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Gov John S. Duncan leaves VI in a few days; A brief look back!

- Completed an official farewell tour of the sister islands
Governor John S. Duncan OBE (front, centre), while on a tour of Jost van Dyke recently, visited the Government Administration Building. Photo: GIS
Governor John S. Duncan and his wife Mrs Duncan called on the Virgin Gorda seniors while on a visit of the Sister Islands. Photo: GIS
Governor John S. Duncan and his wife Mrs Duncan called on the Virgin Gorda seniors while on a visit of the Sister Islands. Photo: GIS
Students of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre-Primary Division take a photo with Governor John S. Duncan OBE and his wife Anne Marie Duncan. Photo: GIS
Students of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre-Primary Division take a photo with Governor John S. Duncan OBE and his wife Anne Marie Duncan. Photo: GIS
Governor John S. Duncan OBE had stripped Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), right, of the title of Opposition Leader following a Virgin Islands Party internal election that saw Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, becoming party Leader. Photo: VINO/File
Governor John S. Duncan OBE had stripped Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3), right, of the title of Opposition Leader following a Virgin Islands Party internal election that saw Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1), left, becoming party Leader. Photo: VINO/File
One of the controversial moves of Governor John S. Duncan OBE came when he used his power under Sec 103 (b) of the VI constitution to impose direct rule on the Territory, stripping the Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and the House of Assembly of their powers to determine how monies are spent. Photo: VINO/File
One of the controversial moves of Governor John S. Duncan OBE came when he used his power under Sec 103 (b) of the VI constitution to impose direct rule on the Territory, stripping the Minister of Finance Dr The Hon D. Orlando Smith (AL) and the House of Assembly of their powers to determine how monies are spent. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Governor John S. Duncan OBE took up his post as a senior civil servant in the British Foreign Service as appointed Governor of the Virgin Islands (VI) in August of 2014 and after 3 years the time has come for him to leave. His tenure ends August 2017; however, he is expected to go on leave sometime this month (July 2017) and not return.

As an unelected senior civil servant reporting to the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) because of the colonial status of the Territory, Mr Duncan has more powers than elected officials, including the Premier of the VI, Dr The Honourable  D. Orlando Smith (AL).

However, Mr Duncan will go down in history as one of the most controversial governors since the days of John Augustus Cockburn Cruikshank (1946–1954) who had helped to incite the March of 1949 because of oppressive decisions against the people and faced public demands that he be recalled and another Governor Walter Wilkinson Wallace (1974–1978), who caused riots in the streets when he commuted the sentence of a murderer who was a foreign national sentenced to death by hanging for killing a local lady of the soil.

Duncan went rogue last 2 years

In his first two years in office, the public was concerned about his close relationship with the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) and many labelled him as the sixth Minister as he was their chief spokesman and it seemed like they could have done nothing wrong despite complaints from the public, the media, civil society and the Opposition.

In the face of some three damning reports (The Auditor General, Public Accounts Committee & Huge E. Darley's - a former project manager) about alleged corruption, conflict of interest and no one looking out for the public purse on a multi-million dollar cruise pier project with an overrun of some $40M, Governor Duncan turned a blind eye and did not call for a commission of inquiry.

However, in his two last years, to gain back the public's trust, he went rogue. He fired off a series of letters to the Premier and Minister of Finance and copied to the FCO, and obtained by media houses, accusing the administration of reckless spending of tax payers monies and demanded a Freedom of Information Bill, along with more accountability and transparency.

In one of the letters, he warned Premier Smith that if the reckless spending and lack of accountability continued he would no longer be able to represent their wishes in a positive manner to the FCO.

In going rogue, Mr Duncan insulted the Smith Administration at a public function at Her Majesty’s Prison, chastising them like little children for not funding the police and said they preferred to fund external courts but not the local Magistrate or High Court. This was said in the presence of Dr Smith and another Minister, along with some elected Members of the NDP.

Direct rule; Duncan made history

Governor Duncan also stripped Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) of the title of Opposition Leader following a Virgin Islands Party internal election that saw Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) becoming party Leader.

Recently, he sidelined Premier Smith again and was successful in having British nationals fill the post of Director of Public Prosecutions, Police Commissioner, Auditor General and Head of the local Prison Services, while claiming there were no locals qualified, another insult to the government and people of the VI.

The crowning of the cake came when Governor Duncan used his power under Sec 103 (b) of the VI constitution to impose direct rule on the Territory, stripping the Minister of Finance Dr Smith and the House of Assembly of their powers to determine how monies are spent.

This was a history making move as it never happened before in the British Overseas Territory of the VI, according to former Deputy Governor Elton Georges OBE.

He ordered some $1.88M from the government coffers to fund the police as crime escalated, with a murder a month, and to fund the courts among other things. With this move, the public in general supported him and at least for the moment he is back in the good graces of residents.

