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Gov Rankin makes another pitch for war memorial to be built @ QE II Park

- says decorated VI-born private Samuel Hodge is an example why he remains hopeful of a war memorial in VI
Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, seen here at the wreath-laying ceremony at Government House on Armistice Day on November 11, 2023, has made another call for a war memorial to be built at Queen Elizabeth II Park on Tortola, [British] Virgin Islands. Photo: GIS
Governor John J. Rankin CMG and Police Commissioner Mark Collins inspect the guards at the wreath-laying ceremony at Government House on Armistice Day on November 11, 2023. Photo: GIS
Governor John J. Rankin CMG and Police Commissioner Mark Collins inspect the guards at the wreath-laying ceremony at Government House on Armistice Day on November 11, 2023. Photo: GIS
A war memorial at Glaisnock Road, Cumnock in Scotland, UK. Photo:
A war memorial at Glaisnock Road, Cumnock in Scotland, UK. Photo:
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Governor John J. Rankin, CMG has made another call for a war memorial to be built at Queen Elizabeth II Park on Tortola, [British] Virgin Islands.

The Governor first made the call during the observance of Armistice Day at Government House on November 11, 2022.

His comments at the time were met with criticisms by many who felt a memorial to honour slaves who were brought against their will to the Caribbean, including the Virgin Islands, and were made to toil on plantations, should be the first memorial to be established in the territory.

This time; however, Governor Rankin went into the archives to further justify his call for the war memorial.

Speaking at the wreath-laying ceremony at Government House on Armistice Day on November 11, 2023, Governor Rankin said he was wearing his poppy in memory of his father who served with the Royal Air Force in World War II.

He also said he was wearing it as a mark of my respect for all those, including veterans at the ceremony, who have served or continue to serve to protect the rights of freedom we enjoy, including here in these Virgin Islands.

Private Samuel Hodge is ‘one reason’ for war memorial- Gov Rankin

“I would also particularly remember today Private Samuel Hodge, who was born in Tortola in 1840. His name and story should be better known to all of us in the Virgin Islands. That is because Private Hodge received the Victoria Cross, the highest British award for bravery, for his actions while serving in the West India Regiment in Gambia in 1866.  He was the first, and as far as I am aware, the only BVIslander to be awarded the Victoria Cross.”

Governor Rankin added that Hodge’s story is a remarkable one and that he was the “bravest soldier” in his regiment.

“That is one reason why I continue to hope that agreement can be reached for a War Memorial to be built in the Queen Elizabeth II Park. To help remember Samuel Hodge and to be a place for all in the BVI to pay respects to those who have served in the armed forces,” Governor Rankin stated.

Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day owing to the tradition of wearing a remembrance poppy, is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to honour armed forces members who have died in the line of duty.

See related article below:

Gov Rankin proposes war memorial @ QE II Park

39 Responses to “Gov Rankin makes another pitch for war memorial to be built @ QE II Park”

  • herbs power (15/11/2023, 09:41) Like (11) Dislike (10) Reply

    War is a w**** people thing. B****$ are more concern about staying alive.

    • Tolian (15/11/2023, 12:08) Like (9) Dislike (13) Reply
      Terribly racist presumptive comment. What about all the civil wars raging in Africa for decades? Your comment is ignorant. Wars are fought all over the world for land, power, minerals, religious rule, ethnic rule etc. Nothing to do with a simply being a white people thing.
      • @Tolian (15/11/2023, 13:10) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
        The mindsets of Africans’ today, are conditioned and taught by the same colonialist ideologies, like the gov. Everyone must be forced to see the world as they see it, (through wars, media, etc), and act accordingly. Programmed through accepting their form of education, their propaganda media narratives, etc. The standards in which everyone else suppose to adopt and follow, or else. One example to further emphasize this point, just look at the beauty standards people of color (females in particular) have been programmed to accept, denying their natural beauty for wigs and weaves as the foremost standard of beauty today. These ceremonies and memorials by these colonizers are just symbolic markers to represent their perversion and dominance around the world. And don’t let them fool you, all world powers work together as they play their chess games with people, land, resources on earth and sea, and other planets, known and unknown.
      • @Tolian (15/11/2023, 21:08) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
        You’re the racist…because you believe that we are ignorant and do not know the history of the many conflicts of Africa.

