On 23 January Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith spoke for the last time in the House of Assembly as a legislator as his tenure as a member of the House of Assembly came to an end with the dissolution of the House being announced the same day. However, the moment was bitter sweet for the Premier who during that sitting was honoured with the renaming of the Hospital after him and an opportunity to hear endearing words from his fellow legislators.
During the Private Members section of the House Hon. Smith was able to respond to some of the congratulatory and farewell statements that were made. He told his colleagues: “As you all know my life has always been about service in this country from the time I entered the medical field and then transferred into the political field. I am pleased about the service that I gave to the country because that’s what I was committed to.”
Hon. Smith confirmed that he is leaving politics for good: “I think it is time for me to look at other options which I have and I am satisfied that during the time that I was here I have given my best. I know that there is a lot more that could have been done but four elected terms goes by quickly and with all the various challenges there is not enough time to get them done, but you still have to continue to persevere.”
In a light hearted manner Dr. Smith acknowledged that the Hospital was renamed in his honour and laughed as he told a joke that after the renaming of the Pockwood Pond power station after his brother Henry Wilfred ‘Freddie’ Smith someone met him and said “Boy everybody but you got something named after them – my older brother Joshua, and Freddy; so I said yes,” he said.
In looking ahead towards the election he wished all of his colleagues success: “I wish all my colleagues well and I wish that by the time all this is over we have a House that is working well together, in synch and moving this country in the right direction forward.”
In a statement last year on 19 June Hon. Smith announced that he was not going to seek reelection and announced that the mantle of NDP leadership was going to be passed. The Premier in that statement said that it was one of the great privileges of his life to be selected by his peers to lead the Party. However, he said that the time has come for him to step down, though the BVI Leader noted that the decision was not a spur of the moment one.
“The question I have asked myself is whether I should seek to continue to lead the party. And after much thought and prayer, after discussing the question with my colleagues and with my family – I have concluded that I should not,” he said.
Hon. Smith said that while his journey as the Premier and leader of the Territory will come to a close at the end of this Government’s term in office, the mission that was launched many years ago lives on. He further expressed his satisfaction with the work the Party under his leadership has done.
Hon. Smith was first elected to office in 1999, and served as Leader of the Opposition until 2003 when he was elected Chief Minister. From 2007 to 2011 Hon. Smith once again served as Leader of the Opposition and was elected Premier from 2011 to present.
During the 23 January sitting Seventh District Representative, Dr. the Hon. Kedrick Pickering said that he hoped to see the Hon. Smith knighted at some point.