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Gov’t needs to significantly honour the Rhymers – Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE

- Hon Kedrick D. Pickering said Gov’t does have such plans
Mr William I. Rhymer and Mrs Josephine Rhymer celebrated 75 years of marriage on September 25, 2015. Photo: VINO/File
Respected and retired politician of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE has made a call for Government to tangibly honour Mr and Mrs William and Josephine Rhymer for their historic union of marriage. Photo: VINO
Respected and retired politician of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE has made a call for Government to tangibly honour Mr and Mrs William and Josephine Rhymer for their historic union of marriage. Photo: VINO
Acting Premier Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering shares a moment with Mr William I. Rhymer. Photo: VINO
Acting Premier Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering shares a moment with Mr William I. Rhymer. Photo: VINO
The Rhymers with Government backbencher Hon Archibald C. Christian on September 25, 2015. Photo: VINO
The Rhymers with Government backbencher Hon Archibald C. Christian on September 25, 2015. Photo: VINO
CANE GARDEN BAY, Tortola, VI – Respected and retired politician of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE has made a call for Government to tangibly honour Mr and Mrs William and Josephine Rhymer for their historic union of marriage.

The former Premier and Leader of the Opposition Hon O’Neal, among many others, had made his way to the Rhymer’s Round Hill home last Friday September 25, 2015 to celebrate with them their 75th wedding anniversary and, according to many who spoke at the ceremony, there is no evidence of any couple achieving such a significant milestone.

This led Hon O’Neal to vigorously call on Government to honour them as he said, “I would have no problem with that because Mr and Mrs Rhymer deserve recognition for what I have been hearing here today and what they have done for the country and a lot of people know.”

Hon O’Neal’s call did not fall on deaf ears, however, as Dr The Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering who at the time was acting Premier noted that there is every intention for a significant honour to be bestowed on the couple but said he did not want to steal the thunder of Premier D. Orlando Smith.

“Mr O’Neal, we didn’t want to steal the Honourable Premier’s thunder and we thought it would be useful to wait until he returns and he can deliver the other part of the celebration,” Hon Pickering said in response to Hon O’Neal.

Longest living married couple in the VI?

Honourable Pickering, like many others who heard of the milestone, said he did some amount of research to see what the regional and international records looked like when it was found that a number of other persons worldwide have achieved a 75 year marriage milestone. The most recent, he said, was a couple from the United Kingdom.

According to Virgin Islands News Online’s research, the longest living married couple in the world is Karam and Kartari Chand, who are 109 and 102, respectively. The British couple celebrated their 89th anniversary last December and are currently No. 2 on the all-time list of longest marriages. They are behind American couple Daniel Frederick and Susan Bakeman, who were reportedly married for 91 years before dying in the 1800s.

Hon Pickering said he did have one of his staff members of his office do some research prior to him attending the celebration, to determine if there was any record of any other couple in the territory that would have attained such a milestone but, according to him, it would necessitate them going back into the archives to verify, something they couldn’t have done at the short notice.

“But I remember having a conversation with Mr O’Neal when the Rhymers celebrated their 70th [wedding anniversary] and he said at the time he wasn’t aware of any other couple who had achieved that particular milestone,” said Hon Pickering.

Territorial At Large Representative Hon Archibald C. Christian did register his disappointment in Hon Pickering not being able to secure the facts from the archives prior to attending the celebratory event.

“I am also very disappointed that my Honourable colleague didn’t have a specific answer with respect to the research he was seeking to do this morning,” said Hon Christian but said that he suspects that the Rhymers are perhaps one of the oldest couples in the history of the VI “and perhaps by extension the [Greater] Virgin Islands (VI & USVI) and, by further extension, the Caribbean.”

Hon Christian said he looks forward to having the facts of the research when it becomes available.

5 Responses to “Gov’t needs to significantly honour the Rhymers – Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE”

  • jah know (28/09/2015, 09:09) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    the family should have chase some of them wicked politian
  • LOL (28/09/2015, 10:17) Like (15) Dislike (3) Reply
    Why would you ask government to honor these people. The government didn't bring them together. Is the government into enough stuff without having to get involved in marriage. I don't understand people. If their family throws a big celebration party that's fine but please don't put government in this.
  • for what (28/09/2015, 13:27) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Government does not need to honour them. they have ten children that's their responsibility to honour them. did the government married them or gave them children. we seem to think that government should do everything. well if they need honouring then all married persons who have had a successful marriage whether 40,50,60,70 years should be honoured as well. I applaud them for making it work this long but it's not government responsibility. that responsibility lies with their children. just saying
  • Yo (28/09/2015, 14:24) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply

    Govt don't need do a (*^% thing wa Ralph peesie @@$ don't do the honouring from talkin f@#4



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