Community members bid Farewell to Bernadine Williams



A celebration of life for the late Bernadine J. Williams was held at the St. George’s (Anglican) Church on 1 March. Ms. Williams was born on December 8, 1969 and died on January 31, 2014.

She was the daughter of Louise Williams and the late Algernon “Sense-a-lone” Williams. Following her graduation at the British Virgin Island High School in 1986, she worked locally for a period of time, then decided to jump on her higher learning train.

In 1994 she obtained a bachelors degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She later received a Master of Science degree in Financial Engineering from Polytechnic University in June 1998. In 2009 Bernadine was accepted into a PhD program at the University of Strathclyde.

As a bright scholar, she was courted by elite firms like Chase Manhattan Bank and Demos Consulting. She excelled in both jobs. She was travelling around the United States, performing studies and advising companies as to the best ways of doing business. The latter firm, offered to sponsor her visa for United States citizenship.

Surprising everyone, she declined because it would mean that she would not be able to go home to the BVI in the near future for any length of time. She considered that she would have also had to renounce her BVI citizenship. Her rejection of the offer resulted in her being fired.
First District, Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie delivered the eulogy at the funeral service, and stated that Bernadine loved children. “She treated them with such loving care, whether they were relatives or not. She happily took on the role of surrogate mom; and enjoyed making them do homework, chores and prayers before bedtime.”

“To those of you who privileged her to be godmother to your children — thank you and God bless you and your families. She loved them and cherished them very much. Every time she returned home she made it her priority to look for her godchildren. Her life was truly blessed with the honour of being a godmother,” the Legislator added.

She is survived by her: Mother Louise Williams; Sisters—Deborah I. Todman, Pearline C. Williams, and Pearl R. Williams-Pini; Brothers-in-Law—Allen Todman, and Mario Pini; Aunts—Aldora Rameau, Althea Garcia, Amorel Freeman, Janet Walters, Maria C. Williams, Salvacion Regis Williams, Imelda JohnFinn, and Rita Walters; Uncles—Frank H. Williams, Arnold A. Williams, Samuel Walters, Grenville JohnFinn, and Vincent Halbert; Niece—Angelica P. Pini; Nephews—Michael Todman, and Henk W. J. Vergeer; God Children—Tatiana Fahie, Kairah Moolenaar, Michael O’Halloran and Gabrielle O’Halloran; and many other friends and relatives too numerous to mention.

The publishers, management and staff of The Island Sun newspaper extend sincere condolences to the bereaved.