        Many, if not all, of those African civil wars are caused by ‘Western Invaders’ who entering the Continent of Africa, split continent in spaces and exploited its natural resources and people. This caused land boundary issues, tribal disputes, poverty and wars that has lasted till today. Today, western exploitation in Africa still continues and you believe that you’ll can exploit us in the VI as well…believing us to be fools. You are mistaken!

        The governors is out of touch of the plights of our people. He thinks only about his nationality and their historical experiences! His agenda is not the people of the Virgin Islands agenda! He needs to go back home!
  • Rubber Duck (15/11/2023, 09:44) Like (35) Dislike (11) Reply

    More smoke and mirrors he looking for a place to put the names of w**** people please bvi do not fall for it

  • Names (15/11/2023, 10:05) Like (25) Dislike (10) Reply
    Give us the names of the people stolen from africa, the names of the English men who stole team, where they stole them from and what they did with them. This is the only memorial wall needed. Why are some people completely out of touch. Go visit the memorial wall in UK and leave BVI alone. That park needed to be named after one of the bvi heroes.
    • eclipse (15/11/2023, 11:36) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      Also the forgotten names of the 15,000 Africans that died fighting for Britain in WW2.
    • @name (15/11/2023, 21:37) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      Totally agree! I will match for this one! He out of place! Memorialize the millions of stolen Africans who died on the journey to these Islands! The little boys and girls who called out for their mothers and fathers as they died at the bottom of these hot, cramped and unsanitary cargo ships. Those children never had a decent burial like your soldiers did Governor but are all at the ocean floor and waterways after most of their little bodies were eaten by the sharks that followed the slave ships daily!
  • stuepss (15/11/2023, 10:06) Like (27) Dislike (5) Reply
    This is the most nonsensical request I have ever heard of a Governor. We need to focus our attention on what is important to the BVI and its people. Which is treating people fairly and not victimizing our own people. VI born private Samuel Hodge must be honored and from what has been stated he has been honored in the UK for all of his efforts in the War. The resources in the BVI are few and we have so many unnecessary COI recommendations to put in place, still recovering from the Hurricanes (whether ya'll like it or not), our infrastructure is ridiculous my shocks still taking a hit. Let us use our resources where it is necessary!!!
  • x (15/11/2023, 10:37) Like (17) Dislike (5) Reply
    You mean a memorial of colonization
  • Real Macoy (15/11/2023, 10:38) Like (10) Dislike (2) Reply
    I agree with you Stuepss also Names.
    You all hit the nail on the head.
  • HMMM (15/11/2023, 10:39) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    I like the idea of a memorial to honour the slaves brought to the Caribbean and Americas. I’m not opposed to a war memorial but I would like one to honour our ancestors first. If we do build a war memorial then we would have to name VI soldiers. No VI soldiers, no war memorials. I feel like to have a memorial to honour soldiers who had nothing to do with us would be honouring a history that isn’t ours.
  • WHAT!!! (15/11/2023, 10:53) Like (8) Dislike (6) Reply
    So many racist comments “Rubber Duck” research Samuel Hodge ( not a white man)born Tortola awarded the Victoria Cross medal for bravery in the face of the enemy. Britians highest military award. Im sure his name would be on a monument too many here don’t know about Samuel Hodge.
  • Bush Professor (15/11/2023, 11:18) Like (14) Dislike (5) Reply
    The agenda of the Colonialists, Mount Olympus, is clear. Take over the Virgin Islands [British] with the wiling complicity of some Sambos, insert direct rule, promote the supposed superiority of Britons. . Anyone remember Controversial, snake in the grass, former UK -appointed Governor Agustus Jaspert who dismissed and brushed aside a question from the press on reparations for slave descendants. Instead, saying that landmarks in the VI bearing the names of slave traders, murderers, thieves, etc should be maintained for history. How about the history of slavery that many are trying to bury, revised, whitewashed, , sanitized, etc?

