By Donald H Keith, Chairman
Board of Directors
The first time I met Sherlin it was in the Museum’s Science Building’s workshop. He was just putting the finishing touches on the 150 year-old clockwork mechanism that made the light turn. I was amazed because it was an intricate piece of equipment for which no plans or instructions were available. He had been working on it for months and through observation and persistence alone, figured it out by himself. It made more sense later when I learned that in a previous life he had a business in the Bahamas repairing high-end cameras! And he didn’t just repair them, he was a pretty good photographer too! In 2010 he showed me computer-manipulated artwork he was producing called “photocraphs”, each composed of scores or even hundreds of different images combined to tell a story.
Each time I made a visit to the Museum on Grand Turk Sherlin was there, always ready to explore newly discovered archaeological sites, conduct research in the Museum’s library, investigate a mystery, or get his hands dirty cleaning and conserving artifacts.
Over the years he authored several articles for the Astrolabe including, “Grand Turk’s Postcard Man,” and “The Time-Travelling Beach Comber”. Mr. Sherlin McDonald Williams died on January 2, 2017. He was an avid supporter of the Museum, a good friend, a native son of the TCI and one of its most ardent and active local historians—but he is not lost to us. He is still here in the Museum. You can hear him in the words he wrote, see photos of him working to preserve other people’s history, and admire the art he created, all preserved in perpetuity here in the Museum. You can read more about Sherlin Williams and his many contributions in the Spring 2017 issue of the Times of the Islands magazine.