Residents came out in their numbers on Friday to pay tribute to the late Representative for the Fifth Electoral District, Delores Christopher as she lay in state at the House of Assembly (HoA).
Christopher will be laid to rest on Saturday, November 3 at the Sea Cow’s Bay Methodist Church on Tortola.
The sounds of lively steel pan music lifted the solemn mood at the Road Town-based facility as persons entered.
On the HoA’s compound, a grand display of Christopher’s life achievements adorned the canvas walls erected under two tents on the compound.
HoA Speaker, Ingrid Moses-Scatliffe, told BVI News that the display was to highlight the contributions of the late legislator.
“She was always an avid promoter of history, culture and to preserve that history, that culture, and our people and territory on a whole. And, because of the contribution that she has made over the years through various significant events, we saw it fitting,” she said.
Christopher, among other things, pioneered the Festival of the Arts and Christmas on Main Street (now DeCastro Street).
“She always wanted to show us as a people where we were and where we came from and to know what we needed to do to go into the future. So this is a showcase of her contributions in terms of culture and the arts and there are many persons who may not have known what she contributed to the territory,” Moses-Scatliffe added.
She said the showcase was a collaboration with the Christopher family, adding that some of the photos exhibited date back more than 20 years.
My mom was a ‘fighter’
Art Christopher, son of the late legislator described his mother as a ‘real person of the community’.
“She was a fierce protector of her family, the same way she would protect her community. She would never hesitate to defend one of us. She is a person when she is for you, you would know and if she is not pleased, you would know as well.”
He said at the time of her passing his mother was surrounded by her husband and her three aunts.
“She had her challenges [with her illness] but she was very much a fighter,” he added.
And while acknowledging those who came to support the family, he said: “It means a great deal to the family. You get a sense that the work that she (my mother) has done in the community has been genuinely appreciated by the community so it is very heartfelt.”
Meanwhile, Virgin Islands Party candidate Vincent Wheatley who also spoke to BVI News said apart from knowing her for all his life, they worked on several committees together.
“When it comes to BVI culture she is very passionate about it and likes educating persons on it. She was really, really a patriot, among other things.”
He added: “I enjoyed working with her as she is a very deep thinker and she brought honesty and a deep conviction to what she did. And, I am here to pay tribute to a great national hero.”
Christopher passed away on October 16 at her family’s residence in Mount Healthy on Tortola.
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