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Hon O’Neal not endorsing anyone for 9th District

- said the people of VG must make decision on their new leader without his influence
Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (R9) at the opening ceremony of the 2015 Virgin Gorda Easter Festival named in his honour. To Hon O'Neal's right are his daughter Esther Wheatley and Chairperson of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee Kishma A. Baronville. To his left is Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn. Photo: VINO
Hon O'Neal speaking at the ceremony last evening April 4, 2015. Photo: VINO
Hon O'Neal speaking at the ceremony last evening April 4, 2015. Photo: VINO
Hon O'Neal being assisted with the cutting of the ribbon to ceremonially declare the Festival open. To his left is Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn and to his right are Chairperson of the Virgin Gorda Festival Committee Sasha D. A. Flax and Chairperson of the VI Festival and Fairs Committee Kishma A. Baronville. Photo: VINO
Hon O'Neal being assisted with the cutting of the ribbon to ceremonially declare the Festival open. To his left is Minister for Education and Culture Hon Myron V. Walwyn and to his right are Chairperson of the Virgin Gorda Festival Committee Sasha D. A. Flax and Chairperson of the VI Festival and Fairs Committee Kishma A. Baronville. Photo: VINO
From left: Devon U. Osborne, Dr Hubert O'Neal and Dr Rawle R. Hannibal have all, through this news site, announced their intention to run for the Ninth District seat to be vacated by Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Devon U. Osborne, Dr Hubert O'Neal and Dr Rawle R. Hannibal have all, through this news site, announced their intention to run for the Ninth District seat to be vacated by Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE. Photo: VINO/File
This news site has learnt through its sources that Virgin Gordian Faye J. Reese-Charles will be the People’s Empowerment Party’s (PEP) candidate to contest the seat in the Ninth District and that an announcement will come in May 2015. Photo: Facebook
This news site has learnt through its sources that Virgin Gordian Faye J. Reese-Charles will be the People’s Empowerment Party’s (PEP) candidate to contest the seat in the Ninth District and that an announcement will come in May 2015. Photo: Facebook
Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn speaking at the ceremony. Photo: VINO
Minister for Education and Culture Myron V. Walwyn speaking at the ceremony. Photo: VINO
VALLEY, Virgin Gorda, VI - Representative for the Ninth District, Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE said he will not be endorsing any candidate to run for the district as he said he does not want anyone to say he is out and still influencing politics in the Virgin Islands.

The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) stalwart was speaking last night April 4, 2015 at the opening of the 2015 Virgin Gorda Easter Festival. The Easter Festival Village has been named the Hon Ralph T. O'Neal Festiville in his honour.

"In May last year I announced I will not be standing for elections. I thought it was fair and reasonable to give someone else a chance," he said.

"I am not going to say who must run. I don't want them to say Ralph gone and he doing this and that. People must make their decision," he said.

Who will be the next 9th District Rep?

Three persons will be seeking nomination at the VIP Congress to contest the 9th District. They are Stephanie I. Faulkner Williams, Victor Vincent O'Neal and Devon U. Osborne.

Dr Hubert O’Neal will be running with the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).

Dr Rawle R. Hannibal announced via this news site that he is running as an Independent in the Ninth District, which includes Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

Further, Virgin Gordian Faye J. Reese-Charles will be the People’s Empowerment Party’s (PEP) candidate to contest the seat in the Ninth District and that an announcement will come in May 2015, according to our news site's many sources.

Message of humility

On being honoured this year, O'Neal said, "I accept this honour with deep humility and I will let you know that each morning when we say our prayers I ask the Lord to keep me humble so I could talk to any person."

He noted that some people stop speaking to people on the ground when they have achieved a certain level in life.

"That's not me. I have to speak with people and I could say with thanks tonight that the young people of Virgin Gorda have seen it fit to honour me this year," he said.

"I thank God that the people of Virgin Gorda kept me there for 40 years. I hope you will get someone who will continue to work for Virgin Gorda and the BVI.

Hon O'Neal said he was glad to serve the people not only in Virgin Gorda but Anegada and the entire Virgin Islands.

Hon O'Neal the man

Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, is one of serveral sons of Otto and Esther O’Neal and was born on December 15, 1933 on Virgin Gorda. Hon O’Neal is from the educated class having received his education at St Mary’s School, Virgin Gorda, the St Kitts/Nevis Grammar School and Oxford University in England where he read public administration.

