Of the many Caribbean refuges of winter-fleeing Americans, few so completely fill the requirements of an island paradise as does Antigua. Its tropical climate is cooled by ever-blowing trade winds; its miles of virgin beaches are washed by superb skin-diving waters; butterfly and white spider orchids sway luxuriantly from its trees and rains rarely darken the holiday skies. For centuries Antigua (pronounced Ah-tee-ga.) existed in the lazy isolation of the Leeward Islands, too small to be of economic importance, too distant to attract hurried vacationers. But in 1949 a group of businessmen, dissatisfied with unpredictable weather and overcrowding on better-known and more northerly islands, discovered Antigua and formed the Mill Reef Club (see below). Today the club is a rambling series of 45 private homes, a 25-room clubhouse, croquet courses, sparkling beaches, tennis courts and golf greens. Life is relaxed and informal, undisturbed by telephones or newspapers, and most of it, as the pictures on the following pages show, is spent outdoors. Far from the complexities of the business world, the Mill Reef Club's 255 members are convinced that they have found the perfect place in the sun.
Sun-bleached homes of Antigua's sports-minded Mill Reef Club nestle on protected peninsula of island's southeast coast.
Sun-tanned ladies Mrs. Douglas Lawrence and Mrs. Fred Allen debark for picnic from boat handled by Bertram Work.
Laughing with friends, colorfully dressed Mrs. Walter Allen (left) of Hartford, Conn. works on needle point as she entertains Mill Reef Club members Mr. and Mrs. Jack Peacock Green of Baltimore on the beach patio of her Antigua home a quarter mile from the club.
Attacking the ball, Donald K. David (foreground) of Osterville, Mass. plays English version of croquet with John Cowles of Minneapolis on member's course.
Picnicking on hilltop, J. Noel Macy of Washington, D.C. wears a native straw hat for protection from the tropical sun.
Partying on fishing boat off the eastern shore of the island, Philip D. Reed of Rye, N.Y. enjoys the cool ocean breeze.
Examining island treasure, Club President Robertson Ward of Bermuda (left), Carlton Jewett of Buffalo and Fredrich Olsen of Guilford, Conn, study ancient Arawak Indian relics discovered during archaeological excavations on club property.