Premier's Office
Release Date:
Sunday, 24 November 2019 - 4:20pm

Good day and GOD’S Blessings to all. 

Today,  I give God thanks for another beautiful Sunday as I continue to reflect on the Territory’s Budget Address given on 19th November, 2019 titled Transformation for Resilience and Sustainability: SMART strategies, Empowered People, and Green Development.

In that Budget Address, I spoke about our history as a resilient people. I wish therefore to share an excerpt where I said:

As I deliver this address today, I must acknowledge that November 24, 2019, will mark 70 years since the People of the Virgin Islands, our fore-parents  – marched through the streets of Road Town, in what is referred to as the 1949 Demonstration, to demand a change to the way matters affecting their lives were decided.

This mass Demonstration was the catalyst for political development in our Territory, leading to the evolution of the Modern BVI. It led to the re-instatement of the Legislative Council in 1950, the first Constitution of the Territory, the Constitution Act 1950, which revoked power from the Governor of the Leeward Islands and reinstated it to the reformed Legislative Council. 

The first elections were also held in 1950 and by 1954 the Constitution and Elections Act, 1954 was enacted, paving the way for General Elections and the right to vote for each adult Virgin Islander, whether male or female, was provided for the first time. 

Mr Speaker, as I stand here today, I take this moment to recall that we stand on the shoulders of those Virgin Islanders who have gone before, our fore-parents, who presented a petition to the Commissioner in which they stated and I quote, “One of the purposes of this Demonstration today is for us to achieve a measure of political freedom for ourselves and the generation of the future.”

People of the BVI, I acknowledge the desire of our forefathers that we would be able, today, to govern our internal affairs.  Hence provisions are made in this 2020 Budget to request the commissioning of a Constitutional Review.

Today 24th November, 2019 I say that as a Territory-British Virgin Islands- we will continue to rise. We will continue to rule our destiny in a modern way without interference or any form of orchestrated force that seeks to consume any sector of our economy. We will continue to rise in the spirit of genuine partnership where we all work together for only motive and that is: to strengthen BVI to make it GREAT for its people.