Sept. 18, 2002 – In word, song and prayer, St. John residents and a host of people from St. Thomas remembered former Gov. Alexander A. Farrelly at a memorial service Wednesday at the Battery. He died Sept. 10 at his home in Virginia.
"We in these islands are better because Alexander A. Farrelly passed this way," Gov. Charles Turnbull said to the more than 50 mourners who packed the Battery's upstairs reception room.
Sen. Almando "Rocky" Liburd, Sen. Lorraine Berry and Sen. Vargrave Richards, as well as former Sen. Cleone Creque, were among the attendees. Others included St. John Administrator Julien Harley and a handful of St. John's government staff and retirees, as well as a smattering of community members. Police, wearing their dress whites, ringed the room and kept watch on the sidewalk below.
Farrelly's wife, Joan, who sat before the service with Farrelly's lieutenant governor, Derek Hodge, greeted visitors with handshakes and hugs.
A large portrait of the former governor graced the wall near her side. Draped in black bunting with a large purple center, the photo depicted Farrelly the statesman. Floral arrangements perfumed the air.
The Rev. Neil Scantlebury, of St. John's Our Lady of Mount Carmel, officiated. He was assisted by deacon Austin Medina and the Rev. Carlyle Sampson of St. John's Nazareth Lutheran Church.
Moravian Church lay-pastor William Lomax, who served as St. John administrator under Farrelly, gave the first reading.
"But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them," Lomax said, reading from the Book of Wisdom.
Turnbull also spoke about the place Farrelly will occupy in history.
"Thirteen years ago today, as Hugo was ripping through St. Croix, Gov. Farrelly led us through the awful storm," Turnbull said.
He noted that Farrelly faced Hurricane Hugo without benefit of previous hurricane experience.
Turnbull said Farrelly left a legacy of hurricane preparedness that continues to be fine-tuned today.
The governor urged those at the memorial service to celebrate Farrelly's life. "He made our territory and world better," Turnbull said.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Government House on St. Croix. His body will lie in state from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The funeral begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday at St. Peter and Paul Cathedral on St. Thomas with interment at Western Cemetery No. 1.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email