Some 353 members of the Virgin Islands Civil Services received platinum jubilee medals. This included 158 members of the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF), 94 members of the Fire and Rescue Services and the BVI Airports Authority, 44 officers from Her Majesty’s Prison, 15 members of the BVI Health Services Authority’s Emergency Medical Technical Unit, and 42 members from the Virgin Islands Search and Rescue.
Meanwhile, Dean Robin, Frida Hodge-Deshong, Dervent Murray, Peterson Jno-Lewis, Lesroy Simmons, Jean Avril, Lina Francis-Richardson, Sherry-Ann Lavia-Lennon, and Maud Fahie all received the Overseas Territories Police Service Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct – 18 years.
George Mason, Durville Carry, Rolland Jackson, Vincent John and Denley Simmons all received the First Clasp to the Overseas Territories Police Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct- 25 years.
Jacqueline Vanterpool, Smyrna Brewley, Donna Monsanto, and Mary-Hilda Phillip all received the Second Clasp to Overseas Territories Police Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct – 30 years.
Shermon Tyson received the Overseas Territories Fire and Brigade Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct – 18 years.
Vernon Stevens, Marcus Malone, and Elgin Johnson all received the First Clasp to the Overseas Territories Fire and Rescue Brigade Medal for Long Service and Good Conduct – 25 years.
Alexander Parillon, Samuel Lettsome and Zebalon McLean all received the Second Clasp to Overseas Territories Fire and Rescue for Long Service and Good Conduct – 30 years.
At the ceremony, Governor John Rankin gave remarks on the Queen’s 95th birthday and Her 70th anniversary on the British throne.
“Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning monarch in British history and the longest ever reigning female head of state in the world. The queen has been and continues to be remarkable and much loved. There are many reasons for this but the greatest of them is her dedication throughout her reign to service and to people across the world,” Governor Rankin also said.
Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, in giving remarks, noted the Queen has been an inspiration to many people across the world because of her astute leadership of the Commonwealth over the years.
“Understandably, there were some concerns on whether Her Majesty was ready and able for the job given her youth and limited experience at the time. There were also a few at the time who openly speculated whether a woman would be capable of leadership given that much of society at the time was male-dominated. She found and harnessed the strength within herself to conquer self-doubt and doubt from others and defeat the fear of uncertainty. She stepped forward with courage and has honed this role for every moment of the last 70 years. The lesson we can learn from Her Majesty is that no matter how daunting the task, once you have done your preparation and you are confident in yourself, press forward with determination,” Dr Wheatley said.
The celebration concluded with the Governor and the Premier planting the jubilee tree – the white cedar which is the territorial tree. There was also the lighting of the beacon to celebrate Her Majesty.
Below are scenes from the event: