If there is any doubt about how long Dr Natalio ‘Sowande’ Wheatley will spend in the Opposition Virgin Islands Party (VIP), he last evening tried to lay that uncertainty to rest with a reassurance that he will be a member of the VIP for a ‘long long time’.
In fact, he told party supporters at a ‘Mix and Mingle’ event last evening that he feels at home since he joined the VIP recently.
He previously served in the People’s Empowerment Party and initially the People’s Patriotic Alliance.
“As you all know, it is well reported in the media that I have been searching and searching and searching for a political home – some place where I can help to make a positive impact on these Virgin Islands. I have made several attempts before with a number of wonderful persons. We made attempts to form parties and to have a positive impact on the community.”
“I believe that I found – in fact, I know that I’ve found a home here in the Virgin Islands Party, and I am going to be a member of the Virgin Islands Party for a long long time. I am not gonna be running here and there,” Dr Wheatley further said.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by the support of the [VIP] supporters making me feel comfortable, and they helped me a lot to know more about the party, know about the members of the party, [and know] how we go about getting things done.”
VIP bigger than any personality
The party president also said he expects differences to arise, but those should be settled amicably.
“Family has disagreements sometimes, and it doesn’t mean that you are not family if you have disagreements. And it doesn’t mean that you try to destroy your brother or sister – that’s not what it means.”
“We are family in the Virgin Islands Party. There may be forces that would like to see the Virgin Islands Party stop what it is we are doing,” added Dr Wheatley.
He also expressed satisfaction with the make-up of the organization.
“Members of the Virgin Islands Party are ordinary extraordinary persons – persons that work hard, go to their job, put on a solid 9 to 5, business owners working hard to make ends meet, persons in the tourism industry, [persons] working for Government…”
Dr Wheatley went on to also note that the VIP has managed to outlive most of its founders. “It (VIP) is bigger than any personality; it’s about being committed to the goals and the ideals, the aims and the objectives that are enshrined in our constitution.”
He expressed confidence that the political organization, which he credits for transformation of the British Virgin Islands, will survive the test of time.
“This fantastic party has done such a wonderful job of governing the territory; giving us so much of our infrastructure and so much of our institutions, and taken us from a place that was just recognized as a dot on the map – could say a bird sanctuary to one of the most successful jurisdictions in the world,” added Dr Wheatley.
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