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UPDATE: Solemn send off for Captain Ira L. Smith

Captain Ira L. Smith, Virgin Islands (VI) first local Architect and Town Planner was laid to rest on Friday, April 20, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
More scenes following the funeral service of Captain Smith on April 20, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
More scenes following the funeral service of Captain Smith on April 20, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
His pallbearers were a mixture of current boat captains and family members all decked out in their white captain uniforms with hats. Photo: Team of Reporters
His pallbearers were a mixture of current boat captains and family members all decked out in their white captain uniforms with hats. Photo: Team of Reporters
Families, friends and well wishers following the funeral service of the late Captain Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Families, friends and well wishers following the funeral service of the late Captain Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Captain Smith took his final sail on the Tortola Fast Ferry, one of many fleets of vessels from the Ferry Company he founded in 1986. Photo: Team of Reporters
Captain Smith took his final sail on the Tortola Fast Ferry, one of many fleets of vessels from the Ferry Company he founded in 1986. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scenes from the funeral service of the late Ira L. Smith. Photo: Team of Reporters
The Virgin Islands (VI) first local Architect and Town Planner, the late Ira Leopold Smith will be buried on Friday, April 20, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
The Virgin Islands (VI) first local Architect and Town Planner, the late Ira Leopold Smith will be buried on Friday, April 20, 2018. Photo: Team of Reporters
According to one of his sons, Henry W. Smith, this is one of the boats that his father built that transported people from Virgin Gorda to Tortola. Photo: Team of Reporters
According to one of his sons, Henry W. Smith, this is one of the boats that his father built that transported people from Virgin Gorda to Tortola. Photo: Team of Reporters
In 1986 the late Captain founded Smith’s Ferry Service, which provides modern sea travel between the greater Virgin Islands. Smith’s Ferry Service, was also another pioneer with inter islands sea transportation between Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Photo: Team of Reporters
In 1986 the late Captain founded Smith’s Ferry Service, which provides modern sea travel between the greater Virgin Islands. Smith’s Ferry Service, was also another pioneer with inter islands sea transportation between Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - It was a solemn send off for another of the Virgin Islands’ son, pioneer, retired civil servant, businessman and boat captain Ira Leopold Smith.

Many families, friends, boat captains, businesspersons and government officials from near and far packed the St George’s Episcopal Church in Road Town on Friday, April 20, 2018, for the late Smith’s funeral service.

He was born on April 18, 1938, and died on April 5, 2018.

The Territory’s first local Architect and Town Planner was educated and a graduate of the New York Institute of Technology with high honours of Summa Cum Laude.  The father, husband and grandfather was eulogised by one of his daughters Marjorie E. Smith.

His pallbearers were a mixture of current boat captains and family members all decked out in their white captain uniforms with hats. The funeral service which was officiated by Reverends Ian E. Rock PhD. and Cannon Julian Clarke was both moving and honest. 

Ira wanted honest government

In saying he was breaking with confessional tradition, Reverend Rock told the congregation that the late Ira Smith had told him that, “I will not vote for any party who is not willing to introduced integrity legislation.” In addition, he said the deceased who is the first cousin of the current Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL) who was there at the time believed that “our Government has too much corruption in it”.

The man of the cloth Dr Rock challenged the Premier to address the matter. Once the service was over Captain Smith took his final sail on the Tortola Fast Ferry, one of many fleets of vessels from the Ferry Company he founded in 1986 surrounded by captains and crew where the body was transported by sea to West End, the final resting place.

He was then laid to rest at the family burial ground in Towers West End, on the main Island of Tortola.

Mr Smith is survived by his wife Kather N. Smith, mother Enelle Smith, six sons and three daughters, as well as Sister Irma B. Smith and Brother Edward R. Smith. 

See article published on April 19, 2018

Captain Ira L. Smith will be laid to rest Friday, April 20, 2018

-businessman, first local Architect & Town Planner

It will be another sad day for family, friends and former employees, as yet another illustrious son of the soil and an indigenous Virgin Islander is laid to rest.

