For over thirty years The Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust has been the island's largest non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Vieques. Our mission is to foster, study, educate, protect and conserve la Isla Nena's natural and cultural resources, with a special emphasis on the Bioluminescent Bay, conducting non-formal education activities, and facilitating scientific research.
VCHT is committed to the sustainability and resiliency of all aspects of Vieques - it's people and the physical and cultural environment.
It is with great sadness that we share news of the passing of one of the VCHT’s most steadfast supporters, Alison (Min) Flemer. Her strength, intelligence, wit and generosity helped shape the Trust since its inception. Her passing leaves a hole in the hearts of everyone who knew her and she will be deeply missed.
Min was an active volunteer and member of the VCHT Board of Directors for decades. When she retired from the Board, she remained active as an Honorary Board member. She could always be counted on to help when needed. Throughout the years, her support ranged widely through all of our programs. From donating materials and equipment needed to monitor the Bioluminescent Bay, to organizing and hosting special events, to funding scholarships, to helping us rebuild the Marine Life exhibit after Hurricane Maria.
The Trust honored Min at the February 8, 2013 Celebrating Vieques dinner, where she was presented with a citation that read: For your unstinting generosity over many years; For your wise guidance and unfailing support in times of great difficulty; for opening your heart to the people of Vieques.
Those words and the sentiment they impart represent just a fraction of our gratitude for all that she has done and all she made possible for so many.
The Trust was such a huge part of Min’s life and she was such a huge part of ours. She was a personal friend and mentor to many of our staff and volunteers and although saddened, we join her family in sending her off on her new adventures. As a fitting tribute, the family would like us to share her obituary with you.
Alison (Min) Flemer is off on a new adventure. Her body has not let her do this in some time. Her daughters Janet Flemer, Kate Barrack and Rebecca Flemer are grateful that she is free. She leaves behind five grandchildren – Wilkie, John and Jennifer Barrack, Ana and Jeffrey Clemente, granddaughter-in-law Mary Beth Barrack and one great granddaughter, Riley Elizabeth Barrack.
Min was born in Australia in 1930 and passed February 16, 2021.
She met her beloved husband John while living in London. Always up for a new experience, she took weekend trips while there, and they met on a ferry boat to the Isle of Skye in 1956. They were engaged three weeks later on a Vespa in Paris.
They had 25 beautiful years together in Princeton. She filled the house with art, creating much of it herself. The family traveled to Puerto Rico, Canada, Europe and Australia, and Min and John had their own trips together. Min involved herself with gardening groups, Recording for the Blind, and art. She joined Friends of Foreign Students, hosting Princeton grad students from Australia and New Zealand who remain devoted friends.
After John passed suddenly in 1982, Min began spending half the year in Vieques, Puerto Rico. She made deep and lasting friendships there to add to her Princeton group. She took on several formidable renovation projects, built a renowned garden, supported local organizations and became a beloved part of the tight knit community there. She continued her adventures and traveled with friends and her daughters until ill health kept her close to home.
A memorial service will be held at a later date due to COVID-19 restrictions.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to The Vieques Conservation & Historical Trust or a charity of their choice.
An open letter to Vieques residents
The Biobay Water Quality Monitoring Station is a major advancement in the conservation of the bioluminescent bay.