Council Members pay
Homage to the late
Hon. Paul Wattley
Legislative Council of the BVI started their sitting on Friday 22 July by paying
homage to the late Hon. Paul P. Wattley. The widow of the late Minister, Mrs.
Sylvia Leona Wattley, and eldest daughter of the Minister, Ms. Mia Wattley were
invited and heard the heartfelt tributes that were paid to the late Minister. As
a sign of the Council’s sorrow the chair in which Hon. Wattley sat in at
meetings was draped in black. All of the Minister’s stood up and paid
condolences to Mr. Wattley’s family and attested to the wonderful attributes of
this great BV Islander.
Dr. Smith said that Hon. Wattley served with dignity and his unwavering sense of
purpose was a rock for the Honourable House. Dr. Smith said that he believed
that Hon. Wattley’s wish would have been for the Council members to be in unity
and to work together for the good of the Territory. The Chief Minister disclosed
that during the early days of the party Hon. Wattley’s house was the venue for
NDP meetings on Saturday night. Dr. Smith recalled the tasty snacks Mrs. Wattley
prepared, and he recalled that after each meeting they left Hon. Wattley’s home
in one accord. Hon. Smith said that Wattley was really a member of their family,
and he was a straight shooter who coined the saying “what you see is what you
get.” Dr. Smith said that “Paul will be missed, but he would have wanted us to
carry on, and carry on we will since there are a number of people in the
community who are willing and ready to take Paul’s position.”
Education and Culture, Hon. Lloyd Black told the House that Wattley was a man
with unwavering passion for fair treatment. The Education Minister remembered
Wattley as the easiest person to get along with, because he was very reliable.
“The new road that is built over Road Town should be named after Paul because he
was passionate about the project,” Hon. Black told the House.
Natural Resources and Labour, Hon. J. Alvin Christopher remembered Hon. Wattley
as a person who believed in his convictions and wasn’t afraid to stand by them.
“The country will suffer a great loss, the NDP will suffer a great loss, and I
pray for his family that God will give them the strength to go on,” Mr.
Representative, Hon. Delores Christopher said that she found Wattley to be
jovial, and quite different from the stern and powerful voice that spoke out on
political issues. Hon. D. Christopher said that “Paul didn’t tolerate prolonged
discussions. He believed that Government should stop wasting time and get the
job done. I remember Paul’s appeal for giving blood, because it saves life. That
appeal can be taken figuratively as an urge to give blood to the Territory….may
the work that he has done speak for him.”
District Representative, Hon. Mark Vanterpool recalled Hon. Wattley’s creativity
and ingenuity. He said that, “Paul paid a lot of attention to the development of
Road Town. I always considered Paul to be a man of action. His impact on this
Territory speaks for him."
Minister, Hon. Ronnie Skelton said that he can honestly consider Hon. Wattley a
friend. “Paul meant well for his country and was not ashamed to share his
views. The NDP and his family will miss Paul. During the time of his illness I
called him and he was always cheery never giving the impression that he was
hurting, he was always more concerned about how others were doing. Paul was a
person with a real positive outlook on life.”
General, Hon. Cherno Jallow told the Council that Hon. Wattley had attributes
that we should all try to emulate. He referred to Hon. Wattley as a man of
brevity, and substance. Jallow said that he found Wattley to be a highly
respectable human being who did not mince his words: “I found him to be a man of
integrity and honest candor; I learnt a lot from Hon. Wattley even though I had
to disagree with him on many occasions.
Representative, Hon. Omar Hodge told the House “my spirit is down today, it is
down because Lee’s (speaking of Hon. Wattley’s wife Leona) spirit is down.” Hon.
Hodge spoke of the importance of faith recalling that Hon. Wattley was a man of
Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser referred to Hon. Wattley as a brilliant
individual who knew his craft and knew it well. Hon. “Paul was the man I wanted
to be. Make no mistake the job he held as Minister for Communications and Works
was not an easy one. In the last six years that ministry has seen changes in
Ministers. I had that ministry and I can attest to the stress that comes with
Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie said that Hon. Wattley’s greatest
accomplishment was making peace with his maker and knowing that it is well with
his soul. He pointed out that the memory of Hon. Wattley will live on forever,
he also told Wattley’s family to trust in God.
Leader of the
Opposition, Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal said that the good men do is often interred
with their bones, but he said that, that will not be the case with Hon. Wattley.
According to Hon O’Neal — “Wattley did many goods that will live on: every time
we go into our cars and buckle up our seat belts even if we don’t like to, we
would remember that Paul did that.”
District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering explained that the
passing of Hon. Wattley taught him an important lesson about the frailty of
life: “Under Paul’s tutorage the Territory could have flourished. I wished I
could have seen Paul blossom as a parliamentarian and politician,” he said.
The Speaker of
the Legislative Council, Hon. Inez V. Archibald said that Hon. Wattley spoke
least of all of the members of the House. Hon. Archibald said that “it was not
important to Paul whether he won or lost, what mattered was that he spoke his
mind. He was always open to learning”.
tributes, Hon. Archibald asked the Council to observe a moment of brief silence
in respect to Hon. Wattley and the victims of the U.K bombings tragedy.
© 2005 by SUN ENTERPRISES (B.V.I.) LTD.
PUBLISHERS OF THE ISLAND
SUN Newspaper. All rights reserved.