By an interesting coincidence, Anthony Quetel was born on St. Thomas on Bastille Day, July 14, 1908, to French parents, Elizabeth and Louis Quetel, who, having migrated from St. Barthelemy, French West Indies, to St. Thomas, settled in the French neighborhood, Estate Honduras, known locally as "Frenchtown." He grew up in this locale and became one of its most prominent citizens. Testing business possibilities, he established the first grocery store in Frenchtown and later encouraged by its success, opened Bar Normandie, the first restaurant in the area. This restaurant was so successful it became known as the "Downtown Senate" as political leaders, civic leaders, laborers, fishermen, rich and poor alike, gathered to discuss cur rent issues, offering solutions in rap sessions. It was also the site where hundreds gathered to celebrate Mr. Quetel's birthday on Bastille Day. This establishment became a landmark and is still in operation fifty years later.
While he did not seek public office, Mr. Quetel wielded much influence in local elections. He was affectionately known as the "Mayor of Frenchtown," a term he earned from his success as well as his concern, understanding and assistance to his people. In his commitment to aid the further development of Estate Honduras, he donated large parcels of land to the local government. One of these lots provided the site for a much needed recreational area and was developed as a ball park and stadium. An annex for an elementary school was built on another lot. He also allowed roads for public access to be cut into his estate and when potable water became available for the area, he granted permission for the construction of a reservoir and catchment to facilitate these services for residents. In addition, he permitted portions of his land in the Bourne Field area, north of the Cyril E. King Airport, to be used as part of an elementary school designated the Michael J. Kirwan Terrace School on November 20, 1964. Anthony Quetel was married to the former Anne Marie Danet of St. Thomas and from this union there were eight children: Elisa Quetel O'Dea, Evelyn Quetel McLaughlin, Louise Quetel Arguin, William, Thomas, Betty Quetel Ferrell, Julian, and Frank. A Roman Catholic by faith, he and his family attended St. Anne's Chapel in Frenchtown. He died on September 19, 1981, at seventy-three years of age.
A dedicated nurse who gave more than two decades of her life to health care in the Virgin Islands, Evelyn Richardson was a pioneer on the local nursing scene. She entered the profession in 1917, the year of the sale of the Danish West Indies to the United States of America. By 1920 she had assumed responsibility of the Kings Hill Poor Farm, presently known as the Grigg Home for the Aged. She held this position for one year and then returned to the Frederiksted Hospital as nurse-midwife in residence. In 1931, when the Virgin Islands government changed from naval rule to civilian, the Health Department was reorganized. At that time she was recommended as supervising nurse on St. Croix and her appointment was approved by Harold Ickes, then U.S. Secretary of the Interior. In 1936 she resigned from the Health Depart ment and left for New York City where she worked at Beth Moses Hospital in Brooklyn. By 1943 she was qualified as a registered nurse and approved to practice nursing in New York City. She completed several years of health service and retired in 1960.
She wrote three books. In 1972 her first book, One Moment of Glory, was published. Her second book, Seven Streets, appeared in 1984, and her third book, Racing The Stork, written when she was eighty-eight, is as yet unpublished. Her affiliations included membership in the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and the TRIAD organization for the presentation of black artists and musicians. Other associations were the Business and Professional Women's Club of St. Croix, St. Croix Friends of Denmark, and St. George Botanical Garden. As a member of the American Orchid Society and St. Croix Orchid Society, she visited many places where orchid conventions were held, such as Columbia, South America and Thailand.
Dr. Roy Lester Schneider holds a special place in the improvement of health care in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As Health Commissioner, he initiated the territory's first kidney trans plant. He also performed the territory's first radical forequarter amputation for cancer of the humerus. He played an active role on St. Thomas and St. Croix in the completion of new health facilities which were previously initiated through the efforts of former governors and health executives. He also advocated the establishment of a board of trustees for each hospital. It was in Washington, D.C., however, that Dr. Schneider first made his mark. On the university level he was associated with Howard University Hospital and served on its faculty. At Freedmen's Hospital, Howard's teaching hospital, he held various administrative positions including vice-chairman in the Department of Oncology, 1973; associate director at Howard's Cancer Research Center, 1973; consultant, Cancer Surgery Department of Radio Therapy, Howard University, 1973.
Born on St. Thomas on May 13,1939, he is a son of Aluvis and Winifred De Graff Schneider. His early education began in the local public schools, Dober and Lincoln, now J. Antonio Jarvis. Completing requirements for graduation from senior high school, he emerged as salutatorian of the class of 1957 of Charlotte Amalie High School and entered Howard University, Washington, D.C. After he earned his bachelor's degree with majors in zoology, chemistry, physics, and math, he entered Howard's College of Medicine and earned his medical degree in 1965. He subsequently did his internship at Freedmen's Hospital, now known as Howard University Hospital. He was inducted into the United States Army Medical Corps School, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, from which he received a diploma in 1966. At completion of this training, he continued in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for the next two years, 1966-1967, and during this tenure, was promoted to the rank of captain, serving at Leonard Wood Army Hospital for one year,1966-1967. Returning to his medical career, Dr. Schneider again selected Howard University for his residency in surgery and served as chief resident. However, in 1972, he was accepted as an Oncology Surgery Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In 1977, he was appointed Commissioner of Health for the Virgin Islands by Governor Cyril F. King. He served in this position until 1986 when he opted to enter the gubernatorial race. He ran unsuccessfully against Alexander Farrelly. As a cancer specialist, he shares his expertise and gains new ideas by contributing to seminars and conferences, both in and outside of the United States. In 1994, Dr. Schneider was elected governor of the Virgin Islands for a single term.