Bye Bye tour

The Governor visited Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost van Dyke from June 20 – 23, 2017 as part of his official farewell. He was accompanied by his wife Mrs Duncan for the Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke visits, according to a Government Information Services (GIS) statement.

In Virgin Gorda, he met with the principal, teachers and students of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre – Primary Division, the Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School and the Ciboney School for Excellence.

The Governor also called on the Virgin Gorda seniors, and visited Yacht Harbour and Leverick Bay. He met public officers at the Virgin Gorda Administration Complex and thanked them for their hard work during his tenure. Mr Duncan also hosted a meet and mix at Hog Heaven restaurant that included residents from the Valley and North Sound on Virgin Gorda.

On Jost van Dyke, Governor Duncan attended the graduation for the Jost van Dyke School and addressed the students, parents and staff. He visited the Administration Building, the Public Works Department facilities, the Solid Waste facility and Foxy’s Taboo at East End, according to Government.

The Governor toured renovations at the Fisherman’s Wharf, and visited the Emile Dunlop Community Centre on Anegada. He attended the opening ceremony of the new visitor facilities at the Anegada Rock Iguana Headstart Facility and toured the clinic and the Government Complex, the press release stated.

Governor Duncan took office on August 15, 2014 and is the 12th non-elected Governor of the VI. He will be replaced by Augustus ‘Gus’ Jaspert, another British National.

22 Responses to “Gov John S. Duncan leaves VI in a few days; A brief look back!”

  • pat (01/07/2017, 17:25) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    So long john d
  • Lawd-o governor (01/07/2017, 17:53) Like (21) Dislike (13) Reply
    Pleaseeeeeee dissolve this government before you leave; we can't take no more of this NDP gang. Thanks in advance.
    • Huh? (03/07/2017, 11:06) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      So sad we still begging massa in the 21st century to determine our destiny. Let's work towards getting our own governor.
  • wize up (01/07/2017, 17:59) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    here comes trouble
    • @ wize up (02/07/2017, 11:33) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is worthy to note that there are checks and balances however imperfect.
      • wize up (02/07/2017, 14:38) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        @@ wize up: I like how you put it but what some of us will love to see are new legislations brought to the house of assembly which governs the conducts of those we continue to vote for; but it will never happen because all of them politicians using those same loop holes in the current checks and balances system to fool with our tax money......
  • And another one (01/07/2017, 18:01) Like (24) Dislike (0) Reply
    "chastising them like little children..." is tis why the funny one is still whining like a little child?
  • Welsah (01/07/2017, 18:07) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    Our Gov was more gangster than the NDP and they didn't like this at all. He checkmated their a$$e$!
  • My say (01/07/2017, 18:26) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
    His actions was better late than never, but he should have done more to clean up all the allegations surrounding this sitting government.
  • Wow! (01/07/2017, 18:43) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    Look at that smile. He seems more happier leaving than when he first came. His early leave suggest that he couldn't wait a month more with us in this mess we find ourselves in. Governor, can you adopt mvw and take him with you? He really seems to like you tremendously. He can't stop yapping about the actions you took.
  • bon voyage (01/07/2017, 18:44) Like (7) Dislike (16) Reply
    Don't let the door hit you
  • island man (01/07/2017, 18:53) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    Come on man! The first highlighted paragraph is so wrong. No punctuation in place me son.
  • b guth (01/07/2017, 20:26) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    Hope someone gets lock up when the new one comes
    • Lockupgobernor (03/07/2017, 07:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

      When someone get locked up, what is that going to do for you, what is that going to do for the reputation of our country? Let me tell you who should get locked up. The Governor should be the first to get locked up because he represents the queen and the Monarchy has not paid repatriation to the thousands of African it enslaved against their will. 

  • good riddance (01/07/2017, 21:37) Like (14) Dislike (18) Reply
    Good riddance Duncan!
  • pat (02/07/2017, 08:43) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    I give him credit for calling them out ndp no good for we
  • in the news (02/07/2017, 11:32) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is only a matter of time before a great tragedy occurs when n the new governor arrives
  • Political Observer (PO) (03/07/2017, 00:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wow! A paid tropical vacation has ended, serving in the colonies is a hiding spot until retirement. One thing about the Gov is that with the support of the Premier (Virgin Islanders are not ready for some jobs) he looked out for his mates, i.e., RVIPF, prison, Auditor General and prosecutor's office. Sad that you did commisisoned a Commission of Inquiry on Tortola Pier Park. But not so reluctant in exercising direct rule though, i.e., $1.8M for police. Nonetheless, bon voyage.
  • Honestly (03/07/2017, 00:33) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
    We need new leaders NDP is the worst ever
  • unfair (03/07/2017, 00:43) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I cant go Anguilla to join politics so why is walwyn allowed to come here n do what he wants?
  • Historybook (03/07/2017, 07:23) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stop picking on the man unless you have an alternative. Unite, not separate. GO LEARN YOUR HISTORY..


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