BVI News

November 24 should be declared an official holiday

Dr Kedrick Pickering is the former Deputy Premier under the previous NDP government.

Former legislator Dr Kedrick Pickering has suggested that November 24 — the anniversary of the Great March of 1949 — should be declared an official holiday in the BVI.

Yesterday, November 24, marked the 71st anniversary of the 1949 protest. The march was led by territorial hero Theodolph Faulkner, joined by Isaac ‘Glanny’ Fonseca, Carlton deCastro and more than 1,500 British Virgin Islanders.

The march was successful, and as a result, the then Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands was reinstated in 1950, after being abolished for 49 years.

Speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio show on November 24, Dr Pickering said the BVI should consider adopting November 24 as a holiday and drop the October 21 celebration of St Ursula’s Day which commemorates Christopher Columbus’ first sighting of the Virgin Islands in 1493.

“There’s a committee appointed to look at the whole revision of holidays in the BVI. During my time (as a legislator) we had looked at various issues pertaining to certain holidays, which ones could be removed or added as the case may be. One that sticks out is the 21st of October — St Ursula’s Day.”

“It would be a really good time to switch the holiday on the 21st to celebrate the 24th of November in commemoration of the Great March of 1949. That’s something worth listening into,” Dr. Pickering explained.

“It’s a good idea to consider celebrating the Great March of 1949 and just coincide it with Thanksgiving and just have one big celebration. So families between the US and BVI can celebrate and everybody can have one big Thanksgiving festival,” Dr Pickering noted.

During The Great March of 1949, residents marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely impacting the territory and issues of which they had no control or say.

The event is considered to be a turning point in the territory’s political history.

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21 Comments

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  1. Exit says:

    You had your chance for 20 years and you didn’t do it. Where are you going now with this? It is time to give others a chance. Thinking of it now I honestly cannot think of much that I can see that you have done for the time you were our representative. You seem to be trying to come back but Dr. Pickering give the young people a chance. You had your time. I know you miss the power but give it a rest.

    Like 26
    Dislike 5
  2. What!!! says:

    Dr. Pickering you obviously don’t employ a lage staff . Business owners already have to pay for 14 public holidays a year, twelve paid holiday days a year, twelve paid “sick” days a year. Another public holiday no way.

    Like 15
    Dislike 14
  3. Unreal says:

    If the NDP come back with people like this man I wouldn’t even boop on them. What has he done for the time he was there? I remember him walking out of a meeting on us here in Virgin Gorda because he were airing our grieviances. Get up and walk out on us. Guess what? Stay out then.

    Like 12
  4. Indigenous Anegadian says:

    You want to make the march a holiday but kept the Anegadians from their lands during your time as the Minister of Natural Resources! Don’t worry though, God doesn’t like ugly and just like how a Faulkner cross the waters and gave ayo a Government, a Faulkner gonna cross and take it back from you!

    I hope you know we’re aware of your deeds. Pun intended!

    Like 9
    Dislike 1
  5. Why shoot the messenger? says:

    Focus on the message, not the messenger. You all want to celebrate Halloween and all other days that mean nothing to the Virgin Islands but you have a problem with this? Get real.

    Like 8
    Dislike 2
  6. L Ipton says:

    Why wasnt that done during their 8 year stint? Why now? Just saying.

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  7. Yeah says:

    So for all those years you were in power you couldn’t find that information? How is it that you’ve just found it? Who are you again? Now that you are not in politics you are doing research on behalf of politics? Try go and do some research on medicines, sicknesses and cures. That should now be your focus. Stop this nonsense spotlight comeback.

    Like 6
    Dislike 2
  8. E. Leonard says:

    Agree with former Deputy and D-7 Rep Dr K. Pickering that the St. Ursula Day holiday should be replaced with say ‘The Great March Day.’ The relevance and important of St. Ursula and her 11,000 Virgins is waning with a new generation of Virgin Islanders. The Great March of 24 November 1949 is more relatable.

    In his ‘Other America’ speech at Stanford University in 1967, MLK says, “ In the final analysis a riot is the language of unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear ? ” This quote is often taken out of context. King argued that that worsening economic and social conditions that Black Americans experience must be condemned as equally as riots. Thus, the quote, ‘a riot is the language of the unheard.’ He was not supporting violence. Peaceful agitation for human rights and justice yield dividends.

