Establishment of the Constitutional Review Commission 2022

Cabinet on 10th June, 2020 approved the establishment of a Constitutional Review Commission for the purpose of conducting a full review of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007.

Biographies of Our Team

Mrs. Lisa Penn-Lettsome

Mrs. Lisa Penn-Lettsome is the Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission. She recently completed a 3-year term as the Executive.

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Mrs. Lisa Penn-Lettsome

Mrs. Lisa Penn-Lettsome is the Chairman of the Constitutional Review Commission. She recently completed a 3-year term as the Executive Director of International Business with the Government of the Virgin Islands. This follows 13 years as Senior Counsel and Head of Regulation with an international law firm. Mrs. Penn-Lettsome is no stranger to public service having previously held the positions of Deputy Registrar of High Court, Acting Magistrate, Registrar of Companies, Deputy Managing Director of the Financial Services Commission and Acting Deputy Governor of the Virgin Islands. 

She is also a past President of the BVI Bar Association, first chairman of the Financial Investigations Agency and first Secretary of the BVI Reporting Authority and has served on numerous Boards and committees.

Mrs. Lisa Penn-Lettsome holds a Master of Laws from the School of Financial Services of the University of New South Wales, Australia, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of the West Indies, and an International Diploma in Compliance from the University of Manchester Business School and the International Compliance Association.

 

Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron

The Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron was appointed as president of the Caribbean Court of Justice from 2011 to 2015. He has recently retired. He is.

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Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron

The Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron served as president of the Caribbean Court of Justice from 2011 to 2015. He has recently retired. He is also a former Chief Justice of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. 

Whilst at the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Byron promoted the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court Judicial Reform Programme. He launched the Judicial Education Institute which, amongst other things, produced a Code of Ethics for Judges. This Programme was followed by modernisation court practices and the introduction of the new Civil Procedure Rules 2000.

In March 2001, Mr. Justice Byron was a member of an international delegation of jurists who travelled to Zimbabwe on a fact‐finding mission on behalf of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association, inquiring into reports of abuses against the rule of law by the Government of Zimbabwe. 

Among several other of his distinctions include his previous appointment as a Judge of the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (June 2004), President of the Tribunal (2007 and 2009), and member of the Privy Council (2004). 

Ms. Maya Barry

Maya M. Barry is a Virgin Islander who currently serves as Principal Crown Counsel in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers,..

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Ms. Maya Barry

Maya M. Barry is a Virgin Islander who currently serves as Principal Crown Counsel in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers, Government of the Virgin Islands. As part of the Attorney General’s team Ms. Barry, inter alia, has specialist experience in dealing with administrative and constitutional law matters. As Principal Crown Counsel, Ms. Barry routinely provides legal advice to His Excellency, the Governor, the Cabinet and the various ministries and departments of Government. She also regularly appears as counsel before the High Court and Court of Appeal in litigation for and on behalf of the Government. She has also represented the Government before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Ms. Barry earned a Bachelor of Laws (Hons.) from Cardiff University Law School in June 2009 and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Law (Bar Vocational Course) from the same institution in July 2010. She was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn in March 2011.

Ms. Barry joined the Civil Service of the Virgin Islands in November 1993, and held various positions in the administrative hierarchy of the Attorney General’s Chambers, prior to reading law and commencing practice as a barrister in the Virgin Islands. Ms. Barry has also served on several statutory boards and been a part of various community service organisations. She is also a Notary Public in the Virgin Islands.

Mrs. Tanya Cassie-Parker

Tanya Cassie-Parker is a lawyer and managing partner of the BVI office of global law firm, Harneys. She also serves as member of the firm’s..

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Mrs. Tanya Cassie-Parker

Tanya Cassie-Parker is a lawyer and managing partner of the BVI office of global law firm, Harneys. She also serves as member of the firm’s Executive Committee (the body that has oversight of the firm’s global business), the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee and has been a trainer and a mentor in the firm’s Professional Development Programme– a programme for training junior lawyers.

