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Late Legislator Hodge to lie in state January 17, 2018; Rush on to repair HoA

- The People’s Man, Omar W. Hodge, to be buried on January 18, 2018
January 7th, 2018 | Tags: Lie in state Omar W. Hodge HOA repair hurricane Irma
Repair work being conducted in the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) building in Road Town, Tortola. Photo: VINO
The late political giant Omar W. Hodge will lie in state at the House of Assembly (HoA) Chambers on January 17, 2018. Photo: GIS/File
The late political giant Omar W. Hodge will lie in state at the House of Assembly (HoA) Chambers on January 17, 2018. Photo: GIS/File
The Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) building was not spared the wrath of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
The Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) building was not spared the wrath of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017. Photo: VINO
The contract for the repair of the House of Assembly (HoA) building was awarded to Quality Construction Ltd., a local firm. Photo: VINO
The contract for the repair of the House of Assembly (HoA) building was awarded to Quality Construction Ltd., a local firm. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- It took the passing of a legislator it seems for the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government and the Deputy Governor’s Office to pay some attention to the repairing of the House of Assembly (HoA) Chambers.

Following two powerful Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, that destroyed the islands in September 2017 the HoA building was gutted, with just the frame standing.

The upstairs of the building located in the capital city, Road Town, is used for the High Court and downstairs is the national parliament, referred to as the House of Assembly (HoA).

Late Hodge to lie-in-state on January 17 & be buried on January 18, 2017

From last week, some four months after government abandoned the HoA Chambers and the court house, they rushed to do some repairs, rebuilding, and restoration to the building for the lying in state of the late political giant Omar W. Hodge, who passed away on December 20, 2017.

Mr Hodge, who spent some 30 years in elective office and represented the Sixth District, also served two times as Minister for Natural Resources and Labour under Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Governments.

Mr Hodge will lie-in-state at the HoA Chambers  on January 17, 2018 and will be giving an official funeral on January 18, 2018. The service is expected to be at the New Testament Church of God International Worship Centre in Baughers Bay, Tortola, headed by Bishop Ishmael P. Charles.

The interment will be at the Johnson’s Ghut public cemetery, according to Mr Hodge's son, Jeremy W. Hodge.

Government  left HoA Abandoned

The government has come in for heavy criticism about the HoA building because of the lack of attention paid to it as a vital institution following the destruction by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Months after the killer storms, not even a piece of plywood was placed to protect what was left by the ravage of the storms until public outcry.

The Legislature met in October 2017 at the Save the Seed Energy  Centre in Duffs Bottom and then at the Arbitration  Centre at Ritter House, Wickham’s Cay II, since the storms.

The Public has criticised Government for not paying attention to the seat of democracy in the Territory. The harshest criticism has come from former Managing Director of the BVI Ports Authority Claude O. Skelton Cline, who is now a social commentator.

The contract for the repair of the HoA was awarded to Quality Construction Ltd, a local firm. It’s Managing Director Mr Roy A. Garraway declined to reveal to this news site the cost of the project.

14 Responses to “Late Legislator Hodge to lie in state January 17, 2018; Rush on to repair HoA”

  • £££££ (07/01/2018, 14:20) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    You forgot to mention he also served as Deputy Chief Minister from 1986 to 1990 under the leadership of the stalwart H. Lavity Stoutt who was then Chief Minister.
  • ibornhere (07/01/2018, 15:09) Like (32) Dislike (1) Reply
    the hurricanes exposed what was already there, our infrastructure is badly outdated and needs to be rebuilt, the bvi is a first world destination with a third world government and infrastructure
  • pat (07/01/2018, 17:06) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
  • Anonymous (07/01/2018, 18:26) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
    We have already missed Hon. Hodge because our so call leaders are weak. RIP old boy
  • Zone 6 (07/01/2018, 18:32) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    thanks for this information VINO as we cannot rely on government to communicate to the people unless its a month before elections.

