Two high-profile members of the NDP – Eileen Parsons and Claude Skelton-Cline – were among persons spotted at the gala. Both of them, in recent times, have been critical of the NDP government.
The event was not a strictly political one, as some persons merely attended to help in honouring five stalwarts of the VIP. They are founding members Naomi Turnbull and Donald Pickering, as well as past legislators Omar Hodge, Oliver Cills, and the late Reeial George.
Fahie, in his address, urged persons to join the political organization he was recently elected to lead.
“I know that everyone is not a full VIP as yet. But, if you are not a VIP as yet, then not to worry. With new leadership comes different styles, but with the same goal as our forefathers – a better Virgin Islands for you and for me. We have an open-door policy.”
“Like in Christianity where the first saved and last saved are all saved by grace, it is the same principle the VIP adheres to: new members as well as long-standing members will both be treated with the same love, because love conquers all,” Fahie told the audience that noticeably did not include his predecessor Julian Fraser.
VIP was at a standstill
Fahie, who also is Leader of Opposition, charged members of the VIP to ‘march forward’ despite being at a ‘standstill’ for some time.
“We must be disgust of our standing still out of the frustrations of the past, the uncertainty of the future, and our differences in methodology… Despite the fears, march forward. Despite limited resources, march forward. Despite the well-calculated attacks, march forward. Despite the past, march forward. Despite the challenges, march forward,” said Fahie.
“The future belongs to prepared, and I guarantee that the VIP will be prepared to take back its rightful place in these Virgin Islands.”
Fahie added that it was time refuel what the VIP founding members started 46 years ago.
“We just need to keep marching forward, because the best is yet to come. That is why the refueled VIP will continue to work on a national development plan, which will be littered with input from each of you during your participation in many national public forums, among other means. Our stance on accountability, transparency, and good governance will not be just buzz words, but cemented with action through the championing of the passing of many needed legislations, and the creating as well as strengthening of many institutions,” he said.
Fahie – as he has been doing over the years – noted the need for laws to protect whistle-blowers, campaign finance legislation, data protection legislation, and Freedom of Information Act.
He also underscored the need to ensure ‘protection of the freedom of the press’.
Here are some highlights from the event held on Saturday, March 4:
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