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Willock calls for an Office of Diaspora Affairs

Former Speaker of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) Mr Julian Willock has called on the Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) Administration to set up an Office of Diaspora Affairs. Photo: GIS/File
Mr Julian Willock has said one of the long-term goals of the Virgin Islands should be 'to build a new Parliament building that reflects our culture, standards, values and that can be truly a symbol of our democracy'. Photo: VINO/File
Mr Julian Willock has said one of the long-term goals of the Virgin Islands should be 'to build a new Parliament building that reflects our culture, standards, values and that can be truly a symbol of our democracy'. Photo: VINO/File
SEA COWS BAY, Tortola, VI- Former Speaker of the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) Mr Julian Willock has called on the Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) Administration to set up an Office of Diaspora Affairs.

Mr Willock, a businessman and former Permanent Secretary, was at the time being interviewed on the Monday, May 29, 2023, edition of the talk show Talking Points on ZBVI 780 AM hosted by Violet Gaul.

He noted that there are “many Virgin Islanders living in the USVI, Orlando, Atlanta, New York, and other places who want to transition home”.

The former Director of the Water and Sewerage Department, Willock, stated that there needs to be an office dedicated to “reaching out to our people”. 

He said VI residents living abroad have many questions and issues, from “land issues, belonger status for children, the constitutional reform and a number of other inquiries and we must be able to facilitate our people from the diaspora,” he stated.  

Help for our people who get in trouble?

The former House Speaker also said that as a part of the mandate of this new office, which he suggested should be under the Premier’s Office, "we must be able to help our people if they get in trouble”. Mr Wiillock referred, as an example, to the former Premier Andrew A. Fahie, who was arrested in Miami on April 28, 2022, and said “it seems like we turn our back on Mr Fahie, we provided no support. Despite the allegations, he was the Premier at the time of his arrest, he is one of us,” the outspoken Willock opined on the show.

Strengthen the HoA-Willock

He further said as the VI moves towards self-determination he wants to see the HoA as an institution strengthened to include moving it to a statutory body, updating its Standing Orders, making sure the Select Committees function, as well as reducing papers by going green.

Mr Willock noted that one of the long-term goals should be "to build a new Parliament building that reflects our culture, standards, values and that can be truly a symbol of our democracy”.

27 Responses to “Willock calls for an Office of Diaspora Affairs”

  • Sara (31/05/2023, 13:50) Like (36) Dislike (1) Reply
    I’m really tired of this Andrew is one of us nonsense. We need to wake up and be truthful with ourselves, two of his accomplices pleaded guilty. How many more of “ours” in trouble and we don’t Leo anything. He is a grown man and know what he was doing.
  • Xxx (31/05/2023, 13:55) Like (8) Dislike (37) Reply
    Willock is always on point
  • wuk (31/05/2023, 13:56) Like (4) Dislike (16) Reply
    That maybe a good job for him
  • Ummmm (31/05/2023, 14:08) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
  • Winston Church Hill (31/05/2023, 14:37) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    might be given attention few moments before another election. political parties cares about the people just be an election. when last you see any of the 42 candidates in your village
  • asura (31/05/2023, 14:50) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    if they treat Andrew like that who made Natalio imagine how he will treat his district and the country!!!!
  • 1st district original (31/05/2023, 14:58) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
  • Rubber Duck (31/05/2023, 15:05) Like (9) Dislike (14) Reply
    I must say I agree with Mr. Willock on this one...but don't kill the Messenger he making sense
  • news day (31/05/2023, 15:09) Like (4) Dislike (8) Reply
    Many agree with this but may be small minded to say because they don’t like willock
  • Anonymous (31/05/2023, 15:14) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    this is not a new idea I heard that Potter young lady with this, but because its Julian Willock saying it, then it makes the news chups
  • Jones (31/05/2023, 15:15) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    Not understanding the need for an office, want to come home, then just get on a plane. We dont need a $100k salary for this nonsense, another waste of taxpayers money
    • Run and DON'T come back! (01/06/2023, 09:33) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
      @Jones. No, it's way too much for BVIslanders because we hate each other so much and is too envious and jealous of each other. If you see me with a big house, you must have one bigger. If you see me with a good job, you want it, if you see me with a degree, you must get one too. If you see me with a good man, yuh want he. But to pay a BVIslander their worth is toooo much to ask, but yet they will pay a non-BVIslander MORE THAN THAT and think it NOTHING, then wonder why BVIslanders who are highly qualified are NOT coming home. Do you blame them, I surely DO NOT and will encourage any BVIslander I know to stay as far away from this shore as possible from these damn CRABS!

