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VI continues to be ‘bombarded by forces from all directions’ – Premier Wheatley

As the Virgin Islands celebrated VI Day yesterday, July 3, 2023, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natlaio D. Wheatley (R7) has reminded that the territory is still being bombarded by forces from all directions as was the case in the past. Photo: VINO/File
 Virgin Islands Day cultural celebrations at Long Bay Beach, Beef Island on July 3, 2023. Photo: Facebook
Virgin Islands Day cultural celebrations at Long Bay Beach, Beef Island on July 3, 2023. Photo: Facebook
LONG BAY, Beef Island, VI- As the [British] Virgin Islands celebrated Virgin Islands Day yesterday, July 3, 2023, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has reminded that the territory is still being bombarded by forces from all directions as was the case in the past.

“Some of these interactions and influences can be positive, and some can be detrimental to the survival of our identity and everything that goes with it. And even where the influences are positive, we must be careful that the traits that make us unique and special do not fade away,” he said.

The Premier’s warning came as part of a speech for the day, and he added that one of the most valuable things in the VI's arsenal is the Virgin Islands' identity.

“In fact, identity is important to all people. Often persons who say your identity is not important, jealously guard theirs. Because your identity secures your space in the world, and those who are wise and aware understand this,” he said.

He added that Virgin Islanders have earned their place in this world, and are appreciated as a unique people where the VI identity has been shaped by centuries of violence upon our fore parents.

VI shaped by History 

“It was shaped by having hope and determination in the face of hopelessness and despair; by resourcefulness, innovation and ingenuity. It has also been shaped by the journey of our political development; from being a part of the Leeward Islands colony to being a stand-alone colony to a Territory with our own political institutions and where decisions on our governance are made by elected representatives with the exception of a few areas reserved for the Governor. We must include here too our social and economic development.”

The Premier reminded that the people of the VI have made a lot of progress in their journey to nationhood, and therefore they must take time to reflect on where they have come from and where they wish to go.

“Recognising and appreciating our uniqueness, and being conscious of our identity, are essential for us to define our destination and to ensure that we stay on course.”

He added that as the VI continues along its journey, and gets to its destination, many things will change, “but we must still be recognisable as Virgin Islands people, and our story and our special identity must live on.”

Hon Wheatley was away from the Territory; however, his speech was delivered by Junior Minister For Culture And Tourism Hon Luce D. Hodge-Smith (R4) at the Virgin Islands Day Cultural Celebration at Long Bay, Beef Island on July 3, 2023.

26 Responses to “VI continues to be ‘bombarded by forces from all directions’ – Premier Wheatley”

  • chocolate (04/07/2023, 11:00) Like (27) Dislike (4) Reply
    We just want our increments
    • yeah (04/07/2023, 13:56) Like (6) Dislike (3) Reply
      With ALL the back pay
    • @chocolate (04/07/2023, 22:54) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I wish you guys the best of luck with that and hope you guys get your monies that is owed. A quick way to get your monies is everyone have to take it to the streets. Bet you will get their attention. Shut the place down for a day or for however long it takes.
  • Local (04/07/2023, 11:19) Like (27) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of those forces are internal and coming from within!
  • Grrr... (04/07/2023, 11:36) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
  • our name (04/07/2023, 11:38) Like (38) Dislike (19) Reply
    We must stop using British in official settings. Our name is a major part of our identity, so we should ensure it's used properly, instead of always putting "B" in BVI. I understand if in informal settings we continue just to distinguish but our buildings, boards and committees etc, should not include British.

    It has gotten to the point that persons from the USVI try to correct us whenever we use our name because they never learned that they are the ones abusing the use of our name as if it's theirs. People are blatantly saying we are confusing them when we post about VI Festival for example, instead of BVI Festival.
    We need to continue marketing like this even if we have to teach our USVI neighbours, who are now often confused, especially the younger generation.

