One, Two, Three, Jump!

By Caroline Fawkes

Watercolor of dreams always painted in the warmest hue a pallet of new beginnings as fresh as the morning dew.

The “Jumping the Broom” is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or at the reception, signify their entrance into a new life.

“Jumping the broom” was considered at our reception, because getting married is considered a leap of faith. I’m one who has always believed in paying homage to my ancestors and dressed in afro-centric attire, so in planning my wedding, I knew this would be my choice.  My next thought was how to convince my fiance to wear this attire. My sister, Ms. Catherine Adams, my wedding planner, started viewing online male afro-centric attires. She found a suit that he fell in love with.

I was deployed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba but I always knew what type of wedding I would like. I was on my final year of Service to my Country – the thirty-second (32 years).  I served as a Colonel in various capacities within the Virgin
Islands National Guard and Cuba.

I’ve also accomplished many “Firsts” – first female Virgin Islander to become a pilot and also to fly the Sherpa (SH-33) Aircraft in the National Guard.  I’m an Airplane and Helicopter pilot and have flown to various Caribbean Countries and within the continental United States and Virgin Islands.  I also served as Director of Operations and  Training, Director of Personnel and Director of Joint Visitor’s Bureau.

My highest award is the Joint Meritorious Service Award for my service in Guantanamo Bay. My military career has been challenging and rewarding. My motto has always been, “Obstacles are only Opportunities in Disguise”.

My loving sister handled my wedding planning. A few days short of the wedding, I returned home. I practiced in the church twice, tried my dress and got married on the Sunday, August 8, 2010. Our honeymoon was spent in Cuba, since I had
another year obligation to serve in the military.

Mrs. Mary Lewis, African and fashion designer living on St. Croix  ordered from Ghana  and tailored all the wedding party’s attire. Our clothing had intricate detailed royal blue embroidery. The groom suit was of afro-centric and western design. The train of the dress was embroidered blue and had a unity symbol – two hearts becoming one.

Being a pilot and a lover of the blue water and sky, the color for my wedding was royal blue and white.

I am lucky and blessed to have found my best friend, my true confidant, and my life partner. We pay homage to our ancestors, whose shoulders we stand on and whose wisdom shines a guiding light on us. By jumping the broom we seal together our past, present, and future.

Caroline F. Fawkes, retired Colonel, U.S. Military – Virgin Islands National Guard with a plethora of awards, medals, letters and commendations including her highest award the Legion of Merit and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. First Virgin Islands Female Pilot in the Virgin Islands National Guard; Director of Operations, Training, Personnel and Joint Visitors Bureau. First and only female State Army Aviation Officer within the National Guard comprising of the fifty-one states and territories. Colonel Caroline Fawkes is a native of Frederiksted, St. Croix US Virgin Islands. Caroline is married to Mr. Avery A. Fawkes.

Photo:  Mr. Avery Fawkes and Mrs. Caroline Fawkes Jumping the Broom at their wedding reception at St. George Village Botanical Garden in the historic Great Hall. Denise Bennerson, Photographer

If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it!
Icon Icon Icon