Foundations honor Emilio Wilson on century birthday anniversary

POSTED: 08/28/11 10:15 PM

St. Maarten – Yesterday was the one hundredth anniversary of Emilio Wilson’s birthday and St. Maarten’s Heritage and Environment foundations will mark the occasion with a gathering in the Emilio Wilson Cultural and Historical Park. At four o’clock the foundations will plant small flowering plants around Milo’s bust in the park.
Emilio Wilson was born on August 28, 1921 in Santo Domingo to Marie Victorine Wilson from St. Maarten and John Nathaniel Molineaux from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.
Milo attended the public school in Little Bay before moving to the Oranje school in Philipsburg in 1920.
At the age of sixteen, Emilio went to work in a tailor shop in Philipsburg. After a number of years he quit and found work chopping wood to make charcoal and collecting rocks for construction purposes.
In 1929 the Van Romondt-Rodenhuis family employed Emilio as a guard at their Industry and Golden Rock estate in Cul de Sac. Soon afterwards he started delivering milk, butter and beef to people in Philipsburg and surrounding areas.
On August 10, 1954, Milo bought the estate from the Van Romondt-Rodenhuis family for 25,000 guilders; the family left the island.
Later Emilio worked as a salesman in the Van Romondt grocery store before finding work with Charles T. Vlaun and Chester Wathey.
Wilson had no less than eighty godchildren; he never allowed any construction on his estate, but he did make it available for a tent village after Hurricane Luis struck in 1995.
The estate has in the meantime been acquired by former Minister of Plenipotentiary for the Netherlands Antilles Henri Brookson and the Paas family.
Over the objections of heritage and environment foundations, the new owners plan to develop the estate, but definite plans have not been published yet. A plan to build 200 homes on the estate went up in smoke during the past four years after the Island Council decided to put the estate on the Monument list.

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