The life of one of the Territory’s most noted Architects, Boat Builder, and Captain – Mr. Ira Smith was celebrated on 20 April at the St George’s Episcopal Anglican church at a fitting service.
The late Mr. Smith was born on 18 April 1938 and died on 5 April 2018. He was 79-year-old at the time of his death.
In 1986 he founded Smith’s Ferry Service which is one of the main interisland transport companies. This ferry service not only connects the British and United States Virgin Islands but also the sister islands with the main island Tortola.
Ira was the Territory’s first local Architect and Town Planner. He attained his training from the New York Institute of Technology. His architectural works include the design of the Social Security Building, and the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall and he also did the drawings for the Elmore Stoutt High School L-shaped building.
In a tribute to Ira (which is his first cousin) Premier, and Minister for Finance, Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith said that the Captain’s death is the loss of one of the BVI’s most devoted sons.
“Ira Smith, my cousin was a kind person and was also passionate about many things, his profession, the sea but most of all the BVI. About matters concerning his country he was forthright, and did not mince words with whomever he spoke. We will all miss him,” Hon. Smith said.
Meanwhile in his tribute Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Andrew Fahie said that Mr. Smith was one of the sons of the BVI soil that contributed to the solid foundation and positive development of the BVI in many ways.
“The late Mr. Ira Smith was a well-respected and outspoken person who believed in the BVI and its wellbeing. We will vividly remember Mr. Smith in so many different roles – all of which he performed with excellence,” Hon. Fahie said.
The Opposition Leader recalled that Ira was a stellar public servant, architect, business man, political activist, and family man. He further stated that Mr. Smith was a trailblazer who always put country above self. “The BVI also was made stronger from his many positive contributions. The life he lived epitomized the true essence of the definition of BVI pride. Although he battled with illnesses during the past few years, his deep Faith and commitment in God sustained him.” Hon. Fahie added that although Ira would be missed his legacy will live on in the hearts of many.
The late Ira Smith is survived by his wife Mrs Kather Smith, six sons, three daughters, his mother Enelle Smith, his sister Irma Smith and Brother Edward Smith, grandchildren, great grandchildren, plus many relatives and friends too numerous to mention.
The publishers, management and staff of The Island Sun newspaper extend condolences to the family and friends of the late Ira Smith: May he Rest in Eternal Peace.