WELCOME TO THE

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLAND

“Vigilate”

A fond welcome to locals and visitors!

Each and every visit to the Caribbean is like no other. There is always something new to learn, places to go or things to do. Sculpted by nature, the islands are ever-changing and evolving. With so many islands to choose from it is never easy to decide on where to stop.
We want to introduce you to our beautifully unique islands. Make sure you stay a while, take your time! In the Caribbean there’s no rush, let’s just ‘go with the flow’.
The more you learn, the more you will want to know, so relax and discover

the wonderful British Virgin Islands

BRITISH-VIRGIN-ISLANDS-FLAG

The British Virgin Islands Territorial flag was officially adopted on 15th November 1960.  The flag of the British Virgin Islands consists of a dark blue base with the British Union Jack in the top left corner, and one of the country’s badges on the right side of the flag. The Union Jack represents the country’s ties to Britain, as it is a British Overseas Territory. The badge consists of a green shield with 12 golden oil lamps with red flames and a female figure, St. Ursula. This is the patron saint of the British Virgin Islands attired in white and wearing sandals, carrying one of those lamps. Beneath the shield there is a golden ribbon that says ‘vigilate’, which means ‘be watchful’.

Information adapted from worldflags101.com

t is said that when Columbus discovered the British Virgin Islands in 1493, he named them ‘Las Virgenes’ in honor of St. Ursula and her companions. The eleven lamps which surround the figure of St. Ursula each represent 1,000 of the 11,000 Virgins who, according to the legend, were martyred along with St. Ursula. Beneath the shield there is a golden ribbon that says ‘vigilate’, which means ‘be watchful’.

Information adapted from worldflags101.com

Out of the huts of history’s pain

Our ancestors bled and died!

But with strength and will power we overcame

To restore Beautiful Virgin Islands pride!

To preserve our beauty we devised a plan

To retain ownership of your precious lands!

Educating our people is the golden key

To maintain the success of this Territory!

We shall protect your bountiful shores

And uphold your dignity!

We shall fight to preserve your culture

Your splendour and integrity!

And we shall never fail to understand

How blessed we are to possess this land!

So we shall unite standing proud and tall

Let none divide us, lest we fall!

Chorus

Oh how radiant are your daughters!

And how wealthy are your sons!

Your beaches boast your beauty!

And your success is second to none!

Green and brilliant are your hillsides!

They replenish our hopes and pride!

Oh Beautiful Virgin Islands!

Your qualities can never be denied!

May God richly bless this country!

May we ask three things of thee…

Courage for our great leaders

That they may rule our destiny!

We ask for wisdom for our people

That we may live in harmony!

And understanding for children

So they may cherish this legacy!

Chorus

AUGUSTUS JAPERT

GOVERNOR GENERAL
 
 

THE HON. ANDREW FAHIE

PREMIER

Governors

 

DEREK GEORGE CUDMORE

TOOK OFFICE: 1971 – LEFT OFFICE: 1974

 

WALTER WILKINSON WALLACE

TOOK OFFICE: 1974 – LEFT OFFICE – 1978
 

JAMES ALFRED DAVIDSON

TOOK OFFICE 1978 – LEFT OFFICE: 1982
 

DAVID ROBERT BARWICK

TOOK OFFICE: 1982 – LEFT OFFICE: 1986
 

MARK HERDMAN

TOOK OFFICE: 1986 – LEFT OFFICE: 1991

 

PETER PENFOLD

TOOK OFFICE: 1991 – LEFT OFFICE: 1995

 

DAVID MACKILLIGIN

TOOK OFFICE: 1995 – LEFT OFFICE: 1998

 

FRANK SAVAGE

TOOK OFFICE: 1998 – LEFT OFFICE: 2002

 

ELTON GEORGES (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 2002

 

TOM MACAN

TOOK OFFICE: 2002 – LEFT OFFICE: 2006

 

DANCIA PENN (acting)

TOOK OFFCE: 2006

 

DAVID PEAREY

TOOK OFFICE: 2006 – LEFT OFFICE: 2010

 

V. INEZ ARCHIBALD (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 2010

 

WILLIAM BOYD MCCLEARY

TOOK OFFICE: 2010 – LEFT OFFICE: 01/08/2014

 

V. INEZ ARCHIBALD (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 01/08/2014 – LEFT OFFICE: 15/08/2014

 

JOHN DUNCAN

TOOK OFFICE: 15/08/2014 – LEFT OFFICE: 08/08/2017

 

