BRING ON MOVEMBER!
- October 22nd, 2014
- in Lifestyle
BVI Movember Revises the Calendar
Photography by Alastair Abrehart, Broadsword Communications
Probably because of spellcheck or some overzealous editor, Virgin Islands Property & Yacht has mistakenly published this issue as the November issue. Those of us in the BVI know that the month has been renamed ‘Movember’ in support of the BVI Movember Charitable Trust’s efforts to fund treatment, research, and awareness of prostate cancer, and men’s health.
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in men, and it is also one of the most treatable once detected. African-Caribbean men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. Part of the reason why African-Caribbean men have such a high rate of prostate cancer is due to the lack of education about early detection as well as fear and embarrassment associated with prostate cancer screening methods.
One of the goals of BVI Movember is to educate the men of the Territory in order to dispel those concerns. Additionally, the charity provides funds to assist men who are suffering from prostate or testicular cancer. Lastly, the Trust donates a portion of the funds raised to the Medical Research Council in the UK, with the donation specifically earmarked for prostate cancer research.
BVI Movember is a month-long event that starts with registration of clean-shaven men on Saturday, November 1 at The Dove Restaurant. The event continues with the participants growing moustaches, conversing about the cause, and raising sponsorship money throughout the month—bolstered by a few mid-month activities, including the On the Rocks Bar Crawl in Virgin Gorda on November 15. It then concludes with the End of Movember Party and Prizegiving at Nanny Cay Beach on Sunday, November 30 when men compete in several moustache-related categories.
The first BVI Movember took place in 2007, and the event has grown each year with the final party now one of the most preeminent events on the BVI social calendar. Additionally, the Trust reached last year’s target of raising $1 per capita of the BVI which is a significant milestone and an indication of the success of the charity.
Business aside, Movember is also a fun, irreverent way to raise money and awareness (as well as some handsome facial hair). Last year, Justice Bannister of the BVI Commercial Court issued a statement that he had no objections to BVI Movember participants (and their moustaches) “attending Court or Chambers during work in progress…provided that the results do not exceed what is ordinarily socially acceptable.” This was a coup for the charity who often heard from lawyers in the Territory who wanted to participate but did not feel that their moustaches would always be well received.
As part of an effort to promote health and wellness through exercise, the theme of this year’s End of Movember Party is BVI Molympics. Participants and attendees are encouraged to dress up in athletic gear or as famous moustache-sporting athletes to compete for one of the many moustache categories, including the prestigious title of Mr. Movember.
Last year’s Mr. Movember, Bertrum Lettsome (DJ Birch) took his title very seriously.
He has spent the year promoting prostate cancer awareness through social media, radio show appearances, discussions on his own radio programme, and is planning a TV interview before the end of the year. He believes it is important for men to get checked. “We rarely ever go to the doctor even unless it’s extremely serious,” he said. He also mentioned the procedure and how “most men wouldn’t want to get it done,” but he encourages men to “get checked or encourage your love ones to get checked.”
He also added an important item, the fact that BVI Movember Charitable Trust has money to give to men in the Territory who are living with this disease. Through a very simple and straightforward application process, residents in the Territory who have been diagnosed with prostate or testicular cancer can receive funds to assist in treatment, travel, or other expenses. They simply need to contact [email protected].
BVI Movember forgives this publication for the use of the month’s former, out-dated name. As the charity continues to take over the penultimate month of the year, they might petition to have the name officially changed.
 Kleier JA, “Prostate cancer in men of African-Caribbean descent, Journal of Cultural Diversity, 2003.
 Parchment YD, “Prostate cancer screening in African American and Caribbean males: detriment in delay,” ABNF, 2004.