    Slavery was the greatest crime against humanity. Slaves were captured in Africa, transported across the Atlantic in the most horrific animal-liked condition, worked like field animals, abused, dehumanized among other atrocities, their free labour exploited building economies, building individual fortunes, etc. Slaves benefitting nought from the fruits of their labour. Why is the Governor not calling for a Slave Memorial? Who was pfc Samuel Hodge? Was he a relative of murderer Arthur Hodge? Was he a descendant of slaves?

    Moreover, the Governor needs to stop being an opportunist and hypocrite, using the sacrifice of a soldier to advance his agenda, self-serving interest. He does not give a rat’s ass about Virgin Islanders. The governor is advocating for rights and freedom while at the same time he advocated for the order in council to suspend the VI constitution and continues to advocate for maintaining the order in council. Additionally, he continues to use his unilateral veto power to promote UK interest and control. The colonial mule kicks and kicks hard.
    • Undercover Observer (16/11/2023, 14:12) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Bush Professor, you laid some hard unwelcomed and uncomfortable truths for some, especially the colonialists.
  • resident (15/11/2023, 11:26) Like (6) Dislike (8) Reply
    Instead of you guy chatting nonsense go read up on Hodge, dude was a brave man worthy of being honored by us despite the circumstances of where he served and whom he served
  • The TRUTH (15/11/2023, 11:59) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Get lost!
  • Quiet Rebel (15/11/2023, 12:04) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Was descendants of slaves allowed in John Bull Army in the 1840s? What war was Samuel Hodge fighting in? Where was the Governor Rankin governor of the Virgin Islands on Heroes and Foreparents Day? He may have said something or been around and I missed it.
  • Sure gov, sure (15/11/2023, 12:07) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    Idols of the civilized world. Ordered by the colonialist dictates for shedding blood of innocent victims around the world. War over everything. Wars and its glory, memorialized by murderers.
  • WHAT!!! (15/11/2023, 12:54) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    @Bush Professor if you want to know who Samuel Hodge was look it up. A local born war hero that very few of us here know anything about.
    • Bush Professor (15/11/2023, 15:37) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
      @What!!!, you seem to have the receipts on Private Samuel Hodge, so, not I alone, but readers would be blessed with your sharing your knowledge with us. If you don’t want to do it for me do it as a patriot for the public good. A lamp is not useful under a bushel( Matthew 5:15-16). Knowledge has value when it is shared. Everyone is not equally skilled at the Google machine.
    • Future (16/11/2023, 09:48) Like (21) Dislike (0) Reply
      Actually, he was a slave who was forced into the West India Regiments to fight for his colonizer in addition to being forced to be baptized into Christianity. He was forced to fight for his colonizer, the British Empire against Africans, (Gambia). The reason for these regiments was not for patriotism but because the British European soldiers could not handle the heat and they died from malaria, yellow fever, and dysentery.

      It would make more sense to have a memorial for the slaves who died in the slave trade.
  • Healing of a Nation (15/11/2023, 13:50) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    We need Love not war. They love and enjoy celebrating and memorializing bloodshed like it’s in their DNA.
  • What? (15/11/2023, 13:50) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Drug war memorial?
  • WTF (15/11/2023, 13:58) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Stop confusing the issue. Do you think things would be better if you were ruled by Nazi Germany? They didn't really like black people too much. They seemed to have this thing about "Cleansing".

