The Edward Wilmoth Blyden IV Marine Terminal is located on the harbor in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Formerly known as Tortola Wharf, this facility is a hub for ferry service between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and between St. Thomas, St. Croix, and Puerto Rico.
Born on June 13, 1924, Edward “Eddy” Wilmoth Blyden, IV was one of 11 children born to Abraham and Estella Henley Blyden.
On March 1, 1941, Blyden began his career with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service as a messenger/janitor. He took leave to serve in the U.S. Army during in World War II. Honorably discharged in 1946, he returned to St. Thomas and resumed his former position at Immigration. Over time, he worked his way up the ladder to a clerk, an investigative aide, an immigration aide and an examiner.
In 1972, he was promoted to the rank of an immigration inspector. Reportedly, he greatly enjoyed interacting with travelers. Blyden worked at Immigration for over 52 years and was recognized as the agency’s longest-serving employee. He was commended by Congress for his expertise, contributions, and distinguished work ethic in 1991. On December 14, 1993, the newly constructed Tortola Wharf building owned by the VI Port Authority was renamed in his honor via Act. No. 5924. It was signed by Governor Alexander A. Farrelly on December 23, 1993.
The VI Port Authority officially named the building in honor of Blyden via a commemoration ceremony held on May 6, 1994. Today, the Edward W. Blyden IV Marine Terminal is one of VIPA’s busiest passenger ferry facilities. VIPA completed upgrades to this facility to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act to include a new elevator and other renovations.
A BIT ABOUT CARNIVAL FOUNDER RON DE LUGO
The late Ron de Lugo (1930 – 2020) — the Virgin Islands first Delegate to Congress — was a young St. Thomas disc jockey broadcasting on WSTA Radio back in 1952 when he announced on air that Puerto Rico was getting ready to host a Carnival celebration. De Lugo challenged all residents of St. Thomas to step up and create a colorful celebration reflecting the upbeat spirit of his beloved community. From that year forward, St. Thomas Carnival became a dynamic and ever-expanding annual event.