STATEMENT BY PREMIER AND MINISTER OF FINANCE
HONOURABLE ANDREW A. FAHIE
DURING THE SEVENTH SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FOURTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Thursday, 17th October, 2019
BVI /USVI Friendship Day Celebrations
Mr. Speaker, on Saturday 19th October, 2019, I will lead a delegation of Virgin Islanders to the United States Virgin Islands to commemorate the 46th Celebration of BVI/USVI Friendship Day. This year they are the host with Governor Albert Bryan Jr. leading the USVI delegation.
The Celebration will be hosted on the island of St. Thomas under the theme “46th Sapphire Celebration of Camaraderie, Community, & Culture” and will showcase various aspects of Virgin Islands culture through dance, musical performance and drama.
Following the disruption to the annual hosting of this event caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, for two years as Territories we have not been able to host the celebrations. Subsequently, with the change in administration on both sides, counterparts in the Office of the Governor, USVI and the Office of the Premier, BVI, held several meetings to discuss the reconvening of official channels for communication.
It was agreed that the USVI would host the next BVI / USVI Friendship Day and the BVI would host the next meeting of the Inter Virgin Islands Council. The format for both events have also been discussed and agreed, to ensure enduring cooperation between the Territories.
Following a series of discussions, it was therefore concluded that the format for activities to commemorate BVI/USVI Friendship Day should be changed to ensure that the day proceeds in a more cordial and less ceremonial fashion, which is reflective of the friendship and mutual respect, cultural identity, ancestral connections, and familial ties which bind both Territories.
All the activities of the day will now proceed under a new mutually agreed format. The toasts will be reflective of our commonalities and unified purpose in this era of recovery and resilience. The previously agreed sequence of toasts will be replaced by other thematic toasts. Additionally, the new mutually agreed format will eliminate the level of formality previously exercised, in the spirit of true Friendship both territories share.
My Government looks forward to the celebrations of the Greater Virgin Islands because despite our different nationalities, we are still one Virgin Islands, one people.