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UPDATE: Richard D. Holder was a man of distinction & honour- Premier Smith

- Late Superintendent of Prisons laid to rest today December 19, 2012.
Officers of Her Majesty's Prison bear the casket with the body of their fallen Superintendent of Prisons Richard D. Holder, who was laid to rest today December 19, 2012. Photo: VINO
The body of Richard D. Holder is taken to the Road Town Methodist Church for viewing and service. Photo: VINO
The body of Richard D. Holder is taken to the Road Town Methodist Church for viewing and service. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Inside the Road Town Methodist Church at the funeral service for Richard R. Holder. Photo: VINO
Inside the Road Town Methodist Church at the funeral service for Richard R. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
Funeral of Richard D. Holder. Photo: VINO
The late Richard D. Holder (right), seen here receiving the Second Clasp to the Police Long Service Medal for 30 years of service from Governor Boyd McCleary at the Queen's Birthday Parade in 2011, was laid to rest on December 19, 2012. The cause of his death is yet not officially known. Photo: VINO/File
The late Richard D. Holder (right), seen here receiving the Second Clasp to the Police Long Service Medal for 30 years of service from Governor Boyd McCleary at the Queen's Birthday Parade in 2011, was laid to rest on December 19, 2012. The cause of his death is yet not officially known. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola VI- The late Superintendent of Prisons Richard Dacosta Holder was laid to rest today December 19, 2012 amid glowing tributes from the upper echelon of society including Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith and Governor Boyd McCleary.

Mr Holder passed away on November 24, 2012.

Governor Boyd McCleary, CMG, CVO said Superindendent Holder was a fine officer who commanded the respect and attention of colleagues within the police force and prison service and the wider community. "In my dealings with him I found him to be a man of integrity, discipline and dedication."

Mr McCleary noted that Holder's contributions to the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force and Her Majesty's Prison will long be remembered. He also said during his career with the police, which spanned some 30 years, Mr Holder rose from the rank of constable to Superintendent. Over the years, he served as Commander of many Queen Birthday Parades and headed Committees to organise various Police Balls.

The Governor also stated that during Superintendent Holder's relatively short tenure at Her Majesty's Prison he began a much needed transformation process that aimed to improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Prison. He was concerned about over-crowding at the prison and worked hard to upgrade the facilities and put arrangements in place to improve the employment prospects of the prisoners on their release. 

"Superintendent Holder was a dependable pair of hands, who served the Territory loyally for many years. He will be sorely missed."

Premier Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith said Mr Holder served the Territory with distinction and honour, both as a police officer and then, later as Superintendent of HM Prison. He added that Mr Holder had a very serious devotion to law enforcement and to the security of these Virgin Islands.

"Mr Holder was also jovial and had a great sense of humour, often telling you about the twists and turns of life. Indeed he was a good serviceman and a good friend. His love for the BVI, his old-fashioned courtesy, his pride in the prison farm will long be remembered. With his passing, we have lost another stalwart."

Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie W. Skelton, described Mr Holder as a man of great expectations, valiant, hard working, caring, friendly and humourous.

He said Mr Holder's death was a shocker. "Here was a man, whom I had seen very recently, in good spirits, appeared to be healthy, and working hard, and then in one quick moment he was no more. And so, in the midst of the shock, came the reality that life is very fragile and that the work we are given to do while we are here must be done quickly and with love, honour and dedication.

Fourth District Representative and Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark H. Vanterpool, said Mr Holder was a man of charisma and who will always be remembered as a leader in this Territory as he was very dedicated to service. "I will truly miss him, especially at coffee time in the morning. We did have some good times together and I am grateful of having spent those times with him."

Holder's wife Rosella Sonia Gore-Holder said she had difficulty putting in to words the love, unselfish support and dedication Richard has provided through their lives together. "He has been a husband, father and friend who has been exceedingly kind, generous, loving, considerate, strong, honest, and compassionate. It was our wish to grow old together and some day sit side by side in our rocking chairs but God is in the midst of it all."

His daugher Ash-Marie wrote, "Lord, Shepherd my dad today in green pastures, let him lay by still waters, guide his way and restoreth his soul, I pray."

Tributes were also made by Leader of the Opposition, Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE, Deputy Governor V. Inez Archibald, and Acting Commissioner of Police of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, David Morris. 

