Implementing a permanent public holiday and renaming parks in honour of former Premier Ralph T O’Neal have been listed among the things some sitting legislators want to see implemented for the late political giant.
Opposition legislator and former member of previous O’Neal administrations, Julian Fraser has said he personally believes government should initiate a project that documents the many accomplishments of the late former Premier.
He said this would be preserved as an important piece of the British Virgin Islands history.
The Opposition legislator made the call during a special sitting of the House of Assembly which was organised to pay tribute to the late O’Neal.
Fraser said: “We have to make sure that we maintain our history, and history can’t be maintained unless it’s documented. I know that Mr O’Neal was a walking encyclopedia. I don’t know if this has been chronically documented. The things that he has done. It is not too late.”
“He wasn’t living alone nor was he living in isolation, so the lot of people who remembers the things that he did, we owe to this country to make sure it is documented. That should be a government project,” Fraser further stated.
More should be done
The senior legislator said he believes that more should be done for O’Neal who has contributed 40 years in politic service and achieved so many milestone accomplishments for the territory.
“That is something that we have to cherish. You can’t just have a [special] public holiday, a state funeral and then let it go like that. We can’t afford to do that,” Fraser added.
Public Holiday and Renaming of Park to be pushed for
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Ninth District Representative Vincent Wheatley said he will be advocating for a more permanent Ralph T O’Neal public holiday, along with the naming of a park in Virgin Gorda.
“I will be one for sure advocating for a day to his memory. His memory, his life, his legacy, should never be forgotten,” Wheatley stated.
“I want to see this move in the future to where we name our things after our people. As a matter of fact, I’m hoping that next year, I’ll have the first Ralph O’Neal Memorial Park in Virgin Gorda in the Ninth District and hopefully there will be more parks going forward where we must celebrate our heroes,” Wheatley added.
Some of the contributions of Ralph T O’Neal
During the aforesaid session in the House, some of the contributions O’Neal made to the BVI were named.
These include advocating for the Speech from the Throne to be established, move Cabinet from the Governor’s Office to the Premier’s Office, Seconded the motion as an Opposition member to have the Social Security department established in the territory and expanded the government scholarship field to cover more subject areas.
The former Premier was also responsible for the establishment of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre Primary and Secondary divisions, the Cruise Ship Dock, and the development of the North Sound Road on Virgin Gorda.
It is further said that he was the one who started the Anegada road project as well as spearheading the initiative to upgrade the terminals at the Terrance B Lettsome International Airport.
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