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HomeNewsArchivesFYI: DeJongh Mourns John D. Merwin, First Native-born Governor

FYI: DeJongh Mourns John D. Merwin, First Native-born Governor

The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the FYI bulletin board must e-mail visource@gmail.com. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.

Gov. John P. deJongh Jr. today offered condolences to the family of former Virgin Islands Governor John D. Merwin, who led the territory during an important period of political transition. Merwin died peacefully Monday at his home in Ohio.
Merwin was appointed governor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sworn in as the territory’s Chief Executive in 1958. While at the time the territory’s governors were still appointed and not popularly elected, Merwin broke ground as the first native-born Virgin Islander to hold the highest position in the territory’s government.
Merwin, who came from a prominent St. Croix family, had previously served in the Virgin Islands Legislature and as Government Secretary, a post equivalent to Lieutenant Governor. His time in the legislature came immediately after passage of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and was one of great political and infrastructural development in the territory.
“John Merwin was an important leader for the Virgin Islands who helped shape the political landscape at a crucial time in the territory’s history. He was a trailblazer in local politics who worked to bring native Virgin Islanders into positions of prominence within the government. His legacy was an important factor in our territory’s progress toward greater autonomy and self-rule,” de Jongh said.
DeJongh noted his own father and grandfather served in senior positions in the Merwin administration. “I wish the best to John Merwin’s wife and son during this difficult time. The people of the Virgin Islands share in their sense of loss,” deJongh said.
The governor and first lady offered their condolences to the entire Merwin family. In Merwin’s honor, deJongh today directed that flags on all Virgin Islands public buildings be flown at half-staff from today until sunset on the day of interment.

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The following material is being published, unedited, exactly as it was received via e-mail from the office of the government official named, as a Source community service. Government office holders wishing to contribute to the FYI bulletin board must e-mail visource@gmail.com. The Source reserves the right to choose what is published.

Gov. John P. deJongh Jr. today offered condolences to the family of former Virgin Islands Governor John D. Merwin, who led the territory during an important period of political transition. Merwin died peacefully Monday at his home in Ohio.
Merwin was appointed governor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and sworn in as the territory’s Chief Executive in 1958. While at the time the territory’s governors were still appointed and not popularly elected, Merwin broke ground as the first native-born Virgin Islander to hold the highest position in the territory’s government.
Merwin, who came from a prominent St. Croix family, had previously served in the Virgin Islands Legislature and as Government Secretary, a post equivalent to Lieutenant Governor. His time in the legislature came immediately after passage of the Revised Organic Act of 1954, and was one of great political and infrastructural development in the territory.
“John Merwin was an important leader for the Virgin Islands who helped shape the political landscape at a crucial time in the territory’s history. He was a trailblazer in local politics who worked to bring native Virgin Islanders into positions of prominence within the government. His legacy was an important factor in our territory’s progress toward greater autonomy and self-rule,” de Jongh said.
DeJongh noted his own father and grandfather served in senior positions in the Merwin administration. “I wish the best to John Merwin’s wife and son during this difficult time. The people of the Virgin Islands share in their sense of loss,” deJongh said.
The governor and first lady offered their condolences to the entire Merwin family. In Merwin’s honor, deJongh today directed that flags on all Virgin Islands public buildings be flown at half-staff from today until sunset on the day of interment.