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HomeNewsArchivesSt. Croix Welcomes Territory's First New Year's Baby

St. Croix Welcomes Territory's First New Year's Baby

Jan. 1, 2007 — New Year's Day will always be memorable for Marsher Harrigan and Rudell Cherubin.
The couple celebrated the beginning of 2007 by welcoming the latest edition to their family, a baby boy whose name translates to "everything Godly."
Zion Emanuel Cherubin got his first peek at the world at 12:50 a.m. Monday, becoming the first baby born at Luis Hospital and in the Virgin Islands this year. He weighed in at 8 pounds, 9.4 ounces, and hospital staff quickly designed a makeshift placard for his crib touting the momentous occasion. The baby also received gifts like knitted sweaters and booties, with more to come.
Traditionally community organizations bestow baby gifts on the lucky mom whose child is the first born on New Year's Day each year at both Luis Hospital and at Schneider Hospital on St. Thomas. As of Monday afternoon, there was no official word from Schneider officials regarding a New Year's baby.
Back on St. Croix, Harrigan and Cherubin were ecstatic.
"He videotaped it and he already is showing it around," Harrigan said with a tired smile. After seven hours of labor, she relished a chance to rest in her hospital bed. That's the official time, anyway — Harrigan counts it as 25 hours from the time her contractions began. She arrived at the hospital on New Year's Eve and secretly hoped her child would be a New Year's baby.
"It was kind of exciting," she said. "There were tears of pain, but it turned to tears of joy. When I saw him, I thought, 'My angel.'"
Harrigan named her son Zion "because I always liked the name," she said. "It means 'heaven.' His whole name means something. Emanuel means 'God is watching,' and fortunately he has Cherubin as a last name, and that means 'angel.'"
Monday evening the elder Cherubin, who lives on St. Thomas, left the hospital for much-needed rest after spending more than 24 hours awaiting his son's arrival.
"He is so proud of his son — he did not want to leave," Harrigan said.
The couple knew months before that they would be parents of a boy.
"I don't like surprises, so I made sure I knew," Harrigan said, as Zion Emanuel yawned and stretched comfortably nearby. Swaddled in a mostly white blanket and a blue slumber cap tilted on his head, the ruddy-cheeked baby was the picture of an angel. But he has not always been so well-behaved, Harrigan joked.
"He was and is a very active baby," she said, pointing out a scratch on his left cheek. Harrigan said she had baby nail clippers at the ready for his long fingernails.
Another pressing matter was introducing him to his aunt, Erin Harris, whom she said made a trip home in time for the baby's birth. Harris is a 21-year-old senior at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Fla.
"She is going back on Saturday and she kept saying, 'I hope you have this baby before I leave,'" Harrigan said. "She's happy now."
The mother said she and Zion Emanuel's father are already looking forward to the day he matures into a young man, because he's destined for greatness.
"I know he's going to be somebody great because he was born on New Year's Day, and that's the beginning of his specialness," she said.
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