Speaking at the continuation of the Fourteenth Sitting of the Second Session of the Fourth House today, September 17, 2020, at the Save the Seed Energy Centre in Duff’s Bottom, Dr Wheatley thanked all for their contribution, including the stellar performance of VI’s athletes in paving the way for what he called a “historic day.”
Adding to the debates ahead of the passage of the Motion, Opposition Leader, Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) called the Motion well needed, while pledging his full support. “It is something that all of us in this Honourable House, and all of us in this Territory should be absolutely proud of,” he said.
Hon Penn also noted that the official Territorial Song 'Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands' instils a sense of national pride in Virgin Islanders and will go a long way in supporting VI’s athletes.
According to Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7), the move to have the Territorial Song 'Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands' replace 'God Save the Queen' at international and regional sporting events is especially important at a time when the Virgin Islands' relationship with the United Kingdom is one that creates a longing for individuality and pride for the Virgin Islands.
“Along with the support of this song being played, when they are on the podium, it's going to being an immense sense of pride to all of us as a Territory,” he said, while commending Virgin Islanders, Ayana S. Hull and her brother Kareem Nelson Hull for composing the song.
Deputy Speaker and Territorial At-Large Member, Hon Neville A. Smith (AL), Minister for Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration, Hon Vincent O. Wheatley (R9), along with Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon Carvin Malone (AL) also pledged their full support of the resolution today.
The Motion was passed shortly after noon at 12:13 pm, receiving the full support of the House of Assembly.
Dr Wheatley said the move comes at the intersection of national pride and a legacy of sports in the VI, noting that he is looking forward to hearing the song played for the first time when a VI athlete scores a medal.
Once the Motion is successful, the Territorial Song 'Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands' will replace 'God Save the Queen' whenever Virgin Islands athletes win medals at regional and international sporting events.
HoA debates Motion for Territorial Song to play @ regional & int sporting events
In a Motion moved by Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr The Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) last evening, September 22, 2020, the House of Assembly (HoA) debated that the official Territorial Song of the Virgin Islands should formally replace ‘God Save the Queen’ at international sporting events.
The Official Territorial Song 'Oh, Beautiful Virgin Islands' will play when VI athletes win medals.
According to Dr Wheatley, the process to have the song replace the anthem was one that took several steps.
“At the International Olympic Committee, permission has to be sought from them for it to happen and the international Olympic committee said that is not a problem at all,” Hon Wheatley said.
Ahead of that, he said the BVI Olympic Committee (BVIOC) originally made the request but for the process to complete, it had to first go to Cabinet and now the House of Assembly (HoA).
The Official Territorial song
According to Dr Wheatley, the Motion now is especially important at a time when the VI relationship with the UK is one that creates a longing for individuality and pride for the Virgin Islands.
Seconding the Motion was Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities, Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), who offered his full support for the Territorial Song to play at various international sports events when VI athletes score medals.
Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) said tears will flow when a VI athlete wins a medal, while Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6) also threw her full support beind the initiative, mentioning that the songwriters are from her district.
Other legislators, including Hon Melvin M. Turnbull (R2) and Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (R4), contributed positively to the debate.
The debate on the Motion will continue on Thursday, September 24, 2020, with Opposition Leader Hon Marlon A. Penn (R8) yet to take the floor.
“Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands” originally was composed in 2012 by Virgin Islanders, Ayana S. Hull and her brother, Kareem Nelson Hull.
The song, which was originally arranged by Mr Howard John, was officially adopted as the Territorial Song by resolution of the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands on July 24, 2012.
As a British Overseas Territory "God Save the Queen" is the VI’s official national anthem.
The rousing, 80-second, orchestral version of the Territorial Song was arranged by Mr Alton A. Bertie, an Elmore Stoutt High School alumnus who graduated in the field of Film Scoring and Song Writing from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA.
Push will get a person almost anywhere- except through a door marked “pull.”