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HomeNewsArchivesSIGNS TO SAY IT'S SO: 'MILO' HAS REPLACED 'SMITH'

SIGNS TO SAY IT'S SO: 'MILO' HAS REPLACED 'SMITH'

Sept. 20, 2001 – Plans are under way to dedicate Smith Bay Road, from the crest of Cassi Hill to Red Hook, as Emile "Milo" Francis Memorial Drive.
The road was officially renamed for Francis by Act No. 6229 signed into law in 1998, shortly after the death of the native musician, band leader and war veteran. But the law's provisions for putting up signs with the new name have never been carried out.
Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. said in a release that he is happy Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood "is now commissioning the signs and will hold an unveiling ceremony." White had written to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull that "as a lasting tribute to 'Milo,' it is important that his memory be preserved through this small tribute."
Francis formed his band Milo and the Kings in 1958 and observed a big 25th anniversary celebration in 1983. The band continues today under the name Milo's Kings.
Although the legislation paying tribute to Francis refers only to Smith Bay Road, members of Holy Family Catholic Church are concerned that the name Cassi Hill not be lost. Parishioner Wendy Rouse noted that the annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Cassi Hill has been held since 1947. It was started two years after the end of World War II to pray for lasting peace and for protection against hurricanes, she said.
The origin of the name Cassi Hill is uncertain, but local historian Myron Jackson observed that "cassi" is a Caribbean vernacular term for prickly pear.
Other renamings on St. Thomas in honor of local figures that have occurred in deed have not had widespread effect in word — such as Julian Jackson Drive, still commonly called Harwood Highway; Valdemar Hill Sr. Drive, still referred to as Skyline Drive; and Lionel Pierre Berry Scenic Drive, still the east end of Crown Mountain Road to most. Maud Proudfoot Drive is posted, but to residents the stretch is still the bottom of the Mafolie Hill road.
In large part, residents also continue to call Rothschild Francis Square by its former generic name, Market Square. Those with long memories even refer to Addelita Cancryn Junior High School as "Wayne Aspinall," and J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary as "Lincoln School."
On the other hand, Cyril E. King Airport has become a part of the vernacular; nobody thinks of it as "Harry S. Truman" anymore. And Roy L. Schneider Hospital seems to have been accepted in place of "St. Thomas Hospital."
As for Smith Bay Road, information as to the derivation of "Smith" could not be found.

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Sept. 20, 2001 - Plans are under way to dedicate Smith Bay Road, from the crest of Cassi Hill to Red Hook, as Emile "Milo" Francis Memorial Drive.
The road was officially renamed for Francis by Act No. 6229 signed into law in 1998, shortly after the death of the native musician, band leader and war veteran. But the law's provisions for putting up signs with the new name have never been carried out.
Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. said in a release that he is happy Public Works Commissioner Wayne Callwood "is now commissioning the signs and will hold an unveiling ceremony." White had written to Gov. Charles W. Turnbull that "as a lasting tribute to 'Milo,' it is important that his memory be preserved through this small tribute."
Francis formed his band Milo and the Kings in 1958 and observed a big 25th anniversary celebration in 1983. The band continues today under the name Milo's Kings.
Although the legislation paying tribute to Francis refers only to Smith Bay Road, members of Holy Family Catholic Church are concerned that the name Cassi Hill not be lost. Parishioner Wendy Rouse noted that the annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Cassi Hill has been held since 1947. It was started two years after the end of World War II to pray for lasting peace and for protection against hurricanes, she said.
The origin of the name Cassi Hill is uncertain, but local historian Myron Jackson observed that "cassi" is a Caribbean vernacular term for prickly pear.
Other renamings on St. Thomas in honor of local figures that have occurred in deed have not had widespread effect in word -- such as Julian Jackson Drive, still commonly called Harwood Highway; Valdemar Hill Sr. Drive, still referred to as Skyline Drive; and Lionel Pierre Berry Scenic Drive, still the east end of Crown Mountain Road to most. Maud Proudfoot Drive is posted, but to residents the stretch is still the bottom of the Mafolie Hill road.
In large part, residents also continue to call Rothschild Francis Square by its former generic name, Market Square. Those with long memories even refer to Addelita Cancryn Junior High School as "Wayne Aspinall," and J. Antonio Jarvis Elementary as "Lincoln School."
On the other hand, Cyril E. King Airport has become a part of the vernacular; nobody thinks of it as "Harry S. Truman" anymore. And Roy L. Schneider Hospital seems to have been accepted in place of "St. Thomas Hospital."
As for Smith Bay Road, information as to the derivation of "Smith" could not be found.