BVI News

2019 New Year’s message from Premier

Below is Premier Dr D Orlando Smith’s New Year’s address for 2019.

Happy New Year!

In bidding farewell to 2018 and welcoming 2019, I am filled with much emotion as I address you, my fellow Virgin Islanders, residents and friends, for the last time with me serving as Premier of the Virgin Islands.

In the short time we have left of my doing so, I continue to be proud to be your leader. I continue to pledge my unwavering support to this Territory and to each and every one of you.

We are at the threshold of a new year that is expected to be filled with much change. But the possibilities that exist therein are what we are encouraged to focus on. Possibilities for a better and brighter future for our beloved Territory. 2019 is the perfect time to clarify the vision.

These possibilities were clearly demonstrated to me yesterday as I sailed around the BVI. My heart was filled with joy and hope as virtually every nook and cranny was packed with both sailing and powerboats enjoying our beautiful waters and incredible beaches.  I expect that our hotels will begin to rebuild in the coming months.

The rebuilding of the Virgin Islands to greater glory than its past, is the vision that has been conceived in the aftermath of the disastrous 2017 August floods and September hurricanes. It will take the work of the Government and you the citizens and residents to keep an account that ensures that this happens. The part that you play in the process of helping to shape the vision and its outcome is of equal partnership with your chosen leaders.

So this year, above any other year, is one in which you are able to step fully into your role with great awareness as to how your voice matters in constructing the thriving society that you want to live in. Throughout this past year, the demonstrations of togetherness and generosity have been seen individually and collectively, in the private sector as well as the public service.

We all saw fit to do more than was expected of us to facilitate a normalizing of the structures that make for a more comfortable living experience for us all. I am proud to have been witness to that sort of spirit and action that resulted in the progress that we have made in one short year post-hurricane Irma. And if it is not too soon for me to say, Irma has stimulated in us as a people the collaborative and helpful spirit that has historically defined us.

As Virgin Islanders, we can never forget what sort of people we are.

There now exists structures that have been established to ensure that the government, all those who love the BVI, and those who live and work in the BVI will be able to fulfil the mandate of a stronger, smarter, greener, better Virgin Islands for us all.

The journey that we engage in as builders of our society will continue in 2019 and beyond. Over this next year, I look forward to seeing and hearing new and creative ways to build an improved economy with increasing numbers of entrepreneurs in the private sector.

Trade and commerce are the backbones of any well-developed society and these Virgin Islands are sure to have the infrastructure that affords us full engagement in the worldwide commercial marketplace. Our economy will continue to grow and thrive.

I recall as a young man I made a decision to enter the medical profession. It was my earnest desire to help as many as I could by way of being a physician. What a privilege that was.

However, as Premier of the Virgin Islands, you have given me the most elevated and humbling position of all, from where I did my utmost to facilitate the vision that you constructed for this beautiful Territory. It has been my greatest honour to serve in the capacity that allowed me to reach many more than I could as a doctor.

But whether we have seen eye-to-eye or rarely agreed at all, my engagement with you, the people of these Virgin Islands, is what has kept me honest, kept me inspired, and kept me going.  Every day, I learned from you.  You made me a better Premier, you made me a better man, and for this, I am eternally grateful.

During the remainder of my tenure as Premier of the Virgin Islands, my hands will not drop as I carry on with the work of leading this Territory forward. I have only ever taken that mandate with the utmost solemnity. I thank you for the opportunity that has been afforded me.

I wish everyone greater expressions of life in this coming year and every other year to come. We are a deserving people that have demonstrated our worth over many decades through consistent growth and development. I only see improvement in our short and long-term future. Let 2019 be a clear reflection of this.

Happy New Year to all of you!

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13 Comments

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  1. Ronnie says:

    Hurry up and be gone with now.

    We got a country to fix.

    Like 7
    Dislike 1
    • Vaneyes says:

      You must ask yourself a simple question, are we better off today than we were 8 (16) years ago? The answer is a simple no. You failed to create a plan and you failed to manage. You didn’t use due diligence in making investments with our money and you abdicated financial authority to other ministers in your party who misspent even more of our money.

      Our schools are broken, our roads are broken, our electricity is broken part of the time, our water is unreliable, our internet is slow and unnecessarily expensive and our dump is burning out of control much of the time.

      There are many conversations regarding the source of your personal wealth. Perhaps someday, all will be known.

      Like 5
      Dislike 1
      • Justine says:

        Dr Smith, please explain your decision to give $7.2mill of our money to those crooks. Please sir tell us why you did it. Did you receive any of that money? Just be honest and address the question. We have a right to know the answer. It’s our money. We will forgive you now if you are honest. But you won’t have our sympathy if you hesitate any longer in telling us what really happened. We have a right to know. You have an obligation to tell us.

        Please sir go on the radio today and tell us the truth.

  2. ndp heckler says:

    We want back our 7.3 million dollar$ for that invisible plane before you leave office

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  3. BVI My Second Home says:

    Sir,

    Thank you for your dedication to our beloved Virgin Islands. History will indeed be kind to your legacy, and prove that your every action and perceived in actions were all done because you truly care for the citizens of this blessed land.

    Stand tall true son of the soil. May God continue to bless the work of your hand.

    Like 11
    Dislike 5
  4. thoughtful sailor says:

    Since the tourism pillar is currently, for the most part, the yachting sector (almost entirely a private sector effort and recovery), perhaps the Premier could devote some of his remaining time getting Customs and Immigration back under control, rather than letting them abuse boaters with arbitrary and extra-legal interpretations! Sailing capital of the world? Sailing purgatory, perhaps……if he wants specific instances, he need not look far.

    • Popeye says:

      This is an easy fix and it starts with Properly training all of the existing staff. They need to understand how to communicate with our customers – the tourists. They need to be attentive and happy. Rather than snarling at people who arrive at their counters they should greet everyone with a smile and a welcome to the BVI.

      Let’s make the BVI happy!

  5. Thank you Doc says:

    You had your good days and your not so good days. However, what you did for the Country,you did it with the best of intentions to the people of the Country.You have a wonderful heart. Thank You Doc and may God continue to bless you.

  6. Resident says:

    hurry and dissolve the government all you guys doing is slowing down the recovery while trying to grab one last payday

  7. Reply says:

    Best wishes Premier Smith. IMO, you have done your best; God and a younger generation will do the rest.

    You have traveled a very long way from being the first local surgeon to assume such a position in the BVI to becoming the Premier of this island territory…an incredible journey many may never appreciate because they have not walked in those shoes.

    It is an incredible feat that is laudable, and one that you should be proud of.

    Being an elected official in the BVI, as I am sure you would agree, is not an easy task; as it comes with many critics. Nevertheless, I believe that despite those critics, many would agree that you are a good man.

    I want to applaud you for having the courage and conviction to know when to quit, and passing the baton to the next generation of leaders rather than being voted out, or dying in office. Too often, leaders fail to do exactly what you are doing.

    Thanks for your service to this wonderful island nation not only as the Premier, but as a physician (surgeon) as well and all the patients you treated and cared for.

    I hope your life’s journey serves to demonstrate to the younger generation that anything is possible in life if they work hard and persevere. I also hope your life’s journey also demonstrate that even in the BVI you can have multiple careers.

    All the best in your post political life. I wish you longevity, good health, and happiness in the years to come, and a wonderful 2019.

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  8. LOL says:

    he left on a sour note

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  9. But says:

    Sometimes we just need to maintain respectful demeanors and allow processes to flow. Let’s just thank the kind Sir for his willingness, efforts and I believe, good heart, and with good intentions, for all that he did. The frustration is understood but let’s move on.

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