Ms. Cassie-Parker was admitted to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands (practising) in 1999, admitted to the Bar of Jamaica (non-practising) in 2001, and registered as a Foreign Lawyer in Hong Kong in 2005. She has since been ranked by IFLR 1000 as a Leading Lawyer in the British Virgin Islands and recognised in their Women Leaders 2022 guide. Ms. Cassie-Parker is also a Member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, holder of an Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators Diploma in Offshore Finance and Administration, and he holder of an International Compliance Association Diploma in Compliance (Graduate).

Mr. Sendrick Chinnery

Sendrick Chinnery was born on Jost Van Dyke on 4th June 1965. He attended the Jost Van Dyke Primary School, and attended the BVI High School in Tortola.

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Mr. Sendrick Chinnery

Sendrick Chinnery was born on Jost Van Dyke on 4th June 1965. He attended the Jost Van Dyke Primary School, and attended the BVI High School in Tortola. He earned his Associates Degree in General Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from HL Stoutt Community College. In addition, Mr. Chinnery completed several online courses with institutions such as Liberty University, and University of Maryland University College. He also attended the Canadian Coast Guard College where he completed a course of study in Marine Engineering.

Mr. Chinnery was employed by the Government of the Virgin Islands as a Customs Officer where he served for 26 years. During this time, and in addition to his regular duties, he served on many committees including the BVI Honors Committee, and the BVI Tourist board. Mr. Chinnery retired from the public service as an Assistant Commissioner of Customs in 2014. As a community-minded businessman, he has been involved for many years in service-oriented businesses including ferry and barge services, trucking and sanitation services, and vehicle rentals. He is married, and has 2 daughters and 1 son. He enjoys spending time with his family, and loves boating.

Ms. Susan Demers

Susan V. Demers is a native of New York City and is a graduate of New York University’s Washington Square College of Arts and Science (B.A., 1974)

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Ms. Susan Demers

Susan V. Demers is a native of New York City and is a graduate of New York University’s Washington Square College of Arts and Science (B.A., 1974) and New York University’s School of Law (J.D., 1977). She has resided in the Virgin Islands for over 27 years and is a BVI Belonger. Ms. Demers is admitted to practise in New York and several US federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Demers was the first solicitor advocate admitted to practise in the BVI. She is also admitted to practise in England and Wales, although she does not currently hold a practising certificate. Ms. Demers is the owner of Price Demers & Co., a BVI law firm, and of PFD Corporate Services (BVI) Limited, a licensed corporate services provider.

Before moving to the BVI, Ms. Demers spent 10 years working in the Administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo of New York, where she was Deputy Commissioner and General Counsel in the New York State Department of Social Services. After moving to the BVI, Ms. Demers n served as a legal consultant to the Government of the BVI on domestic violence issues. Ms. Demers also served on the BVI Bar Association’s Committee on the Status of Children and on the Law Reform Commission’s Committee on the Status of Children. Susan was the Chairperson of the Financial Services Committee of the National Curriculum Redesign Project, developing a new curriculum for the BVI High School. For the past 6 years, Ms. Demers has been a member of the Legal Aid Board.

Ms. Noni Georges

With a “Passion for Public Service”, Noni Mandisa Georges, an environmental law and policy analyst, has served the BVI community for over 25 years. She is .

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Ms. Noni Georges

With a “Passion for Public Service”, Noni Mandisa Georges, an environmental law and policy analyst, has served the BVI community for over 25 years. She is the Executive Director of the Georges-Rhymer Institute for Public Policy, an independent non-partisan not-for-profit which pursues projects designed to improve environmental quality; improve public policy analysis, articulation, and implementation; improve access to justice; and which seeks to promote a more just and equitable national vision.

Called to the BVI Bar in 2010, Ms. Georges served as a Judicial Assistant for the High Court (2010-2013) and as Deputy Registrar for the BVI Commercial Court (2015-2018). Prior to this she was a Research Associate at the Island Resources Foundation, and an Environmental Policy Officer and Laboratory Technician at the Conservation and Fisheries Department. She is a graduate of the University of the West Indies, Cavehill (LLB), Eugene Dupuch Law School (CLE), Dalhousie School for Resource and Environmental Studies (MES), Mount Allison University (BSc. Hon.) and Salutatorian of the BVI High School Class of 1993.

