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‘Today is a day of atonement’ – Hon Andrew A. Fahie

- said the conferring of Member Emeritus on Hon RT O'Neal OBE is the NDP Government’s way of apologising for certain unjustified statements of the past
Representative of the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has bashed the Government for their treatment of Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE even as they sought to now confer on him the title of Member Emeritus of the House of Assembly. Photo: VINO
Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (R9). Photo: VINO/File
Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE (R9). Photo: VINO/File
Hon Fahie spoke today July 6, 2015 during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly during the debate of a motion to confer the honourable title on the former Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister and Premier Hon Ralph T. O'Neal who has served some 40 years of elected office. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Fahie spoke today July 6, 2015 during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly during the debate of a motion to confer the honourable title on the former Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister and Premier Hon Ralph T. O'Neal who has served some 40 years of elected office. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Representative of the First District Honourable Andrew A. Fahie has bashed the Government for their treatment of Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE even as they sought to now confer on him the title of Member Emeritus of the House of Assembly.

He spoke today July 6, 2015 during the Second Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly during the debate of a motion to confer the honourable title on the former Leader of the Opposition and former Chief Minister and Premier who has served some 40 years of elected office.

“To me it is the Government’s way of sending off Honourable O’Neal in the right way. To me it is the Government’s way too of apologising for certain statements in the past that were proven not to be so about his leadership and about his stewardship,” he said.

“So Madam Speaker I want to thank the Government for this Madam Speaker because I am one who always defended Honourable O’Neal’s record. I always knew that some of the statements were political but not factual in terms of his leadership and stewardship,” said Honourable Fahie.

He said that during the 16 years he spent in the House with Honourable O’Neal he remembers some tough times that the former Premier had during his 2007 to 2011 administration.

“There were some tough times with Honourable O’Neal that brought about some of what was said. Even on the campaign trail you hear some persons saying that nothing was done for 40 years in Virgin Gorda and different negative things of his stewardship which I thought was unwarranted. Madam Speaker today is the day of atonement,” he said.

Steadying the ship despite five storms

He could recall when he was there with Honourable O’Neal who took over the Government in 2007 there were five storms that hit the territory. “Not small storms…five severe storms that required money with each one of them to rebuild. Madam Speaker somehow that continues to get lost in the archives of what he faced as Minister of Finance,” he said.

Hon Fahie noted also during that time the world economic downturn also came on. “Dealing with five storms and the economic downturn and Mr O’Neal kept the ship steady…kept the ship afloat and [the motion does not recognise his leadership in these areas],” he said.

“I know Madam Speaker that the record will show that he never touched the reserve fund but he used the money that he was making to keep the people afloat with their families and keep departments of government functioning,” he said.

Bringing secondary education to Virgin Gorda

Regarding the building of the Bregado Flax Educational Centre – Secondary Division by Honourable O’Neal, Honourable Fahie said that this is one of the most lasting legacies of the veteran politician. He said that according to a rough calculation that he did, the people of Virgin Gorda saved some $12 million in ferry fares over the years that the Bregado Flax Secondary Division has been in existence.

Honourable Fahie said that if there was some way to amend the Standing Orders for Honourable O’Neal to return to the House and give his farewell speech he would have moved the necessary motion to do it.

“That is what I would have tried to do, because I felt it was an injustice that he did not get to speak from these hallowed walls himself that he spent 40 years plus in,” he said.

Hon O'Neal respected district representatives

Honourable Fahie said that Honourable O’Neal was a leader that respected the role of the district representatives and did not care whether one was from the National Democratic Party or the Virgin Islands Party. “He respected the fact that you were elected by the people d he gave you your due respect [even in the face of difference in philosophies or methodologies],” said Honourable Fahie.

Honourable Fahie insisted that history must be recorded accurately and not changed according to person’s whims and fancies.

“We are only here today and gone tomorrow. We cannot use our authority to manipulate or change history because of the present times. It is what it is and we must leave it right there,” he said.

Wrapping up after higlighting numberous areas of development in the territory that came about as a result of Hon O'Neal's visionary and caring leadership, Hon Fahie broke into tears as he bade farewell to one of his mentors.

Other HoA members, including Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Dr The Hon Kedrick D. Pickering, Minister for Communications and Works, Hon Mark H. Vanterpool and Third District Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA.

The motion was subsequently unanimously passed for Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE to be bestowed with the title of Member Emeritus of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly.

