Detailing a poverty-stricken life of hardship as a young child, National Democratic Party (NDP) At-Large Candidate and former First Lady of the Virgin Islands (VI), Ms Lorna G. Smith, OBE, says many in the Virgin Islands (VI) know little about her poor upbringing.
Mrs Smith in a March 21, 2023, edition of ‘Cut Deep’ said while in Anguilla she started school without shoes and described herself as coming from humble beginnings, before arriving in the VI at around 7 years old with her mother where the plight continued.
“I am very grateful for what my mother was able to do for us, she worked three, something four jobs including ironing at 2 & three in the morning for people,” she detailed.
“Many a day we existed on rice and vienna sausage, that's where I come from, that’s who I am,” Ms Smith added.
The former First Lady said her working-class mother however, always instilled in the family the importance of education and saw education as the way out.
“A lot of people don’t know that I came from those beginnings, and I am so grateful that I was able to get the kind of education that I got.”
Mrs Smith in a March 21, 2023, edition of
‘Cut Deep’ said while in Anguilla she started school without shoes and
described herself as poor and coming from humble beginnings, before
arriving in the VI at around 7-year-old with her mother where the plight
Education a way out - Mrs Smith
Meanwhile, Mrs Smith said by taking the values of her mother she went on to attend the University of the West Indies and said her early beginnings represented who she is and her foundation as a person.
“I have built on it, I have worked hard for the British Virgin Islands, all my life I have worked for the British Virgin Islands in Various capacities!" she reiterated.
Mrs Smith also indicated she has a BSc in International Relations and credited herself as the one who advised past governments to increase the territory's footprint beyond the VI, along with sharing a vision for the opening of a local college in the VI.
This she said resulted in the creation of the local H. Lavity Stoutt Community College along with the opening of the BVI London and Hong Kong offices, which she said represented the basis for growth of the VI’s financial services sector.
Mrs Smith who also served as the Director of BVI Finance until her retirement in 2019, said she remains passionate about the VI and to see the territory and its people at its best.