    Should there be a memorial for slavery, absolutely... Something reminds me we have three public holidays in a row for this. How about some remembrance and respect for the over 38 million people who died resolving the fight for freedom afterwards, which was fought globally. Something tells me the Nazis would have either enslaves us all, or just sent us to the gas chambers and ovens.
  • slaves (15/11/2023, 14:39) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    Let build as memorial to all the slaves who perished on their way to the Caribbean.
    It should be built with British money. Not tola money.
  • Manjack (15/11/2023, 14:48) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
    The colonialists attitude regarding slaves, blacks, marginalized, the supposed underclass, etc., are to strip blacks of their humanity, deprive them of all their worldly possessions, suppress their personal rights, freedoms, and humanity and keeping them hopeless, like the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians, forever resource poor, non competitive, dependent on the supposed upperclass, and powerless. The reality is the plan like the social conditioning of the divide and rule social engineering, with the help and complicity of some Sambos ( we need to stop missing using the term Uncle Tom; Uncle Tom tried to help other Blacks; Sambo, the opposite) worked and is still working.

    An old idiom says where a cow is tied is where it feeds. Governor John Rankin, CMG, other governors, administrators and commissioners were appointed by the Crown to represent whatever little interest there were in the VI, protect its image, maintain its presence and control. The VI people have never had any input or say as to whom was to represent they and their interests. Well, clearly, the Governor’s role is to represent the crown, not the VI people. Colonialism have always been about racial superiority, exploiting and expropriating colonies of their land and resources. They came under the false pretense of a civilizing mission to convert the heathens and brutes. They feel it was the White man’s burden as penned by Rudyard Kipling(1899). It was all a smoke screen; it was about might is right and white. It was about economics, not a civilizing mission. Colonialists employed their superior military power, ie, guns, etc. to overpower weaker, less powerful indigenous populations, slaughtering they, their culture, history,customs,heritage, lives and livelihoods, etc. The colonialists had/have unequal power to exploit the weaker colonies. You got the message, the attitude, the behavior., etc. British statesman Lord Palmerston told the lie, saying airily, that the plan l, the blessings, was, ‘ not to enslave , but to set free.’ What a big, fat lie.

