The Civil Registry and Passport Office closed Tuesday to mourn the death of Stephanie Benn, who served as registrar general for more than 15 years, but it is scheduled to reopen today, government announced.

In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, leaders expressed condolences.

“She was a first-class colleague much valued across the BVI public service,” said Governor John Rankin, adding that he was “shocked and saddened” by the death. “She was also highly regarded by her counterparts in the other over- seas territories and the Home Office in the United Kingdom for her work on nationality and other civil registry matters.”

In the same statement, Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley called the registrar “sure-footed, confident, and comfortable in her knowledge of government business.”

‘Driver of innovation’

He added that she was committed to regularly keeping up with advances in her field, such as automation services.

“She did not hesitate to introduce this to her department to provide quicker and more professional services for the people of the Virgin Islands,”

Dr. Wheatley said. “She was committed to what she believed in and was a key driver of innovation.”

Deputy Governor David Archer also commented, saying Ms. Benn was a “fine, devoted, exceptional public officer and department head.”

“In the same vein, I express my deepest sympathies to her work family, especially those within her department whom she worked with daily and shared her pain, joy and successes as they strive to improve the services the office delivered,” he said.


Noting that several public officers have lost loved ones recently, the statement encouraged them to utilise the counselling services provided through the government’s Employee Assistance Programme.

“We ask that members of the public and public officers respect this period of bereavement for the public service, particu- larly for the staff at the Civil Registry and Passport Office,” the statement added.