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UPDATE: ‘Mr Reeial George believed in what was right & proper’- Hon. O’Neal

Legislators pay tribute to late former Parliamentarian
Tributes have been pouring in for the late former legislator, Mr Reeial George who passed away at Peebles Hospital on Monday October 21, 2013. Photo: VINO/File
Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser RA said Mr Reeial George wore his heart on his shoulder as he was a very caring person. Photo: VINO/File
Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser RA said Mr Reeial George wore his heart on his shoulder as he was a very caring person. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) leader, Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal described Mr Reeial George as someone who believed in what was right and proper. He also said Mr George made many good contributions to the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
Opposition and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) leader, Hon. Ralph T. O'Neal described Mr Reeial George as someone who believed in what was right and proper. He also said Mr George made many good contributions to the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
First District Representative, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie acknowledged the late Mr Reeial George as someone who loved the people and the people loved him. Photo: VINO/File
First District Representative, Hon. Andrew A. Fahie acknowledged the late Mr Reeial George as someone who loved the people and the people loved him. Photo: VINO/File
Second District Representative, Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said Mr George was a fair and brave person who will be remembered for first bringing a proposed bill for illegitimate children in the VI. Photo: VINO/File
Second District Representative, Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said Mr George was a fair and brave person who will be remembered for first bringing a proposed bill for illegitimate children in the VI. Photo: VINO/File
Virgin Islands News Online can confirm that former Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Reeial George, who served in a Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration, passed away this morning October 21, 2013 at Peebles Hospital. Photo: Legco.gov.vg
Virgin Islands News Online can confirm that former Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Reeial George, who served in a Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration, passed away this morning October 21, 2013 at Peebles Hospital. Photo: Legco.gov.vg
[From right] Hon. Reeial George [grey shirt] on an official visit to St Kitts/Nevis in 2003. In photo also are then Senior Minister in the St Kitts/Nevis Government Dr The Hon. Timothy Harris and the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Julian Willock. Photo: VINO
[From right] Hon. Reeial George [grey shirt] on an official visit to St Kitts/Nevis in 2003. In photo also are then Senior Minister in the St Kitts/Nevis Government Dr The Hon. Timothy Harris and the Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Julian Willock. Photo: VINO
The Late Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Reeial George on an official visit to St Kitts/Nevis in 2003 [grey shirt] Also in photo are Hon. Cedric Lebert then Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of St Kitts/Nevis [in tie] and then Agricultural Officer for Virgin Gorda Fitzroy Beckford, and Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Julian Willock [in jacket]. Photo: VINO
The Late Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Reeial George on an official visit to St Kitts/Nevis in 2003 [grey shirt] Also in photo are Hon. Cedric Lebert then Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries of St Kitts/Nevis [in tie] and then Agricultural Officer for Virgin Gorda Fitzroy Beckford, and Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Julian Willock [in jacket]. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Tributes have been pouring in for the late former legislator, Mr Reeial George who passed away at Peebles Hospital on Monday October 21, 2013.

Among the current legislators who have made their thoughts known is Opposition Leader and Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Chairman, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE who described the late Mr George as an honourable man who believed in what was right and proper and who made many good contributions to the territory.

Mr George was also recognized by Hon. O’Neal for his contribution in ensuring law and order was maintained in the territory but lamented that he left the police force with insufficient inducement. “He left to do carpentry and architectural drawing. He was also a member of the Lion’s and had given good service to the club and the community.”

According to Hon. O’Neal, some people may remember of the Legislative Council as Mr George served two terms; from 1971 to 1975, and he was one of the first four members of the At-Large System introduced in 1995.

The Opposition Leader said he was sorry to see Mr George go and said his family, especially his wife Ms Zelda George and his two children, can be assured that they are being upheld in prayers at this time of their bereavement.

Reeial George wore his heart on his sleeve

“Hon. George was a man who wore his heart on his sleeve and was one who firmly believed in the scripture, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ as he demonstrated it so well by always giving to some cause,” said Member for the Third District, Honourable Julian Fraser, RA.

