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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, August 12, 2022
HomeNewsArchives'ELMO D.' PAYS TRIBUTE TO 'EARLE B.'

'ELMO D.' PAYS TRIBUTE TO 'EARLE B.'

My fascination for the art of politics was primarily influenced by "Earle B. Ottley, the Godfather of Virgin Islands politics."
Our rich history will record that "Earle B." was a political genius – one of the greatest civic, labor and political leaders of the United States Virgin Islands. He was at the forefront of every fight for our many social and economic causes and he displayed much courage and strong political leadership.
He personally groomed many of us who have held and now hold leadership positions throughout the Virgin Islands government and beyond.
He was sometimes perceived by some as a political dictator, but I can vouch from my personal relationship with this master politician for almost four decades that he was a soft-hearted and very compassionate human being.
"Earle B." was responsible for my appointment as the youngest commissioner in the government of the Virgin Islands in 1964, and for my entrance on the political scene in 1970. He had a way of recognizing the talents of many young Virgin Islanders and he sparked the development of the successful careers of many of us who remain forever grateful for his mentorship.
He was better known for his generalship of the many strategies we utilized on the early political battlegrounds that ended in enormous benefits for the people of the Virgin Islands. His deftness in bringing warring fractions of the Unity and Democratic Parties together was miraculous.
I will remember fondly the myriad of political meetings, the planning of election strategies and the interchange of ideas which led to many political victories. I often wondered whether "Earle B." slept at all.
To the end, he was involved in the politics of the Virgin Islands. He never hesitated to maintain contact with all fractions on the political landscape. I will miss his weekly calls when we discussed local politics and his vision for the future development of his beloved Virgin Islands.
"Earle B." throughout his lifetime believed in the truism, "A man's word is his bond." He believed that a mere handshake was enough to make a firm commitment that was irrevocable. He bemoaned the fact that this is sorely lacking in today's political leaders.
He had an insatiable desire to serve his people even when suffering the pains of his illness. He remained actively aware of what was going on in the Virgin Islands community.
He will be truly missed by those of us who had an opportunity to know him.
To his dear wife, Alma, and the rest of the Ottley family, I extend my heartfelt condolences at this time of your sorrow. May God give you the strength to carry on the legacy which "Earle B." has left with us as "Chief Servant of His People."
Elmo D. Roebuck
Former Senator

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My fascination for the art of politics was primarily influenced by "Earle B. Ottley, the Godfather of Virgin Islands politics."
Our rich history will record that "Earle B." was a political genius - one of the greatest civic, labor and political leaders of the United States Virgin Islands. He was at the forefront of every fight for our many social and economic causes and he displayed much courage and strong political leadership.
He personally groomed many of us who have held and now hold leadership positions throughout the Virgin Islands government and beyond.
He was sometimes perceived by some as a political dictator, but I can vouch from my personal relationship with this master politician for almost four decades that he was a soft-hearted and very compassionate human being.
"Earle B." was responsible for my appointment as the youngest commissioner in the government of the Virgin Islands in 1964, and for my entrance on the political scene in 1970. He had a way of recognizing the talents of many young Virgin Islanders and he sparked the development of the successful careers of many of us who remain forever grateful for his mentorship.
He was better known for his generalship of the many strategies we utilized on the early political battlegrounds that ended in enormous benefits for the people of the Virgin Islands. His deftness in bringing warring fractions of the Unity and Democratic Parties together was miraculous.
I will remember fondly the myriad of political meetings, the planning of election strategies and the interchange of ideas which led to many political victories. I often wondered whether "Earle B." slept at all.
To the end, he was involved in the politics of the Virgin Islands. He never hesitated to maintain contact with all fractions on the political landscape. I will miss his weekly calls when we discussed local politics and his vision for the future development of his beloved Virgin Islands.
"Earle B." throughout his lifetime believed in the truism, "A man's word is his bond." He believed that a mere handshake was enough to make a firm commitment that was irrevocable. He bemoaned the fact that this is sorely lacking in today's political leaders.
He had an insatiable desire to serve his people even when suffering the pains of his illness. He remained actively aware of what was going on in the Virgin Islands community.
He will be truly missed by those of us who had an opportunity to know him.
To his dear wife, Alma, and the rest of the Ottley family, I extend my heartfelt condolences at this time of your sorrow. May God give you the strength to carry on the legacy which "Earle B." has left with us as "Chief Servant of His People."
Elmo D. Roebuck
Former Senator