Premier Hon. Dr. Orlando Smith
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The Virgin Islands Party (VIP) Opposition agreed to withhold questions for another House of Assembly sitting as Legislators shelved the usual political discourse to offer words of comfort to Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith on the passing of his mother, Eldra Davies Smith, who died on September 6 after a brief period of illness.
During the sitting today, September 13, Opposition Leader, Hon. Ralph T. O´Neal stated that this is the first time in the history of the Territory that a sitting head of state lost their mother and he extended condolences to the Premier and his family.
Hon. O'Neal also appealed to other Members of the House not to bother the Premier during the sitting and his call was heeded by all members as what followed was an outpouring of support and fond memories of the Premier's mother.
Opposition Member and Second District Representative, Hon. Alvin Christopher also expressed his condolence and shared his own personal experience of losing his mother many years ago.
"If you have to shed a tear don´t be afraid. Only time can heal," Hon. Christopher stated.
During `Other Business´ of the sitting, Members recalled fond times shared with Mrs. Smith and her husband, especially when buying bread from the family owned Josh bakery. Some of the younger Members could not testify to knowing Mrs. Smith personally, but expressed the view that she must have been a kind-hearted persons based on the views from other Members.
Also Expressing condolences were Deputy Premier and Minister for Natural Resources and Labour, Hon. Kedrick Pickering; Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool; Minister for Education and Culture, Hon. Myron Walwyn; Minister for Health and Social Development, Hon. Ronnie Skelton; At-Large Representative, Hon. Archibald Christian; Sixth District Representative, Hon. Alvera Maduro-Caines; First District Representative, Hon. Andrew Fahie; and Third District Representative, Hon. Julian Fraser.
Acting Speaker of the House of Assembly, Fifth District Representative, Hon. Delores Christopher and Attorney General, Dr. Christopher Malcolm also shared condolences.
Minister Walwyn pointed out that despite his mother´s passing, the Premier still came to work and handled the people´s business.
In response to the messages of condolence, the Premier thanked members for their support. He stated that four Bills that were tabled in the House during the sitting could not wait as they dealt with the financial services industry.
The sitting concluded shortly before noon.
Via a Facebook post, the Premier disclosed that the funeral will take place Sunday at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fat Hogs Bay, with viewing starting at 9:30am and the service an hour later.
The Premier's mother passed away at her home in Lower Estate. She was 94.