He added that Hon. George was a man of many talents, one of which was in the building industry as a gifted draftsman and who has left his mark on the territory with the many structures he designed.

“Before politics he was known to all throughout the territory, myself included, as a community man who cared by paying attention to details, a unique quality which he took with him to his life of politics that made him so successful,” Hon. Fraser told Virgin Islands News Online.

“We will all miss Hon. George, and on behalf of my wife Kharid and my constituents of The 3rd Electoral District, I extend condolences to his wife and family and wish God's richest blessings upon them as they face these difficult days ahead.”

Hon. Fraser also described Mr George as his party colleague, fellow Minister and long-time political ally, who in his passing left them all sad. “When news of his death reached me in the morning of Monday October 21st I was not surprised but yet unprepared for somehow death is never welcomed, especially for those close to you,” Hon. Fraser disclosed.

According to the Third District Representative, Mr George, in assuming the role of Minister for Natural Resources and Labour in 2002, was his successor to the post and was happy to have relinquished it to him. “I recall him as being humble and supportive of his colleagues in the party as he went about doing his job like no one else could,” stated Hon. Fraser.

Fair & Brave

Second District Representative, Hon. J. Alvin Christopher said Mr George was fair person who was brave enough to bring a proposed bill on illegitimate children in the VI before the Legislative Council and “even though it was unsuccessful, he was committed in seeing equality and justice for those who were considered illegitimate…”

Speaking exclusively with Virgin Islands News Online, Hon. Christopher also recognized Mr George as one of the greatest Parliamentarians he has ever worked with. “He was a champion for the rights of all people.”

Hon. Christopher also noted that he and Mr George became very close friends as they had shared many of the values and ideals as it relates to dealing with the people they represented.

Late but Great!

Member for the First District, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie also added his bit, saying “On behalf of my family and I and the people of the First District, I express condolences to the family of the late but great Hon. Reeial George. He was an exemplary human being that lived his life caring for others. As a former colleague, I can vividly remember his passion to always do what's best for the people of these beautiful Virgin Islands.”

Hon. Fahie acknowledged Mr George as someone who loved the people and the people loved him. He believed in the rights of children and championed all such causes for years.

“He was a God fearing man. He will be missed. I salute the life of this great man and I publicly acknowledge and thank him for his many positive contributions to these beautiful Virgin Islands. I thank God for his life and I thank his family for sharing him with us over the years. Long live our memories of our now deceased brother, leader, father and friend,” said Hon. Fahie.

Serving in the capacity of as Acting Premier of the Virgin Islands, Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering, in a GIS press release, also paid tribute on the passing of Mr George, who he said made significant contributions to affect major changes in this Territory.

“For example, he lent his support to the participation of women in the Legislative Council and was an instrumental voice and champion for the lowering of the voting age from 21 to 18 years,” said Hon. Pickering.

The statement further acknowledged that the former legislator had contributed to the establishment of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College; the expansion of the road network; the construction of the Beef Island Bridge; and the development and expansion of airports in the Territory.

“Additionally, he was a staunch supporter for the improvement of health facilities and school education and infrastructure. He also supported port development and the enhancement of water and electricity supply throughout the Territory,” Hon. Pickering stated in the press release.

Mr George died at Peebles Hospital in the morning hours of Monday October 21, 2013 after a period of illness and hospitalization.

See previous article posted October 21, 2013

Reeial George passes; Was former Minister under VIP Gov't

-The son of Virgin Gorda was the first Government Minister to visit Cuba on official business

Virgin Islands News Online can confirm that former Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Reeial George, who served in a Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Administration, passed away this morning October 21, 2013 at Peebles Hospital.

Mr George, who was born in North Sound, Virgin Gorda September 17, 1938, was the Minister for Natural Resources and Labour from 2002-2003 following the firing of Honourable J. Alvin Christopher, the then Minister for Communications and Works with the Virgin Islands Party.

