Falklands : Islander Visits Home
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 26.07.2004 (Article Archived on 09.08.2004)
Terry Betts, author of ďFalkland Islander Till I Die,Ē has returned to the Falklands, howbeit for only one week.
Photos (c) J. Brock (FINN) Terry Betts signs a book for Johnwillie Jaffray.
ISLANDER VISITS HOME
By J. Brock (FINN)
Terry Betts signs a book for a long-time friend, Johnwillie Jaffray.
Terry Betts, author of ďFalkland Islander Till I Die,Ē has returned to the Falklands, howbeit for only one week. He was here to promote his book and his music as well as visit members of his family. Mr. Betts (TB) had, in the past, been a frequent visitor to FINNís Office and it was good to welcome him back again after three years away. The book told of Terryís past in the Falklands but I was more interested in what he is doing now, so I asked him about the UK company he is running from Portugal where he now lives.
Terry has often visited FINN's Office. He's always welcome.
TB: We look after the book and the music at the moment. I wanted to get back into business in a meaningful way on a day-to-day basis, so Iíve got a company in the UK and I call it Eagle UK Limited. I had a company here by that name Ė Eagle Trading Company. In the beginning, we sold the book and the music. The book was complicated because I am under contract with the publishers. They are a main supplier also. The CD, I market and supply it as I wish. The other shareholders in the Company are family members. They are all Falkland Islanders. We are open for any kind of business like buying hotels.
FINN: If someone came and said they wanted to sell handicrafts that we make for the Falklands, would you consider that?
TB: We would look at any kind of sensible commercial project. To do that we would have to get a facility and I have been shopping around for one. So, as long as all the bits and pieces are in place we would look at anything. I canít deny, of course, that fishing is of interest. I am not backtracking into the past into things that I might have done in the past. Certainly there is an interest in South Georgia and maybe other parts of the globe as well. Itís early days. We have already had an approach from a vessel owner with a view to a fishing partnership. That may be a familiar story but itís a different approach.
FINN: Where else would you be interested in?
TB: South Georgia is one of the many options. Also, there is an opportunity for me to generate business for the Company through the knock-ons, if you like, with the book and the music. That interest is growing all the time for me to go and do my music live Ė perform live which is another dimension to it. That can lead to more business and there is already potential for that to happen in Argentina. The great thing about music and art and cultural things is that you can get into them without upsetting politics. In fact, it can be a bridge in terms of socialising, sport and culture. It can bring neighbours and communities together, if you like. One of the brain-childs of mine is to go into Argentina in particular, primarily because itís a huge market in which it would be good for me to express my music. I would like to do the whole thing under the hand of friendship. Thatís what I mean about being able to separate politics from art, if you like. I think thatís achievable.
FINN: Seeing that you come from a British background, do you think that your music would be acceptable to a Latin market?
TB: Music is a personal taste. Somebody who likes Country probably wouldnít like Brahms and somebody who likes easy listening probably isnít into heavy metal and hip-hop. Providing itís good enough, music will find its place. Go to any Island in the world and you probably will find country music. It just seems to be a part of Island life. I am more than confident that I can go down and do my music live and express it in an original manner. Another thing about doing it live is that it can be translated quite differently from what you have recorded on CD. CDs are done in a very cold atmosphere. The atmosphere is completely different in a studio than being on stage. All of my music can be brought back to its original state and just be played with a couple of guitars and a drummer. In the studio you have keyboards and strings available. You can transform your sound when live and you may find that youíve got a whole new audience. One track that sounded blues or country on the CD, might turn out to be more rock when it is done live.
FINN: Would you have an Argentine lyricist and would the words be translated into Spanish?
TB: No. I do all my music in English. The fortunate thing about it is that my work doesnít need any translation into Spanish. The world accepts lyrics in English. You can go anywhere in South America, France, or even in China and they are playing music thatís in English. In many ways, singing in English has its advantages. Singing in English can help to promote the Falklands because I will be doing my tour as a Falkland Islander and performing original music. Liverpool says a lot about John Lenin. Iím not John Lenin but I hope people will identify me with the Falklands.
FINN: Before we started this interview you said you would have to have a good reason to come back and live here. In the future, would there be a reason for you to come back?
TB: Itís difficult to answer that question. At this point, I donít know. There are certain jobs that I wouldnít mind doing. There are possible business opportunities that I could take up. I think I would have to have a clear role to come back. Home is home and I will come back as much as I can to see family. I would want to come back and fill a useful role on a day-to-day basis. If these opportunities came up, I would have a shot at it, providing I am not totally committed in other areas. Downing the tools and coming back home is not that easy.
FINN: Are you happy in what you are doing at the moment? Arenít you a little split by living in Portugal and having a British Company? Does that work for you?
TB: Yes. It works in as much as Portugal is a wonderful place to live in that it has a good climate and you get value for money. The Portuguese are very friendly people and all of those things are nice to have. To be honest, I donít miss the 40kt winds coming from the west. Those parts of life are really nice. The title of my book is ďFalkland Islander Till I Die.Ē Until I do, I will do whatever I can to promote the Falkland Islands. I bat for the Falkland Islander. Itís as simple as that so I am not confused about my purpose in life. If I can help out in any way, I will.
On Friday, Terry went to the Capstan Gift shop, where people listened to his music, bought CDs, his book and had sleeves and books signed. The visit was all too short and by Saturday, Terry had left the Islands for his abode in Portugal. Heíll be back.