Ms. Georges is also Director of Seven Seas Water Company, the BVI’s second largest utilities service provider, sits on the Board of Directors for the YEP Foundation, and is the Chair of the BVI Pro Bono Project. Believing that co-operation, not competition, is the element of success in social and ecological systems, her motto is: “Co-operate as if your planet depended upon it.”

Dr. Steve Lennard

Dr. Steve Lennard is currently employed by the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), where he serves as the Director for the Virgin Gorda Campus.

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Dr. Steve Lennard

Dr. Steve Lennard is currently employed by the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), where he serves as the Director for the Virgin Gorda Campus. Dr. Lennard has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of leadership and management, after having served in senior leadership positions for over 25 years. Besides his educational experiences, Dr. Lennard has served many years in Church Leadership where he led 10 churches in the Eastern Caribbean. Dr. Lennard was employed with the Government of the Virgin Islands before taking up his current role at HLSCC. He served as an elementary grade 4 teacher, Head of Math and Science Department at the high school level. He also served at HLSCC as the Coordinator of Distance Learning and Disaster Management, Senior Lecturer, Academic Advisor, Fiscal Services Officer and Senior Executive Assistant to the President.

Dr. Lennard completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics with the University of The Virgin Islands, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management with the University of Phoenix, and his Doctoral Degree in Management and Leadership (High Distinction) with Trinity College. He also completed 3 years of Doctoral Studies with Johnson University in Leadership. He has received various awards and honours in leadership, business continuity management and the National Dean’s List.. Dr. Lennard is heavily involved with community services where he inspires many young entrepreneurs to embrace the many opportunities in business while volunteering his time as a personal coach and mentor. He has written three mathematics books for children and is currently working on two books on leadership. Dr. Lennard worked on many committees at his current job; represented the College and Territory on regional committees throughout the Caribbean and special government committees.

Mr. Coy Levons

Mr. Levons was born in the British Virgin Islands to Diane and Aubrey Levons. He grew up on the beautiful island of Anegada. After finishing secondary school, Mr. Levons...

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Mr. Coy Levons

Mr. Levons was born in the British Virgin Islands to Diane and Aubrey Levons. He grew up on the beautiful island of Anegada. After finishing secondary school, Mr. Levons enrolled in the legal studies program at HLSCC and UWI center, where he graduated in 1999 with an A.S in Legal Studies. He then spent a year working as a legal secretary at Harney Westwood and Regals where he then left to start his aviation career.

Mr. Levons obtained a private pilot license in 1999 and a few years later became a commercial pilot. He earned a BS in Aviation Management and a Master’s of Science in Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Mr. Levons worked as a Duty Manager for the BVI Airports Authority in 2006 where he progressed through the ranks to MD in 2019. During his employment, he collaborated on projects with companies such as Sypher Mueller, Air Safety Support International (ASSI), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), BCQS, Halcrow, American Airlines, Autland Construction, WSP Canada, Meridian Construction, IATA, AVIA.NG, and Ashurst, UK. Some of his accomplishments include certification/ licensing aerodromes, implementation of the first GPS approach at Terrence B. Lettsome Airport, development and implementation of Safeguarding tools for Virgin Gorda (currently used by Planning Authority), TBLIA runway overlay, and Option 6 runway development project.

Mr. Levons believe in unity and that the best method of progression comes from collectively standing together to achieve a common goal. Mr. Levons enjoys fishing, diving, reading, and travelling. He also is passionate about seeing Anegada become self-sufficient in terms of energy, tourism, culture and Government administrative services.

Mrs. Bernadine Louis

Ms. Bernadine Louis nee Walters is a British Virgin Islander who has years of experience at the management level while employed in the civil service. She served for...

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Mrs. Bernadine Louis

Ms. Bernadine Louis nee Walters is a British Virgin Islander who has years of experience at the management level while employed in the civil service. She served for 27 years as a government officer in a number of senior positions including Director of Library Services, Deputy Permanent Secretary and Minister’s Private Secretary before transitioning to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College where she has also held senior administrative positions such as Director of the Learning Resource Centre, Dean of Workforce Training and Technical Education, Director of Virgin Islands Studies and Adjunct Lecturer (the latter two being her current positions).