In 1960, the late George joined the Antigua, Montserrat, and Virgin Islands Police Force. He was the first Virgin Islander to have joined the force to serve locally. The former Minister also holds a Diploma from the North American School of Drafting.

The son of North Sound was also the founding member of the Virgin Gorda Lions Club in 1974 and served as Deputy District Governor representing the clubs from Dominica to the Virgin Islands.

The late Legislator was first elected to the Legislative Council to the then seventh district which was Virgin Gorda in 1971. In the following election of 1975, he lost to Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal OBE.

There was a boundaries commission around 1974 which then turned Virgin Gorda and Anegada into the now ninth district. The election of 1979 saw the return to power of Hon. O'Neal as the representative of that new ninth district.

The upgrading of the road system, the availability of more jobs for his people, and the improvement of schools and health facilities were among his many contributions.

In 1993, after the Constitutional Review that introduced the At-Large System to the Virgin Islands, Mr. George was elected as one of the first At-Large members in 1995 and re-elected again in 1999. He was defeated in the election of 2003, the first time the now National Democratic Party (NDP) government had gained power.

Historical trip to Cuba

Mr George was a pioneer when he served as Minister for Natural Resources and Labour. He was the first Government Minister in the history of the Virgin Islands to make an official visit to Communist Cuba.

It was in October of 2002 that Mr. George led a delegation to Cuba. The historial trip was a return visit to that of former Cuban Vice-Minister for Fisheries Rafael Jimenez, who visited the Virgin Islands in 1995 and an invitation from Mr. Manuel Rodriguez, Director of International Relations for the government of Cuba.

While Mr George did not meet the Cuba 'Strong Man' Fidel Castro, he meet with other high ranking government ministers including the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture.

Speaking during a press conference on Thursday November 14, 2002 the then Minister George said the purpose of the visit was to establish a relationship between both governments, find ways to train local fishermen (particularly
in long-line fishing), review their agricultural programme and find markets for local produce.

The Virgin Islands delegation to Cuba from October 28-30, 2002 included then Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour Julian Willock, the then Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer Bertrand Lettsome, then Manager of the BVI Fishing Complex Bevin Brathwaite and then Agricultural Officer Bereneice Freeman.

During the 50th anniversary of the Empowerment Through Representation in 2000, Mr George said he believe his contribution while in office was the participation of women in the Legislative Council, the lower of the voting age from 21 to 18 and the construction of the Beef Island bridge and airport projects.

The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Advance Marketing and Professional Services and Virgin Islands News Online express our condolences to the family of the late Legislator.

29 Responses to “UPDATE: ‘Mr Reeial George believed in what was right & proper’- Hon. O’Neal”

  • north sound (21/10/2013, 14:55) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    oh no RIP old bouy
  • Me, the outsider (21/10/2013, 15:08) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr George was soft spoken, but when he did, his speech was eloquent and people listened. He had a big heart for all who asked of him. I will miss seeing him on the corner and taking him home to North Sound.
  • ooooo (21/10/2013, 16:04) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    the vip lost one of it soldiers...he was a good man...r.i.p my brother
  • old friend (21/10/2013, 16:39) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    He was a very good man can't forget what he did for me. RIP my friend.
  • qc (21/10/2013, 17:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    see you in Heaven brother George
  • farmer brown (21/10/2013, 18:54) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    wow very sad the last of te decent politicans
  • mother hen (21/10/2013, 19:06) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    R I P Reeial, Great was thy faithfulness
  • rattie (21/10/2013, 19:09) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    May his soul and body rest in peace.

