of Knowles' claim to ownership in thousands of acres of Bahamian real estate. The McDonald's were residual beneficiaries to Knowles' will. Davis also signed an agreement with a Fort Lauderdale attorney, Robert Paige, to purchase the rights to the title to these same properties following the probate of Effie Knowles' will in Florida. Davis paid a total of $15,000 toward the $60,000 contract price before Paige voided the agreement due to Davis' nonpayment under the contract. At no time did Davis ever pay the McDonalds, Paige or anyone else, individually or collectively, $1 million at cost for the Effie Knowles estate."

But let me rephrase my earlier question: what are the specific court rulings you rely on to state that "the dispute is over - the Davis deeds are legit."


My ex husband and I bought property on the Island of Rum Cay in August 29, 2002 in the name of James G Papagno - Lot #20 of a 80 acre tract with Rum Cay Ventures. I am trying to find information if this was sold or any title or deed information since this property is 50% of my ownership.

Could any one help direct me to get this information?


Davis wrote a contract for acreage on Rum Cay that was surveyed by Leonard Cheatow it was for one parcel @ $180.000 the contract was written by Gloria Miller @ Quality Title. Gloria was a Personal Rep on the will of Effie Knowles along with Paige. The contract was between the MacDonalds and Davis. Davis paid in bad checks. I worked with Gloria I was there

Donald Attilio

Having visited Rum Cay a few times in the past, I fell in love with the island. However, I fear development will destroy the very thing that makes Rum Cay such a wonderful place, away from the hands of greedy developers and politicians. I know one cannot stop progress but this type develoment is not progress but rather devastation. I am glad that I will carry the memories of predeveloped Rum Cay with me forever.



Posted by: lar | September 03, 2007 at 01:05 PM

My ex husband and I bought property on the Island of Rum Cay in August 29, 2002 in the name of James G Papagno - Lot #20 of a 80 acre tract with Rum Cay Ventures. I am trying to find information if this was sold or any title or deed information since this property is 50% of my ownership.

Could any one help direct me to get this information?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan


  • Bahama Pundit is a group weblog that publishes the work of top Bahamian commentators. We welcome your feedback. You may link to this site but no material may be reproduced without permission.

Email this blog

Global Village

  • Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?

Site Meter

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 09/2005

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner