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“I felt insulted & disrespected by the Premier's Office”- Hon. O’Neal

- The Opposition Leader said he has always treated the NDP Administration with respect and expected the same from them-received BVI London House 10th Anniversary Friendship Medallion in a white paper bag!
Leader of the Opposition Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE said he felt insulted that the BVI London Office 10th Anniversary Friendship Medallion was left at his House of Assembly Office in a white paper bag inside a brown envelope. He said he has always respected the National Democratic Party Government while they are in office and expects them to treat him with respect. Photo: VINO
The Letter written to Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, about his contribution to the BVI London House was not signed by the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Rosalie Adams but instead was signed for her. It is the custom that other Elected Officials will write other elected Officials, eg. the Premier will write the Leader of the Opposition. There are times when a Minister of Government will ask their Permanent Secretaries to respond to correspondence, but usually it's at that rank. Photo: VINO
The Letter written to Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal OBE, about his contribution to the BVI London House was not signed by the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Rosalie Adams but instead was signed for her. It is the custom that other Elected Officials will write other elected Officials, eg. the Premier will write the Leader of the Opposition. There are times when a Minister of Government will ask their Permanent Secretaries to respond to correspondence, but usually it's at that rank. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- In what could only be described as shameful and a low point in our history, Leader of the Opposition Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, in an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online, told of the disrespectful, humiliating and insulting treatment he received from the Office of the Premier over the receipt of a Friendship Medallion.

Letter from the Premier’s Office not signed by Premier or Permanent Secretary

Hon. O’Neal, who is the founder of the BVI London House, said he received a letter dated January 2, 2013 about the 10th Anniversary of the BVI London House.  He said the letter spoke to his award of the Friendship Medallion as a token of appreciation in recognition of his invaluable services and unwavering support for his work done, which helped to fulfill and realize the mission and vision of advancing and representing the interest of the VI in the United Kingdom.

However, despite the glowing letter, Hon. O’Neal said he found the Friendship Medallion in his House of Assembly office in a white paper bag and inside a brown envelope.  This he found “insulting and disrespectful.”

To further add insult to injury Hon. O’Neal, himself a former Permanent Secretary in his earlier civil servant career, said “the letter was not even signed by the Permanent Secretary or the Premier but signed for the Permanent Secretary Mrs. Rosalie Adams.” 

While he said in Public Administration there is no rule that says the Permanent Secretary has to sign every letter leaving their office, as letters going out can be signed by the most junior officer, “however, certain letters should be signed by the PS or the Premier as it demonstrates the importance to the matter, the kind of protocol you can expect from the Office of the Premier.”…Hon. O’Neal, the 9th district representative, said “I supposed it does not matter to some people.”

It is a custom that elected officials will usually write to other elected officials or there could be instances when Ministers of Government will have their Permanent Secretaries signed such correspondence on their behalf but usually never other officers not in that rank.

Hon. O’Neal said he had heard while the Premier Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith was in London attending the 10th Anniversary celebration of the BVI London House in December 2012 that he had said he would have had an official ceremony for receptions of the Friendship Medallion, but instead “it was presented to me in such a distressful and undignified way in a brown envelope left at my office.”

Do we have a culture of disrespect?

When asked if since the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government took office, if he believed they have created a culture of disrespect? Hon. O’Neal, the Virgin Islands’ first Premier, told this news site that “I have always treated the current Government with respect while in office and I expect them to treat me the same way.”

He said, “Government must not always be in the business of calling down what another government has done”. He recalls that "around 2008 or 2009 I had to bring before the House of Assembly a 24 million dollar SAP left over from the NDP Government to cover over spending by them, but I was not up and down criticising them over it.”

He said he remained concerned at how he had received the 10th, Anniversary BVI London House Medallion, along with the letter not even signed by the Permanent Secretary. 

