British Virgin Islands

Friday, Feb 26, 2021

'The Judge' William I. Rhymer turned 104 on November 9, 2020

While many persons desire to at least achieve 3 scores and 10 (70 years), Tortola resident and former farmer and sailor, Mr William Isaac Rhymer has been blessed with 5 scores and 4 and, while he has gone completely blind, his mental faculty is unbelievably sharp as a razor.

Mr Rhymer, the oldest person in the Virgin Islands, turned 104 on Monday, November 9, 2020.

‘Joyful’ birthday

According to one of his daughters, Shirley Rhymer, the cherished centenarian had a “joyful” birthday as he was able to hear from his children and grandchildren both here and off island.

“I asked him how old he is today and he tell me 104. I said man you on top of things,” Ms Rhymer shared with Virgin Islands News Online in an exclusive interview.

“His health is strong, his eye sight is gone and he has a little pain, depending on the weather, “Otherwise he is doing just fine.”

Premier’s visit

Ms Rhymer said the birthday for her father was made even merrier when she was visited by Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie.

“When the Premier came I told him ‘you have visitors’. He asked ‘who is it’ and I said ‘the Premier’. He said ‘who?’ I tell him ‘the Bronx Bomber’. When I say that he smiled, because that is what he calls Andrew.”

She said the Premier sang with the birthday celebrant and took photos.

Further, Ms Rhymer said there was also a family gathering in the afternoon and Mr Rhymer enjoyed the moment with them.

‘A blessing from God’

Premier Fahie later wrote on his Facebook page: “A blessing from God!!! WOW!!! 104yrs!!!

“Today we had to take time out from our busy schedules to celebrate with "The Judge", Mr William Rhymer, on his 104th birthday. He is the oldest living person in the Territory…. What a blessing from God! God is awesome!”

Mr William I. Rhymer is the grandfather of Honourables Kye M. Rymer (R5), the Minister of Transportation, Works and Utilities and Sharie D. de Castro, the Junior Minister for Tourism.


Posting a photo on social media of him feeding Mr Rhymer, Hon Rymer wrote: “Today I took some time to nourish your body with some supplements, and I would do this any day because I am grateful for the man that I am today because of you Poppa.

“The Almighty God has blessed you with yet another birthday and today I pay homage to you. Happy 104th birthday,” were some of the words by Hon Rymer.

‘Papa is living proof of God’s grace & favour’- Hon de Castro

Hon de Castro said: “Happy 104th Birthday to my grandfather, the patriarch of our family - William I. Rhymer. Papa is living proof of God’s grace and favour. He continues to live in that blessed hope with an innate joy and peace that is admirable. To come from a lineage of such faith and strength that is rooted in unconditional love is by far one of the greatest gifts that I possess. Today, I treasure it and celebrate it. Papa, I am because you are. I love you dearly! #RhymersOfRoundHill,” Hon de Castro wrote on her Facebook page.

Meanwhile, Second District Representative, Hon Melvin M. Turnbull also extended greetings to his most senior constituent.

“Happy 104th Bday to “The Judge” Uncle William Rhymer! He is the oldest person in the Territory and he just happens to come from the Second District,” Hon Turnbull remarked on his Facebook page.

Long life & marriage!

Mr Rhymer, who was an avid boat racer in his younger days, was married to the late Josephine Rhymer and up to the time of Mrs Rhymer’s passing at age 97 in April 2017, the two were regarded as the oldest couple alive in the Virgin Islands and the longest married.

They were married for approximately 76 years, having tied the knot on September 25, 1940 at Road Town Methodist Church.

The marriage produced ten children: Allan, Dennis, Joseph, Henry, Joyce, Shirley, William Jr, Elroy, Janet and Violet.


Quote of the Day

Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

George Addair
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