(Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News) First Premier of the Virgin Islands Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE Member Emeritus.
Acting Governor, Mr. David Archer has declared Wednesday, December 11 a special holiday to coincide with the state funeral to honour the first Premier of the Virgin Islands Hon. Ralph T. O’Neal, OBE Member Emeritus.
According to a Gazetted Proclamation, Mr. Archer made the declaration based on the advice of Cabinet.
“I, David d. Archer, Jr., Acting Governor of the Virgin Islands, in exercise of the powers vested in me under section 5 of the Public Holidays Act, and with the advice of the Cabinet, do hereby appoint by this Proclamation that Wednesday the 11th day of December, 2019 be so reserved as a public holiday throughout the Virgin Islands in the year 2019. And all Her Majesty’s Officers and all other of Her Majesty’s loving subjects are hereby required to take note hereof and govern themselves accordingly,” the Proclamation states.
The Order is provided for under section 5 of the Public Holidays Act (Cap. 199).
Additionally, the House of Assembly will hold a special sitting on Tuesday, December 3 and will provide Members with the opportunity to provide tributes to the Hon. O’Neal. According to information provided by Government, his body will lie in state at the House of Assembly Chambers on Monday, December 9 and Tuesday, December 10 from 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on both days.
This will be followed by the state funeral at the Multipurpose Sports Complex.
Hon. O’Neal is survived by his wife, Mrs. Edris O’Neal, OBE; daughters Mrs. Esther Wheatley; Mrs. Cheryl ‘Jacqui’ O’Neal Privitere; and Ms. Abigail O’Neal; son, Ralph T. O’Neal, Jr.; Son-in-Law Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon. Vincent Wheatley; grandchildren, Mr. Alexander Caffery, Ms. Amber Wheatley and Ms. Xyrah Wheatley; and his sister Ms. Garna Campbell.
The family of Hon. O'Neal informed the Government of the Virgin Islands of his passing on November 11. He was 85.