British Virgin Islands

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021

November 24 should be declared an official holiday

November 24 should be declared an official holiday

Former legislator Dr Kedrick Pickering has suggested that November 24 - the anniversary of the Great March of 1949 - should be declared an official holiday in the BVI.
Yesterday, November 24, marked the 71st anniversary of the 1949 protest. The march was led by territorial hero Theodolph Faulkner, joined by Isaac ‘Glanny’ Fonseca, Carlton deCastro and more than 1,500 British Virgin Islanders.

The march was successful, and as a result, the then Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands was reinstated in 1950, after being abolished for 49 years.

Speaking on the Honestly Speaking radio show on November 24, Dr Pickering said the BVI should consider adopting November 24 as a holiday and drop the October 21 celebration of St Ursula’s Day which commemorates Christopher Columbus’ first sighting of the Virgin Islands in 1493.

“There’s a committee appointed to look at the whole revision of holidays in the BVI. During my time (as a legislator) we had looked at various issues pertaining to certain holidays, which ones could be removed or added as the case may be. One that sticks out is the 21st of October — St Ursula’s Day.”

“It would be a really good time to switch the holiday on the 21st to celebrate the 24th of November in commemoration of the Great March of 1949. That’s something worth listening into,” Dr. Pickering explained.

“It’s a good idea to consider celebrating the Great March of 1949 and just coincide it with Thanksgiving and just have one big celebration. So families between the US and BVI can celebrate and everybody can have one big Thanksgiving festival,” Dr Pickering noted.

During The Great March of 1949, residents marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office in protest of issues adversely impacting the territory and issues of which they had no control or say.

The event is considered to be a turning point in the territory’s political history.
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