20 Responses to “‘Today is a day of atonement’ – Hon Andrew A. Fahie”

  • facts man (06/07/2015, 19:37) Like (23) Dislike (12) Reply
    I agree with Fahie NDP no good
  • vg for you (06/07/2015, 20:15) Like (15) Dislike (36) Reply
    Pure hot air from embarrassment. One school in 40 years does not quite cut it.
    There are a hundred simple things that could have been done. Stop kidding yourself
    and other people. Mr. ONeal did the best he could for the country but display extremely
    poor leadership and no vision for his district.

    The evidence is very clear and obvious. The truth does hurt but must be told. An uauthorize
    autobiography should be written to set the record straight, anything else is not justice.
    • I'm From VG Too (06/07/2015, 22:15) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
      Were you listening today or watching today? I think you should watch the repeat!!
    • Ungrateful (07/07/2015, 00:36) Like (18) Dislike (2) Reply
      Vg for you I think he was to buisy trying to help personally thats why you don't see more. The man have a big heart and he feel your pain so he couldn't find the time to think straight and get more done. The man is simply the ninth district doctor who performs economical, educational, inferstructial, social and all the al's surgeries to help VG to survive.

      This legend never turn down a telephone call all hours of night or day in your desperation the man he answer.

      May be you to young to know this seek proper council from the elderly in your district and educate your self
      • vg for you (07/07/2015, 09:05) Like (3) Dislike (14) Reply
        @ ungreatful Please dont make me laff i am falling and i can get up LOL
        You obviouosly knows little or choose to know what you want to know about him.

        Again stop kidding yourself and others.
    • Notonmywatch (07/07/2015, 00:43) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      ARE YOU SERIOUS?
  • jj (06/07/2015, 20:27) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    they not good but u have to live with it stop crying over spoil milk IDIOT
  • political snitch (06/07/2015, 21:40) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
    Was those crocodile tears?
    • @political snitch (06/07/2015, 22:16) Like (12) Dislike (15) Reply
      Yes, they were...Fahie thinks he's still in campaign mode..someone please remind him he lost the government.
  • .......... (06/07/2015, 22:53) Like (16) Dislike (8) Reply
    Fahie was on point end of story
  • good-bad (07/07/2015, 06:18) Like (4) Dislike (22) Reply
    Oneal had no control, had no idea what was going on when he was chief. He was a good minister, but a bad chief. still he is deserving.
  • buz (07/07/2015, 06:42) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    ndp is showing thanks to mr o'neal for 40 years of good honest work he did
  • wize up (07/07/2015, 07:38) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
    It is simply my personal opinion that the Hon Ralph T O'Neal did his very best for our territory; it takes money to develop a number of the things that are still missing; the BVI don't have the world of money like some of us might think: At the end of the day the right thing was done yesterday; stop playing political games because if the truth be told some of Hon O'Neal's Party members tried to throw him under the bus: Hon O'Neal was unceremoniously removed as the Chainman of the Virgin Islands Party while some of them wanted him to give his post as leader of the opposition during 2011-2015: you can fool some of the people all the time but some of us know better: you catch more files with honey and the government did the right thing yesterday: the 13 of them forms the government ( please remind them)....
  • Thanks FAHIE (07/07/2015, 09:31) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    I thank Fahie for setting Hon. RALPH record straight because the NDP wished most of what Fahie said would have never been revealed.
  • Please watch the tape. Ralph spoke for himself...not Fahie (07/07/2015, 10:39) Like (5) Dislike (7) Reply
    Many of you commenting haven't even listened to HOA so before you go praising Fahie you need to watch and listen for yourselves. Fahie was clearly in campaign mode as if he has something to prove, on the other hand Ralph was busy praising Kedrick for making sure he eats at the sittings and be assisted when getting up for his seat and praised Walwyn for his stewardship and trust. Sometimes it's those littles things that matters the most to someone. That's personal gratefulness and all the other ranting Fahie did was political and Ralph just wanted to reminded the folks in HOA of the things that personally mattered to him.
  • gee (07/07/2015, 11:58) Like (2) Dislike (12) Reply
    is this the same fahie who made statements about the ndp being the most corrupt etc etc etc and whose only response when asked to substantiate was to say "let bygones be bygones"?

    the political silly season is something else baba...
  • mentor (09/07/2015, 12:04) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Hon. Andrew stated the legend was one of his mentors and I can also testify that he is a great mentor.

    May the work's that Mr. O'Neal have done speak for him. Give him his flowers while he is alive.

    Thank you for your giving of your time and service to these beautiful islands called home. Blessing


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