51 Responses to ““I felt insulted & disrespected by the Premier's Office”- Hon. O’Neal”

  • jokes (22/01/2013, 08:30) Like (24) Dislike (140) Reply
    Get over it! You are too old to be acting so childish.
    • qc (22/01/2013, 09:34) Like (18) Dislike (10) Reply
      The Silent Majority of the BVI will be given the opportunity to speak next election. We are sick of this kind of disrepect!!
    • crazy (22/01/2013, 11:47) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Jokes you have no sense!!!!!
    • fool (22/01/2013, 15:30) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
      "jokes" is just another NDP fool..but god is in control
      • Well meh boy (23/01/2013, 02:31) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
        I don't know what's so disrespectful...the point is that he received a letter of thanks sorta thing from the Premier's Office and that is what mattters!
    • kkk (22/01/2013, 17:55) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please don't be so shocked and disgusted..this is the NEW NDP and the civil service under that wicked lady with her alsomemorse husband
      • pat (23/01/2013, 00:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        the woman behind the man is known for having her own agenda and can turn charm on and off like a light switch. But she comes first.
      • alsomemorse (24/01/2013, 12:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        this is a word? "alsomemorse"
        what does it mean?
    • jack i tell yo! (23/01/2013, 19:31) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

      you are an @$$! the hell them dis-respecting the premier like that (yes, i said premier) with dem outta place self. stupidness

    • legal team (24/01/2013, 18:37) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Jokes:Whoever you are; and calling an Honourable man of such high prestige OLD,I pray for you and I call on god to protect you from SATAN! The Honorable Ralph Tilford O'neal is a statesman,who served his people and his country!How dare you call him OLD?
  • Lb (22/01/2013, 09:07) Like (11) Dislike (54) Reply
    Give me a break! Glowing letter but you care who signed it. How about the culture of childishness and bickering! Grown men acting like spoiled kids! Him and Whiskers! Waste of a story!
    • wet well (22/01/2013, 09:35) Like (47) Dislike (2) Reply
      • facts man (24/01/2013, 08:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        you are so the old saying goes, whatever resides in one's mind, will eventually come out either in words or actions...???

    • @ LB (22/01/2013, 17:58) Like (16) Dislike (2) Reply
      what they did to Ralph O'Neal is Absolutely disgusting! jst like "LB' comment
  • Culture of disrespect (22/01/2013, 09:10) Like (46) Dislike (2) Reply
    That is not being childish. He is right. There needs to be respect and courtesy shown to one another, particularly those who are older. It is known that many of you do not like the man but that is besides the point. Give respect where it is due. This is not about VIP, or NDP. This is about manners and respect. Disrespect in any society is the root of its destrcution. Watch yourselves people. What goes around comes around. Everything in life is part of a cycle. I have come to the conclusion that many public servants demonstrate their dislike for persons through government offices, then the Ministers get blamed because they are responsible. Wake up and conduct yourselves fairly and respectfully. Ministers, and department heads, monitor your staff.
    • yellow (22/01/2013, 10:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      London Bridge is falling down!
    • (22/01/2013, 13:23) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      Hon O' Neal need the respect from the NDP. Regardless of what happens in their party and who don't like who. The person incharge of sending the Medallion should have gotten some type of class as to how it is deliver, for such a prestige medal it should have been given in a respectable way, but things happen. I call upon the person involved to redo the wrong. Let the man feel welcome and respected for what he has done for this country.

