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HomeNewsLocal newsVirgin Islanders Mourn Broadcaster Hugh Pemberton

Virgin Islanders Mourn Broadcaster Hugh Pemberton

St. Croix broadcast icon Hugh “Mr. P” Pemberton has died at 76. (Submitted photo)

Virgin Islanders were mourning Monday the death of St. Croix celebrity Hugh Pemberton, an entrepreneur, radio station owner, and longtime broadcaster. Pemberton died Saturday; he was 76.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. said Pemberton, better known as Mr. P, was a tireless advocate for his community whose legacy lives on through the many lives he touched. Bryan said the weekday program Living In The Positive with Mr. P, where Pemberton discussed local issues with co-host Mario Moorhead, was indispensable.

“Mr. P was not only a broadcaster but a respected voice in discussions on politics and policy. I had the privilege of enjoying numerous on- and off-air conversations with him, discussions that were always enriching and thought-provoking. I always respected his views and his unwavering commitment to our community,” the governor said.

Virgin Islands Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett also remembered Pemberton as more than a radio host. Originally from St. Kitts and Nevis, Pemberton was passionate about issues in his adopted home, she said.

“I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. P. He was well-known for his gregarious nature not just as a radio personality but in his everyday interactions. Mr. P made the Virgin Islands his home and used his resources and influence to better our community in many ways and very often was not afraid to ask controversial questions in a quest for truth,” Plaskett said. “I will miss our conversations.”

Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach, also born in St. Kitts, said Pemberton embodied the can-do spirit of first-generation Americans.

“Mr. Pemberton and I shared the immigrant experience, having both migrated to the Virgin Islands from the Federation of St. Kitts-Nevis. As an immigrant, I was always encouraged by my parents to give my best to my new home, as the immigrant journey is always a quest to do better. In that vein, I respected Mr. Pemberton’s entrepreneurial and building spirit because of his involvement in numerous ventures that provided opportunities for others in our community,” Roach said.

The Lt. Gov. said while he and Pemberton didn’t always agree, their conversations were always civilized.

“I had the pleasure to appear on Mr. Pemberton’s radio program on multiple occasions. There were times when our opinions were similar, but in the times when we had differences of opinion, we always managed to have a healthy and respectful dialogue. I will remember his tireless advocacy for St. Croix and his overall concern for the Virgin Islands community,” Roach said.

“The Virgin Islands has lost an expressive, humorous, thought-provoking, passionate voice that was always about building community and making the Virgin Islands a better place for all who call it home. Undoubtedly, he leaves a lasting legacy, owing to his many contributions both to the territory and to his native St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.

Pemberton owned Reef Broadcasting, and local radio stations WDHP and WAXJ, as well as a St. Kitts FM station. In 2015, Gov. Kenneth Mapp appointed Pemberton to the Port Authority Board.

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