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'Even my grandchildren, according to me, are not BVIslanders'- Eileene L. Parsons OBE

- maintains a Virgin Islander has to be able to trace his or her parentage back three generations of Virgin Islanders on both sides
Local icon Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE, left, appeared as a guest on Real Talk with Karia J. Christopher, right, on Sunday, July 30, 3023. Photo: Real Talk/Facebook
Cultural icon Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE has said she had no issues with expats participating in festival and highlighting where they are from, namely the August Monday Parade; however, the VI culture and identity must stand out the most. Photo: VINO/File
Cultural icon Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE has said she had no issues with expats participating in festival and highlighting where they are from, namely the August Monday Parade; however, the VI culture and identity must stand out the most. Photo: VINO/File
PALESTINA ESTATE, Tortola, VI- Local cultural icon Ms Eileene L. Parsons, OBE has maintained “in all sincerity” that a Virgin Islander should be identified as someone who is able to trace his or her parentage back three generations of Virgin Islanders on both sides.

It was last year, July 4, 2022, that scores of persons born in the Virgin Islands (VI) or deemed to belong to the territory were left upset following the same statement by Ms Parsons during a Virgin Islands Day Panel Discussion held at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Paraquita Bay, Tortola.

“A Virgin Islander has to be able to trace his parentage back three generations of Virgin Islanders on both sides. The virtues or characteristics by which we were once known used to be good manners, friendliness, and kindness to each other and strangers within our gates. Children were mostly well-behaved and the villages raised the children,” she had said.

Ms Parsons' response immediately angered several persons in the community who felt such a response had desecrated for many, their right at being called a Virgin Islander on a day created to celebrate the legacy of Virgin Islanders.

'Even my grandchildren, according to me, are not BVIslanders'- Parsons

Appearing as a guest on Real Talk with Karia J. Christopher on Sunday, July 30, 2023, Ms Parsons was commenting on how the Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival has transitioned into something less cultural and lacking the Virgin Islands identity.

“I am telling people and I don’t care if I am quoted, we as a people we are, we have been and we are being swallowed.

“Out of every 100 persons here, only about 6 is BVI Islanders. And when I said some days ago, with all sincerity, that a BVI Islander should be somebody who could trace their generation three generations back, it created a lot of flak, but even my grandchildren, according to me, they are not BVI Islanders,” Ms Parsons said.

Meanwhile, Ms Parsons said she had no issues with expats participating in the festival and highlighting where they are from, namely the August Monday Parade; however, the VI culture and identity must stand tall.

43 Responses to “'Even my grandchildren, according to me, are not BVIslanders'- Eileene L. Parsons OBE”

  • Lord (31/07/2023, 15:07) Like (47) Dislike (6) Reply
    Why y'all don't stop giving this lady a platform... she ain't got nothing to do like some knitting or crocheting or something.
    • nonsense (31/07/2023, 16:49) Like (23) Dislike (0) Reply
      She doesn’t determine who gets a BVI passport and is deemed a BVIslander so moving right along.

      Plus it doesn’t matter. Wouldn’t be asked where you’re from on Judgment Day.
    • Howdy (01/08/2023, 02:13) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply

      She needs to sit herself down and quieten her mouth

    • sss (01/08/2023, 18:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    • make change (03/08/2023, 18:56) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      the ones who commenting negatively to a BVI Icon cant tell you 5 things thats unique to the BVI yet.
      when it go down bitter, it workin.. this is VIRGIN ISLANDS news online .com tho.
  • Why (31/07/2023, 15:09) Like (39) Dislike (0) Reply
    why is this news
  • From the sound of this (31/07/2023, 15:42) Like (17) Dislike (0) Reply
    Madam Culture Just Give herself a Kick in the mouth. Respectfully 3rd gen expate
  • good show (31/07/2023, 15:51) Like (10) Dislike (7) Reply
    Excellent show. Even if you don’t agree with everything Mrs. Parsons is certainly an icon. At 93 years she is amazing.
  • Sammy (31/07/2023, 15:52) Like (21) Dislike (7) Reply
    She is Virgin Islander to her core and I applaud her for speaking the truth. The truth offends but so what? As a Virgin Islander, I have no issue with her speaking her mind.
  • i from here (31/07/2023, 15:54) Like (15) Dislike (4) Reply
    Ms P is a trip but don’t back down lady tell the truth
  • HJ (31/07/2023, 15:55) Like (22) Dislike (9) Reply
    In this 21st century for someone to have this kind of rhetoric. It is not healthy. She is very controversial. She needs to understand that the world is a village now. All cultural barriers are fading away. People now embrace world culture rather than national culture. I know she loves sushi badly. If she is so concerned about BVI culture why she does not eat only peas soup and fungi because sushi is a Chinese dish?
  • god is watching (31/07/2023, 15:59) Like (23) Dislike (8) Reply
    I hope that you all ladies that will be taking part in the festival this year cover up y'all backsides. I saw some videos from some of those Caribbean islands where the ladies were wearing thongs covering just the private part but their entire backside was out of the door for public consumption. I saw men(who most likely were strangers to them) wukking up behind their naked rear end. It was disgusting! The men were having sex with these women in broad daylight. What is this world coming to?

