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History relived at 40th VI-USVI Friendship Day

A cultural presentation/dramatisation which brought back vivid memories of the good old days at the 40th VI-USVI Friendship Day in Virgin Gorda on June 29, 2030. Photo: VINO
The VI-USVI Family Tree Chart proved that the people of the two Territories ca be considered one happy family. Photo: VINO
The VI-USVI Family Tree Chart proved that the people of the two Territories ca be considered one happy family. Photo: VINO
The wall of reflection which tells the story of the 40 year old friendship of the USVI and VI. Photo: VINO
The wall of reflection which tells the story of the 40 year old friendship of the USVI and VI. Photo: VINO
Ninth District Representative and Opposition Leader Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE (left) at VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
Ninth District Representative and Opposition Leader Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE (left) at VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
Students of the Claudia O. Creque Educational Centre in Anegada and Bregado Flax Educational Centre in Virgin Gorda doing a musical selection of 'Stand by Me'. Photo: VINO
Students of the Claudia O. Creque Educational Centre in Anegada and Bregado Flax Educational Centre in Virgin Gorda doing a musical selection of 'Stand by Me'. Photo: VINO
Dr Joseph S. Archibald, QC stole the show as the star dancer of the day. His first choice of partner was Director of Tourism Ms Sharon Flax-Mars. Photo: VINO
Dr Joseph S. Archibald, QC stole the show as the star dancer of the day. His first choice of partner was Director of Tourism Ms Sharon Flax-Mars. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (third from left) and His Excellency the Governor William Boyd McCleary (left) at the ceremony for VI-USVI Friendship Day. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith (third from left) and His Excellency the Governor William Boyd McCleary (left) at the ceremony for VI-USVI Friendship Day. Photo: VINO
USVI Governor the Honourable John P. de Jongh Jr, leaning forward, were among the many USVIslanders present at the Friendship Day celebrations. Photo: VINO
USVI Governor the Honourable John P. de Jongh Jr, leaning forward, were among the many USVIslanders present at the Friendship Day celebrations. Photo: VINO
Dancing to the music of Leon and the Hot Shots at VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
Dancing to the music of Leon and the Hot Shots at VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
Students of the Robinson O'Neal Memorial School dancing to the song
Students of the Robinson O'Neal Memorial School dancing to the song "Lean on me". Photo: VINO
A section of the audience at the ceremony for VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
A section of the audience at the ceremony for VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013. Photo: VINO
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI - Over the 40 years that the Virgin Islands (VI) and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) have shared a togetherness, the rich history of that relationship is one that is music to the ear every time it is told.

The two Territories relived those memories at activities held on the sister island of Virgin Gorda in celebration of the 40th Annual VI-USVI Friendship day on June 29, 2013.

This is the first year that the activities were held on Virgin Gorda and the support was overwhelming. Several persons from the USVI accompanied their Governor Honourable John P. de Jongh Jr. and together with Virgin Islanders they flooded Virgin Gorda to share time in ceremony, friendly gestures, tours and reflecting on the good old days.

The memories of the past were the highlights of the ceremonial aspects of things and were done through dramatisation. 

History relived

During the 1940's and after World War II, Virgin Islanders were drawn closer together as many persons from the Virgin Islands worked in the USVI.

Back then the VI used to produce a large amount of livestock such as pigs, cows and goats and was also a large producer of fish. Fruits like mangoes, guava, sugar apple and sour sop were popular on the VI market, it was said. The USVI was also said to have always been a “little ahead” and St. Thomas in particular was the market place for VI produce.

Families from both groups of islands survived the hardship of that time because of the close relationships that developed during those regular interactions. Some people got married, others formed lifelong friendships and some Virgin Islanders even took up residence in the USVI, particularly in St. Thomas. It was said that many persons moved their children to the USVI in order to give them a chance at secondary education since the VI did not have a high school until up to 1942.

The gathering of persons were told that “back in the days”, Virgin Islanders went to the USVI to buy clothes, shoes and utensils and the USVI would come over to these islands for the social side of their life. They particularly looked forward to the August festival, horse racing, picnics and the harvest festivals.

Apart from sending goods for sale, it was also common to see Virgin Islanders sending “parcels” to their relatives, many of whom worked in St. Thomas or had taken up residence there.

That was just a tip of the history that formed the rich 40-year-old friendship between the USVI and VI.