Ms. Louis’s educational qualifications and experience include Library Administration, Public Administration, General and Project Management at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels, Research and Virgin Islands Culture and History. Over the years her contributions to her community/country involve various areas including national festivals, the Guide Association, the Church and Heritage projects. She has also contributed to numerous publications as both editor and contributor and recently co-compiled a recent work entitled: The 1949 March and the Restoration of the Legislative Council of the Virgin Islands.

Dr. Benedicta P.T. Samuels

Dr Benedicta P.T. Samuels was admitted to practice at the Bars in the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and St Kitts/Nevis following completion of an an LL.B. Degree...

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Dr. Benedicta P.T. Samuels

Dr Benedicta P.T. Samuels was admitted to practice at the Bars in the Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Antigua and St Kitts/Nevis following completion of an LL.B. Degree (Hons) with the University of the West Indies and a Legal Education Certificate from the Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica. Shortly thereafter, that she earned an L.L.M. Degree) (Legislative Drafting) also from the University of the West Indies. In 2015, she was awarded the Doctor of Philosophy (Law) by the University of the West Indies. Her academic qualifications are complimented by professional certifications in E-Commerce Law and Regulations (Italy); Securitizations and Credit Derivatives (Kolkotta, India); Mediation (through Windsor University, Canada and the University of the West Indies); and in Arbitration with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. She is a Chartered Director with the Caribbean Governance Training Institute.

Dr, Samuels has completed programs in Hedge Fund Administration, AntiMoney laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing; Corporate Compliance and Tutor Training. She is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Dr, Samuels is currently Head of Chambers of Samuels Richardson & Co., a BVI law firm She was appointed as a Notary Public and Commissioner for Oaths in the Virgin Islands. She previously served as Crown Counsel with the Attorney General’s Chambers, and acted as Registrar of Corporate Affairs and as Chief Registrar of Lands. Dr Samuels is a former adjunct lecturer at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and with the University of the West Indies School (Open Campus). She served as the Assistant Registrar of Caribbean Examinations Council (CAPE Law). Dr Samuels has attended and presented papers at several conferences. Dr Samuels continues to serve on a number of statutory Boards, Committees and Focus Groups

Mr. Ronnie W. Skelton

Ronnie W. Skelton is a Chartered Electrical Engineer with over 45 years background of very active participation in the public and...

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Mr. Ronnie W. Skelton

Ronnie W. Skelton is a Chartered Electrical Engineer with over 45 years background of very active participation in the public and private sectors. In all of these capacities he has been working in higher managerial positions, dealing with industry wide and national growth reforms. Mr. Skelton was first elected to the House of Assembly (formerly known as the Legislative Council) in 1999, and served as a Member of the Opposition until 2003. In 2003 he served as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Finance and Minister of Health and Social Development until 2007. Following his unsuccessful bid in the General Election of 2007, Mr. Skelton returned to private life to reassume his role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Skelton Group of Companies where he led and directed the growth strategy for his family owned businesses until 2011 when he was reelected. He was a member of the House of Assembly and served as the Minister of Health and Social Development until November 2018. Mr. Skelton is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Skelton Group of Companies where he continues to execute the vision and future progressive development of the group. Mr. Skelton’s accomplishments included reforming the tax system of the Virgin Islands where he was instrumental in leading the initiative which grants $10,000 tax free salary each year to the residents. Additionally, he introduced several pieces of legislation to the Legislative Council to improve the Financial Services industry. In his capacity of Minister of Health, the new Peebles Hospital (now the Dr D. Orlando Smith Hospital) was commissioned; the Tobacco Control Act 2006 was also introduced; National Health Insurance implemented; overall improvement to the health care system of the Virgin Islands, and the construction of the Nurse Iris O’Neal Medical Centre on the sister island of Virgin Gorda; construction of a building at John’s Hole to accommodate offices and the Road Town Senior Citizens’ Programme, and the construction of affordable homes for the less fortunate amongst us, are but some of his achievements. 2 Mr. Skelton was also a key participant in the negotiations for constitutional change for the Virgin Islands with the UK Government. A new Constitution was approved in 2007. A Chartered Electrical Engineer by profession, he served as the territory’s first locally appointed General Manager of BVI Electricity Corporation from 1987-1999. Prior toerving in that position, he worked at the Corporation as Distribution Engineer. Numerous improvements were made during his tenure as General Manager after the passage of Hurricane Hugo in 1989 which saw extensive destruction to the electrical grid. Mr. Skelton spearheaded the project which provided 24hour electricity to Anegada. He has served as a member of many professional and civic associations and committees too numerous to list. He is a Charter Member and served as the first President of the Rotary Club of Road Town and is currently a member.