The rank and file of the RVIPF and HM Prison slow marched with the body of Mr Holder from the Road Town Methodist Church  to the Road Town Methodist Church cemetery in Long Bush as a sign of respect to their fallen comrade.

See previous story posted on December 18, 2012

Richard D. Holder symbolized efficiency & effectiveness- Eulogy

"The Territory has lost a citizen who symbolized efficiency and effectiveness. A man of immense talent and love for community," are the words of Former Attorney General Cherno S. Jallow, QC in memory of the late Superintendent of Prisons Richard Dacosta Holder, who will be laid to rest today, December 19, 2012.

Mr Jallow will be delivering the Eulogy, which Virgin Islands News Online had the privilege of viewing in advance.

"As we prepare to lay his body to rest, it is only fitting that we all reflect on how he had touched our lives, made us laugh, helped to instill a sense of discipline in our law enforcement machinery and made peace within our community. We thank God for having given him to us." Mr Jallow wrote.

Noting that he had seen and known the real Holder, Mr Jallow said one thing all can agree on, is that Mr Holder was a committed public servant who would not bend the law for anybody, not even for his friends.  

"You had to know Holder’s penchant and respect for the law to understand how he patterned his life – both public and private. He was a man of immense discipline. He could be trusted to get things done in a timely fashion. Some years ago, I recall at a (national) security meeting when we urgently needed some information from the Police that was not forthcoming with the desired speed, the then Chief Minister said, “Get Holder!", and the information was received in less than 15 minutes."

Mr Jallow continued that some would say Mr Holder was too much of a perfectionist but he was a man who demonstrated initiative and positive leadership, and executed instructions well, expected no less from those he instructed. His superiors relied on and trusted him, and his juniors learnt from him; that is, those who had the patience. He was a man who knew and respected confidentiality.

"He was excited about his role as Superintendent of Prison. He endeavoured to make it a rehabilitative correctional institution, and one in which corporate governance was high on the agenda and discipline instilled. He built on the good work of his predecessors and introduced a number of reforms, including Superintendent’s monthly parade for prison officers, weekly Monday shift leaders meeting, weekly Wednesday management meetings, inmates risk assessment and regular daily inmates headcount; he built a good association with the BVIHSA to make it possible for a nurse to be available at the Prison during official working hours and on call thereafter."

See previous story posted on December 15, 2012

Body of Richard D. Holder released; Funeral is Dec 19, 2012

- Controversy looms over cause of death!

The body of the late Superintendent of Her Majesty’s Prison Richard Dacosta Holder was released to his family by the Government of the Virgin Islands a few days ago, some three weeks after his sudden death.

According to Virgin Islands News Online's sources close to the family, his funeral has now been confirmed for Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at the Road Town Methodist Church.

Mr. Holder's body will be viewed from 9:30 A.M. to 10: 30 A.M. with the funeral service beginning at 10:30 A.M.  He will be buried at the Road Town Methodist Church cemetery in Long Bush, located across from the Road Town Seventh Day Adventist Church.

The Officiating Ministers will be Reverend Charles A. Seaton and Reverend Selwyn Vanterpool

According to this news site's sources close to the planning, there will be a procession at 8 A.M. from the Road Town Police Station to the Church in the capital city on the main Island of Tortola.

The procession will include Prison, Police, Customs, and Fire Officers, along with Government Officials, family members and members of the public.

Mr. Holder is survived by his wife Rosella Sonia Gore-Holder and daughter Ash-Marie Holder. His mother is Jean Holder and father Clyde Harewood, both of Barbados.

The late Superintendent of Prisons is also survived by brothers,  Anthony Holder, Marlon Holder and Mark Harewood and sister Natalie Holder all of Barbados.

Cause of death has not been fully determined

When Mr. Holder passed away on November 24, 2012 many in the media speculated that he had died of a heart attack.

However, information reaching this news site is that after some two tests the cause of death is yet to be determined.

It remains unclear why this is still the case and when an official cause of his death will be known to both the public and his family as speculations looms. Mr. Holder was 55 years old at the time of his passing.

The family and the entire community are still in shock over the passing of Holder, a father, husband and long time civil servant, who has made years of contribution in the area of law enforcement.

Charles Forbes has been designated Acting Superintendent of Prisons.

The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Virgin Islands News Online extend sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Richard Holder.

