October 4, 2017
Dear Dewees Owners,
To quote our Port Captain, Al Kemp: ‘This has been a season to remember!’ And indeed it has been. Under the able leadership of our General Manager, David Dew and with the dedication of long hours and hard work by every member of our staff, the island has weathered the storm and stands together as the remaining repairs are completed.
Most of you know that David Dew arrived on August 15th within the whirlwind of preparing for the Eclipse. Owners and guests arrived en masse, were mesmerized by the miracle of Dewees going dark and left transformed. Tuesday, August 22nd was the single heaviest transport day in the history of Dewees. 387 Passengers, baggage and several dogs were transported that day. Two breaths later, we returned for Labor Day’s long weekend, traditionally a busy holiday. Tradition held with Irma boiling not far enough away. Four days later OPCON 2 let us know we were facing evacuation. All staff and owners accelerated into hurricane readiness mode. Within another day and a half, most houses were boarded up and owners had left for safer refuge.
Then the aftermath: Houses and all community buildings unharmed. Electricity was present in most homes. Utility plants were quickly brought back up and functioning within 48 hours. Large trees stood erect. However, the storm surge, not wind, proved to be more destructive to roads and vulnerable dunes than Matthew. In fact, this was probably the most significant tidal event since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The ground was saturated, unable to absorb the standing water for about a week. The water control structures under construction for the Lake Timicau project suffered most. Today, Lake Timicau Road is open. The island is drying out. Driveways that requested shell sand or gravel have been served. One pipe is scheduled for repair beginning next week. Six pipes, in an early stage of construction, was completely opened up; however, the water control structures did survive. Ducks Unlimited has engineers in the field evaluating the best methods for rebuilding. We are looking down the road several months before we expect to see the roadbed in place.
All in all, Dewees is fortunate. We have much to celebrate and have found appropriate ways during the trauma to remain community. Important occasions always seem to be centered around the hospitality and enjoyment of good food. The fabulous cooks of Dewees feted us again and again in celebration of these passages.
We hosted the Dew family, David, Angie, Aaron and Alex to Dewees on September 2nd to a delightful brunch, welcomed the family to the island and the boys toured the island where their Dad works. Your Board held its regularly scheduled meeting on September 16th. Even though the shortened agenda focused on the state of the island, it required the staff to find the hours to prepare.
Observing the stress all were dealing with and the camaraderie that developed within the staff as they worked together, pitching in for each other in whatever chore was most needed at the moment. In tireless good spirits, they shouldered the enormous job of quickly getting our island livable again. We felt the need to express our heartfelt appreciation. A picnic seemed a perfect way to fulfill that need! On Friday, Sept 29th all staff was invited along with our neighbors, Station 2 firefighters, who supported us during the storm and have often been there when we had other emergencies, for a festive event. Held on the grounds of our IOP marina, on a beautiful day, we enjoyed a bountiful table laden with BBQ and home cooked treats shared with affection for all those who support Dewees.
In this ‘season to remember’ it was most appropriate that we invite Kim and Lois Knight to the island to express our appreciation for their years of care and commitment to Dewees. On September 30th, an elegant table of tenderloin of beef and favorite dishes from the larders of our own chefs provided the atmosphere of warmth and remembrance as toasts were made to the past and toasts were made to the future for all good wishes for their tomorrows.
I hope that this epistle truly gives you a sense of how the island has fared and of how our future looms bright and is very much in good hands. David Dew leads us most capably. He has both the support of the owners and all of the staff as the business of running the island returns to routine.
First on the docket is preparation for election of new POA Board members. Three of the sitting members, Bill Easterlin, Cecily Hines and Anne Anderson, retire after having served two successive terms on the board. They rotate off at the Annual Meeting in March 2018. The 2018 Nominating Committee has been duly constituted according to the criteria set forth in the Dewees Bylaws. Those members are:
Peter Cotton, ARB chair or representative
Connie Drew, EPB co-chair
Dave McIntyre, Past President
Low Harry, Board appointee
Jane Pasquini, Board appointee
The committee will soon establish a first meeting date at which time they will elect a chair and begin the process of recruiting and selecting qualified candidates for the Board. The committee will also send the community information on how to submit names of potential candidates to serve as Directors. The committee will accept proposals through December 15, 2017.
Please take time to refresh your familiarity with all the criteria that must be followed with regard to the nominating process as stated in Article XI, Section 11.4 of our Bylaws.
The community of Dewees is always active. Check the website calendar at deweesislandsc.com for upcoming events. Fall is especially delightful. We hope to see you on island soon.