PRESS RELEASE: Pastor Cromwell Oliver Hodge and Captain Wendell Parsons are the 2017 recipients of the BVI Badge of Honour.
Her Excellency the Acting Governor, Rosalie Adams after consultation with the Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE and the Leader of the Opposition, Honourable Andrew Fahie has accepted the recommendation of the BVI Honours Committee and has announced that the two persons will be awarded the honour.
Pastor Hodge biography states that he has devoted his life to the Gospel Ministry where he was instrumental in making a positive impact in many lives throughout the Territory of the Virgin Islands.
As a young pastor, he assisted Pastor Wesley Forbes in the establishment of several missions which were formed in Tortola out of the Road Town Baptist Church, including Long Look Bethany Baptist, now led by Pastor Silas Morton, and Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church now led by Pastor Melvin Turnbull.
Road Baptist Church eventually changed its name to the New Life Baptist Church and is now led by Bishop John Cline.
As a result of his dedication to the Ministry and outstanding service, Pastor Hodge received awards for his humble shepherding and for the longest-serving pastor of the Road Town Baptist Church.
Pastor Hodge has also provided support to the BVI Mental Health Association where he gave spiritual support to the patients. His contribution to the BVI extends beyond his work with the ministry and has made an unfaltering and long-standing commitment to his work in education.
He spent many years in the education system teaching at several schools including Road Town Primary, the Literacy and Skills Programme (L.A.S.P.), Elmore Stoutt High School, formerly known as BVI High School and later at Alexandrina Maduro Primary School, Baugher’s Bay.
Pastor Hodge’s dedication to the church and the education system in the Virgin Islands has truly made a difference to this Territory. He has given hope and encouragement to so many and his good work will forever live on in the Ministry and in our hearts.
Meanwhile, Captain Wendell W Parsons is said to be a quiet and humble Virgin Islander, who has served the Virgin Islands through “thick” and “thin” times.
He first served the Territory as a boat captain when he performed the important role of transporting passengers between the islands.
He was offered employment with the Government of the Virgin Islands as Captain of the Government Launch, MV St. Ursula. The St Ursula transported government officials between Tortola and the Sister Islands and could be called upon day or night. The St. Ursula was the boat that led the Queen’s Party to the Sister Island, Virgin Gorda on her first visit in 1966.
Mr Parsons was also employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands as a Security Officer/Watchman for the then Government building. This building also housed the old Post Office which Captain Parsons ensured the safekeeping of that property until earlier this year when he retired.
Captain Parsons still provides faithful service to the Road Town Methodist Church as a member and former treasurer of the Road Town Methodist Church Men’s Fellowship.
For the past seventeen years, he has touched the lives of many in the community through visiting the sick and elderly. He has also solely cared for his son who has special needs and yet still finds the time to give service to the community.
Volunteers such as Mr Parsons are said to be priceless in the community as they share their time and talents without compensation.
The Badge of Honour will be presented to the recipients at an Investiture Ceremony at Government House and the names of the recipients will be published in the Official Gazette.
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