Welcome to our profiles of some of the friendliest and most interesting people in the Caribbean.
Playwright and Historian
Ellis Lopes is Statia’s unofficial ambassador to the arts and culture. Born on Statia, his early childhood days were spent on Aruba. After graduation he worked for an oil company on Aruba but soon discovered that his talents lied in the arts particularly in dance.
John “Wilson” Blair
Free Diver and Prolific Fisherman
Long recognized one as one of the diving pioneers on the island, John Blair (affectionately known as “Wilson”) is one of Statia most remarkable characters. Famous for it’s diving, Statia has many world class dive sites most of them discovered by Wilson including Blair’s Wreck which was named after him. One of 13 brother and sisters he was born and has lived on the island for all of his 69 years. He started fishing and diving when he was 19, first using a rowboat as his base. After two years he graduated to motor boats; first the “Bernadette” and then “Kimberley”.
The Mighty Fat (a.k.a. William Schmidt)
Baker and Calypsonian
Fat is consumed by his two passions – calypso and baking. Born on Statia, William Schmidt (affectionately known as Fat) looks much younger than his 67 years. He left school after at 14 and helped his father in the country by tending the animals. From a musical family, his real introduction to music came when he lived next door to the maker of steel pans. Interested in the art, Fat started to make them himself.
Leoncio Zhivago Lopes “Private”
Firefighter & King Calypsonian
Aruba – born Leoncio Zhivago Lopes known now to many as “Private” was raised by his grandparents and other relatives until the age of 5 where he then moved to St. Maarten to unite with his parents Gerald Lopes and Juanita Murray. Not before long the entire family moved to St. Eustatius in 1975. After successfully completing the golden rock school with good grades and one of the top in his class “Private” then set off to his birthplace at the age of 13 to further his studies at The Augustinus College Mavo. While residing on Aruba he then side tracked by the growing culture and party routine which caused him to fail. He subsequently transferred to The Dr. Martin Luther King Technical School and got his diploma shortly after.
Dion Humphreys “Mega D”
Dancehall Artist & Entertainer
Dion Humphreys better known as Mega D is one of the most esteemed names in Europe and Caribbean islands as an extraordinary Dancehall Artist & Entertainer and is presently positively affecting the youth by his new life commitment as a Youth Ambassador by means of the Mega D Youth Foundation (MYF).
Are “you” a real patriot?
When we hear the word “patriot” we right away start to picture key individuals in communities. People, who leave, long lasting impressions wrapped gently in our hearts. Most people refer to real patriots as the “go getters” going that extra mile, not just to prove a point, but to simple demonstrate the passion and loyalty one has for their country. Like Barack Obama quoted; “In the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.” On a petit destination with a population of approximately 4000 inhabitants, it is made easy to identify the real patriots. Mr. Rafael Lopes alias “Charlie or Reagan” son of the soil was born and raised on Statia, August 19, 1954. Many residents are familiar with his amazing character.
Elliot Schmidt (A.K.A. Pip)
Are “you” a real patriot?
Next to the love of God, the love of country is the best prevention of crime. Living on a small island such as St. Eustatius, affectionately called Statia is quite unique. A place where everyone knows everyone and visitors are treated equally by the warm enthusiasm of the local community. In a world of rapid change, where tomorrow brings new spectrum of challenges, it is always gratifying to realize that the things we are most thankful for, are the things we as individual have most power to change or sustain. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded on a daily basis, just how much we really do have to be thankful for. April 22, 1942 is the birth date of a great nationalist, Mr. Elliott Schmidt alias, “Pip”.