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R. T. O’Neal’s historic move in HOA unforgettable - Mrs Flax

- Said the VIP leader was the first to second a bill brought by the other side
Honourable Ralph T. O’Neal OBE created history in the House of Assembly by being the first opposition member in the 1980s to second a motion for the passing of a bill proposed by the other side of the House. Photo: VINO/File
The historic event is forever etched in the memory of Mrs. Rosemarie Flax who was the first local to sit in the seat as manager in the Financial Services Industry sector in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO
The historic event is forever etched in the memory of Mrs. Rosemarie Flax who was the first local to sit in the seat as manager in the Financial Services Industry sector in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “The Member in the House that was to second the introduction of the bill in the House (HOA) was supposed to be Willard Wheatley … but Ralph O’Neal [who was a member of the opposition] jumped to his feet, and seconded the bill,” Mrs Rosemarie Flax said.

Mrs Flax was referring to the support Hon Ralph T. O’Neal OBE gave to the International Business Companies Bill by seconding its introduction in the House of Assembly in 1984 even though he was a member of the Opposition at the time.

She was at the time reflecting on what she called one of the most memorable events to have taken place in the Financial Services (FS) Sector of the Virgin Islands which she had experienced while coming through the ranks and as the first Virgin Islander to have held the post of Manager in the FS sector.

“That was something that was never done before, the member of the opposition seconding a bill at that time in history,” she further stated.

She said that it was in the 1970s when the IBC legislations had begun drafting. “That was as a result of the cancellation of the double taxation treaty in the United State,” she said. According to Mrs Flax the double taxation was one of the Virgin Islands’ (VI) primary source of revenue at the time.

“Obviously the government had to find something to subsidize that income [from] that revenue base,” she said.

She recalled a man, Mr Butler, who was introduced to government at that time by Mr Christopher Smith who was the Managing Director of CITCO BVI back then.

Butler, a US lawyer, thought that he could have come up with a draft bill which the government could have enacted in the legislature that would have helped to subsidize the revenue. She recalled that when that draft was presented to Mr Louis Hunte who was the then Attorney General it was thought that it could not have been presented to the House in the state of that initial drafting.

The late Mr Hamilton Lavity Stoutt who was the Chief Minister at the time stepped in. “He gave Mr Hunte sort of an impossible mandate to come up with a piece of legislation, a bill that would be able to go through the house in a month, one month and he said he couldn’t do it.” She recalled.

With the assistance of persons like Neville Westwood and Richard Peters who were able to point out to him the problems that were encountered during their operations, Mr Hunte had the draft completed in a matter of six months.

“In 1984 the bill was brought to the House and it was introduced by Mr Cyril B. Romney who was now the Chief Minister and Lavity Stoutt was in the opposition…The member in the House that was to second the introduction of the bill in the House (HOA) was suppose to be Willard Wheatley … but Ralph O’Neal – a member of the opposition – jumped to his feet, and seconded the bill,” she said.

She noted that nothing significantly happened with the bill up until the Noriega notoriety in Panama. This resulted in the Panamanian lawyers wanting somewhere to divert their client because of the instability of Panama at the time. “So the BVI was the place… Mossack Fonseca was the first to come from Panama to the BVI and others followed.”

“It was the Panamanian companies, I dare say, that put that legislation on the map,” declared Mrs Flax.

13 Responses to “R. T. O’Neal’s historic move in HOA unforgettable - Mrs Flax”

  • . (20/05/2014, 08:07) Like (4) Dislike (12) Reply
    A perfect robert replacement.
    • DON Q (20/05/2014, 12:17) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
      she has the ability to serve
    • @. (23/05/2014, 17:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      You obviously have no clue what your saying. Just because she is able to say what ALL of us in Financial Services Industry who been around when it was developed doe snot mean she can run direct the FSC. Running a company regulated by the FSC is a far cry from heading the Regulator of the Industry.. You have no clue..
  • Yes (20/05/2014, 08:23) Like (11) Dislike (9) Reply
    very good history lesson I do not see that in the book Myron waste our money and purchase on the topic
  • PT (20/05/2014, 08:37) Like (17) Dislike (2) Reply
    What a well Rounded Woman she Posses all the things that make a Woman a love and passion for God, beauty and intellect a Proud Virgin Island woman Ms flax you are Great
    • not so fast (20/05/2014, 08:50) Like (10) Dislike (14) Reply
      Have a chat with those who have worked for her, every rose has its thorns :)
      • INSDIER (20/05/2014, 10:24) Like (9) Dislike (7) Reply
        oh lawd the haters are out early..I worked with her and she is the best thing ever happen to the sector and she treat her people well...god bless you Mrs. Flax the haters will not prevail
  • Voters (20/05/2014, 08:52) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    A women of glass let's win this thing vip we need to use Mrs flax talents
  • worked for her (20/05/2014, 12:45) Like (4) Dislike (5) Reply
    not a negative thing to say about Mrs. Flax, she's been more than a great boss keep off the lady before you spread your negativity run a back ground check on your source.
  • my two cents (20/05/2014, 13:05) Like (5) Dislike (5) Reply
    she should run for office she will get more votes than Keith LOL
  • virgin gorda (20/05/2014, 15:12) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Any one whose Gonna rep the 9 district must be from the 9 district
  • Tell them! (20/05/2014, 20:23) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    Girl, you know your stuff! Tell them!!
  • VG (21/05/2014, 15:40) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply

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