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Hon O'Neal pushed education as 'foundation of our resiliency' - Gov Albert Bryan Jr

-Says VI has since seen great accomplishments in education, tourism & infrastructure
United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr, said that Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE understood the value of education is building the resilience of the people, and this he said allows all of the Virgin Islands to develop and compete on the international front. Photo: GIS/Facebook
The packed Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on December 11, 2019 for the state funeral of the late first Premier of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, Member Emeritus. Photo: VINO
The packed Multi-Purpose Sports Complex on December 11, 2019 for the state funeral of the late first Premier of the Virgin Islands Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE, Member Emeritus. Photo: VINO
Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE was the longest-serving elected official in the history of the Territory of the Virgin Islands, having served in the House of Assembly and Legislative Council for almost forty (40) years from 1975 to 2015. On July 6, 2015, the House of Assembly honoured Honourable O'Neal by passing a Resolution bestowing upon him Member Emeritus status. Photo: VINO/File
Hon Ralph T. O'Neal OBE was the longest-serving elected official in the history of the Territory of the Virgin Islands, having served in the House of Assembly and Legislative Council for almost forty (40) years from 1975 to 2015. On July 6, 2015, the House of Assembly honoured Honourable O'Neal by passing a Resolution bestowing upon him Member Emeritus status. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - United States Virgin Islands (USVI) Governor Albert Bryan Jr, said Hon Ralph T. O'Neal, OBE understood the value of education in building the resilience of the people, and this he said allowed all of the Virgin Islands to develop and compete on the international front.

"Every child in what we called the Greater Virgin Islands, whether the US or the British Virgin Islands, is raised in the centre of the community with an eye on politics and a heart of purpose. It is not an accident that this happens, it is because of a long tradition of leaders that have come before us," he told those gathered in the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex for the official state funeral of Hon O'Neal yesterday, December 11, 2019. 

Born in a time of change 

In extending condolences to the family and the entire Virgin Islands, Governor Bryan said throughout his life Hon O'Neal "stoked the flame that would continue to kindle in all that followed this great great instinct, today we say goodbye to a brother, a friend, a husband, a father, a statesman, a true son of the soil." 

According to Governor Bryan, the Virgin Islands is now closing in on an era of visionaries of which Hon O'neal was one. "He was born of a time of great change and was armed with the passion and the courage... to bring about great change for his people and great change for the British Virgin Islands." 

He recalled that he often contemplate the great tribulations of the men and women who faced mountains of challenges to make today better, in comparison to the challenges of today. 

"I contemplate the understanding that he had as an economist and an educator, that essentially education is the foundation of our resiliency, that no matter how hard the wind blows and what roofs it may topple, that the education of our people is the foundation of the true resiliency that makes us strong and able to compete in a global climate."

Well deserved rest 

Gov Bryan pointed to the infrastructure of the islands as well as its educational institutions and the inroads made in tourism as signs that the Virgin Islands is truly pushing forward.

"I thought to myself, that the Hon Ralph T. O'Neal must be smiling down from heaven for the works that you as a people and he have accomplished." 

Recalling moments of meeting the great legislator and realising that Hon O'Neal was indeed a great man, Governor Bryan noted: "This rest is well deserved, as he toiled hard for the people of the British Virgin Islands."

5 Responses to “Hon O'Neal pushed education as 'foundation of our resiliency' - Gov Albert Bryan Jr”

  • cgb (12/12/2019, 14:48) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Have to admire the relationship between BVI & USVI... a lesson in deplomacy.
  • Political Observer (PO) (12/12/2019, 16:04) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    ”......contemplate the understanding that he had as an economist and an educator, that essentially education is the foundation of our resiliency, that no matter how hard the wind blows and what roofs it may topple, that the education of our people is the foundation of the true resiliency that makes us strong and able to compete in a global climate.", said Gov Bryan. Indeed, it is. Education is vital for the VI continued growth and development. However, education is only occurring around the edges, the outer bands; it needs to reach a critical mass. Education is a critical factor in diversifying the economy. RIP olde boy. You have served the VI well.
    • indeed (13/12/2019, 08:27) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      But too bad the BVIs continues to under-invest in education, something that seems to be disdained. Don't believe me? Try having an intelligent conversation with a random BVI high school graduate.
  • Teacher (12/12/2019, 22:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was impresed to see both governor and ltd governor on hand
  • Tafari Zharr (13/12/2019, 17:40) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply

    HON. RALPH T. ONEAL
    Member Emeritus, OBE

    A Requiem, Written for This Day, For This Hour, And That Hour They Inter Him

    By Tafari Zharr.


    [Breathe In]

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    His Days Were Numbered
    Thirty-One Thousand, Three Hundred Seventy- Seven (31,377)
    And You Held on To Him Thirty Days More
    Monday Till Wednesday
    Picture-Perfect, Statesman, Procession:
    Showered with Adulation Three (3) Days
    Before They’d Later [Privately] Inter Him
    Jack, It’s Hard to Believe RTO Is Gone

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    Oh, It’s Up to You Now
    Left to Be Seen What You’ll Do
    With What He Advanced
    Oh, Of Freedoms Be Neither Sleep nor Still
    Oh, Great Man, Groomed to Become More Than an Island
    Oh, Whose Days Are No Longer, And Nights Are No More
    Oh, Whose Profound Legacy—Virgin Islanders: Simply
    He Did It, Get Up, Go, and Grow

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    Oh, Approbations: Left by Him for You
    A Great Blue Print Of Life
    Oh, For His Period, Strong, Reconstruction Efforts, Sing Sweeter, Newer, Lullabies
    Oh, For His Hopes of Economic Equity and Security
    Be Neither Blind nor Distilled
    Oh, For Our Stability and Preservation Make Homes
    Not Houses, Polished, High on Hills

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    Oh, For His Ambitions Traded for Yours
    Oh, For Her Hopes Prorogued for Yours
    Oh, For Their Futures Deferred for Yours
    Oh, For His Promises Fragmented for Yours

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    His Love Has Been Your Affairs
    Oh, For His Aberration for Virgin Gorda
    Oh, For A Romanticism with Tortola
    Oh, For A Proclivity for Anegada
    Oh, For His Political Life, A Sac-ri-fice?

    Oh, Virgin Islanders,

    Oh, But for His Earlier Excitement in The Vicinage
    You Might Never
    You Might Never Have
    You Might Never Have Had
    Your Treasured, Highly Acclaimed, and Colossal Rising Son!

    [Repeat: Breathe In, hold it, Breathe Out].

    Oh, Virgin Islanders

    His Days Were Numbered:
    Thirty-One Thousand, Three Hundred Seventy-Seven (31,377)
    And You Held on To Him Thirty (30) Days More
    Monday Till Wednesday
    Picture-Perfect, Statesman, Procession:
    Showered with Adulation Three (3) Days
    Before They’d Later [Privately] Inter Him
    Jack, It’s Hard to Believe RTO Is Gone

    And Alongside Him Came the Turtle Dove Inviting Him Home

    [Breathe Out]:

    May the Honorable Ralph Tedford O’Neal, OBE, Member Emeritus, Rest in Peace,

    My Condolences on the Passing of Your Father, and Husband, You Are All in My Heart and Mind and in those of the People of The Virgin Islands.


    All Right Reserved. Copyright © 2019. Tafari Zharr.


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