Patricia B. “Patti” Arthur moved to Pohnpei in September 1971, and with the skills of her husband and co-owner Robert “Bob” Arthur built and developed The Village, with 29 thatched-roof bungalows in traditional Pohnpeian style, with accesses to the beach and lagoon, which drew international and regional visitors.
The expansive restaurant and bar at the Village — reputedly the largest thatched structure in Micronesia — was well patronized locally and according to Guam Business Magazine files, in 2008 provided employment for about 50 staff. It was known for paying its staff well.
Patti Arthur told the magazine at the time that a number of its female employees did not work every day, so that they could meet family obligations. “We thought that up when we realized how society runs here,” she said.
The business climate in Pohnpei was challenging, but the Arthurs made a success of the Village, as well as venturing into the Village Travel, which arranged tours and diving, and two other businesses that exported pepper and buttons.
In 1991, according to Journal files, the U.S. government recognized the Arthurs’ work at the Village and awarded them the first eco-tourism award for constructing a hotel “in tune with nature, with a low impact on the environment and culture.”
According to Guam Business Magazine and Journal files the two businesses were the subject of litigation with the state government. (See “Pepper, buttons and lawsuits — all part of doing business in Pohnpei,” in the Jan. 18, 2009, issue of the Journal)
The Village closed in 2013, with the Arthurs deciding to head for California and retirement, according to Journal files, when lease renewal for the hotel with multiple landowners became unending.
Michael A. White, Saipan-based attorney at The Law Offices of Michael A. White LLC had a professional relationship with the Arthurs and had represented them, said, “Patti was a good friend. I always enjoyed getting together with her and Bob whenever I was in Pohnpei. The wonderful ambience of The Village was enhanced by the evenings I spent with the Arthurs.”
James “Jamie” Arthur said of his parents in 2013, “Bob and Patti Arthur came to Pohnpei 40 years ago to build the kind of hotel they’d like to live in. They found that the large, thatched roof and openness of the Village Long House and its individual cottages, the balmy breezes, the reef islands nearby, and the lagoon with its barrier reef appealed to their guests as well.”
Patricia B. Arthur is survived by her husband Robert “Bob” Arthur; sons Peter, James and Jeremy and daughter Janet Arthur. mbj