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Territory Day to become a full-day affair, all schools involved

City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards.

Observing Territory Day annually is now expected to last a few hours longer and will become a full-day affair involving all schools.

Member of the Territory Day organising committee Janice Braithwaite-Edwards made the announcement yesterday (July 2) at the Central Administration Complex where this year’s celebrations were held.

She said the event is to mark the journey of the people of the British Virgin Islands and it is imperative the younger generation is part of it.

“I am indeed happy to see those people who took time out of their holiday schedule to spend this time with us. But I also would like to implore here that, in the future, Territory Day is about where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. And we need to ensure that the next generation, understands that perspective,” said Brathwaite-Edwards, who is also City Manager.

She further said: “We had no intention of making it into an all-day thing [this year]. But, trust me, next year we will be here all day because we are going to have the students involved in everything that Territory Day involves.”

This year, only two schools took part in the event – Ebenezer Thomas Primary which performed three musical selections, and Elmore Stoutt High School which performed the Territorial Song and delivered the ‘Student’s Perspective’ address.

BVI has come a long way

Meanwhile, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said the territory has come a long way since it became a ‘colony in its own right’ in 1956; following the de-federation of the colony of the Leeward Islands.

“This was not only a significant constitutional step forward for us. It also marked the beginning of our coming of age as a territory,” he said.

In celebrating the day, Dr Smith said: “We celebrate who we are and where we came from. Every time we sing our territorial song, wear our territorial dress, or salute our flag, or recognize any of our territorial symbols in any way, we celebrate who we are and the qualities that have brought us so far in such a short time.”

Minister for Education and Culture Myron Walwyn said as the BVI marks 58 years as a territory, he hopes the BVI will find strength and continue on the path towards prosperity.

He added: “As we continue our path towards greater autonomy, let us recognize and hone the many gifts and talents that we possess as Virgin Islanders and apply them towards the advancement of our economic development.”

This year’s Territory Day was held under the theme, ‘The road to greater autonomy: acknowledging our creative gifts’.

Eileen Parsons

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

8 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    I can’t help feeling that Government ought to have higher priorities right now than trying to suck the fun out a public holiday.

  2. My 2 cents says:

    Really Mrs. Edwards. You see what happened to Commonwealth Day. It’s a public holiday. Who are you going to get to come out. You’ll get a rude awakening. Come with a different plan.

  3. Meaningful Education says:

    When will the people who are placed in vital places of influence and “can make a difference” positions begin to teach our real, authentic history to our adults and children alike?

    The relevance of this holiday has been read, but it all appear to be mere shallowness. No one leaves, it appears, with nothing of knowledge of themselves or ancestors that they can cherish with historical pride.

    It appears that we are either been forbidden to or that we are afraid to approach and learn about our ancient history, and our major contributions to civilization and the Western world.

    After-all, just about every thing EU has claimed as its own actually was first developed by Ancient Black people, from mathematics to philosophy and much, much more..

    So, let us begin to educate ourselves of our rich past, that we may enrich our children with their real history. Do not curse, go look!! Truth will find you.

    Their, we and our children’s history did not begin with the kidnapping, enslavement and murder of their ancestors.

    In truth our ancestors taught the European most that he now claims as his, including how to clean himself. But don’t take these words for nothing, go find for thyself the truths.

    Cannot wait for the day when we will begin to teach our children about themselves. It is only when we begin to do so will we begin to foster pride and self love in them, and broader, in our race.

    It is the weapon that will destroy self hatred, and they know it, that is why we do not find our significant history taught no where on earth. Wake up you once mighty people and stop spinning wheels. History is our guide. Let’s grasp it now!!

  4. Tim says:

    I didn’t know the Mrs Edwards has the authority to just get up and make such a decision on her own. The teachers need a break so do the students . It’s a public holiday. Do more of the awareness of Territory Day in the classroom

  5. 2 cents says:

    Territory Day celebrations can be an opportunity for our leaders and wider community to demonstrate love and respect for the territory with more substance.

    There can be various types of presentations to highlight past leaders, veteran civil servants, hallmark entrepreneurs, unsung community stalworths from around the entire territory, articles highlighting the territory’s victories (legal, academic, political, financial, athletic, developmental and environmental).

    Residents can be encouraged to decorate their homes/property to represent territorial pride, including the display of a flag, with a territorial contest. Businesses can also display the flag and develop promotions that highlight the holiday. The territorial song should be played multiple times on local radio stations and blared from a speaker on throughout villages like they do for electoral campaigns.

    Ministers of Government can re-affirm their allegiance to the territory and people and give a report on what they’ve accomplished and will continue to work on for that year. There can be a small fashion walkway at/around the Admin Complex that is open to citizens of ages to parade their territorial wear to the tune of fungi music.

    When these things are repeated annually, and excitement similar to August festival is drummed up by our leaders and adults, a powerful educational message will be communicated to the youth without making it teachers’ and schools’ responsibility.

    We have to find ways of developing territorial pride without spending millions of dollars to buy our people’s interest. Territory day should create a buzz similar to the emancipation celebrations as well as it should provide opportunities for stimulating revenue/economy and uniting the territory for ‘ONE BVI’.

  6. BVIYoungman says:

    I didn’t even know Territory Day was around, and look now, I Missed the Ceremony.

    IT WAS CLEARLY NOT MARKETED PROPERLY. BECAUSE MANY OF US DIDNT KNOW.

    • True says:

      @BVIYoungman you are right, Cedar and Montessori kids would love to continue to learn and be involved in the celebrations. And celebrating ought to be just that, an attractive set of events to celebrate BVI, it’s victories, it’s journey and where we are heading. If ever we need unity, boots on the ground and national pride it’s now.

  7. Hmm says:

    I think they need to reconsider Janice’s post or give it a fresh face. Something is not working out as our city is NOT MANAGED. This needs addressing.

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