Tributes from sitting legislators and political aspirants across the BVI have started pouring in for National Democratic Party (NDP) backbencher and Representative of the Fifth Electoral District, Delores Christopher, who passed away on Tuesday.
“Delores has been a strong member of the NDP and, in the House of Assembly, always spoke her mind as she represented the people of this territory. I know that everyone who lives here will miss her voice,” said Premier Dr D Orlando Smith who is away from the territory on private business.
“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family of Delores,” he said after receiving the heartbreaking news.
He also placed on record his gratitude for her contribution towards the development of the territory.
Acting Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering described Christopher as “a true definition of a person who exuded national pride, the true essence of an indigenous Virgin Islander.”
“One of the things we would always remember about Honourable Christopher was that she swelled with so much pride in being a BVIslander,” Dr Pickering said.
“She was a woman of many passionate words of these Virgin Islands. She was very politically-minded and advocated for the development of the people of this territory.”
He remembered the late legislator as the founder of a major seasonal initiative for the BVI — Christmas on DeCastro Street, formerly called Christmas on Main Street.
“She was a personal friend of my family and I admired her fervour in which she defended this territory and protected our rights as BVIslanders. She touched many lives and her passing is a great loss to the territory. Her contributions to the cultural development and historical preservation of the territory are invaluable.”
Minister for Communication and Works Mark Vanterpool said he too was saddened by the passing of his friend and colleague.
“The territory has lost a great daughter of the soil who undoubtedly had the interests of her beloved country at heart,” he stated. “This was evident in the many years she spent working to develop the culture and trade infrastructure and economic environment of the islands.”
Vanterpool said, as the representative for the Fifth District, she worked tirelessly to improve it and was not “shy about making her voice heard on other matters affecting the entire territory.”
Members of the opposing Virgin Islands Party (VIP) also expressed that their ‘hearts are heavy’ with the sad news.
They described the honourable Christopher as a courageous, vibrant, and passionate leader.
“She will be deeply missed. May God comfort her entire family at this time,” the VIP said.
“… A sad day indeed,” Leader of Opposition Andrew Fahie said while also extending his ‘deepest sympathy’ to her family.
Tributes have also been pouring in outside the local political community and a number of residents have taken to social media to honour the now-deceased legislator.
The Honourable Christopher
Christopher is originally from Long Look but resided at the Mount Healthy Estate on Tortola.
She served as the Deputy Speaker in the House of Assembly and had an expansive public service career including as the Head of the Trade Investment and Promotions Department.
She was first elected into parliament about 15 years ago and left behind a husband, three children, and other family and friends.
BVI News understands that before her passing she was suffering from illness and recently returned from abroad where she was believed to be receiving medical attention.
Christopher died at her Mount Healthy home on Tuesday afternoon.
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