BVI News

Independence talk would have made us better

Dr Melvin Turnbull and other residents participate in the emancipation march. Photo Credit: Andre ‘Shadow’ Dawson

While lamenting that people in the British Virgin Islands seem afraid to speak out, Chairman of the Virgin Islands Heritage Committee Reverend Dr Melvin Turnbull yesterday claimed that the territory would have been in a better place if it had started discussions about independence years ago.

He told persons at the emancipation service at the Sunday Morning Well that, since 2002, he has been calling for the BVI to start charting its own course.

“People got worried about whether I was talking about independence. If we had started those conversations and continued those conversations, we would have been in a better place,” Dr Turnbull told members of the audience that included the territory’s political leaders.

He likened the growth of the BVI to that of a child, whose mother is the United Kingdom.

“If you have a child that is a grown man and won’t leave your house, you will find some way to get him out. I rather walk out than to be pushed out because, if I walk out, I walk out intentionally having done all that I needed to do… But, if I am pushed out, that would be premature. So I want to say to us as a people, let’s stand together, let’s work together. We are one people. Stop the nonsense,” Dr Turnbull continued.

“Don’t let the strategy work – divide and conquer [is their strategy].”

Dr Turnbull, who made a similar call for independence during the emancipation service last year, yesterday claimed that the United Kingdom is in more serious trouble than meets the eye.

“I want you to watch what is happening. The mother country is in trouble. Lot of things are happening. Brexit is only part of the bigger problem – and they are totally confused as to what to do,” added the clergyman, who also heads the Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church.

In early August each year, the Virgin Islands Heritage Committee, which is headed by Dr Turnbull, also hosts an emancipation march along with the ceremony at the Sunday Morning Well.

Here are some photos captured at the march yesterday by freelance photographer ANDRE ‘SHADOW’ DAWSON:

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