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Great March of 1949 paved way for modern VI- Premier Fahie

- said Territory will continue to move forward
The Great March of 1949 was led by Theodolph Faulkner of Anegada. He was joined by Isaac Fonseca and Carlton deCastro, and over 1,500 Virgin Islanders as they marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely impacting the Territory. Photo: GIS/File
 In commemoration of 70 years since the forefathers of the Virgin Islands, marched through the streets of Road Town, Tortola in what is now called 'The Great March of 1949,' Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie recalls the historic event, as a catalyst for VI's political development. Photo: GIS/File
In commemoration of 70 years since the forefathers of the Virgin Islands, marched through the streets of Road Town, Tortola in what is now called 'The Great March of 1949,' Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie recalls the historic event, as a catalyst for VI's political development. Photo: GIS/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has said the Virgin Islands has not yet reached the development plateau it enjoyed before the hurricanes of 2017 but noted that the Territory will still move forward. Photo: VINO/File
Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) has said the Virgin Islands has not yet reached the development plateau it enjoyed before the hurricanes of 2017 but noted that the Territory will still move forward. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - With November 24, 2019 marking 70 years since the forefathers of the Virgin Islands (VI) marched through the streets of Road Town, Tortola in what is now called 'The Great March of 1949', Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A. Fahie (R1) recalls the historic event as a catalyst for VI's political development.

The Premier made the statement in a November 25, 2019 social media video release where he further noted that the march demanded a change to the way matters affected the lives of Virgin Islanders then and now and this will continue well into the future.

Residents marched for rights 

"The historic demonstration was led by one of this Territory’s heroes Theodolph Faulkner of Anegada. He was joined by other national heroes of the day, Isaac 'Glanny' Fonseca and Carlton deCastro, and over 1,500 British Virgin Islanders as they marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely impacting the Territory," Hon Fahie recalled. 

According to Premier Fahie, the march was precipitated by conditions occurring in the community that significantly affected the quality of lives, however, citizens had no control or say.

"The Great March of 1949 ignited the spirit of self-determination in the hearts of Virgin Islanders and was the catalyst that led to the constitutional, political, economic and social development of the Territory up to today," Premier Fahie noted. 

Hon Fahie underscored that as a direct result of the Great March and other community activities of groups such as the Civic League and individuals such as Hope Stevens of Tortola; who had previously petitioned the United Kingdom Government on the matter of political change, "the Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands was restored in 1950 after having been abolished in 1901." 

"General elections followed and the stage was set for Virgin Islanders to make key political decisions such as remaining outside the West Indian Federation in 1958 and introducing the Ministerial System of Government in 1967." 

New Challenges in VI

The Premier said the VI now faces a new set of challenges with its political development. He said the challenges were compounded by the hurricanes of 2017, which created adverse conditions that diminished the quality of life for Virgin Islanders.

"Whilst recovery is in full progress and much has been done since 2017 to restore a sense of normalcy, we have not reached the development plateau we enjoyed before the hurricanes," he said in noting that the Territory will still move forward.

7 Responses to “Great March of 1949 paved way for modern VI- Premier Fahie”

  • opposition (26/11/2019, 14:22) Like (4) Dislike (3) Reply
    We need to march again to remove this present government
  • ... (26/11/2019, 14:31) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    WE NEED ANOTHER MARCH ON THE MAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE
  • History (26/11/2019, 17:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Forefathers. Lol.
  • Quiet Rebel (26/11/2019, 21:29) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Great March of 24 November 1949 was the precursor and lighting rod for constitutional change. It ushered in a new constitution in 1950. For the first time voters got a chance to vote directly for 4 at large members. Nuff respect for Dolph Faulkner and other peaceful agitators. 1500 marchers in 1950! What a sight to behold. Administrator J. Cruikshank must have wondered, shouting Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. Nonetheless, constitutional change aside, the VI was still a little sleepy hollow. It was after the ministerial government roll out in 1967, coupled with the transition from subsistence agriculture to services in the mid to late 60s that the territory got on a roll. Tourism and financial services positioned the territory to having one of the highest standard of living, quality of life and per capita income in the region. Today, the territory is rocking a $414M budget, having got off grant in aid in 1981 under the Willard Wheatley AdminIstration. The VIP government must pick carry the progress of The Great Marchers, Noel Loydd and PAM, HL Stout, Willard Wheatley, CB Romney, RT Oneal and DO Smith.
  • crazy (29/11/2019, 14:40) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    What progress you have made ? You are still a slave you still kiss the colonizers $$$ and sell out our youths and our people to yall corporations stupido no wonder things remain the same here british ppl own our lands and country and a child born here dont have rights pertetic


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