The governing Virgin Islands Party has commenced the process to rename the Central Administration Complex in Road Town in honour of former Premier, Ralph T O’Neal.
Moving a motion in the House of Assembly recently, government minister Kye Rymer said the building will be renamed the Ralph T O’Neal Administration Building.
The minister said Cabinet has already approved the renaming in recognition of O’Neal who is said to be the longest-serving politician in the British Virgin Islands.
Rymer said: “To me, this is a ‘wow’ moment and we have but a few wow moments. It is my first resolution being passed under my name and the occasion, I think it’s an auspicious occasion. I am privileged to stand here this evening to bring this resolution for such a stalwart.”
Premier Andrew Fahie who also delivered remarks said four of his six terms as a politician were spent with O’Neal.
“I came into politics in 1999 under his leadership literally from mountain top to valley,” Premier Fahie said. “He (the former Premier) told me: ‘my son, your time will come, take your time, your turn will come’.”
In the meantime, Opposition Leader Marlon Penn described the resolution as timely.
“There is a certain time when there are certain things in this House that transcend politics — it transcends political parties, and this is one of those things. When someone gives over six decades of their life to public service, that says a lot. It’s a lot of lives touched, a lot of people’s lives changed,” Penn said.
Health Minister Carvin Malone who seconded the motion said he did so ‘proudly’.
The former Premier was first elected in 1975 and served more than 40 years in representational politics.
He served in various capacities such as the first Premier, Minister for Finance and Economic Development, Minister for Social Services as well as the minister responsible for Natural Resources & Labour.
He initially represented the people of Virgin Gorda as the Seventh Electoral District Representative until it was changed to the Ninth Electoral District to include Anegada.
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