Having digested that bit of history, friends from both Territories were treated to live entertainment in the Friendship Day Village, which featured Leon and the Hot Shots, the Elite Sky Dancers, Bregado Flax Educational Centre, Robinson O'Neal Primary and Claudia O. Creque Educational, who all provided live musical entertainment.

The plotting of the family tree chart was another interesting feature of the day.

Lunch treat at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay Resort brought the curtains down on the celebration of VI-USVI Friendship Day 2013.

17 Responses to “History relived at 40th VI-USVI Friendship Day”

  • rattie (30/06/2013, 10:08) Like (8) Dislike (7) Reply
    At least for the most part this got this right…must have been organized by VIP civil servants!lol
  • Wait! Wait! (30/06/2013, 10:57) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    why the rest of us never heard anything about this?
  • bigger picture (30/06/2013, 11:26) Like (5) Dislike (14) Reply
    It is fitting that the two territories celebrate each other and their bonds. But it is also an opportunity to remember that we are different in approach, that it is OK not to have the development St Thomas has, the crowds, ships, density, crime (though we are catching up...), that we remember our farmers role in BVI culture and support the protection of the environment. A goal should not to be just like St Thomas, but to complement. Why not take advantage of their airport and infrastructure while expanding our own ports? Why do we have to mirror everything they do? We are different and we help each other.
  • ausar (30/06/2013, 13:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Really nice to see the family ties that bind..

    ..Ahhhhh, I think my family tree would be somewhere on the ....

    Ooops..Cannot reveal who Ausar is..
    • Hess (30/06/2013, 15:13) Like (7) Dislike (55) Reply
      But the NDP hates the people of the USVI...they do not want us to shop in St. Thomas that is why they raised the fees on departure by 100% ...so to hear the NDP now trying t sing Kum by ya is just so fake!
  • . (30/06/2013, 16:06) Like (1) Dislike (8) Reply
    So just because the usvi had it in st john we had to keep ours in VG?
    • True (30/06/2013, 22:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      You're so right! It was good to hold it in V.G, but we always need something to follow fashion.
  • ooooo (30/06/2013, 20:23) Like (8) Dislike (10) Reply
    i wonder if ayo noticed that this thing was held on the ndp/investment club premises?
  • bvi (30/06/2013, 20:36) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    The last time I checked VG was a part of the BVI, so what is your point?
  • Virgin Gordian (30/06/2013, 21:26) Like (5) Dislike (61) Reply
    Just imagine it takes 40 years to get to Virgin Gorda and the representative was there for 30 odd
    and he never saw it fit to do. It tells me we had poor representation for too long. I am convice this
    would have never under ralph vision like so many other things.

    No wonder North Sound and some parts look the way it look, like 1932.

    Thanks to some people with a little vision more people an see beautiful virgin gorda and not not to keep
    it in the dark.

    Ralph should be ashame of himself while he was there taking his needed napps.
    • Not On MY Watch (01/07/2013, 11:17) Like (0) Dislike (13) Reply
      Don't even try it! You come on here with your poison, propaganda and spin to tarnish the representative of the 9th instead of acknowlegdging what a great event it was.
      We can talk a lot about how many area in the BVI look and believe me it has nothing to do with the representation of any of those districts but has everything to do with the people and property owners of the areas who just don't want to be told that they cannot do what they want with their property.
      As far as keeping this event on Virgin Gorda or any other out island for that matter, it has always been more convenient as far as logistics and cost to hold it on Tortola and the organizers should be applauded for pulling of and event so packed with protocol effortlessly.
      For the many independant thinkers out there, this is old school and you need to try a different angle because this will not work. We who were around in 1932 certainly know that Virgin Gorda does not look the way it did then and YOU should be ashamed of yourself.
      • oops (01/07/2013, 12:44) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        when I FRIST CAME TO VIRGIN GORDA THERE WAS NO LIGHTS THE ROADS WERE NOT PAVE ONLT TWO SCHOOL ,NO HIGH SCHOOL ABO UT THREE CHURCHES THERE WAS NO MARINER. NOW WE HAVE SO MUCH THINGS TO GIVE GOD THANKS FOR AND YET MR ONEAL HAS NT DONE NOTHING. WE ARE SO UN GREATEFULL
  • AC 360 (01/07/2013, 04:04) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look some of those devils on the BVI side in some pic


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