      Culture of disrepect, I think not, I love your comments it reminds me of the days when people use to send their resume up to the departments to get jobs and next thing its in the garbage. People have to come to the realization that they days of born here is gone, we need each other, in all areas of life. Lets give the respect to Mr. O'Neal
  • egg face (22/01/2013, 09:39) Like (31) Dislike (3) Reply
    I think this sends a very clear message by the present regime to civil servants of the culture of disrespect created by this crazy bunch!!!
  • Yes (22/01/2013, 10:14) Like (6) Dislike (97) Reply
    Get over it, the letter is written on behalf of the Premier not from him, perfectly acceptable. Too much politricks from these old guys, they had their day!
  • real man (22/01/2013, 10:23) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    This reminds me of the Port Authority how they treated the seniors but the way the send them off. Its not what you do, its how you do it. always remember that no man is an island and indeed life is a circle. today you tomorrow for sombody else. You all have children relative and friends dont let your sins fall on their shoulders. boat gone afar on this one but try your best to have a repeat in other areas and other people. U R NOT INVINCIBLE
  • bigger picture (22/01/2013, 11:16) Like (36) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sadly, this mode of operandi has been seen in many of the ways NDP has communicated (or not) with the public, and other officials. They have an agenda (mandate) and they seem to mow down anyone in their way. Tender and public meetings are only a formality to get around UK scrutiny and planning authority requirements- but there is no compromise or consideration of outside ideas on many if not all development plans, etc.
    This medal situation is indeed insulting. One may not agree with everything Ralph did, but he has been involved in politics since 1972 when he wrote an environmental report about oil nut bay and north sound... and we see what has happened since. politics. At times, Lavity was no angel yet he has a holiday.
    The point is, that he has been a civil servant longer than most have been born. He will not be around much longer and many may not have agreed with him. NDP should have bit the bullet and done something more respectful instead of narrow-minded.
  • wize-up (22/01/2013, 11:58) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    another NDP move; they forgetting the VIP built this country but they want to get the glory.....jack should be given his jacket.....when Hon Oneal bought that same building the NDP Party had so much to say; one young man "associated" with that NDP-Party even "wrote & sang a song" about millions & millions going out the door; yet his "art work" was displayed in the same london house(last year).....only the NDP....thank God i know my History so the "poly-tricks" of the NDP wont phase me...Hon Oneal might be up in age now BUT he did very well for us as a people ...ok, talk that !!!!!!
    • vince (22/01/2013, 16:49) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      H.L. Stoutt and his VIP built this country. Name one thing of his legacy that was continued under R.T Oneal. NAME JUST ONE!! The Admin Complex? Same as when HLS departed in 1995. The College? More or less the same since HLS departed in 1995. The BVI HS now ESHS? Only thing changed is the name and some new trailers, same as when HLS departed in 1995. I can go on and on. All these things mentioned and much more had plans and funding left behind by HLS and his Administration. Dr. Smith and the founding NDP members were ardent supporters of H L Stoutt and the VIP of that day. They only formed their own party after R T Oneal took over the reigns and took it in a different direction. Don't try to re-write history. You can respect a man and still tell the truth. Mr Oneal deserves respect but he also deserves the truth to be told. He has represented VG for over 40yrs and they don't even have a functioning clinic or medivac boat. I beg you all hush your stink mouths before talking nonsense about who built this country. This place has been at a stand-still for over 20yrs.
  • high hope (22/01/2013, 14:01) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    That ws adams way of paying oneal back for sending she home over the leak letter ha ha
  • . (22/01/2013, 14:03) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    I have to wonder once again does Dr. Smith really know what is going on with his ministers because I never thought he was this kind of person. It is just wrong, and yes it is a culture of disrespect.
  • none (22/01/2013, 15:32) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    add Myron to the mix the NDP got no respect for God or MAN
    • hip hop horray (22/01/2013, 17:46) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      Well done VINO! Shining a light in places we would never otherwise get to see
      • christian my rass (22/01/2013, 20:41) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
        If they could do this to our elders imaigine how they will treat the youths and the lil people adams will have her day in hell!!!!
  • the real deal (22/01/2013, 16:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

    when you have people like I**z at the helm of the public service with her political unprofessional behavior what else get one expect. The whole service is gone to the dogs long time

  • Massive (22/01/2013, 16:37) Like (1) Dislike (26) Reply
    They should've given it to him in a brown paperbag tucked in a shoe box.
  • sayso (22/01/2013, 16:56) Like (0) Dislike (27) Reply
    Old people always complaning for everything.
  • ----------- (22/01/2013, 17:32) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    And still we have to address these NDP elected people as honorable.
  • NDP voter (22/01/2013, 17:43) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    jeeze un bread...this is what I supported in the last election???
  • Me (22/01/2013, 18:33) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Matthew 22:21 - Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's. Mr. O'Neal has served (and continues to serve) our country well, and he deserves much respect. I am not a party player. I believe in justice. Old age is honourable; let us never forget that.

