Paws for a Moment by Bonny Corbeil

Role Model of Kindness 


Mr. Guy “Benji” Benjamin

One of the people on St. John I deeply respect and love is Mr. Guy Benjamin — the same revered man whom our Coral Bay school is named after. Guy is famous for his wonderful book “Me and My Beloved Virgin.” It is filled with personal, colorful memories about growing up on St. John.

Anyone who loves this island must read this book to appreciate our local culture. In fact, simply drop by Guy’s home as he is always welcoming. Purchase a copy of his book. You can count on him writing a personalized note just for you.

I feel blessed to have spent a good amount of time with Mr. Benjamin, who just made 94 this past year. He warmly welcomes both Miss Princess and I into his home when we go on our long walks in Coral Bay. He always greets us with a smile and there is always a bowl of water for Miss Princess.

There are few people I love spending time with more than Guy. He has all of the attributes that I admire in people. In fact “Benji,” a name that friends call him, is one of the kindest human beings that I have ever met. His kindness to animals is also evident and a pleasure to witness.

Mr. Benjamin lives just past Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. You will always see a good number of chickens and beautiful ducks, happily clucking away in his yard. Guy always sees that his animals are well-fed, watered and of course, reminded what lovely creatures they are! These birds are aware that they have a special owner and it shows. Watch them strut through the yard and you will see that these are well taken care of birds. They even get tasty left-overs, from the numerous people who regularly come over with full plates of food for Guy. You regularly seeing children learning the power of kindness to animals from simply watching Guy.

Mr. Benjamin lovingly attends to any animals in need — even the ones who show up at his door demanding attention as well as a home!

Such was the case with “Pat’s Cat.”

I noticed on one of my frequent visits, Guy had purchased a big bag of cat food. I am a cat lover yet had never seen a cat at his house. I asked guy about it.

“That’s for Pat’s Cat,”  said Guy.

“What is the name of the cat?” I asked.

“Pat’s Cat,” Guy replied.

Guy explained to me that when his neighbor Pat moved away, she left her cat. This cat must have known the kind man that Guy was. Apparently, according to Guy, “Pat’s Cat” showed up at his door “bawlin’ and cryin’” for something to eat. Guy immediately took “Pat’s Cat” in.

“You can’t let an animal starve when he is hungry,” said Guy. “That is wrong.”  

I often find myself deeply touched by the simple yet profound truths that my friend shares with me.

We all have a lot to learn from my friend “Benji.” He recognizes that when you are kind to animals, you end up receiving many wonderful gifts of companionship and good-will. Animals know and appreciate everything that you do for them.

To you, Benji, thank you for being such a wonderful role-model and wise elder to us all in so many ways. Our community is blessed to have you.

ACC Take Note:
Our ACC’s much-anticipated “Wagapalooza” will be held this year on Saturday, May 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. Mark your calendars and get working with your pooch to show off your special talents. It is guaranteed to be the best “Fun ‘n Fur filled Family” event of the year!