Stab Magazine | Billy Mystic's Home Goes Up In Flames
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Billy Mystic’s Home Goes Up In Flames

Cornerstone of Jamaican surfing lost to fire.

news // May 10, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The surf world cries with Jamaica at the news that a fire has destroyed Billy “Mystic” Wilmot’s home at Bull Bay.

A gathering place for the Jamaican surf scene, the Wilmot compound has served as the cornerstone for community over the years. Due to a quickly spreading inferno, very little was able to be salvaged from the home as the flames engulfed it. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the blaze.

News reports coming out of Jamaica indicate that the blaze was reported to the fire department at 3:25pm local time. 

“There’s a whole lot of historical stuff in here, because my in-laws were journalists and a lot of their work was in the house,” Claudet Wilmot, Billy’s wife, told a local newspaper. “We lost a whole lot of irreplaceable stuff. Apart from the artwork and the carvings and so on, just the artefacts, the documents that were there. There was even a letter there from the last colonial governor, a whole lot of old photographs, letters signed by Michael Manley, an original painting by Ras Daniel Hartman, called Generation Untold, 1969.”

“The sea quite all right. The sea nuh ketch a fire, and the surfboards are outside,” was Billy’s response. “At least mi nah fi worry bout clothes fi wear. See mi have on mi one suit ya.”

The Wilmot family’s role and stature in the local community can’t be overstated. Through their Jamneisa surf camp, they’ve been able to touch countless lives and uplift them through waveriding. Their hospitality and aloha have been embraced by countless travelers and surf stars over the years. 

One of the few pieces of good news to come from the news reports is that most of the Jamnesia surfboards survived the fire as they were stored somewhere else. Surfboards are remarkably hard to come by for the Jamaican youth and the fact that they weren’t destroyed is at least a beacon of hope. In 2016, the Dane, Pat and Tanner Gudauskas and their Positive Vibe Warrior Foundation raised over 300 surfboards for Mystic’s Jamneisa operation. 

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up by Nicole Wilmot to help raise funds to rebuild the home. Considering how much the Wilmot’s have given to surfing and how dedicated they’ve been to providing the youth with a better future through surfing, anyone that’s been touched by their soul should feel compelled to drop a few bucks in the cup for them.  

“Today, we lost their house. As fire ravaged the vestiges of my most cherished and happiest memories of what was always the central grounding point of my soul, I can hardly breathe…the air is gone again,” writes Nicole.

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