The Virgin Islands (VI) first local Architect and Town Planner, the late Ira Leopold Smith will be buried on Friday, April 20, 2018. He died on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Peebles Hospital after being ill for some time. He was 79 years old, having been born on April 18, 1938.

The boat Captain, pioneer, former civil servant and businessman would have been celebrating his 80th birthday yesterday, if he was alive.

The funeral details

The funeral programme will start with a viewing of the body from 9 A.M. to 10:30 A.M. this Friday at the Road Town Anglican church on Main Street in Road Town the capital city.

The service will start at 10:30 A.M. and the interment will be at the family’s private burial grounds in Towers, West End, Tortola. The founder of Smith’s Ferry Service is survived by his wife Mrs Kather N. Maduro-Smith, a former comptroller of customs and nine children, and his mother Ellen Smith who will turn 100 in December of this year.

In 1986 the late Captain founded Smith’s Ferry Service, which provides modern sea travel between the greater Virgin Islands. Smith’s Ferry Service, was also another pioneer with inter islands sea transportation between Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Anegada.

According to one of his sons, Henry W. Smith aka ‘Will’, his dad in the 1960s used to build sailboats, a skill he learnt from his late father Leopold Smith and transported residents to Virgin Gorda.

Mr Smith was also passionate about his country and political issues and from the late 1990s was a voice on radio and TV shows challenging the status quo, and was never afraid to speak his mind and fight for people.

His signature on the Road Town Skyline

One of his many lasting legacies will be in the professional area of Architecture where his signature can be seen on many buildings on Tortola. He was the architect that designed the Social Security Building (SSB), and the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall both in Road Town and was the first project manager of the old Peebles Hospital in the 1980s.

The professional American trained Architect also did the drawings for the Elmore Stoutt High School L-shaped building that can be seen from the Sunday Morning Well, along with many other public projects both on Tortola and Virgin Gorda. The late Mr Smith also encouraged and mentored many of the architects and young boat captains that came after him.

The funeral service is expected to be another great outpouring from all walks of life from both the professional class, elected officials, as well as many persons in the boating sector and sea captains young and old decked out in uniforms.

10 Responses to “UPDATE: Solemn send off for Captain Ira L. Smith”

  • 1 (19/04/2018, 10:09) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rip old boy
  • BVI STRONG (19/04/2018, 10:46) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
    I know they will give him a great send off like they did for speedys
  • BVIslander (19/04/2018, 11:38) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a fine person and creative one....many talents and fine children...Kather, we are sad for you and yours, but we all will reunite one day in Heaven.
  • sam the man (19/04/2018, 12:00) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    another good man has falling. Sleep on captain
  • Fam (19/04/2018, 13:53) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Rip granpa
  • Pato (19/04/2018, 19:27) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Captain Smith was also, a poineer Community Activist fighting for the rights of Virgin Islanders in we owning a stake in our economy. One of his many quotes "if you are not building the Virgin Islands for Virgin Islanders then who are you building it for" end of quote. He was a firm and fair man one whom I admired dearly. RIP Captain, Ms. Katherine, Alex, Will and the rest of the family stay strong. My God, My friend will see you through.
  • Check (19/04/2018, 20:48) Like (20) Dislike (2) Reply
    He was a very handsome young man.
  • Humble servant (21/04/2018, 18:40) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    The funeral service was well attended. The part that I liked about it is when the minister told the premier to name the Virgin Gorda port of entry after Mr. Edwin George and the Tortola port of entry after Mr. Ira Smith. This was the best thing the premier can do for these humble servants of the BVI and let the people know about their legacies.
  • PASSENGER (21/04/2018, 20:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Sail well capatin Smith until we see you at the destination
  • bat cave (22/04/2018, 17:30) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    another grand send off sleep well captain


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