Mr Haycraft migrated to the Virgin Islands (VI) in 1959 to run a ferry service between Tortola and St Thomas and has since made significant contributions to the VI community. He has served as Commodore of the Royal BVI Yacht Club on thirteen occasions and was one of the original organisers of the BVI Spring Regatta – now recognised today as one of the Caribbean’s leading sailing events. He has grown and developed the business environment in the VI.
Following the 2017 hurricanes, Mr Haycraft contributed substantial funds to rebuild Enis Adams Primary School (where his wife Mrs Penny Haycraft has worked as a teacher) into a state-of-the-art educational facility. He continues to make contributions to many worthy causes in the Territory.
His Excellency the Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert said, “For the past 60 years the name Peter Haycraft has become synonymous with entrepreneurship, innovation and community support. I am very pleased to see Mr Haycraft honoured with an OBE for his philanthropic work.”
The Governor also spoke about Mr Haycraft’s personal resilience in the face of challenge and added that, “with every great opportunity comes great responsibility.”
In his response, Mr Haycraft extended gratitude to supporters near and far, especially his wife Penny, son Chris, and daughters living overseas Susan and Julie. He also extended particular thanks to those who nominated him for the award, and others who wrote testimonial letters of support.
“It’s important for you to know that you all have contributed – through loyalty or friendship – to me achieving this honour,” Mr Haycraft said. He added, “Penny and I have never regretted for one moment the decision back in 1960 to make Tortola our home.”
Governor Jaspert also expressed his gratitude to the BVI Honours Committee, which works within the community to help to identify individuals who have made significant contributions to the VI and to submit nominations to the Queen’s Honours list every year. Dr Robert A. Mathavious and Mr Stacy Roger Mather also received Honours from Her Majesty the Queen this year for their services to the Territory.
During the ceremony, Governor Jaspert presented Mr Haycraft, OBE, with the traditional Insignia and Royal Warrant in the presence of a small group of Mr Haycraft’s friends, family and past honourees.
Deputy Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7); Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL); and Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley (R9) also joined the ceremony held at Government House.