A 1925 land transfer improperly conveyed hundreds of acres of land in Pinewood Gardens to a single owner, and ultimately gave Arawak Homes land that was never properly acquired, according to a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court by one of the parties involved in an ongoing land dispute with the company.
The legal action filed on behalf of Dennis Dean and the Nassau Village and Sea Breeze Property Owners Association outlines land transfers dating back more than 150 years, and seeks to show that Arawak Homes cannot own as much land as it claims it does in the Pinewood area, because some of the heirs of James Malcolm – who acquired 1,080 acres of land in the area in 1847 – were not authorized to act on behalf of all of his heirs.
The Supreme Court action alleges that a detailed title search of the land in question by Benchmark Publishing Co. Ltd showed that in his last will and testament Malcolm left the land to his five children in equal undivided shares as tenants in common and not as joint tenants.
The court documents detail a 1925 land transfer during which six of Malcolm’s grandchildren (fathered by his son Wellesley), “purported to convey their respective interest in 590 acres of the estate of Wellesley Malcolm to Joseph Garfunkel.”
Wellesley Malcolm had eight children in total, “Wellesley Malcolm, one of the five children of James Malcolm was, however, entitled to just one fifth of James Malcolm’s estate,” said the report. “Therefore (Wellesley’s heirs) were entitled to sixth-eighths of his estate as (his other two heirs) are not seen to be party to the November 20, 1925 conveyance to Joseph Garfunkel.
“According to James Malcolm’s will, (Wellesley) was only entitled to 118 acres of the 590 acres purported to have been conveyed to Garfunkel. It follows then that the children of Wellesley Malcolm were each entitled to a one-eighth share or 14.75 acres-each, of their father’s 118-acre share.”
The lawsuit also alleges that “(Arawak Homes) does not have possessory title to the land as its right to enter thereon has been consistently disputed and (the company) was at no time in undisturbed possession of the land.”
According to the court documents, Garfunkel sold about 500 acres of the land to Amusements Limited in November 1942. Amusements Limited then sold the land to International Agencies Limited in September 1956, said the report.
The land changed hands again less than a year later, when it was sold to Alexis Nihon and George Kenneth Kelly, according to the report, which said that Nihon later sold it to Pinewood Gardens Limited, which is where Arawak Homes reportedly got the land.
Dean is one of several residents that have engaged in a legal battle with Arawak Homes over land in that portion of New Providence. The real estate developer has vowed to fight all legal challenges that are brought against it.
In a recent statement, Arawak Homes President Franon Wilson said the company, “does not, take lightly any action that will adversely affect any family and will only do so in strict compliance with the law, with patience and compassion.”
By JUAN McCARTNEY
Nassau Guardian Senior Reporter
The land in question is only a small part of the land in Nassau that has allegedly been improperly or ilegally acquired. Hundreds of acres in Palmdale and Winton are rumoured to also have been improperly acquired, titles were forged and people were even murdered to keep the information from the public. The land was apparently divied up between top lawyers and major real estate brokers who have commited a number of illegal acts to keep the scam from being exposed.