By Government of the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands (BVI) – His Excellency the Governor John James Rankin, CMG was sworn in as 14th Governor of the Virgin Islands at a ceremony on Friday, January, 29. Governor Rankin previously served as Governor of Bermuda.
Governor Rankin took the oaths of office and pledged to faithfully carry out his duties under the constitution, working in partnership with the government of the Virgin Islands to serve the people.
The Governor said it was a privilege and honour to have been appointed as Governor of the Virgin Islands. He said while he has been an Overseas Territory Governor before, he knows that each Territory is unique and plans to learn all he can about the BVI in the coming weeks.
“I am keenly aware that no two Territories are the same and so for my next few weeks and beyond, I will be in ‘listening mode,’ learning and understanding as much as possible about the people, history and unique culture of the Virgin Islands,” Governor Rankin said. He added, “I firmly believe that to serve a people, one must know the people.”
Premier and minister for finance Andrew A. Fahie welcomed Governor Rankin to the Territory, and said he looked forward to a partnership of mutual respect and trust.
“I pledge my full support, and I pledge this Territory’s full support, to make sure that we forge ties based on great respect built on what is in our DNA as Virgin Islanders, which is BVILove,” premier Fahie said, adding that the faithfulness and resilience of Virgin Islanders will inevitably lead to a successful outcome.
Meanwhile, Leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition Penn welcomed the new Governor and shared his hopes for the Governor’s term. “Let us remember that the people of the Virgin Islands are looking on with great expectancy that the work done on their behalf will serve to make the Virgin Islands a better place for us now as well as for generations to come. For us to do anything less would be a great disservice,” he said.
The swearing-in was attended by invited guests including all members of the Cabinet and House of Assembly as well as former legislators, members of the judiciary, senior public officers, representatives from the business sector and members of the Youth parliament.
The event was chaired by the Speaker of the House, Julian Willock. After inspecting the guard of honour mounted by the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force, Governor Rankin was welcomed with remarks by the Speaker, premier Fahie, and Penn; and with a poem by Virgin Islands Poet Laureate and newly appointed President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, Dr Richard Georges.
Deputy Governor David D. Archer, Jr read the Royal Commission of Appointment, which is Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s official appointment of the Governor.