Press Release

Premier's Office
Release Date:
Thursday, 12 January 2017 - 5:04pm

Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE will join Anguillans on Friday, January 13 at the State Funeral of former Chief Minister the Honourable James Ronald Webster.

Mr. Webster, who was also referred to as the founding father of Anguilla was known throughout the Caribbean region for the important role he played, as he led the revolution during his Chairmanship of the Anguilla Island Council, when the Territory declared its independence from the Saint Christopher Nevis Anguilla Government in 1967.  He was Anguilla’s first Chief Minister serving from February 10, 1976 to February 1, 1977 and again from May 1980 to March 12, 1984. 

Premier Smith remembers Mr. Webster as a man who truly understood the meaning of sacrifice and of always placing his country first.

The Premier stated, “He was a true Caribbean hero who will long be remembered for the role he played in changing the course of Anguilla’s history to ensure that the dignity of the people was restored and preserved for future generations. We celebrate the contribution of this ‘Great Leader’ who stood for peace and justice.”

Premier Smith reflected on the former Chief Minister’s leadership and explained that Mr. Webster bravely answered the call for leadership and navigated turbulent periods of the journey through Anguilla’s modern political history, which also secured for Anguilla the ability to become a British Territory in its own right despite its small size.  

Premier also touched on the similar way of life they shared and enjoyed, as well as the deep bonds of friendship and many family ties that will always unite the two territories.

Mr. Webster passed on Friday, December 9 at the age of 90.  The funeral will take place at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church beginning at 12:00 noon. Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark Vanterpool will also accompany the Honourable Premier.



Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740