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'Late M. Elton Georges to be given official funeral'- Cabinet

The longest-serving Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands M. Elton Georges CMG, OBE will be given an official funeral on Saturday, April 21, 2018. Photo: GIS
Late Mr Elton George (right) with his son Kamau A. Georges (left). Photo: Facebook
Late Mr Elton George (right) with his son Kamau A. Georges (left). Photo: Facebook
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- The longest-serving Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands M. Elton Georges CMG, OBE will be given an official funeral. The late Georges passed away on April 4, 2018, at Peebles Hospital.

Official funerals are by policy reserved only for elected officials, however according to a Government Information Services (GIS) press release issued last week “the Cabinet of the Virgin Islands decided that the current policy for funerals with official government involvement should be extended to Mr Georges on the basis of his distinction as the longest serving Deputy Governor from 1983 to 2003 and from 2007 to 2008".

According to the same press release the funeral is scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Sea Cow’s Bay Methodist Church, on Tortola and will be preceded by a one-hour viewing, starting at 9:30 A.M.

A procession will leave the parking lot adjacent to the Ebenezer Thomas Primary School at 9:00 A.M. and proceed to the Sea Cow’s Bay Methodist Church for the service. Interment will follow at the Road Town Methodist Church Burial Ground.

Official flags will be flown at half-mast on April 21, 2018, at all Government buildings Territory-wide, according to government spokeswomen Colene A. Penn.

"There will be a special viewing on Thursday, April 19 from 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at the Sea Cow’s Bay Methodist Church, which will be followed by memorial tributes under the theme, “A Virgin Islands Story through the Life of a Son” from 5:30 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.” the GIS release stated.

Who was this great man?

Mr Georges was the second person to be appointed as Deputy Governor in the Virgin Islands, having succeeded Mr Alford Penn in 1983. Except for a short stint in banking from 1979 to 1981, Mr Georges’ life was dedicated to public service. His career began in 1965 as a secondary school teacher and in 1971, he was appointed as Administrative Secretary to the Chief Minister and subsequently (by re-designation) Permanent Secretary until 1979. During his tenure as Deputy Governor, Mr. Georges worked with seven Governors: Barwick (1982 - 1986); Herdman (1986 - 1991); Penfold (1991 - 1995); Mackilligin (1995 - 1998); Savage (1998 - 2002); Macan (2002 - 2006); and Pearey (2006 - 2010).

He also acted as Governor and Governor’s Deputy on several occasions during Governor McCleary's tenure as Governor (2010 – 2014) after he had demitted office. He was a leading figure in establishing the disaster management programme and served for 20 years as chairman of the Disaster Emergency Management Organisation of the Territory. Mr Georges was also the first holder of the post of Complaints Commissioner, having served from 2009 to 2015.

A man of service

Other notable public contributions included twice Chairman of the National Bank of the Virgin Islands; founding member of the Board of Governors for the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, and Chairman of the BVI's Health and Wellness Advisory Council. In the non-profit sector, his service included: member and past president of the Rotary Club of Tortola, member of the BVI Chess Club, Treasurer and Past President of the BVI Diabetes Association, and a Methodist Lay Preacher.

In 1988, Mr Georges was awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), and he is the only person in the Territory to be awarded a Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), which he received in 2004.

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