    Concur, with Bush Professor, that in lieu of the Governor’s proposal for a War Memorial, instead a Slavery/Slave Memorial should be invested in and constructed. Slavery was the greatest crime against humanity and the crime was committed by Whites. So it is clear why they would want to bury it at 12’. The Slave Memorial should be in the Heroes and Foreparents Park. Convert the QE II Park to perhaps the Heroes and Foreparents Park. Just an idea and may not be the ideal location. Let’s get the Slave Memorial started we don’t to wait for the colonialists approval. We can continue to celebrate Armistice Day. Curious, how many Virgin Islanders are serving in the UK arm forces compared to the number serving in the US’
    • Quiet Warrior (16/11/2023, 09:14) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      To manjack, educate, preach brother. This is priceless history lesson. It is not the stuff taught about Columbus, Magellan, Marco Polo, Drake, Hawkin, Robin Hood, Brer Ananansi, Morgan ,Henry VIII etc. It is about the atrocities waged against our forbears, the exploitation, the building of countries, economies, personal wealth, national, commercial industries, Industrial Revolution, etc from the fruits of Slave labour. However, the slaves and their descendants benefited very little, if any , from the fruits of their labour. What blacks get though is blame for being responsible for deplorable economic and social condition and their failure to take advantage of the available opportunities. In fact , the reality is it is the social and economic structures and systems engineered by whites to the advantage of them and inherited by offspring and to the disadvantage of blacks and inherited by their offspring, relegating them to permanent poverty and powerlessness. The governor is trying to exploit the bravery of Samual Hodge to advance his and the agenda. Samuel Hodge had laborer, servile responsibilities in John Bull Army. It was the best Blacks had in the Army at the time. Samuel Hodge and his kind serve servile roles and cannon fodder. He bravely ran into raging fire and survived just like Dorie Miller, a Black mess cook on a US Navy ship manned a machine gun though it
      Was not an assigned role for blacks the time and shot at and shit down Japanese aircraft. Hodge is deserving of the Victory cross for his bravery, rising and seizing the opportunity and performing well, though he got it much to the chagrin of many, for blacks are deserving of nothing of value but responsible for everything bad.
  • time will tell (15/11/2023, 16:54) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have never protested before, but I willing to protest this one. When he can name One Virgin Islander who died in world Wars I or II that we need to commemorate, I will be front and center laying a wreath. Them moving here to retire and die in the sunshine does not mean we need a memorial to honour any of them . We were to be relegated to a Bird Sanctuary and now he wants a memorial to honor war heroes? The governor taking the Mickey with us man.
  • Jajaja (15/11/2023, 17:45) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Rankin relax and enjoy your last days in sun asand
    • @jajaja (15/11/2023, 20:45) Like (15) Dislike (1) Reply
      To jajaja, Rankin may be on his last days vacationing in the tropical sun at BVI taxpayers expense but before jetting back to his cold flat in the UK is trying to put down some markers , leave his legacy to boast about back home in the UK to a receptive audience. Nevertheless, let’s not get any joy over his wheels up, seeing back. His successor will be reading from the script and singing from the same hymnal.
  • Speaking of Hodge (15/11/2023, 20:34) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    Arthur Hodge was the man who killed "his" slave, Prosper, in Bellevue and was tried by a court and found guilty of murder, then hanged.
    What was his defence? "I can mistreat my slave just as I can mistreat my dog if I want to." The court ruled, no, you hang, Hodge. And he did, in Road Town. All around the British Empire slave owners suddenly felt deeply vulnerable.
    Put up a monument to Prosper, a symbol of all those stolen from Africa, a symbol of humanity and hope eternal!
    • Quiet Storm (16/11/2023, 10:07) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      @Speaking of Hodge, “ Arthur Hodge was the man who killed "his" slave, Prosper, in Bellevue and was tried by a court and found guilty of murder, then hanged.” Arthur was not just a man who murdered Slave Prosper over a mango because in twisted mind Prosper was property like a piece of furniture, but he was a murderous monster who killed Prosper for the fun of it, believing that there was way in hell that he a privileged White man would be held accountable for killing Prosper, a lowly slave. For a White man to be tried, convicted and sentenced to be hanged and hanged in 1811 for killing a slave was earth shattering, the slavery tectonic plates shifted. This tells us he was a horrible, monstrous, murderous beast not worthy of being classified being human. The hanging of white man for killing, murdering a slave was the first in the slavery institution in the West Indies and beyond. It sent shock waves among slave owners as did the Haitian Revolution in 1804 for a minute but the exploitation continued. Many descendants of slave owners have the same attitude about and behaviour towards and look upon the descendants of slaves with a jaundiced eye and with a level of superiority, privilege, entitlement. In their view, blacks no matter how successful have no rights, freedom, etc they should respect. Sad but true.
  • Bourgeoisi Professor (16/11/2023, 07:39) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    Slavery, slave labour has built nations, economies, international power and influence, built a system of racial superiority, casting white as wealthy upperclass with unearned privileges and entitlements which have been sustained by a social and economic structure and system of legal and extralegal activities. Slaves, Blacks, on the other hand, have been cast as a subhuman underclass and forced into a permanent state of poverty, powerlessness, dependency, etc. The exploitation and expropriation of slave labour through colonialism have allowed Whites to live a privileged lives, controlling 100% of the wealth, resources, power, businesses, all the levers of government. They have a monopoly of ownership, power, and control. The control has been executed through taking away the humanity of slaves and descendants, taking away slaves worldly possessions, depriving slaves, Blacks, of basic human rights, freedoms, and more importantly keeping slaves, Blacks, hopeless. White exert their control by rigidly and forcefully resisting any social change and opportunity for Black progress. Blacks have been deemed a permanent underclass and any ascendancy is put down and despised. Black ascendancy and white grievance are raging battles.