He entered the teaching service of the Virgin Islands at the age of 18 and began his long and illustrious public service career where he served as School Principal, Clerk of the then Legislative Council, Chief Education Officer and what is referred to today, as Permanent Secretary in the then Ministry of Trade and Production.

From teacher to politician- A perfect record

Hon O’Neal left the public service to go to the private sector. In 1975 he entered the political arena and was successful in being elected as the representative of the then Seventh District, of Virgin Gorda. By 1979 there was a shuffling of districts and Virgin Gorda together with Anegada became the Ninth District.

Once elected in 1975 Hon O’Neal never lost an election and was successful in the elections of 1979, 1983, 1986, 1990, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011.

Many accomplishments

Hon O’Neal has served in every Ministry in government except the now Ministry of Communications and Works, and became Chief Minister in 1995 after the death of late Chief Minister Lavity Stoutt. He is also the Territory’s first Premier following the new constitutional order of 2007.

It is Hon O’Neal who is directly responsible for well over 90% of all developments on Virgin Gorda and Anegada, from the many roads cut and paved, schools and clinic, police station, post office, water, electricity, Government Administration Complex and docks, along with being in a position to approved many of the private sector Developments on both Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

One of Hon O’Neal’s lasting legacies is the creation of the London Office now the BVI House. His VIP administration is also responsible for much of the development of the Virgin Islands, from the T.B. Lettsome International Airport, the new Queen Elizabeth Bridge, the Commercial Court, the College and the awarding of Crown lands to residents to build their first home, to name a few.

The VIP led Administration built the first Cruise Ship Dock on Wickham's Cay, introduced the clinic system throughout the Virgin Islands and constructed all the community centers from Anegada to Virgin Gorda and Tortola.

A living local & regional legacy served longer than most!

Mr O’Neal has also been the longest serving member of Parliament in the English Speaking Caribbean and has outlasted other great regional political stalwarts like Trinidad and Tobago’s Sir Eric E. Williams 25 years (1956-1981) Antigua and Barbuda Sir Vere Cornwall Bird Sr., 34 years (1960-1994). Hon O’Neal had told this news site in an exclusive interview in 2012 that Mr Bird was his political hero.

The son of Virgin Gorda, Hon O’Neal also outlasted in elective office St Kitts and Nevis Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw’s 32 years (1946-1978) and Barbados’ Errol Walton Barrow, QC, 36 years (1951-1987) and Jamaican’s Michael Normal Manley 25 years in elective office (1967-1992), Guyana’s Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham 32 years (1953-1985) and also St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Sir James Fitz-Allen Mitchell 34 years (1966-2000).

Something else must be named for Hon O'Neal

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister for Education and Culture Honourable Myron V. Walwyn put forword that something more significant than the Virgin Gorda Festival must be named "and named fast" in honour of Honourable O'Neal.

There have long been calls from the public for Hon O'Neal to be honoured in a major way.

31 Responses to “Hon O’Neal not endorsing anyone for 9th District”

  • Plank (05/04/2015, 11:06) Like (30) Dislike (14) Reply
    Myron you gave a very nice, wise and intelligent speech. The Festival date definitely need changing. I already suggested--"the end of February into the Monday March Holiday" (More Days, More people, More fun, More peace). It may be a good idea also, If we can have one person from Anegada, one person from Jost van Dyke, one person from Tortola on the VG festival executive committee, --The same goes for Tortola. This I think will bring some needed balance in terms of ideas, fairness, accountability and harmony knowing all parts of the BVI has a voice...people Don`t like changes especially those who like power, its a new and better way. I hope I made my case
    • @ plank (05/04/2015, 13:14) Like (38) Dislike (9) Reply
      This problem where myrun turn everthing into politics and a campaign needs to be nipped in the bud IMMEDIATELY!
  • coco (05/04/2015, 11:10) Like (49) Dislike (9) Reply
    As a resident of the 9th District, I gratefully thank you Hon. O'Neal for your tireless and dedicated service to this Territory. Although many persons are quick to mention initiatives not done during your tenure, you have done many extraordinary things with the limited resources. Your humility towards constituents is one of your greatest attributes, hence, that is why he wad reelected for ten consecutive terms and some people will never understand why. Once again, I thank you and yes I believe he should be knighted.
  • ooooo (05/04/2015, 11:40) Like (19) Dislike (12) Reply
    the bet gift to give hon ralph is to VOTE VIP ALL THE WAY!
  • I for Hannibal (05/04/2015, 11:43) Like (5) Dislike (14) Reply
    I don`t think if I was running I would want his endorsement--What would I say about him. what would I say he did for VG.? on the other hand, it seems like VG people like him.--I may accept it for that reason.. Hannibal is the best candidate people, this guy spent so much of his own money to develop the youths, their music and to take the music talent out of VG into the world.---these are facts--I know---he is truly a good and caring guy.
  • ..................... (05/04/2015, 12:04) Like (25) Dislike (0) Reply
    Uncle ralph we thank u
  • xxxxxxxx (05/04/2015, 12:14) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Myrun not saying anything new many have called for that long before he was even on the stage taking pic
  • weed (05/04/2015, 13:11) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone in 9th distrcit knows, RTO will endose the VIP person... God bless Ralph and the VIP
    • yes (05/04/2015, 17:07) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
      It is his decision to support who is chosen by the committee in the end. Don't mind them Uncle RT.
  • 3 months or so (05/04/2015, 13:24) Like (20) Dislike (10) Reply
    How long? Not Long! before we rid the BVI of the NDP how much longer can we go?
    • David (05/04/2015, 14:31) Like (21) Dislike (3) Reply
      nyrun think VIRGIN Gorda people stupid fool u once last election

