Twenty-four people recited the Oath of Allegiance and Pledge of Loyalty on May 27 to complete the process of becoming British overseas territory citizens of the Virgin Islands.

Governor John Rankin offered congratulations to the new citizens during a naturalisation ceremony at Government House, according to Government Information Services.

“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,” Mr. Rankin said during the ceremony. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to dis- tribute 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 advice for their continued participation in the 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.”

Natural Resources, Labour and Immigration Minister Vincent Wheatley attended the ceremony on behalf of the premier.

“This new status, which tightens your ties with us and with the British overseas territories, brings immense privileges and opportunities,” Mr. Wheatley said. “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.”

Registrar General Stephanie Benn, who led the ceremony, also congratulated attendees.

“We now live in a world of uncertainties,” she said. “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.”

The ceremony was the first in a series of three planned naturalisation ceremonies, according to GIS.