HUGE CROWD CHEERS VIP OFFICIAL LAUNCHING OF CAMPAIGN 2003
The ruling Virgin Islands Party put on a spectacular presentation at the Old
Festival Village on Wichkam’s Cay 1 as it officially launched its campaign for the
June 16th, 2003 general elections.
An entourage of cheerleaders escorted each candidate to the platform before they
were introduced by MC’s Myron Walwyn and Grace Flax Waters to give short
presentations, punctuated by entertainment.
First District Representative Honourable Andrew Fahie expressed confidence that the
VIP will be victorious once again. He said the VIP is the party to continue to lead
He said they have put the machinery in place to ensure that the BVI will have the
best education system in the region and stated that as he spoke several teachers
were graduating from the University of the Virgin Islands.
Second District candidate Mr. Kelvin Thomas said the people of his District believe
that a victory for Kelvin Thomas is a victory for them, a vote for progress and
prosperity for all and not just for a selected few.
He pointed out that all of the progress this territory has made came under the
Virgin Islands Party government and he encouraged the continued support for the VIP
to take the BVI through the future.
Third District Representative Hon. Julian Fraser, Deputy Chief Minister and Minister
for Natural Resources and Labour declared that his District is safe “and if it ain’t
broke, leave it”.
He outlined a number of projects he delivered during the last four years and asked
his constituents to give him another chance to deliver more projects, such as the
Sea Cow’s Bay Harbour project.
District 4 Rep. Hon. Mark Vanterpool celebrated the achievements of the VIP over the
years and informed of plans for the next four years and beyond. He said the development of the capital is a priority of his party, following on from
the renovation of the bandstand, improvements to ghuts and drains, establishing
convenient parking, the creation of the new craft alive village and park, roads and
sidewalks improved and the new multi purpose indoor facility close to completion.
Hon. Vanterpool said plans for other projects include the reclamation project by the
hospital and the continued empowerment of the BVI’s people. He pointed out that many
local businesspersons, including the banks, have confidence in the VIP government
and continue to invest in a strong stable economy. At Large Representative Hon. Reeial George said “we have a mission to protect and
preserve this land for our children and children’s children…and we cannot allow this
land to slide in the hands of irresponsible people.”
He said the VIP has stood the test of times and is responsible for the BVI’s
progress and he is proud to have been one of the contributors and will continue to
work to build on this progress.
At Large candidate Mr. Roy Pickering pointed out that in order to have a good team,
all players must be on the same page. “Along the way, we have gotten rid of those
who decided not to sing the same tune and tonight we have the players that we
need…Team VIP will continue to be a team for the BVI.”
At large candidate Mr. Elvis Harrigan said the VIP government will continue to
develop the territory’s education, health system, water and sewerage system, its
young people and sporting facilities and continue to work with the Social
The other VIP At Large candidate Mrs. Irene Penn-O’Neal expressed deep satisfaction
with the multitude of persons who turned up at the event and said she is overwhelmed
by the support the VIP has received throughout the campaign.
Fifth District Rep. Hon. Ethlyn Smith said she was grateful to those who elected her
as the first woman to represent the District. She spoke to her accomplishments
spearheaded by her District Office, such as the construction of new roads,
responding to community complaints and addressing the individual concerns of members
of the District.
The Rep. pledged to ensure the construction of the Huntum’s Ghut community centre
and the completion of the centre in Long Trench.
District 6 Rep. Hon. Omar Hodge spoke to the benefits of the ministerial system of
government and the coming to power of the Virgin Islands Party as a blessing. “It’s
going strong for 32 years now, don’t throw it away,” he told voters.
He announced dates of May 29th and June 6th when he would be addressing his
constituents in Purcell and Baugher’s Bay.
Candidate for the 7th District Dr. Clinton George implored voters to send back the
VIP for continued growth and stability. He said he offered himself as a candidate
because of his concern for his District. “I present myself as a humble approachable
man who will keep your interest at heart and work with you to see that the 7th
District is improved and become like a paradise.”
Mr. Ray George, candidate for District 9, said for the last three years, his
District has gone without representation and he is here to fix that. He also
dispelled rumours that Team VIP is not united in the 8th District, by having his
opponent in the recent primary elections come on stage to endorse him.
“I am your ray of hope for representation in the district,” he stated. His projects
for the District include a water desalination plant, a community centre, better
economic development and the development of the area as the gateway into the BVI.
Chief Minister Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, Rep. D9, thanked everyone for attending the
“We are here launching this campaign for this election…one which we know that the
power lies in your hands to choose…we in the VIP, based on our track record of good
performance, are asking you to exercise it in our favour,” Hon. O’Neal said.
He pointed out that the last four years were especially tough for the VIP in the
areas of leadership and fiscal management, but he said through experience, the
government was able to overcome various stumbling blocks. He pointed out that the
VIP managed to do this without implementing any new taxes. “This is no mean record.”
The BVI leader thanked his team and said there is a lot of projects still to be done
and will be done. He said while the opposition is criticizing, it is important to
remember the many accomplishments of the VIP government over the years, including
negotiating for British passports without reciprocity, granting scholarships for
those now criticizing the government, the introduction of a dialysis unit at the
2003 by SUN ENTERPRISES (B.V.I.) LTD.
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