STATEMENT BY THE PREMIER,
HONOURABLE DR. NATALIO D. WHEATLEY AT THE THIRD SITTING OF THE FIRST SESSION OF THE FIFTH HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ON 12TH SEPTEMBER 2023,
ON THE PASSING OF MR. RONALD DONOVAN, REGISTRAR OF SHIPPING
Madam Speaker, we are here in the House of Assembly at this stage to handle matters related to advancing the Shipping Registry. This is positive for the BVI and a good thing overall. Sadly, however, at this very same time, I have the sad task of offering condolences to the family members, friends and colleagues of the Registrar of Shipping, Mr. Ronald Donovan, who passed over the weekend.
Of the staff members present here today, and as a matter of fact, of the staff members currently at the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry, Mr. Donovan has been one of the longest continuous serving members of the organisation. Mr. Donovan was the Registrar for more than 17 years, even preceding the time of the function of the Registry becoming a Government department. He served for several years at the Financial Services Commission prior to the services being transferred.
Mr. Donovan was a Registrar of Registrars; confident in his role, knowledgeable and experienced at his craft and a champion for the Shipping Registry’s cause. Madam Speaker, the process that we are undertaking here today, Mr. Donovan was passionate to see it through. He actually participated in a presentation to Government on this very same matter almost a week to this day - a participation where he eloquently made his contribution. And if you knew Mr. Donovan, you would know what I mean about eloquent contribution.
Ronald was known throughout the Red Ensign Group of flags and his absence from any group event anywhere in the world would be met with queries of his absence and well being. As a matter of fact, Mr. Donovan was one of the longest active serving members across the administrations of the group of Red Ensign British flags. The clients of the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry in Miami, London, and many places globally knew Ronald by name; they would be visibly excited to see and greet him on every visit to their region. This was a testament to his presence in the industry, his warm personality and his humor.
Mr. Richard Pellew of the UK Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (the MCA) on hearing the news wrote, “That is truly sad news and, for us, very unexpected. Ronald has always been the elder statesman and pivotal member of the Red Ensign Group (REG) family in all the time I have been here, and it is hard to imagine the REG without him. We will undoubtedly be the poorer for his passing. I will share the sad news with the group but please, when you are able to, pass on the condolences from all of us in the MCA to his family and friends.”
Mr. Donovan was also an active member of the Carrot Bay community and District 1 activities and any candidate in that District would have been well advised to have a discussion with Ronald and get his support if you wanted to be successful. Wherever Ronald served, he was a champion at whatever he wanted to do and passionate in so doing.
I again extend my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Mr. Ronald Donovan. I pray God’s strength for each and every one of you. He will be sorely missed in many venues of the world.
May his soul rest in peace.