      not this time u cant get 2015 off the ground u had just about four years ho u fooling about 2017 JUST LIKE PROMISE THE SOFT BALL NATIONAL EACH PLAYER 300.00 SPENDING MONEY THE NIGHT BEFORE THEY LEAVE U DID NOT SHOW SHOW SEND A MESSAGE SAY THERE MO MONEY SHAME ON U
  • wize up (05/04/2015, 14:56) Like (10) Dislike (10) Reply
    WOW; when mr cills was leaving the political-market, he endorsed hon fraser: this is what usually transpires when a veterinarian politician leave his district, he/she introduces a replacement candidate and asked his constituents to give them their full support.....that says a lot about the unity of the VIP
    • no endorsements (05/04/2015, 15:30) Like (14) Dislike (17) Reply
      I find ralph and omar to be very selfish.
      • @no endorsements (05/04/2015, 19:57) Like (12) Dislike (2) Reply
        It is a smart and thoughtful move. There are 4 persons for nomination in the 9th District why stir up contention .
    • @ wize up (05/04/2015, 15:32) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
      Do not get carried away ralph will do what it takes to see the back of the ndp....
      • wize up (05/04/2015, 17:13) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
        i will trust that you do your part as well for 4-more years of NDP is death to the small man
    • @ wize up (05/04/2015, 17:09) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      it was a tongue in cheek and rhetorical question (observation) ... however thank you for taking notice...
  • street man (05/04/2015, 15:56) Like (16) Dislike (4) Reply
    Lil myrun stop flyin in dey voters face bout 50 celebration like you goin be the minister again u need to hush me fren meh people in VG not buyin tis…so gimme a brake das just politicks u layin we never eva will vote u or NDP again bossie
  • north sound (05/04/2015, 17:01) Like (1) Dislike (5) Reply
    with some of wo the VIP put forward Don't blame Ralph T for this one. ..am just saying
  • foxy brown (05/04/2015, 20:18) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Virgin gorda got food mehson
  • first (06/04/2015, 15:14) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    They should named the Administration complex in Ralph Oneal name.
  • Concerned (06/04/2015, 15:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Myron politicize everything. Everything to be re elected but we will see about that. Ralph was called a powerful and corrupt man by the high court when he lost the case with nephew Dr Hubert Oneal
  • SmartMan (06/04/2015, 16:12) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    I beg to differ look the pro NDP site gone tell people wha uncle didn't say. They proclaiming he endorse myrun it. Let's be civilize please.
  • Sir Guy (06/04/2015, 21:43) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    Hon. O'Neal you may have your intentions or reasons as to why you will not endorse anyone, but I find that a bit selfish. For 40 years you have cared and worked for the 9th district and as a legacy you should only want the district to be given to someone that would put the same love that you have put in for more than 4 decades. Do it not for party but for the people of the 9th. Don't leave your people hanging like that. Recommend someone who love Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Maybe that silent giant or diamond in the rough, Joel George would be very good. More so excellent.
  • Word to the Wise (07/04/2015, 06:00) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Muron head swell thinking rto endose he but wait till the election starts


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