Five BV Islanders were honoured during the 16th Annual Dr. Norwell E. Harrigan Memorial Scholarship Luncheon that was held on Sunday, 25 October, in the USVI.
The event was hosted by the League of British Virgin Islanders and honourees included: Wade Smith, Commissioner of Customs of the Government of the British Virgin Islands; Allison “Allie” Petrus, businessman and former senator of the U.S. Virgin Islands; Elvin “Skinny” Stout, longtime affiliate with Native Son Ferry Service; Yvonne E. Milliner Bowsky, lifelong educator in the U.S.V.I.; and Cynthia Brannigan, lifelong educator in the British Virgin Islands.
Premier Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith attended the event and announced that it was another example of Virgin Islands unity. The BVI Leader noted that all of the honourees, though they are of varying backgrounds, have British Virgin Islands heritage.
Dr. Smith said that all five persons are deserving of their honour. He announced that the Controller of Customs gave exemplary service in Customs in the US and now in the BVI. “Wade a decorated athlete was also lauded for his basketball career at The University of West Virginia.”
The Premier said that Mr. Elvin “Skinny” Stoutt for over 30 years was one of the BVI’s finest boat captains; and Ms Cynthia Brannigan gave stellar service in the teaching profession. “Ms. Yvonne Bowsky, daughter of the Milner family who resided in Jost Van Dyke was honored for her service in Education and Public Administration; and Mr. Ali Petrus, grandson of Leonora Christopher of Brewers Bay was honoured for his long standing career in politics and community activism,” Hon. Smith added.
In addition to congratulating the honourees Hon. Smith applauded the League for its efforts: “Thank you League of British Virgin Islanders for your continued work as you seek to promote your country while residing in the USVI. Thanks for keeping the fire burning between us,” he declared.
The annual luncheon is a fundraising event for the BVI League to provide young British Virgin Islanders with financial assistance to attend the University of the Virgin Islands for two years.
The scholarship was established in memory of Dr. Norwell Harrigan (1918-1990), a founding member and officer of the League of British Virgin Islanders, who had an outstanding career as a BVI and USVI educator, as well as an outstanding historian and BVI civil servant. In his later years he became the director of the Caribbean Research Institute at the College of the US Virgin Islands before retiring in 1984.
The League is a U.S. Virgin Islands-based non-profit organization whose purpose is to foster the continued improvement of the V.I. community through scholarship, cultural exchange and community involvement. Since its inception, the organization has engaged in many community initiatives to improve the U.S. and British Virgin Islands territories.