A long-time staple of downtown Charlestown, Ranford “Anderson” Arthurton, passed away Aug 20 after a three-month battle with pancreatic complications.
Anderson was the owner of a chicken shop situated right at the edge of the Charlestown pier. The shop was inside a bright yellow bus, making it one of the first things all visitors and residents saw on the island when they landed on its shores. Anderson embraced this role, as it fit right in with his happy and outgoing personality.
Anderson’s waterfront mobile restaurant was one of the first of its kind on Nevis. Unlike a conventional restaurant, all the food was prepared in the open-air right next to the bus, giving passers-by and those traveling from St. Kitts a convenient stop for all types of chicken delicacies.
Anderson’s wife, Rubynette Arthurton, explained to the Observer that the business started with the same ideals it always represented: keeping people full and happy.
“We had an anniversary party on the beach with the whole family and we started to barbeque there,” Arthurton said. “He was really good at bringing people together.”
On the weekends, Anderson’s chicken restaurant would light up the nights with music and entertainment. Its origin created a new space for revelry in Charlestown on the weekends, a spot where people could come sit next to the pier, dance and enjoy themselves while they ate. On Saturdays, Anderson would grill up fresh-caught conch outside the shack, extending his plethora of mouthwatering features.
Anderson lived his whole life on Nevis, which meant in addition to chicken, Anderson stocked his restaurant with local foods such as goat water and conch whenever available.
The greatest gift Anderson could give was that of enjoyment and happiness, and he represented these values in his shop. The offseason in Charlestown can sometimes be a drab affair, but that was never the case around the pier at his restaurant.
“He didn’t have to know you to meet you and speak with you,” Arthurton said. “Talking to people made him happy. When he met someone while he was working, he always said, ‘Hi sweetheart.’”
Before going into the chicken business, Anderson worked at the government supply shop, working with the containers, feed, flour and everything else needed on the islands.
“He was a happy husband to me and happy with all the people in the family,” Arthurton said. “All his children and all his friends from St. Kitts and Nevis, throughout the whole island, knew he was a happy man.”
Music and family made Anderson happy, and he spent time in his younger days playing old company music under the name Ultraphonix.
Anderson’s funeral will be held 2:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Roman Catholic Church on Nevis. The proceedings will be led by Father Lawrence.