News Sugar Estates Renamed after Local...
Sugar Estates Renamed After Local Luminary Senator Celestino A White Sr

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In recognition of Senator White’s years of leadership and public service, the 30th Legislature of the Virgin Islands renames Sugar Estates Senior Residence with a new moniker: Celestino A. White, Sr. Senior Citizens Home.

October 24, 2019, Saint Thomas, VI - Residents of Sugar Estates gathered with local officials, The Michaels Organization, and the Virgin Islands Housing Authority for the official renaming ceremony of the community.  Originally built in 2016, Sugar Estates has established itself as a valuable affordable housing asset on the island of St. Thomas and now takes its name after Former Senator Celestino A. White, Sr.

Originally opened in May of 2016, Sugar Estates is a four-story, 80-unit elderly apartment community located at 9159 Estate Thomas, Saint Thomas, VI. This renaming ceremony recognizes the community leadership and public service of Mr. White, who has committed himself to improving the lives of citizens of Saint Thomas, but especially the seniors.

“I can recall, as a young pissy-tail Housing Boy (Paul M. Pearson Gardens) my late mother Miss Maggie, would open her heart and home to anyone who was seeking lodging.” said Senator White. “My mother instilled in all her children the need to be caring. This high honor is shared equally with my Mom, immediate and extended family and thousands of Virgin Islands Residents, especially the least amount of us, who believed in me during my childhood and forty-two years of public service. You embraced and accepted my Masters Degree in Common Sense and PHD in Street Sense from the School of Hard Knocks, and despite my faults, rewarded me by repeatedly giving Common Sense Yet Another Chance​."

Celestino A. White, Sr. Senior Citizens Home was originally developed out of a public-private partnership between Michaels Development and the Virgin Islands Housing Authority. The $31 million development offers units that are 100% handicap adaptable for seniors with low to moderate incomes. Each residential unit has living, dining and kitchen areas, complete with energy efficient appliances and ample storage. The building features an on-site management office and social service coordinator, laundry facilities, a computer learning center, a large community room, and on-site parking.

“The Virgin Islands Housing Authority is proud to honor Senator Celestino White for his four decades of public service.” said Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, Mr. Robert Graham. “The Lion of the Senate was instrumental in securing the land to build the senior complex that will forever be a reminder of his selfless public service for seniors.”

Today’s event was attended by numerous dignitaries from the U. S. Virgin Islands and the U.S. mainland, including Governor Albert Bryan, President & Chairperson of the Virgin Islands Housing Authority Noreen Michael, Former Senator Alicia Hansen, Senator Marvin Blyden, Congresswoman Stacy Plaskett, Former Senator Carlton Dowe, Senator Novelle Francis, Jr., and Michaels Regional Vice President Larry Padilla. Many members of the community and Mr. White’s family were also in attendance.

The ceremony included a performance of the National Anthem & Virgin Islands March from Malvern Gumbs and the Spectrum Band, musical tributes from Bernard Liburd and the Top Notch Band, and a presentation of a plaque to Mr. White, containing a copy of Act 7726, the legislation that enacted the renaming. Food and drink were also served and the ceremony was very well attended by residents of the community and citizens of Saint Thomas, all of whom were eager to celebrate Mr. White and his reception of this great honor.

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