In keeping with an announced initiative, beginning Monday students will begin to hoist the Union Jack and the Territorial Flag and the singing of the Territorial Song, 'Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands' at their respective schools.
Government on Friday, September 14 disclosed that to help foster a sense of pride and identity in the community and throughout the Territory of the Virgin Islands, the Ministry of Education and Culture will on Monday, commence the first of their flag hoisting ceremonies at the Althea Scatliffe and Ebenezer Thomas Primary Schools.
Through the Government Information Service (GIS), the Ministry stated that three flag poles have been erected at each primary school to facilitate the hoisting of the Union Jack and the Territorial Flag.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The third pole will be used to hoist the school's flag which will be developed by students during the 2012 - 2013 school year.
The students will also sing the National Anthem, "God Save the Queen" and the Territorial Song, `Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands" at the start of assembly.
During general assemblies last week, most schools started learning the Territorial Song. At the Elmore Stoutt High School, three students sang the song at the beginning of the assembly.
Minister for Education and Culture Hon. Myron Walwyn and other senior members of the Ministry and Department of Education will join the principals, staff and students at the ceremonies.
Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Culture Ms. Lorna Stevens in her remarks will outline the protocols for hoisting and lowering the flags which will be done on a daily basis by the students.
Acting Director of Culture Mrs. Brenda Lettsome-Tye will speak to the students on the protocol adhered to when singing the songs and she will make a presentation on the Territorial Dress.
According to GIS, the flag poles were constructed by local entrepreneur Mr. Uriel "Billy" Jones of JBC Fabricating and the bases were built by Mr. Cleo-Foster Williams of Diamond Construction and Mr. Algernon Mathavious of Kwickskan Services.
More flag poles and bases are being erected at the Territory's public and private, primary and secondary schools by various contractors to facilitate the hoisting of flags in the coming weeks.
On August 27 during the Professional Day for Educators held at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium, Minister Walwyn stated that when the new school year commences students in all public schools will have to sing the Territory's recently approved Territorial Song, 'Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands' at general assemblies and homerooms.
At the time he stated that additionally, flag poles will be erected at all schools and students will be charged with the raising and lowering of the flags daily.
On July 24, Members of the House of Assembly selected 'Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands', written by siblings Ayana Hull and Kareem-Nelson Hull as the Territorial Song and a combination of two different designs for the Territory's official dress.
The House of Assembly later officially adopted the song and dress.
According to Government, the development of a Territorial dress and song is in keeping with Government's commitment to preserve, enhance and promote the Virgin Islands' cultural identity.
Minister Walwyn previously stated that efforts will be made to have the words of the Territorial Song known to all residents and it will be sung at all official activities.
However, he said that it will not compete with the National Anthem, as it will be sung following the National Anthem.