Claude "Tappy" Molloy was a good friend and colleague for forty-four years. When I met him in 1965, he was a revenue agent in the Tax Division of the Department of Finance. Equipped with a degree in accounting and his experience in the U. S. Air Force, he employed his skills to ensure that taxes due and owing to the Government were paid on a timely basis. He was also well trained in tax law and therefore, and that made him a valuable employee in the department.
Not long after, he received an offer to become the Assistant Commissioner of Labor. This department was newly created in the advent of the industrialization of the Virgin Islands economy. This new perspective required young thinkers and Claude fell into that category very easily. Whenever Claude moved, it was upward mobility and to a new challenge. On St. Croix I met Claude at Alejo's which was located on the western section of Company Street. There several young Crucians who had recently returned to the islands, expressed their ideas of what they wanted for the future of St. Croix. Not long before that, the island's economy was based on sugar cane and that was not a viable industry as it was in the past. The sugar cane industry did not offer careers to college graduates, and many remained on the continent or moved to St. Thomas.
I was not surprised when Claude announced that he would seek a seat in the Legislature from the District of St. Croix. He offered his candidacy and was elected three times, and during his tenure, he served as President of the Legislature for one term. I had the opportunity to serve with him in the legislature for three terms. Beyond the legislature Claude served on several boards and commissions, giving his best to all of them. When the mission of the board or commission was seemingly ignored, Claude reminded the members to get back on course. I will miss his voice; I will miss his intellect and longtime friendship.
Our condolences to his constant companion and loving wife Juel, as well as his sisters, sons, step-son, brothers-in-law and other relatives.
Eric and Betty Dawson
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