The Administration Building on Jost Van Dyke was renamed in honour of stalwart Public Officer, Mr. Albert Chinnery during an official renaming and handover ceremony on December 20, 2019.
The Administration Building was repaired through a partnership between the Government of the Virgin Islands and the Recovery and Development Agency. It houses the Customs Department, Immigration Department, Port Authority, Police Station and Barracks and the District Office.
His Excellency the Governor, Mr. Augustus J.U. Jaspert in his remarks stated that the reopening of the building is a sign of the progress that has been made in the Territory.
“I remember back in 2017, I stood in this very spot and this building didn’t look like what we are seeing today,” he said. “We have made significant progress since the passage of the hurricanes and this building is indeed a sign of how far we have come.”
Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley offered remarks on behalf of the Premier and said that “the people of Jost Van Dyke must be very proud today to have the first building on this island to be named after a member of this community.”
Sister Island Programme Coordinator, Ms. Sasha Flax said that “Mr. Chinnery dedicated 30 years of his life to the Public Service and served as the Government’s agent for the people of Jost Van Dyke.”
She continued by saying, “He wore many hats and contributed immensely to the people of this Territory, particularly the Jost Van Dyke community, with unwavering pride. To this day, we can very much see the fruits of his labour and the renaming of this building in his honour is very fitting.”
Longtime friend of Mr. Chinnery and resident of Jost Van Dyke, Mr. John Klein reflected on Mr. Chinnery’s life and said that he should be regarded as the Godfather of Tourism in Jost Van Dyke because he often went beyond the call of duty to ensure that visitors enjoyed their stay on the island.
“Had it not been for Mr. Chinnery, I would not have returned to the island as I did. He was truly a remarkable man.”
Mr. Albert Henry Chinnery was a native of Jost Van Dyke who served as a Public Officer for many years. He was first appointed as a Customs Guard in 1963 and was promoted to Customs Officer II in 1974 and Customs Officer I in 1986. He was appointed District Registrar on February 11, 1969, which entailed the extra duties of Post Master, Tax Collector and Relieving Officer; he was essentially the Government’s Agent for Jost Van Dyke. On many occasions, Mr. Chinnery performed the dual roles of Customs and Immigration Officer. After serving the Public Service for 30 years, Mr. Chinnery retired from the Public Service in 1993. He was presented with the Queen’s Certificate and Badge of Honour on July 19, 1989 by then Governor, J. M. A. Herdman for outstanding service to the Jost Van Dyke community.