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'I can't imagine giving two-thirds of my life to the people'- Hon Penn

- says son regrets him taking up political office in the VI
Reflecting on the sacrifices and drive of the late Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) at a December 3, 2019 special sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) said he cannot imagine giving the majority of his life to the people in the way Hon O'Neal did for the territory. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), right, sharing a light moment with Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE during a cricket match held in his honour on April 14, 2019. Photo: Facebook/File
Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8), right, sharing a light moment with Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE during a cricket match held in his honour on April 14, 2019. Photo: Facebook/File
Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) on October 18, 2019 posed for a photograph with the family of Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE following the resolution to rename Central Administration Complex in honour of the political stalwart who dedicated his entire professional life to public service. Photo: Facebook/File
Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) on October 18, 2019 posed for a photograph with the family of Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE following the resolution to rename Central Administration Complex in honour of the political stalwart who dedicated his entire professional life to public service. Photo: Facebook/File
A lover of the game of cricket and a former President of the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVIAA), Hon Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE was honoured for his sterling contribution to cricket in the Virgin Islands when the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVICA) presented him with a plaque and held a match in his honour at Greenland Playfield on April 14, 2019. Photo: VINO
A lover of the game of cricket and a former President of the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVIAA), Hon Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE was honoured for his sterling contribution to cricket in the Virgin Islands when the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVICA) presented him with a plaque and held a match in his honour at Greenland Playfield on April 14, 2019. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Reflecting on the sacrifices and drive of the late Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, Opposition Leader Marlon A. Penn (R8) at a December 3, 2019 special sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA) said he cannot imagine giving the majority of his life to the people in the way Hon O'Neal did for the territory.

"It's not easy Mr Speaker, to give two-thirds of your life... of everything you have in this life. I am 42 now, I can't imagine giving two-thirds of my life to the service of the people of this territory," Hon Penn told the House.

Son regrets political career - Hon Penn 

Noting that it takes a lot to serve as a Legislator, Hon Penn said he has been in the House of Assembly (HoA) for some nine years now. "When I came here my son was 5 when we started."

Hon Penn continued, "He often tells me now that he regrets me taking up politics because people have stolen me from him."

Further, the Opposition Leader detailed that given the words of his son, he cannot imagine what the wife and children of Hon O'Neal had to go through over the years he served in politics. 

"40 years is nothing to squawk about and I want to commend Reverend Edris O'Neal, Abby [Abigail O'Neal] the other sisters, your brother... for the sacrifice you have made for this territory, the sacrifice you have made for us to have a once in a lifetime, transformational leader," Hon Penn said.

O'Neal family made sacrifices

"He couldn't do it all alone, it took a family at home, it took that support system for him to be able to give of his all to his people, to the community... and to the entire territory," Hon Penn said in calling for more recognition of great VI leaders.

Before his death, the family of Hon O’Neal welcomed the move by the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Government to rename Central Administration Complex in honour of the political giant.

A lover of the game of cricket and a former President of the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVIAA), Hon O’Neal was honoured for his sterling contribution to cricket in the Virgin Islands when NAGICO Insurances and the British Virgin Islands Cricket Association (BVICA) presented him with a plaque and held a match in his honour at Greenland Playfield on April 14, 2019.

Hon O'Neal, who started his public service career as a school teacher, served over 60 years in public life, including some 40 years as an elected representative.

8 Responses to “'I can't imagine giving two-thirds of my life to the people'- Hon Penn”

  • Boy please (04/12/2019, 13:06) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    None can ever walk in Hon O'Neal's shoes cause some of You only tan for office for your own personal dirty gains and are not there to help people and country.....hate it or love it...Hon O'Neal was the REAL DEAL! Only when people die that's when everyone remembers how much they loved you etc.
  • east man (04/12/2019, 14:54) Like (6) Dislike (10) Reply
    Not to worry after next election the voters will send smurf home
    • East born and raised (05/12/2019, 09:05) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      who will we replace him with? Most persons that run are not worthy to represent d8. It is a big district and a lot of issues.
  • Really? (04/12/2019, 15:08) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    not even for 10%?
  • saying (04/12/2019, 18:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    One for $$$ the other for the people. That's why uncle was there for two-thirds of HIS life.
  • Musa god bless his soul (04/12/2019, 19:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Keep it clean .
  • Tafari Zharr (05/12/2019, 09:28) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    RALPH TEDFORD O’NEAL SR
    In Memoriam
    November 11, 2019


    “PITCH IS TO CRICKET WHAT GOOD GOVERNANCE IS TO POLITICS; LIKE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME MAN”

    In cricket the pitch is a prepared rectangular area between two wickets, At each end of the pitch the bowler bowls and the batsman plays!

    Time Waits On No-One: The Valued Umpire calls the game, may make strikers and bowlers shame but he brought humor and fundamentals to the game!

    Ralph took to the fields wearing protective shield strapped to his left arm;His Clothing Was all White: His Falls Were Neither Broken On “Consecrated” Fields: Dead, Dusty, or Green!

    So Unequivocal: “You are What You Wear in Cricket and “You Are What You Pitch”- Of mirrors, Of man, Of Courage, Commitment, and Confidence; That Closeness with Constituents Cheated him of Connections taken for granted!

    A Struggle of a Valued Umpire: Is the bowler bowling correctly? Yet A fork in the ground, an investment, a story, an ideal, or a dream; A Stream of Light: A Political Virtuoso, Virgin Gordians Should Beam!

    “Pitch is to cricket what good governance is to politics; like two sides of the same man”

    Beyond, “Dreadlocks” An adaptation-of-hair, for fear: “Caribbeanites” vs Colonization- Colonialism -Rework the Inefficacy –A Missed opportunity – A minor taint to Ralph’s Legacy?

    “Pitch is to cricket what good governance is to politics; like two sides of the same man”

    Beyond, one last look of what it took Ralph to reach great political heights; SA-CRI-FICE – little mayhems not hiccups: Mavens Understand!

    “Pitch is to cricket what good governance is to politics; like two sides of the same man”

    More than ground-breaking and deeds, beyond the shore, sounds, and seas:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    Beyond, how useful to believe behind this great statesman: great children, grands, and woes of man,

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    Beyond, what doesn’t unite us, yet neither nothing nor something prepares you or I for this forlorn glum:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    This shared loss is great and cogently leaves his family as well as our communities grievingly mum: For his Children, and their children:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    The Struggle of a Political Virtuoso: What or Who’s had to Give?

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    On Becoming Emperor for the ages! It Cost him Connections in Phases, Castaway Cares to Faraway Places:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    Time Waits on No One, If She could, I imagine Viola would tell you that your hero once had an Empire State of Mind But instead I’m thinking of all the family he never could ever leave behind:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgetting Viola!

    Yet a Veterans Day passing not meant for mourn: but Instead a Homage for Change not Chance:

    No Disrespect, I’m Un-Forgeting Viola!


    RIP – Condolences to the Immediate Family, Extended Family: The Virgin Islands Mourns With and For You!


    Copyright (c) 2019. Tafari Zharr



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