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Honourable Members of the HOA of the VI

Thomas C. Famous. Photo: Provided
Representative for Devonshire East (Constituency 11) in Bermuda Hon Thomas C. Famous, left, was invited to the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands by Speaker Hon Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe, right, while on a private visit to the Territory recently. Photo: Provided
Representative for Devonshire East (Constituency 11) in Bermuda Hon Thomas C. Famous, left, was invited to the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands by Speaker Hon Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe, right, while on a private visit to the Territory recently. Photo: Provided
Bermuda, left, and the [British] Virgin Islands, right, are both British Overseas Territories. Photo: Internet Source/VINO
Bermuda, left, and the [British] Virgin Islands, right, are both British Overseas Territories. Photo: Internet Source/VINO
Thomas C. Famous

Writers note:

On Monday March 19, 2018 I was given the rare and distinct privilege to be invited to sit within the Parliamentary Chambers of the House of Assembly of the [British] Virgin Islands (VI) during their 2018-2019 Budget Statement.

As someone with maternal roots in the VI it gave me a great sense of pride to be representing both the people and government of Bermuda in such a manner.

As a show of appreciation, the following correspondence was submitted to the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly of the VI.

Ingrid A. Moses-Scatliffe
Speaker,
House of Assembly
Road Town
Tortola
Virgin Island (UK)

Madam Speaker, Hon Premier Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, Hon Ministers, Hon Members and staff of the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands.

I wish to take a few moments to firstly thank you all for the courtesies extended to myself and by extension the Government and people of Bermuda, over the course of my visit.

As sister island territories with shared customs and heritage it extremely welcoming to be treated as a fellow Parliamentarian. You can be assured that when, not if, any of you eventually travel to Bermuda we will ensure reciprocal treatment in our own House of Assembly.

Our Honourable Premier David Burt JP MP and the Speaker of the House of Assembly the Hon Dennis Lister Jr. JP MP will have it no other way.

Honourable fellow Parliamentarians, please allow me to speak from the heart for a few minutes.

My Great Grandfather was Mr Canute Fraser of Sea Cows Bay and My Great Grandmother was Alfina Fraser nee Thomas, also of Sea Cows Bay. I am also related to the Turnbull family of the Myers region.

My mother June Fraser, who shared the same class as the Honourable Premier Dr Smith, was raised between Harrigan Hill and Sea Cows Bay.

My Aunt, Ms Florence Maduro is cousin to; Hon Ronnie W. Skelton, Hon Hubert R. O’Neal and Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines.
The Deputy Clerk of the Legislature Joann Vanterpool is my aunt.

My Uncle Earl Fraser served in this very house, as his brother, my Uncle Hon Julian Fraser RA currently does, proudly representing the 3rd District.

You see, if we peeled back the onion layers enough, we will find common ancestors and cousins with ease. As we are all Kinfolk.

Suffice it to say, my navel string may not be buried here but my heart is here. Essentially, I am not just your fellow parliamentarian from another island, but I am a Belonger and more to the point I am literally your cousin.

So today, I address you as a family member deeply proud of our heritage, our tenacity and our vigilance.
Not withstanding the differences in individuals and ideologies, we as; Bermudians, VIslanders and as leaders in the Caribbean region, face unprecedented challenges.

Whether it be the changing winds of; OECD, G7, G20, Brexit or as Hon Deputy Premier Kedrick D. Pickering noted, “Trumpism”, we must remain vigilant to protect our diverse Financial Sectors. Whether it be the Zika virus, cruise line challenges or airline prices we must remain vigilant to protect our diverse Tourism Sectors.

Indeed, we must become not just ‘greener’, no political pun intended, but we must become adaptable to the new norm.
Let it be known that the “Inconvenient Truth” that former Vice President of the United States Mr Al Gore spoke of is real. The un precedented events of August and September of 2017 have put to rest any doubt that our region is under threat.

Essentially, Climate Change is here to stay.

As I sat in Bermuda fearing for the lives of my family in the VI we saw the first images of Scotiabank, or what was left of it, of the East End and West End regions my heart sank. I knew immediately that we, in Bermuda had to begin mobilising help for you.

Hon Members, please let it be known that we, in Bermuda, have always stood ready to assist you, and indeed other Caribbean islands, in the times of need via the following resources:
• Medical assistance
• Electrical restoration
• Police and Military assistance
• Financial assistance via various aid organisation

However, let us not wait until we must react to a negative situation. Let us act proactively and find ways to share our; culture, expertise, resources and skilled personnel. We have an opportunity, or dare I say, moral responsibility, to help shape the future of not just our individual islands but our entire region. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less my fellow Parliamentarians, my fellow Belongers, indeed, my family. 

For three days I sat in this Honourable house in awe of your deliberations and deportment. Despite whichever side of the isle you sit on, I have learned much about ways to modernise and improve some of our very own Parliamentary procedures in Bermuda.

In closing, I wish to once again thank you for the outstanding hospitality shown to myself. I truly have felt extremely honoured to sit in your hollowed chambers.

PS. Please forgive me if I wrote too much. I can’t help myself, I am a Fraser.

Yours Sincerely,
Hon Thomas Christopher Famous JP MP
Government of Bermuda

6 Responses to “Honourable Members of the HOA of the VI”

  • Fam (30/03/2018, 16:29) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Excellent history lesson
  • good (30/03/2018, 17:43) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thank you Sir for explaining your genealogy roots. Our sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc., have become so distracted and detached from their roots that they have lost track of how we are all connected more than we are apart. We, as people of colour throughout the Caribbean, fight and teardown each other like common enemies without identifying the real threats to us all via our social-engineering conditions. First, we must discard all nonsense about who we think island people are. People throughout the Caribbean are us; all the divisiveness between us were recreated for a purpose, and not for our collective benefit. I too will end this tread there and allow others to take the time to really think about what we are doing to each other. We are all scared psychologically through our DNA membranes, however, there is nothing that cannot be changed if we can recognize our failures, appreciate and work collectively for our common benefits. There is hope yet for a better tomorrow, The Most High willing. Thank you again for your insightful perspective.

  • i from here (30/03/2018, 23:09) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    Mehson you better not let Mark hear you about your culture and history he said he does not care about that he wants the money
  • island man (31/03/2018, 23:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Deep letter this young man has a bright future in politics


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