BVI News

PHOTOS: Scores of residents re-enact the Great March of 1949

Residents during the re-enactment of the Great March of 1949.

Scores of residents embarked on the 15-minute journey from the Band Stand to Sir Olva Georges Plaza yesterday as the territory commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the Great March of 1949 which led to the restoration of the legislative council (now called the House of Assembly).

The residents re-enacted the historic protest which was led by one of the BVI’s national heroes Theodolph Faulkner. Faulkner who was joined by other national heroes such as Isaac Fonesca and Carlton deCastro along with more than 1,500 BVIslanders who marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely affecting the territory at the time.

Changes were demanded by these protestors and it became the catalyst for political development which lead to the evolution of what is now the modern BVI.

Culture Minister and Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley said he was proud to see the number of people who showed up for the commemoration of the history-defining march in the territory.

He also acknowledged the role of the Virgin Islands Communal Association (VICA) in staging the re-enactment as it was the first time it has happened since 2014.

“There has been a reawakening of the Virgin Islands spirit and just as sister Helda said, there is a need for us to know and appreciate our history and culture and that is why the cabinet decided on two new holidays in particular. One day is Heroes and Fore-parents day and the other is the 1949 great March and Restoration Day because we want that story to be told. We want it to be told on a consistent basis,” Dr Wheatley said.

Meanwhile, Director of the Department of Culture, Dr Katherine Smith, said while the territory commemorates the march — which she describes as the most defining moment in the life and the story of the Virgin Islands — it is equally important to acknowledge the journey and struggle of the territory’s political status which is key to its cultural identity.

“In the words of our leaders in that march, today we are marching towards freedom and we will continue to March until that freedom has been secured,” Dr Smith said about the re-enactment.

The commemoration also heard testimony from Hilda Smith Abbott who was thirteen at the time of the march and one of the more than 1,500 people who participated. Smith Abbott said the BVI is currently lacking historical and cultural knowledge along with the integrity of those who fought for self-government.

“We should know our history; we should know our culture. But everybody brought their culture and we lose our culture and that is where we are today. I’m going to tell you something today [about the march]. Behind every story, there is another story and that march was not the first story. The first story came from the federation. The British Virgin Islands was under the Antigua Federation and they kept all the money and send us the weevil and the dregs and we had to survive how we could,” the elder said.


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  1. Heck says:

    A set of hypocrites marching and speaking we really don’t want to hear from many of you.

    No one care to hear from that fake couple from new life, it’s clear the pastor don’t want her!!!

    Like 7
    Dislike 3
    • Faithful says:

      He dont want you either. How you know he doesnt want her? Did he tell you this? Mind your own business for once nuh.

    • Scores says:

      Scores of people. Do you know how many is a score? 100. I don’t think there was one score. No one care and stop making things racist. The Belonger hold allegiance to one ting….money.

      Like 5
      Dislike 3
      • Guest says:

        Why is twenty called a score?
        According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s “presumably from the practice, in counting sheep or large herds of cattle, of counting orally from 1 to 20, and making a score or notch on a stick, before proceeding to count the next 20.”

        Like 2
        Dislike 1
    • To Heck says:

      Thanks for the laugh, I really needed one today. There’s a lot of fake couples here in the BVI.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
  2. Pat says:

    Half of them don’t even know what they marching for? Where is Cindy?

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
  3. lol says:

    Never seen a black fonseca yet

    Like 4
    Dislike 3
  4. big up dirky says:

    They couldn’t get offsprings from Fonseca and Faulkner?

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  5. JUST 2 B SEEN says:


  6. NICE says:

    I commend the VIP Government for recognizing the efforts of these powerful men and making the day a holiday.

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  7. marmoset says:

    Great to see the commemoration of such an important event.

  8. WEW says:

    Love the paving job and broken up sidewalks. How far have we come ?

  9. Guest says:

    Why is twenty called a score?
    According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s “presumably from the practice, in counting sheep or large herds of cattle, of counting orally from 1 to 20, and making a score or notch on a stick, before proceeding to count the next 20.”

  10. NEGATIVE says:

    Why must we always focus on the negative. Read the comments and see how much positivity or encouragement is contributed. It’s the same at every level. We are loosing big time and will pay a very heavy price for our ignorance. Even though most people with this mindset have no clue what is really happening in the world we will still pay the ultimate price. Mark my words 2022 will be the point of no return. Wake up and fight like hell for your freedom my people. It’s ironic celebrating this freedom march at the point where we are about to loose all freedom. It’s not about how the sidewalk looks or who was there or not. It’s about gaining the knowledge to be able to make the right choices to protect our future and be able to survive in the holocaust that is coming down upon us.

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  11. For Gods Sake says:

    All these Negative comments just have me here shaking my head… U see persons like you all who come on here criticizing.. you all are the very ones who sit back and let people do the work while you benefit from it. I bet none of you were even there marching…

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