The legacy of Amrita Island and its development into a natural paradise is a uniquely American one.
Bridge to Amrita Island
Tom Baxendale was an immigrant entrepreneur of uncommon vision and sensibilities. He invented the box toe shoe (the forerunner of the steel-toed shoe), which brought him great wealth. In the tradition of many highly successful yet benevolent businesspeople, he and his wife Esther (both nature and animal lovers) chose to share their success with the purchase of Amrita Island, the establishment of a school for children, and a Trust to protect the natural beauty, animals and birds who call Amrita and Lawrence Island home.
Heart Fountain at Island Haven
I too share their love of these very special islands, having grown up across the harbor. As a child I vividly remember viewing Amrita with its dreamy beach homes that shone almost supernaturally and spiritually in the light. It was mystical, much like the Baxendales. My dear aunt called Megansett “God’s beloved home.” It still is.
View of Amrita and surrounding islands from my Home
I built a home on the bluff that had stunning views of Lawrence and Amrita Islands. This perspective made me think of the Baxendales whenever I looked westward towards the Amrita Island. Indeed, I feel a divine connection with the couple who created this remarkable refuge; a place “Safe from Snares” where nature and all of its creatures were free and protected. Whenever I see Amrita Island, I feel a compelling responsibility to preserve the benevolence of Tom and Esther Baxendale, and a responsibility to protect their wishes.
The Baxendales truly believed and lived by the saying “Love is Eternal”. Leaving a trust to ensure their care for nature and animals would continue forever. It was with great sadness that this was not to be, and unfortunately we have not been great stewarts of the trust. Those of us who love Amrita Island and all it stands for share heavy hearts and a sense of guilt over the loss of this property and aspire to preserve what remains.
However, many of us still believe Love is Eternal, which is why we continue to work diligently to preserve the Baxendale’s legacy. One approach is through the sale of 100% organically grown Amrita Certified Pure® Coffee of which a portion of the profits are donated to organizations whose mission is to preserve the environment, wildlife and restore nature for future generations. The Amrita Coffee brand will help tell the enchanting story of the Baxendale’s Legacy and will be a key protector of what’s left of the legacy.
View of Amrita and Lawrence Islands from my Home
Amrita has always cast a spell on me; a dreamland where one could walk among its dazzling flowers and wondrous wildlife, and experience nature in its truest essence. Ironically the proliferate birds in the Amrita environs are of the few lasting benefits of the Baxendale Legacy. The camp is dormant but the remaining valuable land continue to serve as they provide a fine habitat for animals.
Please join us in preserving what’s left of this earthly paradise, and continue to honor the largesse and legacy of Tom and Esther Baxendale. We want to re-open their quest to teach, educate, and to be one with animals.