Those of us who knew Patrick N. Williams are saddened to learn of his passing. He fought tirelessly for the things he believed were in the best interest of the Virgin Islands. As a young man, Pat joined the U. S. Marine Corps and after his service, he returned to St. Croix to work in the private sector. At that time also, politics in the Virgin Islands was at its boiling point. The Unity Party was trying to get a foothold on St. Croix, which had only known the Democratic Party at that time. St. Croix's sugar cane industry was in question for its survival since that industry was losing money. One of the debates was whether or not to phase out sugar cane and the issue was hot and spirited.
It was during this time that Pat joined the Unity Party, which advocated industrialization of the St. Croix economy by bringing such industries as Hess and Harvey Aluminum as well as the watch industry. Pat ran for a seat in the Fifth Legislature in 1962 under the Unity banner and was successful. He was a young dynamic voice for St. Croix.
In the midst of serving in the Fifth Legislature, he was persuaded by the Unity Party leaders to step aside and not run for the Sixth Legislature so that a candidate of Hispanic origin could run and expand the Party's reach into that community. Pat agreed and the late Aureo Diaz won his seat as an at-large candidate. Pat put the Party and the Virgin Islands ahead of himself. Pat subsequently succeeded me as the Executive Secretary of the Legislature and did a superb job. He served as a Senator, Commissioner of Agriculture and on many boards and commissions throughout his service to the people of the Virgin Islands. Patrick N. Williams leaves a legacy of service to the people of the Virgin Islands. May his soul rest in peace.
Eric E. Dawson
Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to [email protected].