British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Oct 27, 2020

No singing 'God save the Queen' outside protocols - Skelton-Cline

Noting that the National Anthem should only be sung or played in the presence of the Queen's Representative, ZBVI 780 'Honestly Speaking' radio show host Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline says it continues to be baffling why 'God Save The Queen' is being sung during assemblies at the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS). This practice, he said, highlights a colonial mindset.

"I even went a step further to see if students, school children in the UK, if they do this... and based upon my research, it doesn't happen there," he said.

Mr Skelton-Cline was at the time making his opening commentary on the November 19, 2019, edition of his show, 'Honestly Speaking', where he also lambasted the Virgin Islands House of Assembly (HoA) for having pre-written prayers for the queen during the opening of the House.

The local commentator said schools need to be promoting the Territorial Song, "and the celebration of our people and their journey, our journey and our culture that's what we need to continue to highlight."

According to Mr Skelton-Cline, singing the anthem is a form of indoctrination that send deeps messages. "We oftentimes find ourselves doing things that just seem to be ceremonial without outstanding the impact."

He continued, "I am making a big deal out of it because it just seems to me that we need not be singing the National Anthem outside the requisite protocols."

According to the man of the cloth, the Territory needs to be having serious conversations about "who we are as a people."

HoA Prayers for Queen

Skelton-Cline also noted that at the Tuesday, November 19, 2019 Sitting of the House of Assembly (HoA), two prayers during the opening of the House was in support of the Queen.

"I had to open my eyes... here is it that we are praying in the House of Assembly, and the prayers that is being offered is not for the Premier, not for the country, not for the people... but two prayers being lifted up in the name of the Queen."

"There was something troubling about it in my spirit," he said.

According to Skelton-Cline, there is now a need for the removal of 'colonial residue' from within the territory, including the eradication of an enslaved mindset he said some still carry.


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