St. John Historical Society Kicks Off 2016-17 Season

For immediate release-

Please join us on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, 7:00PM at the Bethany Moravian Church Hall, for our first monthly meeting of the 2016-2017 season. Karen Munk-Nielsen, Curator of the Holbæk Museum and Director of “The Freedom Project” in Denmark will be our featured presenter.

Ms. Karen Munk-Nielsen is the individual in charge of the three statues of VI freedom fighters that were recently sent to Denmark by the St. John Historical Society in commemoration of the 2017 Transfer Centennial (2 bronze busts of D. Hamilton Jackson and John Gottliff, AKA General Buddhoe, and a large half-figure known as “Freedom” or “The Conch-Shell Blower”). Karen will speak about the significance of the Transfer Centennial in Denmark and tell us about her museum’s future plans for the statues.  Past SJHS President and VI State Historic Preservation Commission member, David Knight, Sr., who assisted in arrangements for this gift, will be introducing Ms. Munk-Nielsen. The former owners of the statues, Carol and Ted Whittier, who donated the pieces to the SJHS on behalf of the estate of Carol’s brother, Walter Brunner, will also be joining us at the meeting.  Everyone is encouraged to come out and welcome our special guests and show their support for this very important project.

Before arriving on St. John, Ms. Munk-Nielsen will be making the rounds of St. Thomas and St. Croix, meeting with local supporters and other contributing organizations that helped make the “Freedom Project” a reality. While on St. John she will spend time touring historically important sites and personally meeting with project donors and members of the community. She is particularly looking forward to interacting with local educators and students. On November 10, from 6 to 8PM, Bajo el Sol Gallery at Mongoose Junction will be hosting Karen at a reception and meet-and-greet for St. Thomas and St. John artists (sponsored by The Gris Gris Project).  The public is cordially invited to attend.

The St. John Historical Society would like to thank the following people who graciously contributed their time and/or money to the success of the “Freedom Project”:

First and foremost, the artist and creator of the statues, Bright Bimpong, and the heirs of Walter Brunner, Carol and Ted Whittier, who were the primary donors.

From St. John – Fran Attard & Roger Harland, Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight and David Knight Jr. of Bajo El Sol Gallery, Beverly Biziewski, Miles & Susan Stair, Weldon & Eleanor Wasson, Katherine Hilliard, Rafe and Kimberly Boulon, Ruth Alden Doan, Robin Swank and Larry Boxerman, Diana and Sam Hall, Albert and Lonnie Willis, Cruz Bay Realty, St. John Properties, Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel, and the Friends of the VI National Park.

From St. Thomas – Malcolm Schweizer, Charles Consolvo and Kim Holdsworth on behalf of the St. Thomas Historical Trust, Joel Kling and the Emerald Beach Resort, John Foster Real Estate , Felipe Ayala III, Robert Moron, Ronnie Lockhart, Matt Eckstein, and David W. Knight Sr. of the St. Thomas/St. John Committee of the VI Historic Preservation Commission, Marilyn F. Krigger, Peter and Maryanne Schultz, Crystal Palace guest house, Subbase Drydock, Inc., Sean Krigger and the staff of the State Historic Preservation Office.

From St. Croix – George Tyson and the Virgin Islands Social History Associates, Inc., and the St. Croix chapter of the Friends of Denmark.

The St. John Historical Society is dedicated to the study and appreciation of all aspects of the history of St. John through educational programs, research, archeological projects, preservation advocacy, the collection and preservation of fine arts and archeological objects, printed and manuscript materials and maps, and other historical artifacts.  All of this is supported exclusively through membership fees and donations, the generosity of the community, and the work of a volunteer board and dedicated group of advisors. During this Centennial Year, we will continue to bring interesting presentations and events for the community to enjoy.  Check out our web site at to become a member or read some of our prior articles.  For up to the minute information on our activities, go to our Facebook page

Lonnie Willis, President
St. John Historical Society
P. O. Box  1256 Cruz Bay
St. John, VI 00831