      Don't mind the talk that you must shop locally, it's all ok when they have a business, but not when it's about recruiting local talent.
  • Citizen (31/05/2023, 15:21) Like (9) Dislike (10) Reply
    I read some of these fake blogs against Mr. Willock. Most of us can see right through them, the same three persons and they are so repetitive, so you give away yourselves. Jealousy going send many of you to your gave. The man is right, love him or hate him.

    You can’t take away the fact that the man has ideas and loves people and his country!!!! So you going have to face the music our esteem is here to stay!!! BAM BAM
  • The Reaper (31/05/2023, 15:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    When u was there. Only now ,Smh
  • james (31/05/2023, 16:40) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
    Guaranteed if only the Maynards were involved, this would never even be a topic.
    You now want to open office and then you get to pick and choose who you will help.
    Go away.
  • ok (31/05/2023, 16:54) Like (6) Dislike (12) Reply
    The one and only time I agree with Willock.
  • Dancing with the Stars (31/05/2023, 19:57) Like (0) Dislike (3) Reply
    I totally agree with Mr. Willock. As we progress in life the Territory will not only have a need for one office but many. The countries of the Caribbean have embassies in many countries around the world that assist their nationals. Such a move will enhance the development of the country. For instance, if a BVI Be-longer is returning home there are some protocols that must be followed. One needs to communicate with the local authorities for duty free concessions, transition of school age children, employment opportunities, investment opportunities, arranging travel documents and general social welfare matters. Such an office would be of vital importance. Mr. Willock is right.
  • asura (31/05/2023, 21:47) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
    the event they just had in Fla is a perfect example why we need such an office
  • Mirror on the wall (01/06/2023, 03:51) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Men wearing big dickie ties usually have little dickies elsewhere
  • rattie (01/06/2023, 07:07) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    Hats off to willock we need you in the HoA
  • Realist (01/06/2023, 07:32) Like (4) Dislike (2) Reply
    Did not some of these people abandon the BVI after the 2017 hurricanes and even before? I don't recall any organizations of BVIslanders abroad sending stuff to help us out. But I know groups from Haiti did, and we thank them. The British paid the Canadians to help restore power, and we thank them.

    I agree with Jones, we don't need an office dedicated to this. If they want to return, then they can do so through family and friends. And we would welcome them back.
  • cnn (01/06/2023, 07:59) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    Good idea Julian
  • reality (01/06/2023, 08:43) Like (2) Dislike (3) Reply
    Everyone complaining about the roads, schools, water supply, sewage system, and Wiggy wants to spend money on this? Money is scarce. Anyone that unable to determine priorities has no role in public life.
  • Outsider (03/06/2023, 05:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I wonder if the Office of Diaspora Affairs would sit within the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change. Perhaps it would become the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources, Climate Change and Diaspora Affairs.
  • Disinterested (04/06/2023, 09:54) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Julian is thinking outside the box. I’m averse to a Diaspora Office, for there is a large VI diaspora outside. However, is there a mad rush to the border to come back? Can the local departments effectively facilitate the few that dare to come back? We talk out both sides of our mouth. On one side we say we want Virgin Islanders to return; on the other, we give them hell when they cone. Perhaps, that is why they are not racing back. Nuff bout that. Let’s rap about helping people that get in trouble. There are three sides to this coin. The smart and law abiding people reside in the edge. People on Side 1, typically get in trouble perhaps by being at the wrong place at the wrong time or they were delibrstiveky targeted and setup. Then on Side 2, are people who deliberatively violate the laws, thinking they can outsmart law enforcement, etc. Which side should we ( government) spending taxpayers resources on? Let’s keep it real.

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