Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley has stated that the proclamation of June 1 as Virgin Islands Day in the city of Tamarac, Florida will deepen relations and has potential for educational and cultural cooperation, and strong bonds of friendship.
Premier Wheatley said, “This initiative signifies the convergence of national interests. It will also have overall positive implications for the strengthening of economic ties between the state of Florida and the Virgin Islands, and allow for the advancement of tourism opportunities for the Territory.”
The proclamation was signed by Commissioner Morey Wright Jr., who is of Virgin Islands heritage and by Mayor of the city of Tamarac, Michelle Gomez.
The proclamation states, “Whereas the Virgin Islands have for centuries, settled in the region of South Florida and contribute to the society serving in various roles, including the hospitality industry, and whereas on June 1, 2023, the first direct commercial flight between the United States will commence and service and serve to deepen ties with the United States and the state of Florida.”
As a token of appreciation and friendship, Mr. Wright Jr. was gifted a framed photograph depicting the American Airlines plane flying directly over his former residence in The Sound, East End, Tortola. This presentation was made by Premier Wheatley and Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Kye Rymer, on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.
Premier Wheatley also reported that the delegation was gifted the keys to Broward County presented by Commissioner Hazelle Rogers which he described as a humbling experience and a great honour for the people of the Virgin Islands.
The Premier explained that the offering of the keys was symbolic of the access being granted to the people of the Virgin Islands and opportunities for more strategic collaboration.
The event was attended by persons from the Virgin Islands diaspora who gathered in their numbers to celebrate this occasion, as well as to congratulate and dialogue with Government officials who were in attendance.
“These persons are making significant contributions in Florida across the public and private sectors and several of them are in leadership positions, a testament that the Virgin Islands’ people are beacons of light everywhere we go,” Premier Wheatley said.
The event was hosted on May 31 at Island SPACE, a pan-Caribbean museum which is the first and only brick and mortar pan-Caribbean museum of its kind.
Dr. the Honourable Wheatley said that the Virgin Islands was invited to contribute artefacts to be displayed at the museum.
Against the backdrop of the recently concluded International Museum Week observed in the Virgin Islands, the Premier said that the Island SPACE served as an inspiration to fully capitalise on preserving cultural heritage in the Territory through museums.
The Government of the Virgin Islands remains committed to the development of Virgin Islands people, through active dialogue, engagement and diplomatic relations aimed at socio-economic advancement.