    Ladies, be careful what you do this carnival season. Be careful how you are dressing with all your breasts out as well. Be careful with your little boys and girls through the night in that devil campground (the village).

    Do some of you ladies ever stop to think that one day when you give your life to Christ that these videos of your lewd behavior would have been erased? These videos will come back to haunt Allyo. Be careful. Walk circumspectly!
    • @ god is watching (31/07/2023, 16:45) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      It’s God with a capital G.

      Many don’t stop and think that God is watching. They don’t think what if Christ returned in that very moment they’re conducting these lewd and other sinful acts but the same people believe they have a space reserved for them in Heaven.

      We may all be sinners in some way BUT daily repentance and making a CONSCIOUS EFFORT TO OBEY GOD’S WORD AND ACCEPTING CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOUR IS KEY.

      Anyone who hates to hear or read this, it’s the devil’s stronghold over their life.
  • N*$ty @$% (31/07/2023, 16:01) Like (33) Dislike (10) Reply

    You want cousins to lay up wit cousins that’s why half of em half retarded move ya MS lady

  • Reduced population (31/07/2023, 16:01) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Economic output has a direct correlation to population. Post Irma the population has decreased to what - 12,000 voters? BVI needs to stop unnecesary protectionism and start looking at inward investment and labour to survive.
    • @reduced population (31/07/2023, 22:12) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Quality is what matters.
      These VI need to stop the import, and installation of poverty by the plane and boat load along with criminals and those with a cultural proclivity to commit crimes.
      No way could the VI assume and afford the cost of police, prison and courts if the pipe 3dream of Independence was realized. The VI in order to survive and prosper or even survive, needs investors and residents with a modicum of civility and ambition.

  • mad max (31/07/2023, 16:01) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    This "lady" is hugely offensive to even her own Grandchildren.

    Maybe go to the UK and start using the same language - she would be arrested for a hate crime.
  • lol (31/07/2023, 16:04) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Everyone who dead going be buried lol !!
    • @LOL (31/07/2023, 19:02) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply

      My exact sentiments. I wonder if yuh need bvislander status to enter into heaven. Vanities of Vanities. All is vanity. Bvislander bvislander. What color is the blood. Do they sh** gold or no. Stop the stupid talk. Pure bvislanders are pure cousins. Stop promoting nastiness.

  • Kingfish (31/07/2023, 16:06) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    I agree 1000% with Ms: Parsons.
  • @ local boy (31/07/2023, 16:13) Like (11) Dislike (5) Reply
    Could careless what they say or how they perceive the lady, she is right in all that she has postulated... Why are some so Butt Hurt because she is proud of and accentuates her home and heritage? It is a surity that they have same sentiments about their country.

    I am a Vanterpool, Lennard. O'neal and Smith and my root go back to at least slavery days. .. And, i love my country, its roots and other.
  • smh (31/07/2023, 17:11) Like (17) Dislike (3) Reply
    Why stop at 3? Why not go back 5? 6? 7? 8?

    She is a clown.
  • assishness (31/07/2023, 17:28) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    So if they can't trace 3 generations on each side/both sides, what are they? Answer that one for me.
  • Stupes (31/07/2023, 17:57) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was born in trini
    My grandparents are from Portugal residing in trini at the time and started the generation
    That makes me a Trini to my bone

    We don’t look at things like that
    Even if someone lets say Guyanese or Grenadian bring forth kids trini
    They are trini
    And ent nobody gone say u ent a trini we be Dotish to even make such remarks
  • bvi (31/07/2023, 18:01) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    Every Caribbean ppl should take part in the festival and represent their country. It's freedom let us enjoy and have fun ????????
  • lisa (31/07/2023, 18:05) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Why is it the truth hurts and anger so many people. please take the time to study and appreciate your history. If you knew your history when you are told the truth you wouldn't be so ignorant. My husband is an American, not African American. A "black man". He has been studying his Ancestory for years and recently found out that he is related to one of the Presidents of the United States, and I am not talking about Barack Obama.
    Educate yourselves and you will be amazed of how much there is to learn.
  • lol (31/07/2023, 18:05) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    This lady is a bigot plain and simple. The constitution and the British Nationality act are both clear. Her right wing fascist and divisive rhetoric should be relegated to the Pockwood Pond dumpsite where it belongs.
  • @ god is watching (31/07/2023, 18:09) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    But many are going or went to become part of the plastic factory girls

    They will be walking around showing off their pride
    Their belly back flanks in them bum
    And silicone b@@b looking around to see who watching them
    Think that’s beauty
    And nobody ent putting no ring on them fingers
    Real men sees them as
    Street women
    Non materialistic
    No wifey

    Nobody wonders what they look like them body done seen
    Nothing private
    Them stale like stale news