    People's Man I'll be there to make sure you get a good send off, as you have run a good race and have finished in first place.
  • pat (07/01/2018, 21:15) Like (2) Dislike (7) Reply
    Where did they get this money from all of a sudden? That means it could have been fixed before. SMH
  • ALSO (07/01/2018, 21:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fix our schools in a rush
  • Charley Rose (07/01/2018, 22:50) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    I am extremely disappointed with the government in the manner in which it dealt with the restoration of the House of Assembly. The HOA is the principal law making body in the territory and the government has paid no attention to preserve the building. Instead of the Hon. Premier spend time in working out a strategy to restore the territory, he is looking for alms in a begging bowl.

    BVI people are proud and the education minister speaks of national pride. Well I am disappointed with the premier as he tries to obtain assistance for the recovery. Well, I think he should stat at home. The Social Security Board has over $400,000,000, and I am sure that they will not need that amount to spend in the immediate future. As such if they borrow some funds from SSB, it will in some way assist with the recovery programme. I want to recommend that the monies do not go into the hands of the any of the ministers, rather the premier should be responsible for ALL of the projects.

    • Hmph (08/01/2018, 08:06) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
      You are absolutely right. The SSB is there to lend money to the Govt - I don’t know who these SSB officials think they are trying to invest the SSB funds outside of the BVI. It is time for a payroll tax free grant from the SSB to all BVIslanders - it has more money than it needs and it is time to share the joy.
  • Diaspora (08/01/2018, 06:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have been on a hiatus for like the government I was shell shocked and lost after the hurricanes. I’m still confused and so too seems the government that apparently had no plans for addressing a disaster. It is making things up on the fly. Its focus is on short-term solutions and no long term planning. It is reacting,not having a proactive approach to things. Reaction, reaction, reaction.........seems to be its only way of approaching things. Hurricane Irma and Maria tossed the BVI in a national crisis, plunge its economy into a recession, spread malaise through the land, rock the national psyche..........etc.

    Strong leadership is needed to lead the BVI out of this crisis and on the road to recovery. Government is struggling to regain its footing. There is not a strong coordinated recovery plan. Instead, the VI is piece mealing its way through the crisis. Furthermore, government is not listening to and communicating effectively with the people. It still seems hell bent on doing things its way. For example, the general consensus across the land is that the BVI cannot afford the extension of the runway at this time.

    But what does government propose in its supposed recovery plan? $250M for the runway extension. In a time of more critical needs, this is pure folly and bullheadness. Total disregard for the wishes of the many. Apparently, it is slavish to the wishes of a wealthy few. Another example is that the government is rolling out a $721M recovery plan and the way it is requesting feedback in a few days is through email and hard copy? Does not appear as if government genuinely wants any feedback. The request is just for show, for if it really wanted feedback it would have met with the people. They only interested in the people during election time. What a bunch of elitists. Nonetheless, we deserve the treatment that we are getting. We vote(may be) and then we go to sleep. Once we can get a little slop at the trough, we happy. We lacked the courage to hold politicians accountable and responsible. We are paying dearly for our inaction. We fiddle around while the territory is in a the throes of decline. We better wake up.
  • Knighted (08/01/2018, 10:11) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I do not see the rush fixing the HOA house for the dead. The people man would prefer to fix the schools with same speed. Put the man in a godly church. Keep those polihogs out the HOA. Man this thing make no sense until a proper government take over.
  • v (08/01/2018, 12:15) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ...will be givEN an official funeral...
  • W*F (08/01/2018, 17:41) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Noel Lloyd was a hero. He gave his blood, his sweat and I am sure tears when he fought to keep Wickham's Cay for the people of the BVI. He we're not given the recognition he deserved when it would have mattered. He was persecuted, and reduced to less than a human being. Now the Noel Lloyd Park named in his honor is in disrepair after hurricanes Irma and Maria. The statue in his likeness has been toppled to the ground since the hurricanes, and still lies there. Noel you are gone but not forgotten. Honourable Hodge rest in peace. My sincere condolences to his family.

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