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The Great March of 1949 the catalyst for the BVI’s development

Premier Fahie

Premier Andrew Fahie is attributing the Great March of 1949 to being the catalyst for what he describes as the wholesome development of the British Virgin Islands.

The Premier made those remarks while commemorating the 70th anniversary of the said march on Sunday, November 24.

“The Great March of 1949 ignited the spirit of self-determination in the hearts of Virgin Islanders and was the catalyst that led to the constitutional, political, economic and social development of the territory up to today,” Fahie said.

And while noting the challenges that resulted in the march back in 1949, the Premier said a new set of challenges exist today with the BVI’s political development, namely aspects of its outdated constitution.

“In this anniversary month of the Great March of 1949, the Virgin Islands will initiate the process that will lead to the overdue Constitutional Review which was scheduled for 2017 based on the practice of a review every 10 years — the last being 2007,” he said.

“Hence, provisions are made in the territory’s 2020 Budget Address to request the commissioning of a constitutional review. I delivered this address on the 19th of November, 2019 titled Transformation for Resilience and Sustainability: SMART strategies, Empowered People, and Green Development,” the Premier added.

History of the March

The March was led by territorial hero Theodolph Faulkner who was joined by Isaac ‘Glanny’ Fonseca, Carlton deCastro and more than 1,500 British Virgin Islanders.

They marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely impacting the territory of which they had no control or say.

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

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4 Comments

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  1. Encore says:

    If Y’all don’t slow down and stop making muck, we shall march again. It got a lot of fraidie people, but it got a lot who willing to stand up and say enough is enuff

  2. TOXIC CLOUDS ON THE HORIZON says:

    HOW ABOUT MAKING THAT THE BIGGEST ADVANCEMENT IN BVI HISTORY? ITS BURNING TOXIC FUMES BEING INHALED BY EVERYONE INCLUDING CHILDREN AND ELDERLY. HOW CAN YOU BE PROUD IF YOU CAN FIX YOUR WASTE AND SEWERAGE ISSUES!

  3. Quiet Rebel says:

    The Great March of 24 November 1949 was the precursor and lighting rod for constitutional change. It ushered in a new constitution in 1950, the legislature having been suspended in 1902. And for the first time voters got a chance to vote directly for 4 at large members. Nuff respect for Dolph Faulkner and other peaceful agitators. 1500 marchers in 1950! What a sight to behold. Administrator J. Cruikshank must have been surprised as hell, probably shouting Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. The easy going VI people was at the bitter end of their rope; its patience wore thin and its disgust ran deep.

    Nonetheless, constitutional change aside, the VI was still a little sleepy hollow. It was after the ministerial government roll out in 1967, coupled with the transition from subsistence agriculture to services in the mid to late 60s, that the territory got on a roll, making some economic progress.

    Tourism and financial services positioned the territory to having one of the highest standard of living, quality of life and per capita income in the region. Today, the territory is rocking a $414M budget, having got off grant-in-aid in 1981 under the Willard Wheatley administration. The VIP government must carry the progress of The Great Marchers, Noel Loydd and PAM, HL Stout, Willard Wheatley, CB Romney, RT Oneal and DO Smith forward. It has a bucket list of things but it cannot do it all at once in 1 year or 2 years. It has to prioritize what gets done, when it gets done, how it is done, by whom it is done, where it is done and for whom it is done.

    • Quiet Warrior says:

      @Quiet Rebel, quiet rebel you say. No sah! You no rebel without a cause. You are a quiet reasonable, thoughtful soul. A choir boy perhaps. A deep thinker. Me now has no style, me Nah care. Nice comment on the great March of 24 Nov 1949. Why was this historical event so low key? This is real VI history, not the War of Roses, 100 Year War, Oliver Cromwell, Henry VIII, Thomas Wosley, John Hawkins, Francis Drake…..etc. Is this even taught in primary and secondary schools? It needs to be if it is not? Furthermore, 24 Nov needs to be a celebrated public holiday. Get rid of one of the nonrelatable public holidays.

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