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Pilot, father & businessman Neville C. Brathwaite Sr has died

- The Virgin Islands has also lost businessman Merritt Herbert
Pilot, father, and businessman Neville Clairmonte Brathwaite Sr, passed away at the state owned Peebles Hospital on the main island of Tortola on September 23, 2017 after a brief illness. Photo: Team of Reporters
Pioneer and founding Chairman of ZBVI Radio Station and the Nevis Broadcasting Company-VON Radio, Mr Merritt Herbert died on September 23, 2017 in the United States. Photo: VINO/File
Pioneer and founding Chairman of ZBVI Radio Station and the Nevis Broadcasting Company-VON Radio, Mr Merritt Herbert died on September 23, 2017 in the United States. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The Virgin Islands (VI) has lost another person who has made a significant contribution in the area of aviation, business and has left a long lasting legacy.

Pilot, father, and businessman Neville Clairmonte Brathwaite Sr, passed away at the state owned Peebles Hospital on the main island of Tortola on September 23, 2017 after a brief illness.

He was originally from Barbados; however, he migrated to the VI in the early 60s where he spend most of his productive life.

Mr Brathwaite was born on June 10, 1939 and was 78 years of age at the time of his passing.

The late Brathwaite Sr, before moving to the VI, worked as a Mechanical Engineer in the Barbados Police Force and an Officer with the Harbour Police.

Time in the VI big factor in aviation

When he came to Tortola he worked as a heavy equipment operator and assisted in filling Wickham's Cay and building the West End Road.

But according to his son Neville C. Brathwaite Jr, his dad always wanted to fly planes. He became a licensed Aircraft Mechanic and was authorised by the United States Federation Aviation Administration as a maintenance inspector. A couple years later, in 1970, he became a licensed pilot.

He also became qualified to fly helicopters and sea planes. The late Mr Brathwaite Sr was one of the early local pilots with Air BVI. His greatest accomplishments were in the aviation industry where he co-founded with Corbert Wheatley and Brothers Tortola International Airways, and Gorda Aero Service with the former owner of Bitter End, Myron Hokin.

The late Brathwaite Sr also founded with his family Clair Air and VI Air Link now run by his children, three of whom are pilots.

The deceased is survived by his wife Valencia L. Brathwaite, 8 children and 15 grandchildren.

Mr Merritt Herbert has also died

In addition, Pioneer and founding Chairman of ZBVI Radio Station and the Nevis Broadcasting Company-VON Radio, Mr Merritt Herbert has died.

He passed away on Saturday September 23, 2017 in Connecticut, USA after being ill. Mr Herbert, who pioneered the operations of two most popular radio stations, ZBVI and VON Radio, was born in Nevis and came to the Virgin Islands in the 60s and made it his home.
 
Man of the people
 
He also owned the Bargain Centre Store on Main Street Tortola and had other business interests. He was also a big supporter of the local agriculture sector himself a part time farmer and participated in the annual Agriculture Exhibitions over the many years.
 
The late Herbert was also a community leader and many will remember is distinctive voice on ZBVI Radio during many hurricanes and morning devotions.
 
Many of the local political and social leaders have already sent public tributes on his service to the VI community.
 
In 2014 he was honoured and recognised by the New Life Baptist Church as an Unsung Hero, for his long contributions to the territory as a businessman, father and positive influence.
 
The late Mr Herbert is survived by his wife Harriette and children.

 

10 Responses to “Pilot, father & businessman Neville C. Brathwaite Sr has died”

  • i from here (01/10/2017, 15:57) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    two giants may they both RIP until the waking up day
  • Andrew Cox Sr (01/10/2017, 17:26) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sincere condolences to the Herbert & Brathwaite from the Cox Family: September 2017 will be a historic year in the territory because we have lost of our pioneers of industry along with one of the most devastating hurricanes however I am confident the the Sons & Daughters will keep the business going and the people of the British Virgin Islands will recover from hurricane Irma: keep the faith because God is good and his mercy is everlasting
  • mmmmmm (01/10/2017, 19:48) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    We need to live good. Treat each other good, .Respect one another inspite of differences. That time will come.... My deepest sympathy.
  • wow (01/10/2017, 20:29) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    It goes without saying. These men contributed greatly.
  • VG (01/10/2017, 20:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    2 good men gone to eternity
  • foxy (02/10/2017, 06:55) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Merritt we miss your voice already on zbvi
  • Tafari Zharr (02/10/2017, 16:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    A moment of Silence, please: From all walks of life they came with some expertise to offer! Residents - they became, and they contribute vastly to the culture, economy, and woven fabric of the British Virgin Islands. If Mr. Merritt Herbert and Mr. Neville Brathwaite are not "homegrown"; then some of us need to re-examine how we define "indigenous" - Neville and Airplanes - Merrit and ZBVI are Inseparably and are as local as "Guava-berry" and Mrs Olive Smith, Mrs. Esmie Stoutt and Tarts, H. Lavity Stoutt and Leadership, and yes Mrs. Lily Romney and "high" Social Life; but let's not forget for Dag Samuels a hero who like his father saw honor over nativism - Great Persons may have been sown overseas but cultivation of the heart, and development of the mind takes time; the time that persons spent in the BVI should not be taken for granted; historically speaking - their contributions are enormous ; and your families should know that. Don't get it twisted! The BVI wasn't made great in a day! Bottom line - persons who "Choose" to make the Virgin Islands their home for decades should not be labeled as any other than persons who freely choose - like these great men- to "become one with the BVI" - A little acceptance and inclusion goes a long way! All families can't be acknowledged here; but for those we lost; let us grieve together - and for those who are still with us, let us celebrate as one, share our weaknesses, strengths; and appreciate each other more #BVIStrong!
  • $7.2 M (03/10/2017, 10:40) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    just read on bvi news that hypocrite Dr Smith saying nice things about Mr. B. What about when you took the people money and give the white man when vi air links could have done the same thing?

    Set of oppressors
    • Tortola's Finest (05/10/2017, 12:20) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
      Not disagreeing with you entirely, but that should be another topic. Lets just pay our condolences at this time. Let the deceased lay to rest and then we can hammer the NDP for their inconsideration towards our people and the "nice things" said after the fact that he didn't even give our local brother and family a chance.
      You see? The thought alone done getting me vex.....
      I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families and friends affected by the passing of two VI greats!
      Cheers to the memories that you may find comfort in and hoping those memories make the healing of your hearts easier as time progresses.


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