Government Minister Myron Walwyn wants Premier Dr D Orlando Smith, former Chief Minister Ralph O’Neal, and other locals who were instrumental in the development of the territory to be given honours while they are still alive.
Walwyn made the clarion call in the House of Assembly last week.
He wants the government to break from the practice of honouring persons after they have died.
“We wait until they are dead and then we come and we say all kind of things about them — about how wonderful they were blah, blah, blah, and we said nothing of that magnitude when they were alive,” he said.
Honour them now
Walwyn said the territory should honour to these leaders by labelling buildings and other infrastructure in their name.
“I remember saying a couple years ago; why don’t we name the [Multi-purpose Sports] Complex after Mr O’Neal? Mr O’Neal had every major position in the Government of the Virgin Islands. When we get the complex fixed up let us do that. Don’t wait until Mr Oneal goes on to the great beyond to come talking about how nice he was.”
He continued: “We have Dr Smith as well. Our Premier has made a magnificent contribution and we must honour him too, and honour him while he can enjoy it, and not when he is not sure what is going on and he is just alive; waiting for his maker.”
Honor Ira Smith and Speedy too
The minister mentioned recently deceased locals such as the founder of Speedy’s ferry, Edwin George as well as former architect Ira Smith who made significant contributions to the BVI but were never appropriately recognised.
He said the ferry terminal on Waterfront Drive should be named in Smith’s honour.
“And in Virgin Gorda, you have Speedy. He made a magnificent contribution. What are we waiting for? These are things that don’t cost us any money but they can do a lot in terms of the upliftment of people.”
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