ROBERT A. MATHAVIOUS (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 08/08/2017 – LEFT OFFICE: 12/08/2017

 

ROSALIE ADAMS (acting)

TOOK OFFICE: 12/08/2017 – LEFT OFFICE: 22/08/2017

 

AUGUSTUS JASPERT

TOOK OFFICE:  22/08/2017 – INCUMBENT

 

Premiers

 

RALPH O’NEAL

(1933–)

TOOK OFFICE: 23/08/2007 – LEFT OFFICE: 09/11/2011

 

D. ORLANDO SMITH

(1944–)

TOOK OFFICE: 09/11/2011 – LEFT OFFICE: 25/02/2019

 

ANDREW FAHIE

(1970–)

TOOK OFFICE: 26/02/2019 – INCUMBENT

BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS MUST STOPS:

  • THE BATHS
  • SAGE MOUNTAIN
  • CALLWOOD DISTILLERY
  • FOLK MUSEUM

This is one of the Virgin Islands’ most unique natural wonders and is at the top of every adventurer’s sightseeing list.  Swim and explore this National Park’s spectacular light-filled grottoes, naturally carved from a series of small sea pools lying beneath a canopy of giant granite boulders.

Information courtesy of bvitourism.com

Established in 1964, Sage Mountain represents the beginning of conservation in the British Virgin Islands. Through a generous donation from Laurance Rockefeller, the land at Sage Mountain was purchased from farmers and given to the BVI Government as a national park. An entire mohogany trail has been established at Sage Mountain. Sage Mountain is the highest point in the British and US Virgin Islands at 1,716 feet, with panoramic views of all the islands. The main entrance to the Park is a 5-minute walk from the car park. There are twelve trails through the forest with loops creating a circular route.

Information adapted from bvitourism.com

This site features the original structure of a Sugar Cane distillery. Visitors to this rustic site can purchase samples of rum. The original boiler still operates and produces rum, which is then stored in original storage casks. The old guard house is also intact and has been turned into an art gallery and gift shop.

Information courtesy of bvitourism.com

Located on Main Street just past The Sir Oliva Georges Plaza, the Virgin Island Folk Museum has some Arawak and Carib pottery and stone tools. These include a decorated spindle, wreck of The Rhone and H.M.S. Nymph artefacts, plantation items and reef conservation information. This small museum also sells t-shirts, paintings, maps, and gifts. The VI Folk Museum was established in 1982 by the Virgin Islands Historical Society. The museum was originally housed in a late 19th Century wooden house on Main Street, in what is now the Abbott House. The museum later moved to its current location further up Main Street in 1993. It is currently housed in the Penn House located near the old Post Office. Penn House itself is a fine example of West Indian vernacular style and is an example of the many single and two-storey stone and wooden buildings which lined the winding dirt road that was Main Street. This fascinating old building houses a collection of photographs, crafts and artefacts dating from the arrival of the indigenous Amerindians of 100 B.C.E to present day Virgin Islands.

Information adapted from bvitourism.com

History of British Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands were settled by indigenous people in about 100 B.C.E., and were encountered by Columbus on 22 October 1493. Throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the BVI were under Spanish control, during which time the islands provided temporary anchorages for Spanish convoys hiding from English privateers. The Dutch on Tortola established the first permanent European settlement, in 1602, but by 1666 they had been replaced by English planters. Due to its arid climate and hilly terrain, the BVI were one of the more unprofitable of Great Britain’s plantation islands during the colonial period. As a British colony, the BVI were administered as part of the Leeward Islands Federation from 1872 to 1956. From 1902, when the local BVI legislature was abolished, to 1950, when it was reconstituted, the BVI experienced little in the way of direct governance by Great Britain.

With the breakup of colonial rule in the eastern Caribbean in 1956, the BVI declined both amalgamation with the USVI and membership in the now defunct West Indies Federation of British Islands (1958–1962). Constitutional reform in 1967 established the BVI as a British dependent territory, with a locally elected legislature and chief minister, and also established the U.S. dollar as the official national tender. Increased BVI political autonomy was matched by increased economic autonomy, related to the development of a successful tourism economy beginning in 1962, and the development of an offshore financial services sector beginning in the early 1980s. The expansion of the BVI economy was accomplished through extensive reliance upon imported labour. Of the present-day BVI population of twenty thousand, half are non-British Virgin Islanders drawn to work in its burgeoning tourist and financial services economies. The economic development that fostered radical demographic and social change has gone hand in hand with a growth in BVI nationalist sentiment.

Information courtesy of everyculture.com