Touching on the legacy of the late Chief Minister, H. Lavity Stoutt during last evening’s broadcast of the VIP Let's Talk radio programme on ZBVI 780 AM, Hon Fahie said the highway remains a great legacy of Mr Stoutt’s tenure in the VI.
“One of the exciting things for me during the tenure that I can remember, was to learn how H.L. Stoutt was able to bring the road we call Drakes Highway, which eventually we will get to change the name to one of our local heroes,” Hon Fahie said.
The Premier mentioned that before the existence of the road, persons had to walk and sail to get to town, “to know that we drive there more than one time a day and think nothing of it, its amazing," he said.
While Hon Fahie did not say who’s name the road will reflect, the announcement comes following a rift between the public and ex-Governor Augustus J.U. Jaspert after he called for the names of landmarks in honour of perpetrators of slavery to be preserved in the territory.
On the Monday, September 7, 2020, interview with 284 Media, the Governor also indicated that the VI will receive no slavery reparations as a policy of the UK, sparking outrage from Virgin Islanders, including radio hosts/social commentators Claude O. Skelton Cline and Cromwell Smith aka ‘Edju Enka’, who had called for places in the VI named after slave traders, thieves and murderers to be renamed.
“All the places that we have is named after these murderers and thieves," Smith told the listening audience on an episode on his Umoja show on Thursday, January 9, 2020.
Ex-Governor Jaspert had indicated that his difference in opinion was to preserve the names of landmarks, that were named after people, like Sir Francis Drake, who inflicted decades of harm and suffering on the ancestors of Virgin Islanders and other Caribbean people.
After his statements, many progressive locals claimed that the Governor’s response and presence in the VI was a manifestation of white supremacy and that his office remains a remnant of slavery and oppressive colonial rule.
Change before you have to.