    It is obvious that the gift was not given with the decorum it deserved and it would have left a sour taste in anyone's mouth, let alone that of a former leader of the Territory. My mommy used to say that things done in half are never done correctly. Good intentions, bad presentation, resulting in a slap in the face if you ask me.

    I would not like to think that the sorry chain of events was intentional. Let us just blame it in poor thinking and move on with the best interest of our beloved islands as our primary concern.

    We learn from our mistakes. If it happens again it is deliberate. Until then, it was just poor old judgment on someone's part. Nuff said.
  • bvi (22/01/2013, 20:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's all about principle. When I use to work for the then Legislative Council, we would have taken the time to send a messenger to hand deliver it to the Leader of the Opposition rather than sticking it in a cubby hole for his next visit to the office, which could have been weeks after the fact seeing that he is elderly and not in tip top shape to be coming into the office every single day. I dont blame the Ministers however. I blame the people they have heading up these Ministries. They dont have a grain of common sense must less respect.
  • virgin gorda (22/01/2013, 22:20) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I applaud the VIP when in office for always exercising civility..the NDP keep mekin the country shame
  • vip (23/01/2013, 00:25) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    those ndp's are no good
  • Truth (23/01/2013, 06:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As my granny would always say, rest her soul "Fast Horses don't run long" take heed, give respect where respect is due.
  • No VIP or NDP (23/01/2013, 09:24) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I am neither NDP or VIP at present because I will not vote for either party if elections were held today. On what Ralph said about a Culture of Disrespect, I agree that there are protocols of how to deal in situations involving levels of government officials, but Ralph O'Neal is no angel. Now listen people before you jump down my throat. For the occasion NDP did not deal with it in a proper manner, but to hear Ralph T O'Neal talking about DISRESPECT is mind boggling to me. I have not met a more disrespectful, hateful and divisive individual at this level of government in my life. Ralph is partisan, which is not right or attractive for a leader. He does not treat every body as equals, and I say that makes him DISRESPECTFUL. However, I will end by reiterating, "That by virtue of a position, there are certain protocols that have to be followed". In this case, even if there were no written protocol or guideline to follow, the Premier's Permanent Secretary, should have been mindful of the importance of the recognition, and treat the occasion in a more dignified manner.
    • hello (24/01/2013, 12:39) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Hi there, I found this to be the only sensible and fairly given comment on this issue.
      Well done.
  • vex (23/01/2013, 13:25) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    NDP Tribalism is really quite simple to understand.

  • Eagle and Buffalo (23/01/2013, 23:27) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Simply, it is about respect, decorum, pride and professional; all of these qualities were lacking and missing in this embarrassing action.
  • babay boy (24/01/2013, 08:24) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Well, this says it all. The NDP is not concerned about how insulting this action is towards the BVI community.
  • Well Sah! (24/01/2013, 11:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    To all those out there commenting on "old people", remember that you won't be young always. The same respect the honourable minister is talking about is the same respect you will be looking for when your turn comes....even though it may be for another situation. It doesn't matter which party is in control, the point is give honour where honour is due. It was done in a disrespectful manner.....straight up!! To the Government in power, remember, "Promotion cometh neither from the east nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." You may be up now..........but be careful!! Remain humble.
  • USA student (24/01/2013, 16:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    many thumbs down on this treatment
  • xxxxxxxxxxxx (26/01/2013, 06:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Yes, the indentured servant solution is wonderful. GREAT 1700s thinking from Adams & Doc Smith??

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