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Cruzan Que History

St. Thomas Chapter

Zeta Xi

The first chapter to be formed in the Caribbean. This became known as Zeta Xi Chapter, chartered onAugust 15, 1976 on the island of St. Thomas, USVI under the leadership of Grand Basileus Edward J. Braynon. The National Executive Secretary, Brother Harold J. Cook forwarded the charter to the Chapter Basileus, Brother Edouard T. deLagarde. Brother Cook provided invaluable assistance to the chapter during its formation and paid a follow-up visit to St. Thomas later in 1976. The location of this chapter was interesting because Brother William H. Hastie, former Dean of Law at Howard University, had been appointed governor by President Truman to these islands from 1946 to 1949. The ten charter members were Harry O. Parrot, Thomas R. Blake, Michael D. Livisay, Charles J. Fonseca, Henry T. Harrigan, John Watley, Ariel Jackson, Edouard T. deLagarde, William H. Terry and Earl V. Haynes.

St Croix Chapter

Eta Iota Iota

From 1976 until 1990, the brothers in the United States Virgin Islands had a dilemma where brothers were located both on the island of St. Thomas where Zeta Xi Chapter was officially located and forty miles to the south in the Caribbean Sea in the island once called The Danish West Indies, now known as St. Croix. This island has a history of having been under seven European flags prior to being purchased by the United States in 1917.


The brothers on St. Croix were also loosely organized and functioned for years leading up to their receiving a charter, where they were reorganized by the International Headquarters as “Zeta Xi Chapter II”. To correct this anomaly the Supreme Council under the leadership of Grand Basileus C. Tyrone Gilmore, Sr. approved a charter on December 8, 1990 to resolve the problem of one chapter split between the two islands. The charter members included John Abramson, who served in the capacity of Zeta Xi II Keeper of Records and Seal many years prior. He along with Cipriani A. Phillips, Jr., Willie King, Terrell M. Henderson, Renwick S. Lynch, Richard Alexander, Edward W. Gardner, David Pugh, Vincent A. Gordon, and Vincent H. Cephas were the charter members. Brother Cephas was also included as a charter member despite having entered into Omega Chapter on July 29 of that same year