“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” In an ironic sort of way, this line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar seems to be illustrated by the events that took place in the Virgin Islands between May 2 and 5, 2022. The governor announced that Premier Andrew Fahie had been arrested in Miami, and he released Commissioner of Inquiry Sir Gary Hickinbottom’s report recommending that the VI Constitution be suspended temporarily. The territory was in shock. We were facing the greatest political crisis since the restoration of the Legislative Council in 1950. The United Kingdom was poised to impose direct rule and roll back more than 70 years of progress toward self-determination.

But in an unexpected demonstration of patriotic fervour and pride, a small group of Virgin Islanders united to turn the tide in the face of opposition from those who hailed the coming of the UK with gloating and expectation of personal gain. The group put aside personal ambition in favour of love of country. I want to pay tribute to those patriots. What they accomplished with the formation of the National Unity Government is no less noteworthy than the Great March which we celebrate today or the Positive Action Movement led by Noel Lloyd. Future generations of Virgin Islanders will thank them, as I do now.



At this time of the year, when our better angels make us thankful, I offer my gratitude to those people who agreed to the formation of the National Unity Government. They were Mitch Turnbull, Julian Fraser, Mark Vanterpool, Kye Rymer, Alvera Maduro-Caines, Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley, Marlon Penn, Vincent Wheatley, Sharie de Castro, Neville Smith, Shereen Flax-Charles and Carvin Malone. I also pay special tribute to Benito Wheatley, the premier’s envoy to the United Nations, who was one of the chief negotiators in the formation of the National Unity Government.

It is my hope that the tide will continue to flow in the favour of our beloved Virgin Islands, and that all of us will remain steadfast in the pursuit of good governance underpinned by democratic principles. A blessed and prosperous New Year to all! May we all be resolved to demonstrate more gratitude for the extraordinary blessings which we dare not take for granted.