    I was fortunate to personally know Mr. George for many years as a member of his church
  • overseas (21/10/2013, 19:22) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    MR GEORGE WAS A GOOD MAN. I FORMERLY MEET HIM IN VIRGIN GORDA, WHEN HE WAS AT LITTLE DIX BAY
  • Devon Osborne (21/10/2013, 21:28) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    There were a few individuals who inspired me to be what I wanted to be from a long time ago and Mr. George was one of them. We shared a few ideologies and always agree that knowledge is power, it is important to know the politics of our country and people are most important asset on this earth. Mr. Reeial George was one of those people with character and poise that brought out the passion of politics in me. May his soul rest in peace and my deepest sympathy to his family.
  • GoonSquad (21/10/2013, 23:28) Like (7) Dislike (5) Reply
    Mr. Willock you have served so many Ministers its time they give you an OBE…to the George family my deep condolences and May god give you the strength to hold fast to his words
  • Knight Rider (22/10/2013, 06:28) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    The lord giveth and the taketh,according to biblical criptures.Let me express my deepest sympathies to Juan and Mrs.George on the passing of their beloved.
    A citizen of Her Majesty in the BVI disclosed the news to me followed by
    the many North Soundians who called me to share the sad news:The people appeared to be very sad over the lost of this great man,Mr.George,who served Her Majesty,in the capacity of Police Officer,and Government Public Official.
    May the good-lord bring calmness to the bereaved North Sound Community and his entire family.
  • dejae (22/10/2013, 06:49) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rest in peace Hon George. You were truly a great man. Condolences to your family.
  • x factor (22/10/2013, 07:07) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    My heartfelt condolences to Mr. George family
  • AC 360 (22/10/2013, 08:18) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The BVI has lost a political giant...he was humble, caring and truly love people unlike this new class of politicians. RIP Mr. George you will be missed
  • insider (22/10/2013, 08:55) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    The greatest speeches in the then Legislative Council was by this man. He was very wise and wanted to see the BVI advance to greater self-governing. Old-school politics from the heart. May others learn from him. Rest in peace.
    • yes we can (22/10/2013, 13:10) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      I agree he spoke about substance not like funny man and others just chatting hog wash and attacking the media
  • open wide (22/10/2013, 15:11) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    GOOD TO SEE THE VIP MEMEBRS PAYING TRUBUT TO MR. GEORGE
    • Reality check (22/10/2013, 16:17) Like (4) Dislike (7) Reply
      They never visit him at his home in very long time
      very shameful of them. they abandon him a very long time ago.
    • ed (22/10/2013, 17:50) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Another VIP giant has fallen NDP aint got no men like Mr. George RIP old bouy
  • ooooo (22/10/2013, 20:00) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    besides kedrick, i haven't heard not even a peep from the rest of the ndp
  • North Sound Resident (23/10/2013, 09:05) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    I seldom blog but I just had to this time. Say what you want about the Hon. Dr. Kedric Pickering but he is a man who don't blow his own trumpet. Dr. Pickering was a genuine friend to the late Honorable Reeial George. Dr. Pickering would never come to V.G and not stop by to visit with Mr. George and that was quite often. Dr. Pickering was very instrumental in making sure Mr. George was well taken care of whether in the Hospital or at home. When he couldn't come, he would always call to find out about his status. That is what a true friend does. The family will never forget Dr. Pickering for his thoughtfulness and kindness towards Mr. George. Many may not know but I can attest to it as a close family friend and member. Thanks also to the Deputy Governor, Mrs. V. Inez Archibal and Dr. Archibal for their kindness during his time of illness and others. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Good deeds are done only by good people. Mr. George will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in peace.
  • night (23/10/2013, 09:34) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    rip reeial you work on eath is done
  • @@@@@@ (23/10/2013, 15:47) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    good to see the members saying nice thing about a nice and humble man
  • All the Way (25/10/2013, 19:47) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I use to love to hear him say the phrase forward ever, backwards never
  • Rusty in STT (29/10/2013, 17:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    My condolences go out to the family members of Lion Reeial George. He was a superb Lion and a wonderful gentleman! He will be sorely missed in our organization and in the Virgin Islands community, as well. Rest in Peace, Lion Reeial, you job is over and it was very well done!


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