Home Commentary Op-ed AN HONOR TO 'YOUR HONORS'

AN HONOR TO 'YOUR HONORS'

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I regret that I was unable to attend the very special occasion, of Legal Services of the Virgin Islands Inc. 30th anniversary, as they honored the founders, Judge Alphonso Christian, my father and Judge Almeric Christian, the father of the Delegate to Congress.
I was required to sit my re-certification aviation medical examination October 29-31, 1999 or lose my license. If it were not for such serious circumstances, I would have attended. But I would like to share with you my thoughts on this very memorable day.
One day I was struggling with the difficulty of being busy taking care of patients, working as an Assistant Commissioner, working as the medical director for the peer review organization for physicians, and taking leadership roles in many organizations. I was feeling the strain of being a working mother, committed to my children but questioning how well could I
take care of them with so many other responsibilities? Was I spending
quality time with my children? Should I just quit one of my jobs? I asked my Dad what should I do.
My Dad responded, "Children learn by example". He said nothing else. I completely understood for I then reflected on his success, along with my Mom, in raising all of his children.
In that simple statement, I caught a glimpse of the tremendous fortune I had for having been born with a father such as he. He taught us by his example.
Every single wrinkle that has seamed into his happy face vividly reminds me of a growth ring on a tree trunk, an annual ring of faith, which developed out of his courageous fight of taking lack of opportunity and creating opportunity, of taking envy and creating harmony, of taking criticism and keeping fairness — his modus operandi.
Every individual experience, amid his many activities over four score and ten plus, bears profound significance for me, for each of his experiences was as either the internal or external cause to build character.
Every accomplishment was not used as a form made of ostentatious vanity, but a manifestation of intensified spiritual force in the depths of his life. He used every experience to build a sterling character, outstanding in human relation in his community, in his place of work, in his church, but most significantly in his family-his children.
He used every opportunity through effort and hard work, while challenging the status quo, to improve himself and all whose lives he touched.
The current of the times shows that this is an era of "actual proof." The
wisdom of his statement to me that children learn by example shows actual proof in the accomplishments and lives of those who saw his example each and every day, his children.
On behalf of all of the children of Judge Alphonso A. Christian, we would like to thank you for treasuring and honoring the life of one of the greatest examples of what each and every one of us strives to achieve as a parent, the life of our dad.
I would also like to take this opportunity on behalf of my family to congratulate the family of Judge Almeric Christian. Many of you know Judge Almeric Christian for his intellect. But our family had a very special relationship with the Judge.
He was a deeply religious man. He and my mother sat together in church Sunday after Sunday. He and my father, both being judges, both from St. Croix, both living on Solberg, and both having daughters that are physicians—family physicians that trained together at the same institution and worked together in the same Department of Health and both being founders of your organization—share a close and binding relationship.
In fact, Judge Almeric would often joke that I was his daughter if whatever I did was positive. His wit was equal to his intellect. He and his wife Shirley would attend all of our family gatherings as if we were one family. It is no wonder that many people have thought that we are related. And, in many ways, the relationship our family and his have is as close as family.
We also thank you for bringing two great men, two great judges, two great fathers together tonight as you honor Judge Alphonso and posthumously, Judge Almeric Christian.
Editors' note: Dr. Cora Christian is a board certified practicing family physician. Christian is credited with the development of the Frederiksted Health Center, both its renovation from the old hospital into a functioning health center — only one of her many achievements in public health. After many years in public service she is now medical director of Hess Oil Virgin Islands Corporation, now HOVENSA

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