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Territory Day ‘can’t just be a day off’ – Claude O. Skelton-Cline

- frowns at low turnout at event to commemorate day VI gained self-governing status within limits of still being a British Colony
Social commentator Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline has expressed disappointment with the lack of support from the public for Territory Day Celebrations on July 1, 2019. Photo: VINO
Approximately 300 persons, mostly locals, attended Territory Day Celebrations at Central Administration Complex on Monday July 1, 2019. Photo: VINO
Approximately 300 persons, mostly locals, attended Territory Day Celebrations at Central Administration Complex on Monday July 1, 2019. Photo: VINO
According to Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, Territory Day should be a big deal in the Virgin Islands and persons in the territory should show more respect for it. Photo: VINO/File
According to Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, Territory Day should be a big deal in the Virgin Islands and persons in the territory should show more respect for it. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Noting that there were no more than 300 persons in attendance at the Monday July 1, 2019 Territory Day event held on the lawns of Central Administration Complex, a local commentator has admonished persons to show more respect for the territory’s history by attending the occasion before taking time out to relax or going to the beach on the holiday.

Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline, on the show ‘Honestly Speaking’ aired July 2, 2019 on ZBVI 780 AM and streamed live on Facebook, described Territory Day as a celebration of our history and heritage as a people.

He said too that at certain events he would take note of who attends, adding that there is a clear lack of support for celebration of certain important holidays observed by the territory.

“What I want to encourage people to do in terms of when it comes to the celebration of our holidays, that we got to do a better job. It can’t just be a day off, especially something like Territory Day.”

Territory Day is the commemoration of the day on which the Virgin Islands (VI) gained self-governing status within the limits of still being a British colonial possession. Up until 1978, July 1 was celebrated as “Colony Day”, but from 1979 on, it has been known as “Territory Day”.

Territory Day should be a ‘big deal’

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, we have a lot of pomp and ceremony for other holidays and observances that are not as “germane to who we are and what we do and we carry on with all kinds of pomp and circumstances in those instances.”

He referenced the obeisance paid to the 4th of July celebrations in the United States of America and said, “We have to make our territory’s day a big deal and that Territory Day may someday become our country’s day or by some other name as we continue on the self-determination path.”

Mr Skelton-Cline said his count at the Territory Day celebrations, by virtue of chairs, revealed there were 260 persons present. He rounded the total number of attendance to 300, given the presence of a few who were not seated.

“Let’s say there were 300 people there, a population of 30 thousand people, that’s about 0.01 percent of the persons who were present in celebration of Territory Day. And I found it curious that so little of us are showing up to what is supposed to be, what ought to be, a big deal in our sojourn in our history as we pay tribute to our fore parents.”

Where were the Caucasians & those aspiring status”

The social commentator went even further to note that he only counted two persons of European descent and one of them was a reporter. This news site can say; however, there were at least three Caucasians present, including Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert.

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, “Especially for those of us, not just our European brothers and sisters but our regional brothers and sisters and especially those of you who are aspiring status, who are pursuing status in this territory, it is important that when you see these fundamental Virgin Islands holidays specific to our history and our heritage, that you participate.”

“We must be unashamed and unapologetic of saying that one, we need to be there, two, especially to those of you who make a living from this country, who seek or to gain greater immigration status in this country, you need to be seen as the fore participator, as a fore participant in the celebration of this territory, the celebration of this people. To learn it’s history, its place, its people, that’s essential,” he further stressed.

16 Responses to “Territory Day ‘can’t just be a day off’ – Claude O. Skelton-Cline”

  • lol (04/07/2019, 09:13) Like (8) Dislike (2) Reply
    CSC: “Where were the Caucasians & those aspiring status”

    ME: They do NOT have any status in BVI.
    • Lb (04/07/2019, 10:28) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Yes many actually do have status and homes and property and businesses and their kids born here.
  • Hmmmmmmm (04/07/2019, 09:16) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

    Colony Day, Territory Day is the same thing. Reading is good but comprehending is fundamental.
  • Concerned (04/07/2019, 09:17) Like (13) Dislike (7) Reply
    I really do not understand what is wrong with this man you cannot dictate what persons do on a holiday I hope that t you are aware that the first Monday in July is .!Caricom Day and it is a holiday it is a national holiday most if not all Caribbean countries You celebrate how you want.We are living in a democracy .
  • The TRUTH (04/07/2019, 09:17) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    The people are frustrated with the inability and selfish attitude of our leadership over the years. The lack of vision is stunning. Not much to smile bout.
  • wise up (04/07/2019, 09:22) Like (4) Dislike (4) Reply
    Wa de hell I hearing from this man, so u saying it’s compulsory for me to attend wow what a waste,didn't even know they a function.
  • l (04/07/2019, 09:38) Like (16) Dislike (1) Reply
    I honestly don't like people telling me how to spend my holidays.
  • Loove for My Country (04/07/2019, 10:43) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Mr. Cline you are out of place to be tongue lashing persons for not attending the Territory Day on Monday, 2nd July 2019. Where were you all the years when ceremonies were being held? You are out of line and you need to take a seat. Because you have an advisory role to the Premier, you think you can put fear in people. Think twice. In this Territory we still have freedom to do as we choose and that includes attending ceremonies. We are free to choose whether or not we should attend Territory Day ceremony or any other ceremony just like you have done for many years!
  • Wow (04/07/2019, 10:51) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
    Wha yuh sayin. In order to get status people need to prove that they attend such functions? Hon. Christian started this dictatorship. He said that no other activities should be held on such holidays but the Government activities. But when they feel like going away for the long weekend they jump up and leave, regardless of the holiday being celebrated. WOW. When they have things to celebrate they send out invitations to a select few, feed them and forget the rest, now they want to tell the rest how to spend their holiday. WOW.
  • i from here (04/07/2019, 11:42) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    Claude we with you
  • lodger (04/07/2019, 12:40) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    He is no mathematician! .01 per cent of 30,000 is THREE PEOPLE, not 300!
  • when (04/07/2019, 18:55) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    When I get my Belonger I will celebrate Territory Day.
  • Correction (04/07/2019, 20:45) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    30÷30 000 × 100 = 1%
  • Expat (04/07/2019, 21:06) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Cline, please leave us out of this. Why should we who have been here 15,20, 25 years without any status show any interest in your territory day when only 1% of your own people take time out to attend?
    You really have a heart to be picking on us when some of u are the same ones who almost riot when the premier announced that he was going to regularize our status.
    Just leave us alone and let us remain out of the lyme light.

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