Observing Territory Day annually is now expected to last a few hours longer and will become a full-day affair involving all schools.
Member of the Territory Day organising committee Janice Braithwaite-Edwards made the announcement yesterday (July 2) at the Central Administration Complex where this year’s celebrations were held.
She said the event is to mark the journey of the people of the British Virgin Islands and it is imperative the younger generation is part of it.
“I am indeed happy to see those people who took time out of their holiday schedule to spend this time with us. But I also would like to implore here that, in the future, Territory Day is about where we came from, where we are, and where we are going. And we need to ensure that the next generation, understands that perspective,” said Brathwaite-Edwards, who is also City Manager.
She further said: “We had no intention of making it into an all-day thing [this year]. But, trust me, next year we will be here all day because we are going to have the students involved in everything that Territory Day involves.”
This year, only two schools took part in the event – Ebenezer Thomas Primary which performed three musical selections, and Elmore Stoutt High School which performed the Territorial Song and delivered the ‘Student’s Perspective’ address.
BVI has come a long way
Meanwhile, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said the territory has come a long way since it became a ‘colony in its own right’ in 1956; following the de-federation of the colony of the Leeward Islands.
“This was not only a significant constitutional step forward for us. It also marked the beginning of our coming of age as a territory,” he said.
In celebrating the day, Dr Smith said: “We celebrate who we are and where we came from. Every time we sing our territorial song, wear our territorial dress, or salute our flag, or recognize any of our territorial symbols in any way, we celebrate who we are and the qualities that have brought us so far in such a short time.”
Minister for Education and Culture Myron Walwyn said as the BVI marks 58 years as a territory, he hopes the BVI will find strength and continue on the path towards prosperity.
He added: “As we continue our path towards greater autonomy, let us recognize and hone the many gifts and talents that we possess as Virgin Islanders and apply them towards the advancement of our economic development.”
This year’s Territory Day was held under the theme, ‘The road to greater autonomy: acknowledging our creative gifts’.
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