Williamstad Times

By Veda Velamuri

September 1942

Phillip Enright 12 year old blind boy

Phillip Enright, a 12 year old blind boy, was found stranded on an island in the Devil's Mouth when one of our planes saw black smoke coming from his little Cay. We were told that he had been living on that island since April of last year. Here is an interview with Phillip as he reveals how he grew and survived on the little island.

Reporter: How did you even end up on the island?

Phillip: Well it all started the morning of April 6, 1942, I remember it well. The boat I was on got torpedoed on our way to Miami, Florida. Some how, my head got injured and I ended up on a little raft with another black man I had never met. After a few days we found this Cay and we had stayed on it ever since.

Reporter: Who was the black man you were with? What was your relationship with him?

Phillip: His name was Timothy. He was my best friend in the whole world. He had taught me to look after my self, defeat my stubbornness, be able to to things I had never been able to do before. Timothy protected me every second and had cared for me even when I had been mean to me. There are to many things to say about Timothy that I can't even choose one. I miss him so very much. He made me realize people were no different

Reporter: So, how did you even become blind?

Phillip: When my head was injured after the torpedo attack, I was looking at the sun a lot until I couldn't see anything at all. At first, I had thought I was completely useless and all I wanted to do all day was sit and think. Then Timothy came and helped me get used to it. I had learned to become used to my blindness and took everything for granted after going thorough all this.

Reporter: Tell me Phillip, how were the first few days on the island?

Phillip: The first day, I think Timothy had left to get some food and I was all alone and got frightened. This had happened the first few days and I had cried every time. I would always yell at Timothy to never leave me. He would say,"Dere is nothin' to fear 'ere...". Then slowly, I had started to learn by Timothy, that I had to be more mature.

Reporter: How did you start maturing on the island?

Phillip: It started when I had had the courage to climb the palm tree which I hadn't had before. I was scared to climb it but I started gaining more courage, staying on the island longer, and one day I told Timothy I would climb the palm tree. I remember he was so delighted. From then on, I started to think that I could more things like go fishing, travel all around the island, and more.

Reporter: What did you guys do to survive on you little cay?

Phillip: Well, First Timothy built us a hut and we kept on building and making. We made mats to sleep on, fishing poles to catch fish, rope so I could walk all around, and many more. We also gathered food together. Usually Timothy would get langosta and after a while I started helping and would catch fish.

Reporter: Were there times where you had trouble with or Timothy?

Phillip: One of the times I had trouble with Timothy was when I was asked to build the mats but I was to lazy and was mean to Timothy. I don't think there was ever a time where Timothy go mad at me unless I said something. Since the raft, he always thought of me as a friend and always called he young boss. I never realized that everyone was the same on the inside no matter the color on the outside. Timothy had showed me this.

Reporter: How long did you stay on the island?

Phillip: We stayed for about 5 or 6 months on that island until I was rescued.

Reporter: How long did you think you were going to be on the island?

Phillip: Timothy had decided we might be on it forever until we were rescued, but when Timothy died, I was for sure I was going to live on it forever.

Reporter: How did Timothy die?

Phillip: There was a huge hurricane that hit our island. Around the middle, rain like spikes started hitting us. Timothy had protected me from them but got cut very badly in the process. He had died protecting me. After the hurricane Timothy was torn to shreds and was barely alive. I never thought I would've been rescued after that point.

Reporter: How would you summarize this whole experience?

Phillip: I would say there were some ups and downs in this whole experience. I had met Timothy. I had grown mature. I had also suffered a lot.


Timothy was around 70 when he died. He had been a kind and loving man. He used to work at the S.S. Hato. All his work friends were very close to him and they loved him dearly. Timothy was adopted by a woman named Hannah Gumbs. He had been with Phillip on the island and had protected Phillip till death. As Phillip said, Timothy had never yelled at Phillip unless he had misbehaved. Timothy had died when a huge hurricane had hit their island. Since Phillip was blind, Timothy had to protect Phillip from it. They had tied themselves to a palm tree so they wouldn't get blown away. Then super sharp, cold rain came and it all hit Timothy. Phillip couldn't get hit because Timothy was literally covering him. After the storm passed, Timothy had been cut to shreds. He was dead and couldn't be medicated. He had lived a long life and was a great man.

World War ll Update

Aug 7 - Battle of Guadalcanal

Aug 13 - 6 Germans executed

Aug 15 - American tanker reaches Malta

Aug 17 - First raid by US to France

Aug 19 - Allied forces raid Dieppe, France

Aug 22 - Brazil Declares was on Germany and Italy

Aug 23 - Germa troops reach Stalingrad

Aug 25 - Japanese marines land at Milne Bay

Aug 31-Sep 5 - Battle of Alam Halfa

Sep 3 - Uprising at Lakhva

Sep 5 - Battle of Milne Bay

Monthly Weather

Looks like it is going to be mostly sunny in Williastad but you might be expecting some rain so be noticed.

Annual Memorial for the Dead

Tuesday, Sep 15th 1942 at 9:30am

Willemstad, Curaçao, Curacao

Willemstad, Curaçao

We are having a memorial for the people who died during the battles and tragedy. It is also a time to remember your loved ones who died for other reasons.