The Virgin Islands community will pay its last respects to Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE Member Emeritus at a State funeral on Wednesday, December 11.
A procession will precede the funeral service commencing at 9:00 a.m. from the Ralph T. O’Neal Administration Complex to Multipurpose Sports Complex. The route is along Administration Drive, turning right on Waterfront Drive around the roundabout on Fleming Street onto Fishlock road, turning right on Pickering Road then right to Station Avenue to the Multipurpose Sports Complex where the service will commence.
The funeral will be broadcast and simulcast live on the Government of the Virgin Islands Facebook page and on the sister islands respectively. Immediately following the funeral there will be a motorcade from the Multipurpose Sports Complex to the Road Town Ferry Terminal.
Honourable O’Neal will be buried at the O’Neal burial ground on Virgin Gorda. There will be a motorcade from the St Thomas Bay Ferry Terminal up to Speedy’s Corner right to the Methodist Church down Millionaire road right to the Catholic Community Centre. The motorcade will be followed by a procession from the Catholic Community Centre to the Town Bay well adjacent to the O’Neal burial grounds.
Honourable O’Neal’s body will lie in state at the House of Assembly Chambers on Monday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days. This will be the final opportunity for viewing as the funeral service will be a closed casket.
December 11 was declared a public holiday as the Territory mourns the loss of one if its founding fathers. Honourable O’Neal passed on November 11 at the age 85 years.
He was the longest-serving elected official in the history of the Territory of the Virgin Islands, having served in the House of Assembly and Legislative Council for almost forty (40) years from 1975 to 2015. On July 6, 2015, the House of Assembly honoured Honourable O'Neal by passing a Resolution bestowing upon him Member Emeritus status.
Honourable O’Neal served this Territory in many different capacities. He was a teacher, an administrator and political leader and has contributed significantly to the development of Virgin Gorda and Anegada and the wider Virgin Islands.