Department: Department of Disaster Management
Twenty-seven persons are now the newest group of British Overseas Territories Citizens (BOTC) of the Virgin Islands after taking the oath to complete the process during a naturalisation ceremony.
His Excellency the Governor John J. Rankin, CMG in remarks at the ceremony, offered congratulations to the new citizens and further encouraged them to maintain a commitment of good citizenship and allegiance to the British Virgin Islands.
Governor Rankin said, “As you recite the oath and pledge of loyalty, please reflect both on the opportunities and also the responsibilities to your new country of citizenship, and your responsibility to your fellow country men and women.”
Deputy Premier, Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley appealed to the group to unite with each other and the rest of the Virgin Islands community.
Dr. the Honourable Wheatley said, “Despite the fact that you come from diverse backgrounds, we are all united in our love for the BVI. You would not have chosen to make BVI your home if you did not enjoy being here. I challenge you to practice that unity and fight against division.”
Registrar General Mrs. Staphanie Benn, who led the ceremony and heads the Civil Registry and Passport Office, urged the citizens to exercise kindness and to make the Virgin Islands a better place in a world that is ever changing.
Naturalisation is a process under the British Nationality Act of 1981 and the Virgin Islands Constitution Order of 2007 by which persons can become citizens of the Virgin Islands. Naturalised citizens become British Overseas Territory Citizens and as such they may obtain a Virgin Islands passport and are eligible for a United States visa waiver; they can register and vote in elections in the Virgin Islands and apply to register as a British Citizen of the United Kingdom.
The 27 new BOTCs are:
Inocencia Paulino Baez
Fra-vern Princess Arabella Collins
Reina Liriano Coplin
Paulette Angela Creary
Enrique Mercedes Diaz
Kimberlee Casandra Bailey– Francis
Alaire Chrys-Daveen Khan –Frazer
Denisher Amoy Gayle
Merley Mae Hewitt Grant
Mary Rosina Henry
Lynette Abiola Jeffers
Carmelina Vanterpool Leyba
Anette Antiape Louisy
Nathaniel Leopold McKenzie
Lloyd George Moore
Rayness Marean Moore
Roseline Josil– Pierre
Aaron Messiah Pope
Joel Romain O’Neil
Siana Cyrena Romain O’Neil
Theresa St. Rose
Andrew Bruce Chippendale Swapp
Calvin Joseph Welcome
Angus Pelinton John Williams
Irene Minerva Mcpherson- Williams