25 Responses to “UPDATE: Richard D. Holder was a man of distinction & honour- Premier Smith”

  • ccc (15/12/2012, 10:28) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    well sah what ah thing to tell teh king about his death!
    • qc (15/12/2012, 12:34) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      so sad....
    • fee at last (15/12/2012, 18:21) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Finally, a date!! And everybody talks in the BVI so we will find out cause of death sooner or later….RIP
      • Hollowee (16/12/2012, 09:06) Like (0) Dislike (5) Reply
        !!Condolenses to his family!!
        MR RICHARD HOLDER is at peace!!
        HE IS RESTING AWAY FROM THIS WICKED WORLD; HE DOES NOT HAVE TO ENDURE ANY ACHES OR PAINS, LIKE WE WHO ARE ALIVE!!

        One day when Jesus comes we will all be united, once we have done God's will!!
        May we dwell on the great legacy that he has left behind; the laughter, the joys, the victories ect.
  • weed (15/12/2012, 10:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    My deepest condolences to his wife and daughter. May he rest in the light everlasting.
    • USA student (16/12/2012, 09:07) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Judge not that ye be not judged!! Only God knows the end from the beginning. It could be any of us tomorrow!!! We do not know. We just need to live each day as our last
  • xmas (15/12/2012, 18:10) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    !!LET US WATCH AND PRAY; FOR JESUS' SOON RETURN
  • mother hen (16/12/2012, 02:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    RIP............. regardless of what transpired during his course of work, my condolences to his relatives..
    • rich or poor (16/12/2012, 11:52) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      i agree as we all have our ways the good the bad the ugly!!
  • DADDY FRIDAY (16/12/2012, 09:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    My condolences to the Mr. Holder's family and may he rest in peace. You were a strong, courageous person.
  • wisdom (16/12/2012, 14:06) Like (4) Dislike (10) Reply
    The "Lodge" gives (Earthly) The Lodge takes away (Spiritual Wickedness)
  • John (18/12/2012, 15:07) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    "Mr Holder was a committed public servant who would not bend the law for anybody, not even for his friends" but yet he work as a bouncer at a Crystals.

    • Locally made (18/12/2012, 22:36) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      His family should find out who your are and sue your backside. You ever saw Mr. Holder working as any bouncer at Crystals? Not Mr. Holder and I could put my head on the block for that one. You people just need to mind your own damn business. Anyway, as old people always say, if you want to hear thing just wait until someone is dead and you will hear all sorts. Boss if you are not sure who Mr Holder was you need to shut your mouth before u find yourself in hot water.
    • Ron (19/12/2012, 14:35) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
      John you is a fool. You is typical Tortolian. Feeding on gossip. Sick!!!
  • man hunt (18/12/2012, 15:36) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    so how come ayo aint saying what kill the man?
  • good to great (18/12/2012, 15:50) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    lawd ah mussy vino you mean you all have the man eulogy before the day??ayo good mey bouy
  • kind (18/12/2012, 17:48) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    very kind words Cherno
  • YEA YEA (19/12/2012, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where there is darkness there is death. That is problem we experiencing in the territory. My condolences to Mr Holder family...... May God of wisdom comfort you as you moorn death of your father brother friend and uncle...etc.....
  • YEA YEA (19/12/2012, 08:43) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Where there is darkness there is death. That is problem we experiencing in the territory. My condolences to Mr Holder family...... May God of wisdom comfort you as you moorn death of your father brother friend and uncle...etc.....
  • Steven Gambian student (19/12/2012, 13:10) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    May he rest in peace. I dont really know this man but with your comments i can really see that he is a good man. My condulance to his friends and family. May God the almighty protect and gaide his family..
  • Steven Gambian student (19/12/2012, 13:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    May he rest in peace. I dont really know this man but with your comments i can really see that he is a good man. My condulance to his friends and family. May God the almighty protect and gaide his family..
  • Hmm (19/12/2012, 20:36) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    School children say never bite the hands that feeds you! Enough said
  • Soldier (20/12/2012, 06:49) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Supt., you were a hard working and dedicated Police Officer and Supt. of Prisons who wanted the best for both of these organisations. At the prisons you had major obstacles and you had them identified and was working to have those obstacles sorted. You will be greatly missed and the difference will be seen by all and sundry. RIP Supt. Holder.
  • Not Right (21/12/2012, 15:51) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    how can they bury a man without a death certificate????


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