Maurice Smith, a wood craftsmen and member of the Cruz Bay Baptist Church, has his work cut out for him. An old mahogany tree in the church’s yard was slowly dying and losing branches, becoming as safety hazard. Smith offered to remove the tree if he could work with its wood. Pastor Emmanuel Jaggernauth agreed, telling the Virgin islands Daily News, "It has been given to him to use in constructive ways."
Smith said he will be able to use the 12-foot long trunk, 30 inches in diameter, "for dining table tops, mainly, and other small furniture." The 65-year-old Smith is one of a few wood workers on St. John. "This is a gift I’m born with," he told the newspaper. "Somebody just tells me to make something, and I do it." Smith said he also plans to build chairs to be used in the church."