Imagine St. John in 1914. That’s when Guy Benjamin was born, far on the East End of the smallest Virgin Island.
He was the first St. Johnian to finish high school. He went on to graduate from New York University, and to become both Superintendent of Schools on St. John and St. Thomas and an author (Me and My Beloved Virgin).
Still living in Coral Bay, and directing the choir at the Moravian Church, Benjamin continues to wield what they call in Chicago ‘clout.’ In a profile of Benjamin in this month's Caribbean Travel & Life, writer Peter Muilenburg says all it took was him to indicate he was opposed to a proposal to build a marina, hotel and condos on church land to kill the project.
If you love St. John, you need to know about Guy Benjamin. One way would be to read his book, “Me and My Beloved Virgin.” Another is to stop by the Sputnik Bar, where he’s been known to stop for refreshment. Or you could go to church and listen to him sing.
- Read the Caribbean Travel & Life article here.
- The St. John Historical Society has more information about Guy Benjamin and other island stalwarts.
- (Benjamin photo by Kimberly Boulon, for the St. John Historical Society.)