The BVI London Office recently unveiled a bust of Ralph T O’Neal, OBE in London to mark the 20th anniversary of the BVI London House and recognize his legacy as the territory’s first Premier.
The tribute was previewed by Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio Wheatley in a press conference ahead of his journey to the United Kingdom. Wheatley said that plans to honour O’Neal began over a year ago and that the bust pays homage to O’Neal as the visionary for establishing the BVI London Office in 2002 during his tenure.
Deputy Premier Honourable Lorna Smith said the honour is a fitting one for the late O’Neal, as his decision to open an office in London continues to benefit the BVI today.
O’Neal, who passed away in November 2019 at age 85, was the longest-serving elected representative in the BVI. He represented Virgin Gorda for over 40 years after being first elected in 1975.
In addition to his pioneering role as first Premier, O’Neal also served as Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Minister of Social Services, and Minister of Natural Resources and Labour.
The bust recognizes O’Neal’s decades of service and the lasting impact.