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HomeNewsArchivesBrief: Program Friday Will Honor Transportation Pioneer Manassah Francis

Brief: Program Friday Will Honor Transportation Pioneer Manassah Francis

Feb. 14, 2007 — An event at the University of the Virgin Islands Friday will honor an African-American business leader who pioneered transportation efforts in the territory.
The African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation will remember and honor Manassah Francis, founder of Manassah Bus Lines, at its 26th Annual Black History Month Lecture, Plaque and Photograph Series at UVI.
According to a news release from the foundation, Manassah was "a man who managed to go beyond all odds and become a successful businessman, yet he retained the common touch. For his concern wasn’t money, but to provide a service to his people — many of whom could not afford the comfort of their own transportation to traverse this hilly terrain."
Francis lived from 1908 to 1966. His wife and business partner, Madeline, is now 91. They developed several businesses before embarking on the bus company, according to the news release. Francis drove a taxi while his wife ran the family ice-cream parlor and candy store, a grocery store and a restaurant. They also owned rental property and developed land. Their sons, Rudy, Roy and Raymond, would expand the business by maintaining a fleet of boats that plied the waters between the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: the Bomba Charger, Challenger and Cruiser, and the Jennie I.
The Manassah Bus Lines ran for more than 50 years, with the Francises' sons running the business. The president, Raymond Francis, continues to run School Busing Inc., another venture of the busing company.
The program will take place on Friday from 7 to 9 pm in the lobby of the UVI Sports and Fitness Center. Guest speakers are Bingley Richardson Sr., former senator and president of the V.I. Legislature, former boat captain and owner of the Bomba Charger; Raymond Francis; Sen. Basil Ottley Jr.; and Nab Eddie Bobo, president of the African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation. Admission is free. As with previous donations, the Caribbean Room of the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library will house the donated plaque and photo of Francis.

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Feb. 14, 2007 -- An event at the University of the Virgin Islands Friday will honor an African-American business leader who pioneered transportation efforts in the territory.
The African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation will remember and honor Manassah Francis, founder of Manassah Bus Lines, at its 26th Annual Black History Month Lecture, Plaque and Photograph Series at UVI.
According to a news release from the foundation, Manassah was "a man who managed to go beyond all odds and become a successful businessman, yet he retained the common touch. For his concern wasn’t money, but to provide a service to his people -- many of whom could not afford the comfort of their own transportation to traverse this hilly terrain."
Francis lived from 1908 to 1966. His wife and business partner, Madeline, is now 91. They developed several businesses before embarking on the bus company, according to the news release. Francis drove a taxi while his wife ran the family ice-cream parlor and candy store, a grocery store and a restaurant. They also owned rental property and developed land. Their sons, Rudy, Roy and Raymond, would expand the business by maintaining a fleet of boats that plied the waters between the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico: the Bomba Charger, Challenger and Cruiser, and the Jennie I.
The Manassah Bus Lines ran for more than 50 years, with the Francises' sons running the business. The president, Raymond Francis, continues to run School Busing Inc., another venture of the busing company.
The program will take place on Friday from 7 to 9 pm in the lobby of the UVI Sports and Fitness Center. Guest speakers are Bingley Richardson Sr., former senator and president of the V.I. Legislature, former boat captain and owner of the Bomba Charger; Raymond Francis; Sen. Basil Ottley Jr.; and Nab Eddie Bobo, president of the African Diaspora Youth Development Foundation. Admission is free. As with previous donations, the Caribbean Room of the Ralph M. Paiewonsky Library will house the donated plaque and photo of Francis.