Department: Department of Disaster Management
Twenty four persons recited the Oath of Allegiance and Pledge of Loyalty last week to complete the process of becoming British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) of the Virgin Islands.
His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin, CMG, offered congratulations to the new citizens during a naturalisation ceremony at Government House.
Governor Rankin said, “I hope and imagine that all of you are feeling a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction in attaining this citizenship status, conferring as it does give the right to carry a BOTC-BVI passport. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to distribute these certificates and to see you all commit yourself loyally to new ties; ties which will stay with you for the rest of your lives.”
The Governor also offered words of advice regarding their continued participation in the Virgin Islands community.
“All of you have already demonstrated commitment to the British Virgin Islands over the many years,” he said, adding, “Please do not lose sight of the responsibilities we all share not only to your families but to the wider interests of society.”
Minister of Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Honourable Vincent Wheatley, who attended the ceremony on behalf of the Premier, further encouraged the new BOTCs to use their status to help build a stronger BVI.
“This new status, which tightens your ties with us and with the British Overseas Territories, brings immense privileges and opportunities. I want to ask you above all to use the opportunities presented here to make the BVI – or wherever you may choose to go – a stronger Territory. You do this by helping others,” Honourable Wheatley said.
Registrar General Mrs. Staphanie Benn, who led the ceremony and heads the Civil Registry and Passport Office, congratulated participants and issued them a challenge.
“We now live in a world of uncertainties, therefore it’s important that we share more love and get back to making people more important than things. So I am asking each of you to carry out a random act of kindness within the next 24 hours,” Mrs. Benn said.
The May 27th ceremony was the first in a series of three planned naturalisation ceremonies.
The 24 new BOTCs are:
Alexis Antin Fergus
Simone Iolanie Foster
Natasha Kinasha Frederick
Mavis Mae Howell–Haywood
Mirtha Abigail Amparo–Jabre
Patrice Carissa James
Jacquelin Marcia Roberta Henry–John
Dionne Odessa Liverpool
Janine Andrea Shirlene Abbey–Mactavious
Emelda Agatha Minott
Violet Angella Jackson– Parsons
Marvin Glendon Skipron Peters
Nola Gretel Peters
Rhonda Retasha Pinnock
Chatterpaul Lincoln Ramsarran
Junior Kadafi Samuel
Melissa Nicole Sargeant
Deryn Odessa Smart
Annalisa Lorinda Merlyn Varlack
Monica Patricia Williams– Hogan
Note to editors: Photos included