British Virgin Islands

Friday, May 07, 2021

Celebration to mark 70 years since restoration of BVI legislature

Celebration to mark 70 years since restoration of BVI legislature

As the public continues to hold discussions about the political future of the BVI, the House of Assembly will today meet in honour of the 70th anniversary of the restoration of the legislature in the Virgin Islands.

The legislature is the law-making body of the territory and consists of 13 elected members, a speaker, and the Attorney General.

A statement from the government explains that “the history of Legislatures in the British Virgin Islands can be roughly divided into two — colonial legislatures in the 18th and 19th centuries, followed by a hiatus, then the modern legislature after the reintroduction of democracy on November 20th 1950”.

At the commemoration event today, “each Member of the Fourth House of Assembly will be allowed an opportunity to lend their views towards this great occasion and will add on record to this celebration of Virgin Islands history,” the statement from the government read.

History of the legislature

The Civic League had previously made representation for a legislative council as early as 1938 and Mr Howard R. Penn moved a resolution at the closer union conference in 1947 for the restoration of the Legislative Council in the Virgin Islands.

On November 24, 1949, a historic march led by territorial hero Theodolph Faulkner, joined by Isaac ‘Glanny’ Fonseca, Carlton deCastro and more than 1,500 British Virgin Islanders, demonstrated that the BVI wished to have its own local government that represents its interests.

The legislature was therefore restored on November 20, 1950.


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