Acts of Kindness: Bruce Twyon and Southern Hospitality

Bruce Twyon (right) and Jay Rushing (left) jokingly hold a "St. John Hurricane Relief Telethon" on Sept. 24, 2017 at Chester's ... It was really a flash mob of 75 at Chester's Fried Chicken for an impromptu BBQ. :)

Bruce Twyon (right) and Jay Rushing (left) jokingly hold a “St. John Hurricane Relief Telethon” on Sept. 24, 2017 at Chester’s … It was really a flash mob of 75 for an impromptu BBQ. :)

Everyone has a role in the recovery efforts on St. John and the surrounding islands. Today we’d like to introduce you to Bruce Twyon. Bruce is the owner of Southern Hospitality and So Ho II, two charter boats in Cruz Bay. Bruce was fortunate in that both of his charter boats survived the hurricanes, and because of that, Bruce has been giving back to the community as a thank you ever since.

Since the storms hit, Bruce, a retired state trooper from New Hampshire, has done a number of humanitarian trips alongside fellow captains Jay Rushing and Eric Hovgaard. The following list is a sampling of what these men have done for the betterment of our community over the past two months:

  • They helped personally evacuate residents from the island, bringing them to the airport and Red Hook in St. Thomas.
  • They helped evacuate local police, fire personnel and other residents of St. Thomas who were stranded on St. John while the ports were closed.
  • Working with the Kenny Chesney foundation, they assisted with the evacuation of residents, some in need of medical attention, as well as numerous dogs and cats. On their return, they transported necessary personnel and supplies back to St. John.
  • They brought 15 of the 25 New York State Troopers who came to aid our island, as well as their gear, from the airport on St. Thomas to St. John after dark. This was a treacherous trip as there were no navigational lights or markers working on either island.
  • The men delivered much-needed medicine and medical supplies to the hospital on Tortola at the request of the Virgin Islands Relief Fund.
  • And to thank those who have helped our community so very much, they’ve ever offered free Sunday-funday-style boat trips to those of were feeding thousands of people each day with the help of the Red Cross.

Bruce did not receive any compensation for these trips; his time and the boats were donated for free. (Some guests insisted on paying for fuel and tipping the crew; however some of that money has been returned to the residents of St. John directly.) So again, a BIG thank you to captains Bruce, Jay and Eric for all of their efforts over the past few months. It takes a village, folks.

Eric Hovgaard

Eric Hovgaard

southern hospitality

Southern Hospitality – Nov. 2, 2017

20 comments for “Acts of Kindness: Bruce Twyon and Southern Hospitality

  1. Tina Gonsalves
    November 7, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Guess which charter company we’ll use next time we visit the island. Same for Gallows Point who I hear kept paying their employees despite having no business.

    • Penny Wilson
      November 8, 2017 at 9:03 am

      Wow that is amazing. My daughter taught Pilates at Gallows Point and the manager let her use the premises for free. Please everyone support them in the future. I certainly will promote them and they have the best views/including the most beautiful peacocks roaming the grounds.

  2. Sheila howe
    November 7, 2017 at 7:47 am

    That is so amazing. I will definitely be looking this Charter Company up when we come back. Thank you for all you do.

  3. Ryan
    November 7, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Inspiring and encouraging. Great people!

  4. November 7, 2017 at 9:23 am

    What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Pam
    November 7, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Such heat filled generosity. They must be very fulfilled knowing how much they have been able to do to help in this situation.

  6. Bruce Brainerd
    November 7, 2017 at 9:47 am

    I am not surprised. Bruce and Jay are GREAT guys!

  7. Aaron
    November 7, 2017 at 11:10 am

    We used Bruce in 2015, he was fantastic! Great story. We just left on Sunday and we saw Southern Hospitality in Cruz Bay in good shape!

  8. Donna
    November 7, 2017 at 11:14 am


  9. Mary
    November 7, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    We went on Bruce’s boat, Southern Hospitality, last year and had a great time. I am so happy to hear the Southern Hospitality was not damaged by Irma or Maria. If you go to St. John, be sure to look up Bruce.

  10. Christine
    November 7, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you so much for all your hard work and positive energy!! You touched so many lives in the best way possible in the worst of times! I’ve always loved St John and the folks who live there, but have never been more proud of all of you!!! An inspiration to the rest of us, for sure! Thank you again, for all you’ve done!

  11. Pete
    November 7, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    Great Job!

  12. Ruth McGill
    November 7, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Thank you News of St. John. It’s heartening to find out that USVI is being remembered by other Americans. The Caribbean islands have always helped out the neighboring islands most in need. Thank you Puerto Rico. After Hur Hugo a banana boat arrived from a Lesser isle nation. It was all they had to offer but people were hungry on St. Thomas. They had never been so grateful for a banana! Keep the sharing going!

  13. Lisa D
    November 8, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Wonderful acts of kindness. Bad times can truly bring out the best in people. Thanks Jenn for sharing their stories.

  14. Michael Golding
    November 9, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I’m not one bit surprised by Bruce’s generosity and compassion. I’ve known him since the 1980s and had the pleasure of working with him at the beginning of his career. He is very well thought of, well known and respected throughout the State of NH. A true gentleman.

  15. David Twyon
    November 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I may be a little biased, Bruce is my Brother. What you’re reading is an example of Bruce everyday. Often an unsung hero, and I am glad that he is being recognized, though I am sure he would be fine flying “under the radar”. I have come to know Eric and Jay and they too are two of the nicest most genuine humans you might meet. I am not surprised that these three are working in collaboration. STJ is an amazing place and we have been fortunate enough to be able to visit many times over the years. We are looking forward to our next visit.

    Thank you Bruce for being such a good brother and a good person. Your kindness is an example for me to follow.

  16. Neil
    November 9, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    So great to hear of someone from ‘back home’ doing good in the world. I’m sure the people Bruce and his friends helped really appreciated it. Nice job!

  17. Sandy
    November 12, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    Bruce, you never cease to amaze me I know if it all possible you will be home for Thanksgiving. Be safe. I love you !! We Kudos to Captain Jay and Captain Eric love Mom/Sandy

  18. Cynthia Karkoska
    January 20, 2018 at 12:12 am

    We used Southern Hospitality for a full day and highly recommend. The captain and the crew were amazing and lots of fun. Very nice boat and Bruce was easy to work with when booking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *