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‘Take flowers while you are alive’ – URVC honours legacy of Hon. O’Neal

- Recognized as the oldest & longest serving legislator in the VI
Bishop Mervis S. Herbert, joined by members of the Upper Room Victory Church, politicians from both sides of the House of Assembly, friends and relatives of former Premier and leader of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, recognized the stalwart politician for his services to the Virgin Islands for more than 40 years on Sunday November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
The Upper Room Victory Church recognized the service and contributions of Honourable Ralph T. O'Neal OBE on Sunday, November 17, 2013. Photo: VINO
LONG LOOK, Tortola, VI – Bishop Mervin S. Herbert, joined by members of the Upper Room Victory Church, politicians from both sides of the House of Assembly, friends and relatives of former Premier and leader of the Virgin Islands Party (VIP), Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE, recognized the stalwart politician for his services to the Virgin Islands for more than 40 years on Sunday November 17, 2013.

It was the act and initiative of Bishop Herbert to lay flowers around Hon. O’Neal at the level of the church as he said it was a vision impressed on his heart prior to the 2011 national elections. “Just before the last election the Lord spoke distinctly about honouring Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal. The event was delayed because the timing wasn’t right,” said the Bishop.

The house of worship of the Upper Room Victory Church was not its usual Sunday morning services as the audience was one filled with politicians, including Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith who spoke highly of the ‘great son of the soil.’ Also present were Minister for Communications and Works, Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool; Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn; Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ms Ingrid A. Moses; Members of the Opposition, Honourables J. Alvin Christopher and Andrew A. Fahie; At Large Representative Honourable Archibald C. Christian and Representative for the Sixth District, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines.

Many were the praises showered on Honourable O’Neal. Premier Smith recognized him as a leader who never opposed for the sake of opposing. He acknowledged his participation and support in the setting up of the BVI Social Security Board as one the many significant things that continue to be of great benefit to the people of the VI.

Speaking on behalf of the members of the VIP, Hon. Fahie hailed Hon. O’Neal’s greatest achievement as being in the area of education. He spent some time alluding to Hon O’Neal’s commitment to ensuring the establishment of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre many years ago. He said that in addition to playing a major role in affording many a chance at attending school, Virgin Gordians were saved from spending more than $10M.

“He taught them how to fish… Thank you for the work you have done in that area,” said Hon. Fahie.

Mrs Jennie Wheatley was also on spot unraveling the petals of flowers and scattering them at Hon. O’Neal’s feet with her reflection of his life as a teacher. She also challenged him to hasten the process of putting together his dream book. “Whenever you would have written, whatever you want to write, I will edit it free of charge,” said Mrs Wheatley.

In the sermon given by Pastor Gregory Smith, emphasis was placed on the importance of the church praying for its leaders. Pastor Smith described Hon. O’Neal as a person that has always been approachable.

Hon. O’Neal was visibly moved by the act of being honoured. He noted he had served the VI as a legislator for some 38 years, in addition to more than fifteen years prior as a civil servant in government and as a teacher. He spoke of being criticised and called names by persons he thought would have known better.

“I hear them say why he don’t go sit down, he know he old…. Well I know my age,” he said causing the church to erupt into laughter. He said that along the way he had lost some friends but has also made some excellent friends. He acknowledged his relationship shared with Premier Smith.

The church presented Hon. O’Neal with a plaque and several other items in the presence of his wife Reverend Edris O’Neal and his eldest and youngest children.

24 Responses to “‘Take flowers while you are alive’ – URVC honours legacy of Hon. O’Neal”

  • huh (18/11/2013, 10:03) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    The body language wasn't all that.
    • explain (18/11/2013, 10:30) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      what do you mean?
      • Guest (18/11/2013, 12:04) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        There was no expression of enjoyment being there. Maybe they didn't like the focus on them though they may appreciate the gesture.
      • what (18/11/2013, 12:12) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
        @Explain,
        you cant read between the line buddy. Don't you know what is body language is : well, it's good or bad so there.
    • Kev (20/11/2013, 10:13) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Looks more like a funeral.
  • weed (18/11/2013, 10:09) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    well done church
  • Admirer (18/11/2013, 10:10) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is an honor well deserve. Hon. O'Neal is a man of conviction and is the living legend of a forefather in the history and politics in the Virgin Islands. It is high time he be knighted by Her Majesty's for service to his country, he's an elder statesman. He has owned the right as the Rt. Hon. Sir Ralph Telford O'Neal KB, OBE
    • 360 (18/11/2013, 19:02) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      KNIGHTED - ABSOLUTELY.
      Please, while he is able to recognize and appreciate it.
  • rattie (18/11/2013, 10:17) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    That is a beautiful church if I may say
  • Liat 521 (18/11/2013, 11:29) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Kudus to Uncle Ralph you have served us well you have ran the race god blessings
    • Release (18/11/2013, 20:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      There has always been a level of respect and decorum between the Political leaders regardless of public ramblings. This picture is one of the proofs
      • @ Release (18/11/2013, 20:48) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
        when our politicians are sipping their respective beverages together...there is not an ounce of Political animosity between them...the only persons fighting and killing one another are the Voters...that's what happens when a Population is ignorant and Poor...and the politicans know that...
  • comng good (18/11/2013, 12:16) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    I think it is good thing they did for him all those high and self mighty you see there will dress up, sit and smile at his funeral and you will hear all the good thing he did. bull crap I say.

    So now is the time to honour the Man while he is alive amen
  • Ummm (18/11/2013, 12:25) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Huh i agree with you the body language was not there for real especially on the Wife face.... she like what is this ???serious...
    • insider (18/11/2013, 15:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      stop saying things that was not necessary everyone was vey happy to be there including Mr. O'Neal...
  • ABC (18/11/2013, 15:12) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    OMG! I did not know that Mr. Herbert was a Bishop. Any way, Tilford old boy you have not received the SIR thus far but you got something, so be greatful. The lady who was present did not receive her "DAME" either. Maybe it will be given in the age to come.
  • bamsee (18/11/2013, 15:37) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Abby seemed quite happy but the speaker looked like she was forced to go.
  • VG (18/11/2013, 15:55) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Give the Honorable his flowers while he's alive Yyyyeeesssss now you got them time for Retirement yyyyeeeeessss
  • polo (18/11/2013, 20:32) Like (0) Dislike (4) Reply
    can this help the economy????
  • north sound (18/11/2013, 20:51) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    RTO the WHOLE BVI is NOW recognizing your worth.
  • Local (19/11/2013, 18:12) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Good that you all give him his flowers while he is living!!!
  • Knight Rider (19/11/2013, 21:28) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    His most Highest Excellency-Mr Ralph Tilford O'neal,is an admirable senior citizen of Her Majesty's BVI.I feel honoured to have known this man.He has been blessed with longlife.Live on daddy ralphy;you are a pillar in BVI society.
    Well deserved recognised!
  • Kev (20/11/2013, 10:16) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    @ rattie...first time in a church huh?
  • dead man (20/11/2013, 17:03) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    at least he is honored before he kills the vip


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