His Excellency the Governor John S. Duncan OBE
Soon-to-be citizens of the Virgin Islands and United Kingdom
Family and friends of the recipients
On behalf of the Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE who is away on official business, I am delighted to be among the first to officially congratulate you on becoming British Overseas Territories Citizens.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in a few moments, some of you will receive your naturalisation certificates and take another step towards cementing your commitment to the Virgin Islands.
With naturalisation come new benefits and privileges. Over the years many of you would have made remarkable contributions to the growth of this Territory. I urge you to take advantage of your new privileges, and continue to make your contributions to these Virgin Islands.
It is extremely pleasing to see so many familiar faces in the audience for these ceremonies. This implies that you are well-known in our communities. Each of you represents dedication and commitment and this reflected in your work helping to develop our Virgin Islands. For this, the Premier, my colleagues and I are very grateful.
Over time, if you have not already done so, you would have grown to understand our values as Virgin Islanders; that education, health and securing the future of our people are very important to us.
Last year, you would have been among those celebrating 30 years of our financial services with us.
Indeed, many of you at some point would have sailed among our 60 islands and cays, and you understand why the BVI is called the Sailing Capital of the World.
Today begins a new chapter in your lives. As this chapter begins I urge you to learn the lyrics of our Territorial Song, “O Beautiful Virgin Islands”. Proudly share your knowledge of all that makes this Territory unique -- our Territorial Dish, our colors and our Territorial Dress.
On receiving your certificates of naturalisation today, you are a part of the United Kingdom, with reduced immigration restrictions. Use these privileges wisely.
I impress upon you to continue to respect the law, both here and overseas. You are now one of the Territory’s ambassadors. I encourage you to conduct yourself and your affairs with excellence at all times.
It is important that you lead by example as positive role models for those around you. Teach as you are taught; give as you receive; and inspire as you are inspired.
Again, on behalf of the Premier, the Government and the people of these Virgin Islands, I am pleased to formally welcome you into the BVI family.
For those of you who will receive British Citizen registration certificates, I expect that you will continue to do your part to make a difference using your unique strengths and talents. It is only then, that collectively, we can build a better Virgin Islands for all of us and our children.
Again, I congratulate each of you and I look forward to hearing great reports while you are here in the Virgin Islands. Thank you.