A businessman and a youth empowerment director from the Virgin Islands (VI) have made the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II 2020 Honour's List in recognition of outstanding achievements in the Territory.
They are; Roadtown Wholesale Trading (RTW) Founder, Shareholder and Director, Mr Peter Haycraft for services to the [British] Virgin Islands, and Director of Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Mr Stacy Roger Mather aka 'Buddah', for services to the community and youth in the territory.
Peter Haycraf, OBE
Mr Haycraft, who has been involved in a number of community projects in the Territory was awarded the Order of the British Empire, OBE, given in honour for making a great impact in his line of work.
Originating from Worthing, a coastal town in West Sussex, England, Mr Haycraft moved to the Virgin Islands in 1961 with his wife Penny Haycraft. They worked on several other ideas such as a gas station, a car dealership, and an inter-island passenger/cargo service, but eventually settled on the project that would become Roadtown Wholesale Trading Ltd.
Over the years, the Haycrafts has contributed greatly to the development of the territory. More recently, Mr Haycraft pledged some $1M towards the rebuilding of the Hurricane destroyed the Enis Adams Primary School building at Meyers Estate on Tortola, which was recently re-opened.
In keeping with his word that “financing is guaranteed, right through to the last brick, no matter what it costs,” he injected another $1M to see the steel-framed, hurricane-resistant 2-storey building to completion.
Mr Haycraft, who is also heavily involved in sailing and VI cricket had previously disclosed that he chose to help rebuild the Enis Adams Primary School because his wife, many years ago read to the students there and loved the view from the classroom in which she was reading from.
Stacy Roger Mather, MBE
The second recipient, Mr Mather, received the Member of the Order of the British Empire Honour, the third highest-ranking award, behind Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE which is first and then OBE.
Mr Mather is the Director of YEP, a privately funded youth centre in the VI that opened in May 2007 as a safe haven that provides opportunities and activities for over 700 young people in the territory.
The organisation has a mission to inspire young people to pursue learning experiences that will help them become socially responsible friends, neighbours and citizens.
It also has a mandate to provide a safe environment allow participants to explore and pursue their interests, foster meaningful relationships between youth and adults, cultivate our members’ civic responsibility and pride and promote optimism and opportunity among youth.
Since its establishment as an organisation in 2006, YEP has provided programming and support to over 3,000 local youths and hosts yearly summer programmes for local youth, providing about 150 young persons with 10-weeks of free educational and engaging activities.
Who gets Honoured?
According to sources, the decision about who gets an honour is made by special committees, with the process beginning with nominations from the public. Those are then siphoned down by the committees and reviewed by the UK Prime Minister before the various honours are bestowed by Queen Elizabeth II or senior royals.
Along with the Birthday honours, the New Year’s Honours list is the most significant announcement of civilian and military gallantry awards.
The system acknowledges the achievements made by ordinary people as well as celebrities and public figures who have made significant contributions to public life or commitments to serving and helping the UK.
Typically, the nominees will have improved the lives of others or will be outstanding in what they do in some way.