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HomeNewsArchivesLegislators Name Room for 'The Bull From Annaly,' Sen. Frits Eduard Lawaetz

Legislators Name Room for 'The Bull From Annaly,' Sen. Frits Eduard Lawaetz

Nov. 27, 2006 — Dignitaries, friends and family were on hand Monday to pay tribute to the life of the man affectionately known as "The Bull From Annaly," Sen. Frits Eduard Lawaetz.
"He genuinely loved the people of St. Croix," said his son, former Sen. Bent Lawaetz, at a ceremony renaming the St. Croix Legislative Conference Room in honor of the longtime legislator.
Distinguished guests filled the conference room as members of the 26th Legislature, Delegate Donna M. Christensen and Gov. Charles W. Turnbull took turns acknowledging the exceptional life of the Crucian cowboy, farmer, sportsman and senator.
In his opening remarks, Senate Vice President Ronald Russell said Lawaetz served the community with honor and distinction. Lawaetz represented "the character that we all should try to emulate," Russell said.
Senate President Lorraine L. Berry sponsored the resolution to rename the conference room in honor of Lawaetz. The resolution passed unanimously. Lawaetz, Berry said, was a "proud Crucian" who, when traveling to St. Thomas on business, returned daily to his home in St. Croix to be with his family.
His dedication to St. Croix and its people was "unparalleled," according to Berry. "[Wherever] the legislature moves on St. Croix, there will always be a conference room named after [Lawaetz]," she said.
The younger Lawaetz said his father always considered himself a farmer first. He described his father as a man of the people who "loved to chat endlessly" and was always reaching out to his fellow man.
Frits Eduard Lawaetz was born in 1907 in Little La Grange on St. Croix. He was considered the largest Senepol cattle breeder in the continental United States, and served 20 years in the senate, from 1955 to 1979. Lawaetz died June 16, 2005.
Hans Lawaetz, eldest son of the honoree, said his father "taught [him] to trust his fellow man."
Christensen also described Lawaetz as a man of the people, and said it was "strange to go to any community activity and not see [him] there." Lawaetz left the community far better than he found it, she said: "It is incumbent on all of us to try to meet the high standards he set for us."
In a video tribute to the former senator, Sen. Lloyd Williams — who served in the 10th through 14th Legislatures — said working with Lawaetz was easy because of his loyalty. "If he gave you his word, you could sleep on it," Williams said.
In his first public appearance since the election, Gov. Charles W. Turnbull called Lawaetz a "giant in V.I. history." Lawaetz served with honesty and integrity — all the virtues one would want in a public servant, Turnbull said. The Lawaetz farm was stocked with the finest breed of cattle, Turnbull said, and Lawaetz provided milk to the islands, "sometimes free of charge." Turnbull called Lawaetz "a unifier, not a divider," and thanked his family for sharing him with the community.
After a flower presentation to daughter Jodie Lawaetz-Mays, Berry presented a permanent plaque to all family members in attendance.
The ceremony included an invocation and benediction by Pastor Robert Wakefield of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and remarks by a former legislative assistant, Clarence "Chera" Heyliger. Claire Roker served as mistress of ceremonies, while Sharon Walters sang the National Anthem and the V.I. March.
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