| Alvin 'Alli' Paul
Former Senator, USVI
Alvin Paul was a former Senator in the United States Virgin Islands.
Early life and education
Alvin Paul was born in the USVI in 1948. While attending college at City University of New York, Hunter College, Paul got the youth of the Big Apple to try their hand at stilt dancing through the NYC Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs. At Hunter, his studies in anthropology led to adventure on the seas with a program called World Campus Afloat.
Alvin Paul was a former senator, cultural icon, master mocko jumbie, professional prize fighter and student of anthropology.
As a member of the 13th Legislature, Paul served a portion of his single two-year term, from 1979 to 1980. Later, he headed the Department of Licensing and Consumer Affairs.
Paul became known worldwide as a mocko jumbie dancer and a fixture in Virgin Islands cultural celebrations. He also founded the Alli Paul Original Mocko Jumbie Dancers on St. Thomas in the 1960s, later forming a troupe on St. Croix.
On the way to world-wide acclamation, he also tried his hand at martial arts and Golden Gloves boxing while attending high school on the U.S. mainland.
Performing what was once considered a rare art form gave Paul and his dancers opportunities to travel to the Eastern Caribbean, Africa, to New York and to the Super Bowl in 1979.
Upon returning to his St. Thomas home, Paul capitalized on his popularity with a successful political campaign with the campaign slogan, “Stand Tall with Alli Paul.”
Honours and awards
In 2008, the Virgin Islands Carnival Committee honoured Paul’s lifetime of cultural contributions by naming him grand-marshal of the annual Adult’s Parade.
Paul died in Miami on 11 January 2019 after a brief battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. His funeral service took place on Friday, 22 February 2019 at Turnbull’s Funeral Home and Crematory Services. A brief ceremony is planned on the grounds of the Legislature before internment at Western Cemetery.