British Virgin Islands

Monday, Oct 26, 2020

Former First Lady Rev Edris Christopher-O’Neal OBE laid to rest

Former First Lady Rev Edris Christopher-O’Neal OBE laid to rest

Amidst singing and tributes in celebration of a life well lived, former First Lady, Reverend Edris Christopher-O’Neal, OBE was laid to rest today Saturday, June 13, 2020.

Despite the restrictions due to COVID-19, the Road Town Methodist Church was filled along with the overflow church hall to celebrate the life of a wife, mother, aunt, teacher, businesswomen and a woman of the cloth.

Political class came out


Mourners included her son-in-law, the Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), Premier and Minister of Finance, Hon Andrew A Fahie (R1), and Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon Julian Willock.

Attending today’s thanksgiving service were also the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL) who give the Eulogy; Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5); Junior Minister for Tourism, Hon Sharie B. de Castro (AL); Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Hon Shareen D. Flax-Charles (AL) along with Hon Julian Fraser (R3) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4).

Also a part of the mourners, were former First Lady, Lorna G. Smith OBE and Dr D. Orlando Smith OBE a former Premier and Deputy Governor David D. Archer Jr.

Family & community woman


Rev O’Neal the wife of the late Ralph T. O’Neal OBE died on May 24, 2020, at the age of 77 years after a brief illness at her home. She is survived by one daughter Abigail O’Neal, and Sister Essie Maduro. She is also serviced by brothers Alfred, Raphael, Donald and Carl Christopher.

The late First Lady has a long list of community services and also as a businesswoman. For her services to the community the late Mrs O’Neal was awarded the Humanitarian Award by the BVI Hotel and Commerce Association in 2001, the Citizen of the Year by the Lions Club of Tortola in 2008, a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Tortola in 2009 and the OBE by Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II in 2003.

At the ceremony which was also live-streamed online via Facebook and Zoom, many persons commenting poured out words of tribute in celebration of the life of Mrs O'Neal.

The Late First Lady was buried at the Methodist Church Cemetery in upper Road Town on the main island of Tortola.

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