  • ... (31/07/2023, 18:41) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think one side from BVI is fine but she has a right to her own opinion. It could be a moving target though. I personally think that the issue is about culture and not nationality. BVI people didn't rate their own culture and so they never valued it and to be upset that other cultures that respect their own more than whatever ours is supposed to be doesn't make sense. BVI people generally speaking live in a bubble of our own reality. I don't see other countries having an issue with cultural identity. In Jamaica they still like cook and speak jamaican as in Dominican Republic. They are happy to show their culture to visitors but somehow we are embarrassed by ours and hide it and even prefer outsiders over our own. If one of us leaves for years and comes back we don't accept them back here as one of us either, where as in jamaica they do. The issue is lack of self respect. And you have to respect yourself first before you are respected by others.
  • IF WHAT (31/07/2023, 18:41) Like (2) Dislike (4) Reply
  • icon (31/07/2023, 18:57) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    Any so-call icon who encourages incest is undeserving of such title. Go Lobg Look you will see the result of such inbreeding.
  • stupidness (31/07/2023, 20:05) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    These sorts of comments will only help to further divide us. I don’t see the sense or usefulness in what she’s saying. That’s like saying someone from Jamaica who can’t trace their roots 3 generations on both sides is not really a Jamaican. So what flack are they?
  • ——————————- (31/07/2023, 22:24) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    I agree with Ms P tell them island people to scatter
  • island man (01/08/2023, 03:18) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dont worry she no her way out. Hopefully, she take the bigot idea with her.
  • Manjack (01/08/2023, 18:17) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a battle between jus soli, ie, birthright citizenship—you automatically become a citizen of the place where you are born—-and sanguinis, ie, right of blood or principle of descent—citizenship determine by parentage. Jus soli and sanguinis are not universally settled issues, for there is a mixture across the globe with jus soli being more prevalent in the West and sanguinis more prevalent in Europe and other places. Even the UK does not have automatic jus soli; it abolished it with the British Nationality Act of 1981 and came into force on January 01, 1983. Ms. P, is a dedicated and proud VI patriot and is not totally out in left field or off the reservation. Nevertheless, both immigration and emigration have changed how Virgin Islander status is determined. The VI was once viewed as a little poverty stricken group of islands and was considered the poorhouse of the West Indies. After slavery and faced with a series of events, ie, drop in sugar prices, revolts (eg, Cattle Riot of 1853), hurricanes, etc, resulting in the planter class treating it as supposedly as only useful a bird sanctuary and bolted with supersonic speed from the territory. Life was a struggle for Virgin Islanders, surviving by fishing, working ground, sailing, trading ( smuggling, etc), using the land to develop a peasant economy. They also immigrated to the nearby USVI, Cuba, Leeward Islands( Antigua), Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo (DR; I still have close relatives in the DR), etc. life was hard and Virgin Islanders had to emigrate to in search of a better life. Thousands left and have not returned, taking up residence elsewhere, ie, mostly in the US and USVI. Moreover, after slavery, the plantation owners brought Indians to Trinidad, Guyana, etc, as indentured servants for 7 years. However, 7- year contract completed, few, if any, Indians returned to India. Today, they make up 50%+ of the population in both Guyana and Trinidad, they have elevated to the highest positions in both countries, eg, Prime Minister.

    Here in the VI, the emigration of Virgin Islanders to pursue greener pastures created a void in the VI which was filled by immigrants. Today, a 120 + different nationalities call the VI home and as VI continues to grow more are coming. The shortage of labour and resulting influx of immigrants resulted in the disproportionate ratio of immigrants or expats to locals. The ratio is estimated as 70:30. This ratio naturally and unsurprisingly (it should not be a surprise) created some friction. Virgin Islanders are a minority in their homeland, feeling anxiety, isolation,powerlessness, etc. They feel they are being replaced. . The situation is driving the redefinition of whom is a Virgin Islander. Moreover, citizenship acquired, former immigrants are adopting the VI as their home and are becoming civically engage, pursuing the highest positions in the territory. In fact, the current Deputy Premier was not born in the VI(Anguilla, but came to the VI as a preteen). The bottomline is a new definition of who is a Virgin Islander must be determined. Should it be put to a referendum?
  • yeah (01/08/2023, 18:53) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ever wondered what the result is of a too small gene pool?

    Prime ministers like Fahie and Wheatley.
  • ADAM (01/08/2023, 19:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    You would swear God roll out from the dirt up country. Give it a rest men!!!

  • Tis Ours Own (02/08/2023, 21:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

    Next time you go home stand on one tile in the house and declare "Tis Mines Own" everyone else in the house who step on that tile is a stranger and foreigner because " Tis Mines Own" and dem aint got no call on it. Now expand that scenario and cut out the bullsh**.

  • JustImaging (02/08/2023, 21:59) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just imaging Donald Trump saying that American Citizens with Indian Origins are less citizens than the German descendant citizens. This is how ridiculous things like this sound. There can not be several classes of citizens, all Virgin Islanders are same, with one goal to build this country regardless of Origins. That mindset is so dangerous and it's part of the reasons why the BVI's development is delayed and somewhat stagnated.

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