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On Island Profile: Paul Devine

July 29, 2007 — Paul Devine likes to be in the thick of things. The inner-city Boston native moved to St. John eight years ago after a messy divorce and quickly got involved in a slew of activities.
Devine, 59, recently ran unsuccessfully to serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. With that loss behind him, he and fellow St. John resident Ronnie Jones quickly teamed up to hold a series of forums on the constitutional process.
"It really struck me that we didn't have a constitution," Devine said, adding that Guam is the only other jurisdiction under the U.S. flag that doesn't have its own constitution.
As a hobby, he spent about a year and a half writing one for the territory, looking into existing laws and political history along the way. Municipal government is his passion, and while he said he has no political ambitions, should municipal government ever become a reality, he said he'd like to become involved.
Just as the territory is striving to make changes through the constitutional process, Devine is also making changes in his own life.
An electrician who started working his trade when he was 14, he's in the process of selling Paul E. Devine Electrical Services.
"I'm burnt out," he said.
He opened his own electrical company back in Assonet, Mass. right after serving two tours with the U.S. Navy as a Seabee. Laughing, he said that while he was a trained electrician, he spent his tours working on water wells.
He parlayed his stateside electrical business into the operation of a school that trained electricians.
"I was the master's license guru," he said.
A chance meeting on St. John with a fellow Massachusetts-born tradesman put him in touch with St. John's Angel Electric. After working with that company for two years, he went out on his own.
But now, he said he wants to do something totally different, something he enjoys rather than something he has to do.
He's busy applying for part-time work, but, meanwhile he's enjoying the hiatus. He and his brother went sailing several months ago. He is also hard at work developing the American Legion's flag football league.
Devine speaks proudly about how the league is growing, and said this year, it should have 60 youths playing on six teams.
He's also a performer. He's appeared in several productions put on by Epiphany Theater, St. John's own little theater group. He's also an avid karaoke performer, with many nights spent at the microphone.
Devine is the father of two girls. Betsy, 21, is a sports management major at the University of Massachusetts. The youngest Laura, 16, attends high school in Attleboro, Mass.
When he's not working on the constitutional process or showcasing his talents on stage, Devine said he likes to relax by the pool with a book.
As for his social life?
"I like my time and my freedom. I still date, but there's no steady," he said.

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