The 24 newly naturalised British overseas territory citizens pose for a photo with Governor Gus Jaspert, Registrar General Stephanie Benn, and Reverend David Stedman. (Photo: PROVIDED)

In the third such ceremony in as many weeks, 24 new British overseas territory citizens received certificates of naturalisation last Thursday at Government House.

Previously, 26 people received the certificates during each of two similar ceremonies held on Oct. 29 and Nov. 6.

Last Thursday Governor Gus Jaspert congratulated the group on taking “an incredibly important step” in making the Virgin Islands their home, according to a government press release about the socially distanced ceremony, which was closed to the media.

“While the process to reaching this key milestone may seem long, you should understand that each and every one of you has been vetted and been confirmed to be valuable members of this community, persons who have contributed to this community,” he said, adding that he hopes all the new residents will continue working to improve the territory.

Registrar General Stephanie Benn presided over the ceremony and led the new citizens in reciting the Oath of Allegiance and the Pledge of Loyalty to the VI.

She also encouraged them to see their new status in such a challenging year as a reason to “keep hope alive.”

“Socially, emotionally and financially, 2020 has been very challenging for us all,” Ms. Benn said, adding, “While it might seem gloomy in some ways, I would urge you to let go of what is past and look to the future to create more opportunities for yourself and your territory.”


Naturalised citizens:

Leisa Aritha Barker
Eileen Elizabeth Constantia Brandy
Randell Clarke
Jennifer Darroux
Donald Sylvanus Emmanuel David
Ryan Raymanious Depeza
Garnet Alphonso Ferron
Simone Nordia Francis
Mercedes Gonzalez
Mitchell Gordon
Velia Burnette James
Hollis Okeen Lindsay
Ann-Maureen Iris Matthews
Diana Baret De Montilla
Al Quamin Nibbs
Jonatan Hairston Garcia O’Neil
Jassy Maria Sylvatia Palmer
Vachel Sheridan Percival
Janelle Germaine Scatliffe
San Faron-Niel Brent-Aril
Jeremie-Sehon Simon
Clovelle Dorselie Stevens
Odilia Stoutt
Sylvia Tracy Swain
Sylvia Anita Young