Address by Honourable Andrew A. Fahie
Premier of the Virgin Islands
Swearing In Ceremony for Governor of the Virgin Islands His Excellency, John Rankin, CMG
Save the Seed Energy Centre
29 January, 2021
I want to say Good Day and God’s Blessings to everyone, especially to our incoming Governor, Governor Rankin. On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands and the Government of the Virgin Islands, I say welcome to the most beautiful place in the world. A place where you will find that there are 68 islands and islets. A place where everyone, as they used to say in the show Cheers, knows your name.
I want to say that this is a beautiful time that you have come to the Virgin Islands, unlike what some may say. It is a time that is biblical and positive, it’s in the time where the British Virgin Islands really is in the centre of the storm, where God has put us in the calm.
Really and truly, Governor John, as I look at it, you would agree that it is biblical, because after all, your name is John and my name is Andrew.
For the name John as I research is a name originating from the Hebrew name meaning “Yahweh has been gracious”. Meaning, Yahweh has been good. We also see the word Andrew, meaning manly and conscious, brave, strong, courageous and warrior, but in a good way. I am of firm belief that names mean something.
In an era where things seem like a storm it’s good to know that there will be a John and an Andrew on board. I do not call it a reset; I call it a time where we continue our journey where life has placed a John and Andrew together for a time such as now. To ensure that we move our country to the next level of the BVI in a partnership built on mutual respect and a partnership built on trust.
I know that is going to happen because that is what John and Andrew did in the Bible, and what was is and what is was and what was will be again.
So you have the utmost support from my Government even with the Commission of Inquiry. We welcome a transparent Commission of Inquiry because we are one hundred percent certain that when it is completed in the transparent way through the processes, that the British Virgin Islands will be able to move from its teenage years into its adulthood.
We are confident that you have come in a time when this will propel us into a new paradigm and a positive one might I add. We are confident that you have come to work with us in a time where our legislative agenda is as ambitious as it is despite being delayed with ten (10) months of COVID that is now going to be unfolding greater than ever.
In a time when we set institutions in place to ensure good governance, not because we’ve been forced to, not because we are being forced to, and not because we are told, but because it is mandatory for this Territory to reach the next level to assure that it can police itself.
In a time when we’re going to be working together, Governor, to ensure integrity in public life. In a time when we’ll be working together to ensure that contractor general legislation comes to the house where we can make sure that contracts are done fairly and if we have any concerns it can be dealt with at an early stage. In a time when the whistle-blower legislation, which has already reached the Cabinet for discussion, will come forward. In a time when the new procurement legislation is coming forward. In a time when we are going to bring forward more initiatives to help with Green energy, to help with our climate, and to help with our environment.
I see this as an exciting time for John and Andrew, and I pledge my full support, and I pledge this Territory’s full support to make sure that we forge ties of great respect built on what is in our DNA as Virgin Islanders—which is BVILOVE.
BVILOVE is who we are. A caring people. No-nonsense people. A people that believes in working hard for what we want. A people that will not allow anyone to pull us in their storm, but for us to pull them in our calm.
It matters not in life how you start. It matters how you finish, because that is what the faith that dominates our Territory, the Christian faith, teaches us. You would know that this is a faith-based Territory that firmly believes in God. We know that there will be challenges; there will always be challenges, but this Territory is also based on the faith that no matter what challenges come our way we always prevail with the help of God.
So, this Territory said “bring on Irma”. We prevailed with God’s help. It said “bring on Maria”. We prevailed with God’s help. It said “bring on COVID”. We prevailed with God’s help. It said “bring on the Commission of Inquiry”, and we will prevail with God’s help. It said “bring the floods”.
We prevailed with God’s help. It said “bring economic downturn to the world 2008 to now”. We prevailed with God’s help, because the foundation of this Territory is God, our father, which I believe.
I know in this time we are going to walk in an environment with Green energy, we’re going to walk with good governance, we’re going to walk with a renewed sense of purpose with a strong partnership. When it’s said and done, the conclusion written in the history of this Virgin Islands is going to state very clearly that in the era of John and Andrew, the same ending that was written in the Bible will be written here, which will be a positive one for the Virgin Islands.
So, my dear friend John, Andrew says “welcome” and may God bless you in your reign. You can depend on our support, and as we say, may God forever bless you in your endeavours and may God bless our professional relationship and beyond in all the members of the House of Assembly. May we enter this new paradigm with a mind-set that is aligned with God’s will, not only for the Territory but for our lives.