Press Release

House of Assembly
Release Date:
Friday, 29 November 2019 - 5:57pm

A Special Sitting to pay tributes to former legislator and Member Emeritus, Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal. OBE is scheduled to be held on Tuesday December 3 while the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands will be holding its Third Sitting of the Second Session.

Honourable O’Neal served as Representative for the Seventh District (then Virgin Gorda) in the Legislative Council from 1975 to 1979, Representative for the Ninth District from 1979 to 2015, Minister for Social Services from 1979 to 1983, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour and Deputy Chief Minister from 1988 to 1994 and Chief Minister and Representative for the Ninth District from 1995 to 2003.

He served as first Premier of the Virgin Islands while representing the Ninth District from 2007 to 2011. He also served as a Member of the House of Assembly and Representative for the Ninth District from 2011 to 2015 until his retirement in 2015. On the 6th of July, 2015 Honourable O’Neal was bestowed the title of Member Emeritus.

After the conclusion of the Special Sitting, the Third Sitting of the House of Assembly will continue with the Budget debate on a date that is to be determined.

The public is reminded that a State Funeral is being planned for Wednesday, December 11 to honour the first Premier of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, Member Emeritus. His body will lie in state at the House of Assembly Chambers on Monday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 10.

The public viewing is from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days. This will be followed by the State Funeral on Wednesday, December 11 at the Multipurpose Sports Complex. The start time will be announced shortly. Additional details regarding the arrangements for the state funeral will be provided in subsequent communications.

A Coordination Committee, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Assembly Honourable Julian Willock, is planning the occasion in close consultation with the family and Premier and Minister of Finance, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie.


Linton Leonard

Public Relations Officer
Office of the House of Assembly
Telephone: 468-6900 ext. 6958