A health educator who has gained inter national recognition in areas other than her field of specialization, Dr. Sylvia Ross Talbot in 1984 became the first female outside the continental United States and the first Virgin Islander to be named president of Church Women United. This national religious group, composed of Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox women, has been acknowledged for taking a stand against controversial social, political, and racial issues and disarmament. Her presidency climaxed years of active involvement with religious groups including the governing board of the National Council of Churches in the United States (1972-1974), as director and executive member of the International World Day of Prayer (1967-1975); as member, Christian Medical Commission, World Council of Churches (1972 to present); member, Governing Board Church Women United (1974); advisor, General Assembly World Council of Nations, Nairobi (1975); Episcopal supervisor, Women Youth Work, African Methodist Episcopal Church. In her health-related professional career, Dr. Talbot has earned an outstanding record through her knowledge and dedication to her field. She has served as health educator in Sacramento, California, and as district health educator for New York City Depart ment of Health with focus on the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Prior to these assignments she worked as a teacher of biology, chemistry, and English in Puerto Rico. She also doubled her responsibilities by teaching nutrition and child care to families in the rural areas. However, her earliest work experience was on her native St. Croix when she was employed as a case worker in the local Department of Social Welfare, now Department of Human Resources. Born in Frederiksted, St. Croix, to Virgin Islands parents, Rachael Ross Carter and the late Iver Ross, she received her early education at home and traveled to Puerto Rico where she entered Inter-American University. In 1955, she graduated summa cum laude with a major in biology. Two years later she earned a master's degree in public health from Yale University. In 1969, she was awarded a doctorate in health education from Columbia University.
The wife of Guyanese Ambassador to the United States, the Right Rev. Frederick H. Talbot, she has also made significant contributions to Guyana, serving as biology "Mistress" at a girls' high school, health education officer in the Ministry of Health, and head of the in-service teacher training program. In 1971, she was appointed to one of Guyana's prominent positions, Minister of Health, and in 1972 she represented the government as its delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. Her other involvements in Guyana include: a founding member and vice president of a Business and Professional Women Organization of Georgetown; consultant, Adult Education Association; consultant, Guyana Mental Health Association; and consultant, YWCA. Her achievements have been recorded in such works as Caribbean Personalities and Essence magazine. She served as the keynote speaker for a regional conference sponsored by the St. Thomas Business and Professional Women's Organization in 1976. One of her significant literary contributions, "Guidelines for Programming," a curriculum guide for health education in Guyanese schools, was published in Family Life Education.
Arthur Woodley, a gifted and versatile bass- baritone, is the son of Delma Johannes and Charles Woodley, both of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. Born in New York City on April 13,1949, he was brought to St. Croix at the age of two and lived with his grandparents, Prince and Ann Augusta Johannes at Estate La Vallee. He attended St. Ann and St. Patrick Catholic schools during his primary years. Even though he returned to New York after completing the third grade, he visited St. Croix regularly during summer vacations. He later attended Christiansted High School but graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in New York City in 1967. He then attended New York City Community College where he was honored with a "Who's Who in American Junior College" award. He subsequently earned a scholarship in 1970 to study voice at the G. B. Martini Conservatory in Bologna, Italy. Intending to study there for only one year, he actually stayed three years, supporting himself and his education by singing with an Italian rock band which traveled throughout Italy. Upon returning to New York, he attended the Mannes College of Music and received a bachelor's degree. After college, he worked for the Dance Theater of Harlem as both a performer and the school's registrar. In October of 1979, his professional career began with his debut with the New York City Opera. That debut and other outstanding performances are vividly described in his promotional booklet, Arthur Woodley Bass Baritone, Season 1988-1989, published by Columbia Artists Management, Inc., excerpts of which are reprinted below with his permission.
"The debut of Arthur Woodley in the title role of Mendelssohn's Elijah was greeted by a sustained standing ovation in sold-out Carnegie Hall. Scarcely had the cheering subsided when the press acclaim began, led by the New York Times:"'The principal credit must go to Arthur Woodley, the Elijah. Mr. Woodley has a burly, attractive bass baritone. He phrased forcefully and sensitively. Singing from memory, he acted movingly. In short, he was very impressive.' "Since that debut, Mr. Woodley has returned to Carnegie Hall on numerous occasions as bass soloist in the Mozart Requiem, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Der Glorreich Augenblick, the Dvorak Stabat Mater, and Undine Smith Moore's Scenes from the Life of a Martyr. Each performance has been a triumph. At Lincoln Center, Mr. Woodley performed Beethoven's Christus am Olbgerge at Alice Tully Hall.
"In 1985 Arthur Woodley was accorded the honor of being selected to recreate the title role in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with the Catfish Row Opera Company of Charleston, S.C., in a gala celebration of the 50th anniversary of the opera's debut. The depth in his portrayal of the role was warmly commended by Frances Gershwin, the composer's sister, and Kay Swift, Gershwin's colleague and editor, both of whom were present at the creation and debut of the American masterpiece."