BVI CELEBRATES H. LAVITY STOUTT DAY IN LARGE NUMBERS Residents of the BVI Territory turned out in large numbers on Monday for the celebration ceremony honouring the Territory’s first Chief Minister, the late H. Lavity Stoutt. The celebrations started at the House of Assembly with family members, past and present legislators, students from several schools and members of various community organisations marching to the Noel Lloyd/ Positive Action Movement Park. Several observers also lined the parade route. In the ceremony which followed, Premier Honourable Ralph T O”Neal, OBE shared his joy at the number of children who were present for the celebration of the life of the late H. Lavity Stoutt and said the celebration of Stoutt’s birthday should be a time of reflection. “What are we doing for our Territory?”he asked, adding “As we seek to examine ourselves from this question we might well come to the conclusion that one man or woman cannot make a difference, but I want to say to you that this is not true; when a person stands for principle and is not prepared to sacrifice principle for expediency he or she will make a difference,”Hon. O”Neal said. He continued that the late Chief Minister was loved by his people, but at times faced difficulties with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Premier reflected on Mr. Stoutt’s firm leadership style and candid manner. “I remember on one occasion, I accompanied the Chief Minister Stoutt to London for some discussions and when we were introduced to the Under Secretary of State he said, ‘Mr. Stoutt, I am known for my bluntness and also for my frankness” and Mr. Stoutt said ‘And so am I, sir”.”Minster for Education and Culture Hon. Andrew Fahie in his remarks recalled that the late Chief Minister was one of the Territory’s finest heroes and that he served with passion, integrity and determination. He added that he served the Territory well until the time of his death. “Service to his country was not a job for the late H. L. Stoutt. Service to his country was not just about representation, service to his country was his life and he guarded his country because he was guarding his life,”he said. Monday’s ceremony also featured remarks from Leader of the Opposition, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith and several performances by the H.L Stoutt Commemorative Choir, the HLSCC Steel Band and a special calypso tribute from Desmond Daley. Other tributes were given by the Bregado Flax Educational Centre, the Seventh-day Adventist Drum Corp, Readers” Theatre, community member Phyllis Mercer and students of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
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