    The Great March of 24 November 1949 yielded dividends. In 1949, the ‘Indigenous’ (though some may find fault with the term, words often have many meanings)people lacked voice in how they were governed. For example, they could not vote directly for who they wanted to represent them in the legislature; elites, big shots…etc were appointed to serve in legislature. Frustrated, Anegadian and national hero Theodolph Faulkner led some 1500 courageous marchers through the streets of Road Town, VI capital city, to the commissioner’s office at Government House to protest injustices and advocate for their rights and freedom.

    In 1949, the VI population was approximately 7,000 so 1500 courageous and patriotic Virgin Islanders peacefully storming the streets in protest was massive, impressive and historic. This March was the precursor to the Positive Action Movement (PAM) in the 1960’s; PAM was led by national hero Noel Lloyd. What did the Great March yield?

    The Great March yielded a) reinstating the legislature in 1950 (legislature was suspended in 1901), b)creating a new and the first modern constitution in 1950 (subsequent constitutions in 1967, 1977, 2007) and c)instituting some direct voting for representation in the legislature. Though the Great March holiday is well deserving, VI needs to a take close look at the number holidays, vacation…..etc and how they are affecting national productivity, business cost…….etc.

    Like 11
  9. Laura says:

    What has this nation done in the 71 years since Theodolph Faulkner, Isaac ‘Glanny’ Fonseca, Carlton deCastro and more than 1,500 British Virgin Islanders marched, NOT A BLOODY THING to help better the life of indigenous BVISLANDERS of those who call the BVI Home.

    So why should there be ANOTHER holiday to mark nothingness???? We BVIslanders need to wake up and see that our country is slipping away into the abyss and the younger generation to come will not have much to hold onto too…WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!! (DOC your heart means well, but go back to the drawing board and come up with a forward-thinking approach to get our country moving forward not backward)

    Like 10
    • Diaspora 3D/360 says:

      The political courage shown by Theodolph Faulkner, Glanville ‘Glanny’ Fonseca and Carlton de Castro and thousands of marchers on 24 November 1949 have been unmatched since except for National Hero Noel Llyodd and other core members, ie, Walter Lindy “Ras Uhuru” de Castro, Cromwell “Brushy” Nibbs, Meg Donovan……etc of Positive Action Movement in 60’s that saved Wickhams Cay and 3/4 of Anegada from the jaws of UK company Kenneth Bates-Hill for some 199 years. The project was a lose-lose, one-sided, giveaway of the ages. Noel Llyodd and Theodolph demonstrated similar courage, patriotism…….etc with uncommon unselfishness to sacrifice for the nation.

      Nonetheless, the uncommon courage and personal sacrifices have been lost over intervening decades. Virgin Islanders want things to happen but don’t want to sacrifice to make it happen. We hope that others would sacrifice to make things happen. True, the VI transitioned from a subsistence agriculture to a service-economy, creating a higher standard of living and quality of life and high per capita income. However, the VI has a myriad of problems, ie, infrastructure………etc.

  10. Rich white friends says:

    We need a change of government but it’s not you Doc. We tried you and got nothing out of you but talk about your rich, white friends. You have free time now to hang out with them. Enjoy them.

    Like 5
    Dislike 3
  11. Leveller says:

    sure, but just don’t make it 24 November, make it coincide with Thanksgiving exactly. it is a busy time of year for the financial services industry, and random holidays create a mess.

    oh, and as the doc says, this cannot be an increase in holidays. one of the others must give way. suggest queen’s birthday. why do we celebrate when they don’t where she lives?

  12. What’s Up Doc? says:

    He Picko!

    You only have a few people to convince from your district and not the mases so I would suggest that in order to remain relevant, do some house to house because tying to convince the masses after more than 20 years in office with your new ideas will not spark a positive energy.

    Take it from me, your good friend. You know who I am cause you told me in my face that I was DEAD but I have risen after the 3 day, yes sah!

  13. Good idea says:

    Actually I think its a good idea and while I think you were crap as a representative for the 7th, I do think your ideas about the constitution and moving forwards are good. Just don’t run for office again.

  14. Decolonisation of The Mind says:

    Those who are bawling about too many holidays already would be the first ones to say leave columbus and the queen’s holidays in place. The level of brainwashing among my people is astonishing.

    It is also evident on so many other issues, personal, domestic, political and international.

    Our people are truly in need of a thorough Decolonisation of the mind. I am sure our ancestors would agree.

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