Carvin Malone
Carvin Malone provides an update on Covid-19 during the pandemic, when he became well known for regularly warning residents that the territory was not “out of the woods yet.” (File photo: DDM)

Former government minister Carvin Malone died suddenly on the morning of Jan. 14, shocking the community and drawing a flood of tributes and condolences.

He was 64.

“Carvin Malone was a champion for the Virgin Islands, and his sudden passing was shocking and heart-wrenching,” said Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley. “While we mourn his loss, we remember him for the sterling traits he possessed.”

Other residents took to social media to mourn. Some recounted distant memories, while others said they spoke with Mr. Malone shortly before his death and he seemed healthy and content.

VIP service

Besides owning and operating several companies, Mr. Malone has played various roles in VI political life.

He served as president of the Virgin Islands Party from 1999 to 2016, mostly alongside former Premier and Chief Minister Ralph O’Neal, who chaired the party until 2015.

Mr. Malone stepped down from the presidency in 2016, the year after Mr. O’Neal retired and the VIP suffered a humiliating defeat at the polls under new party leader Julian Fraser.

Running for office

But in the 2019 general election, Mr. Malone threw his own hat in the ring for the first time.

Under new VIP leader Andrew Fahie, he won one of the party’s four at-large seats as part of an eight-to-five VIP victory.

After that, he was briefly appointed deputy premier as part of Mr. Fahie’s rotating system and was also named the minister of health and social development.

In that position, he helped guide the territory through the Covid-19 pandemic that started in March 2020. At times, his pandemic decisions sparked controversy, but he became a household name for his regular warnings on television and social media that the territory was “not out of the woods yet.”

“His leadership and resilience in the face of this unprecedented crisis were instrumental in steering our community through challenging times,” said Speaker of the House Corine George-Massicote.

Crossing the aisle

Mr. Malone lost his ministership in the government shakeup that followed Mr. Fahie’s April 2022 arrest in Florida.

Less than two months after the National Unity Government was hastily formed in May 2022 under Dr. Wheatley’s leadership, Mr. Malone crossed the aisle to the opposition.

As campaigns for a general election ramped up the following year, he returned to the government as a backbencher and challenged Dr. Wheatley for the leadership of the VIP in February 2023.

He lost that leadership challenge, however, and he subsequently lost his at-large seat in the April 2023 election.

But he didn’t leave public life.

“Even after his time in elected office, he continued his political activity through his One Virgin Islands Agenda, a forum for public education and discussion on how the territory could advance our development goals, including a strong focus on self-determination,” the premier said.

The VIP also paid tribute in a Sunday statement noting that current party president Sharia de Castro had described Mr. Malone as “the voice and a steadfast champion”oftheVIP.

Community groups

Mr. Malone was also a repeat president of the Lions Club of Tortola; a former president of the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association; and a vice president of the BVI Amateur Basketball Association.

“Wherever he had the opportunity to serve, he took it,” the premier said.

He was a successful businessman as well.

“He owned and managed many successful businesses on behalf of himself and his family, including Island Block Corporation, Progressive Management, Admiralty Estate, R and R Malone Complex, and Caribbean Basin Enterprises,” the premier said. “He was a trusted, loyal, and reliable friend, and he often could be found by ‘Toddy,’ by ‘Moose,’ and by ‘Cornel’ bar, among other places, engaging in political dialogue or socialising.”


Mr. Malone, who the premier described as a “family man,” is survived by his wife Pernis; his siblings Jane, Meade, Guy and Keith Malone; his daughter Kirsten; and his extended family.

Funeral arrangements had not been announced as of Beacon press time.