    Also, customs and other authorities need to stop correcting persons who do not use British on the forms. The passports clearly say The Virgin Islands, but many are so programmed to use British in everything that its seen as incorrect. Yes we are a British territory but our name is simply The Virgin Islands.
    • Manjack (04/07/2023, 13:00) Like (14) Dislike (9) Reply
      @Our name, I second the notion of using Virgin Islands vice British Virgin Islands in legal and other official settings. Our failure to claim and use our rightful name consistently has resulted in our friendly neighbor, the USVI, to usurp it and used and market it as its own. Our government officials who should know better and should set the personal example by using VI in official settings are some of the Chief violators. If we as people like BVI better than VI why don’t we just change our name to BVI? Indeed, the VI has a unique identity, heritage, history, culture, customs, courtesies, way of life, etc, that we should be proud of and cherished. The VI has 120+ different nationalities residing in it and they all celebrate, promote, cherish and and are proud of their identity(s). The VI sometimes behave like their identity, culture, etc are secondary to others. In time, every country with immigration will absorb and integrate other culture into its own. Notice, I saw integrate, not replace, subordinate , etc.
    • Big Deal (04/07/2023, 13:16) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
      @our name, what's in a name? it's character that matters. What needs to be dropped is badmindedness, greed, envy and grudge. Stop victimizing your fellow men, your family members. Dropping British off the name is neither here nor there if we cannot deal justly with each other.
  • the way it is (04/07/2023, 12:35) Like (13) Dislike (5) Reply
    @Our Name. I second the motion and stand in solidarity with you on this issue. Hence, in every government office beginning with GIS, letter heads, forms, names on buildings, addresses, speeches, and the like must reflect nothing else than “The Virgin Islands “. Even in the HOA, our representatives need to come to grip with it and use the term correctly. The sooner we take back what rightly belongs to us, our neighbors in the USVI will make the necessary adjustments.
    • Cindy (04/07/2023, 16:07) Like (3) Dislike (10) Reply
      "These Islands" referred to as the BVI, were given to Queen Elizabeth, by her father, as a gift for her 25th birthday We must always remeber that. The BVI belongs to the Brits, plain and simple.
      • real history (04/07/2023, 18:52) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        Utter nonsense. The British claimed the Territory in the early 1600s and was colonised by them from 1672.
      • @cindy (04/07/2023, 19:08) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
        There you go, no use in trying to explain to the simpletons something they should have already known or they are simply playing the stupid, lack of basic common sense. I call it LACK OF BASIC COMMON SENSE SYNDROME.
      • @cindy (04/07/2023, 21:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        You went to Brer Anancie school?
      • @ cindy (04/07/2023, 21:45) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        What school you attended, Brer Anancie or Humpty Dumpty ? Which Queen you talking about , QE1 or 2 ( 1558-1603 or 1952-2023. Has not England been in control of the VI since 1672? What is the source of this gift?
    • @the way it is (05/07/2023, 08:34) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      LOL….you really think US Vis are going to make the “necessary” adjustments, whatever they may be? US VIs is not going to change its name in response to the actions of a Territory of 35,000.

      BVI is de facto a brand name. Use that if you want to change the Territory’s name to something else, unless there are negative connotations associated with that name. Changing it to “The Virgin Islands” would allow USVI to take advantage, as, for example, in creating a marketing campaign to come the The Virgin Islands, the moniker most Americans use when referring to STT/STJ/STX. Americans who come here refer to the Territory as the BVIs.

      I’d also point out that there are greater priorities than coming up with new names for the Territory: education, health care, infrastructure (roads, electricity, water, waste disposal), and dealing with narco trafficking come to mind,
      • @the way it is (05/07/2023, 10:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Our name is The Virgin Islands. No one ever said we are trying to use change it to that. British Virgin Islands is used only to distinguish the two sets. The USVI did what Americans love to do, take what is not theirs and claim it as their own. Its so bad that the young people over there think that when we use The Virgin Islands that we are using their name when its the other way around. From the Danish West Indies then changed to USVI. The could have named their islands anything else, but nope, not them, they just had to include ours in the theirs, now causing a mix up. Anyway British was only introduced to distinguish in conversations etc. but it has always been officially, The Virgin Islands.
  • one eye (04/07/2023, 12:48) Like (2) Dislike (10) Reply
    Up with the bvi down with racism governor and police commander
  • Territory Day (04/07/2023, 12:55) Like (10) Dislike (6) Reply
    is a more accurate holiday name than Virgin Islands Day.
    • @Territory Day (04/07/2023, 13:54) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Other more accurate holiday names include: 'Dependant, still colonized territory' day OR 'tola is not a real place' day OR 'see a live clown show' day OR 'the roads aint going to get fix by themselves' catch my drift :(
    • @Territory Day (04/07/2023, 14:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      What makes Virgin Islands Day inaccurate or less accurate?
  • Big Richard (04/07/2023, 13:19) Like (11) Dislike (3) Reply
    Today IS independence day. Juley 4th for the U.S. Eat your heart out Slowande. The BVI can be just like Haiti if you keep up the good work.
  • blogger (04/07/2023, 16:04) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    Making a big noise about the British part of the name is just pure smoke and mirrors. If he shout loud enough about independence he thinks everyone will forget how far behind they are regarding the COI timeframes which quite frankly are because of incompetence in government. If they got they’re shut together and closed off the COI requirements they’d have reason to look at the next steps.
    He’s been too busy using the Trump method when really he should just do his job.
  • ...... (04/07/2023, 16:50) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    You keep rebelling against your mother, and then confused as to why she keep bussin ur arrrseeee :D
  • Real Talk (04/07/2023, 22:29) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I feel the V.I leadership /premier funny behind closed doors. entertaining this nonsense.

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