    The British Empire, the largest empire in history, covering some 25% of the globe, thrusting England, a small island, into a powerful international force, power. This power was acquired through conquest, colonization and the exploitation and expropriation of slave labour. Today, the power of the Empire has been depleted, ie, Britannia no longer rule the waves and the sun sets over the Commonwealth. Nonetheless, the once prestigious position is being tried to be relived through Global Britain, Commonwealth of nations (the Commonwealth is being treated as if owned and controlled by the Crown), and hold on Overseas Territories( OT). The OTs are the last remaining remnants of the once huge and powerful British Empire. And the UK is treating them with control and dependency as it trested colonies under slavery and the old dated colonialism. It gives them theoretically some level of self- governance on the one hand. But on the other hand, it maintains control by allowing them to have heavily dependency model constitutions. The Governor, the UK- appointed Governor (subjects have no say in whom is deployed to represent them as government. In reality, the term Virgin Islands Governor is a misnomer), is the de facto head of state, a whale in a small pond(s), with tremendous veto power of local government actions which are headed by blacks , minorities, etc, ie, reserved powers, power of assent, direct control over critical functions, ie, police, security, civil services, judiciary, jail, etc all of which are funded by local taxpayers. The BVI have been off grant-in-aid since 1979 under the Dr. Willard Wheatley Administration( Dr Willard Wheatley is the grandfather of current Premier Dr, Natalio Wheatley) yet the UK controls the VI financial expenditures.

    Furthermore, the VI is supposedly self-governing but devolved processes/ functions can be easily reversed as simple as saying 1-2-3., ie the constitution. In fact the VI constitution has been suspended by an order in council but is being held in abeyance, hanging over the head of the VI and its people like the Sword of Damocles. The suspending of the constitution was driven and influenced by the recommendations of a sole commissioner of a commission of inquiry. The CoI was controversial and commissioned by a former Governor Augustus Jaspert as he was leaving early from tour in the territory. Many are of the view that the CoI commissioner Sir Gary Hickingbottom was selectively handpicked and the findings were preplanned. There were some 46 recommendations which are being rushed to be implemented without being properly vetted as being in the best interest of the VI and its people and just checking a block on a check list just because a Colonialist say so. This is the state of things in the VI in the 21st Century. Governor John Rankin is on his way out in a few days. What gifts await ps the BVI before he departs and what will change if anything with his relief? Time will tell.

    • Quiet Warrior (16/11/2023, 09:44) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      To Bourgeoisi Professor, another invaluable history lesson. Concur that the CoI recommendations are bring to be implemented without proper and time tested vetted for currency and for proper review to ascertain if they are in the best interest of BVI and its residents. Some of the recommendations are routine no brainers that should have without being dictated to by colonialists. Others are being implemented just because of the power of the UK, the colonial ‘Administrative Power.’ These recommendations need a thorough vetting for their value. This is an example of might is right and white. It is a reflection of the master-slave mentality. The complicity of some VI residents makes it easy for the master-slave cracking of the whip effectiveness. The divide and rule social engineering is enduring and working..Where is our national pride, progression., etc..German philosopher George Hegel was right, ie, ‘ he who values liberty over life is the master, and he who who values life over liberty is the slave.’ George Hegel also writes that people are slaves because they won’t stand up to resist, fight against being enslaved mentally and physically. They refuse to fight against the rising tide.
  • resident (16/11/2023, 08:54) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Samuel Hodge lies in the Belize Military cemetery, next time our premier goes their for caricom he should lay a wreath on his grave
  • resident 2 (16/11/2023, 17:21) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why are you bringing the Premier in this? Did he say to you that he supports Rankin in this foolishness? Let 'Renking' go lay whatever wreath you want him to lay when he goes to Belize on his own time and pocket . Some of ayo people need to say nothing when you have nothing with sense to say and just want to be 'in ting'. Is like you get turned on by always saying something about the premier. STRUPESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
  • His own agenda (17/11/2023, 15:20) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope that the bvi Government places enormous importance on hearing from industry stakeholders and the public as we even consider this idea

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