This time it will be held in honour of the 70th anniversary of the restoration of the legislature in the Virgin Islands.
The sitting will be held from 10:00am at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Tortola, according to a press notice from the Office of the House of Assembly today, December 2, 2020.
On Friday, 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, according to a press release from Government Information Services today.
The history of Legislatures in the [British] Virgin Islands, according to the press release, can be roughly divided into two: colonial Legislatures in the 18th and 19th centuries, followed by a hiatus, then the modern Legislature after the re-introduction of democracy on November 20, 1950.
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.
In 1949, after a major demonstration led by pioneer Legislators such as Mr Theodolph Faulkner, Mr Isaac “Glannie” Fonseaca and Mr Carlton deCastro, it was realised that the wish of the Virgin Islands people was to have a representative Government that could be changed from time to time and it would better suit the needs of the community.
Speaker of the House of Assembly, Honourable Julian Willock said, “While it is true that a Legislature did exist for the [British] Virgin Islands up to 1902, it was not representative of the Virgin Islands people.”
“Because of this, we rightly refer to the year 1950 as the beginning of our legislative history and I am happy to be a part of such a significant milestone in our young democracy,” he concluded.
Twenty years ago Premier and Leader of Government’s business Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) had an opportunity to contribute as an Honourable Member on the 50th anniversary. He wrote, “Democracy is based on the notion that a people should be self-governing. As John Stuart Mill wrote in 1862, in a representative democracy the Legislature acts as the eyes, ears, and voice of the people, the restoration of our Legislature was therefore inevitable. We should applaud the efforts of those pioneer Legislators, some of whom were not afraid to stand up and demonstrate for the re-establishment of our Legislature and all of whom worked tirelessly to effect changes and pave the way for our modern-day Legislative system.”
Members of the HoA last met on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, where, among other things, the bill entitled, ‘COVID-19 Control and Suppression (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 2020’ was debated and passed ahead of the reopening of the borders for international visitors.
Persons looking to catch coverage of the HoA sitting can listen on CBN Radio 90.9 FM, watch on CBN-Television Channel 101 on Flow TV and proceedings can also be viewed on the HoA YouTube channel and online at www.cbnvirginislands.com.
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