Mr. Rajah A. Smith

Rajah A. Smith was born 1982 in Tortola British Virgin Islands, he grew up in Jost Van Dyke and Sea Cow’s Bay. Rajah A. Smith, is the son of Alwon Smith of Sea Cows Bay...

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Mr. Rajah A. Smith

Rajah A. Smith was born 1982 in Tortola British Virgin Islands, he grew up in Jost Van Dyke and Sea Cow’s Bay. Rajah A. Smith, is the son of Alwon Smith of Sea Cows Bay and Janet Hendricks of Jost Van Dyke. Grandson of Almean and Alpheus Smith of Sea Cow’s Bay, Adina and Sydney Hendricks of Jost Van Dyke. Great grandson of Adelphine Smith of Salt Island and Ebenezer Thomas of Sea Cows Bay, also the great grandson of Jonathan Hendricks and Elcena Chinnery Graham. Father of four children Malaki, Jaleel, Jaden and Kajah Smith. The brother of local attorney Sonjah Smith. He was educated at Ebenezer Thomas Primary School, BVI High School and H.L.S.C College. He has certificates in Infrastructural Development, Project Management and Construction. He is the owner/ manager of No Limit Construction Services since 2001. He has served on the Recreation Trust of the Virgin Islands, the Nibbs Estate Land Committee and was the first Commissioner of the Hon Julian Fraser Save the seed Basketball League

Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull

Dr. Melvin Turnbull has been involved in Christian ministry for the past 51 years. In 1971 he pioneered the Student Christian Movement at the at the BVI...

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Rev. Dr. Melvin A. Turnbull

Dr. Melvin Turnbull has been involved in Christian ministry for the past 51 years. In 1971 he pioneered the Student Christian Movement at the BVI High School and was licensed to preach the Gospel in 1972 while a student in high school. He was ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in 1981. Dr. Turnbull has served as the Senior Pastor of Cane Garden Bay Baptist Church (CGBBC) for over 46 years. Dr. Turnbull has been touching lives via the airwaves and at various conferences throughout the Caribbean and the world. He has hosted the radio programme, Life Devotional, for over 45 years and is the co-host of the Radio Talk Magazine, Body and Soul, for the past 21 years. He has been a marriage counsellor for over 42 years and has also been a guest speaker at international conferences. Public Service.

Described as a visionary leader with a reproductive management style, Dr. Turnbull has served in various capacities in the Territory of the Virgin Islands. He is a former Banker with more than 33 years’ experience. Dr. Turnbull has also chaired and served on various boards and committees. He is the Chairman of the Virgin Islands Heritage Month Committee for the past 25 years and a former Chairman of the Inland Revenue Board of Referees.

Dr. Turnbull’s membership on other commissions and committees include: The Public Service Commission; Police Advisory; Education; National Drug Advisory and the Law Reform Commission - Juvenile Sentencing And Alternative Punishment Legislation Committee. For his outstanding service, he has been presented with many awards and certificates. Educational Achievements Dr. Turnbull has pursued various courses of study in Business and Ministry. In 2004 was awarded Associate of Arts and a Bachelor in Ministry from the H. L. Stoutt Community College in the British Virgin Islands and the North American School Of Theology in Florida, respectively. He went on to earn an Executive Diploma in Management and Bachelor in Business from the Chartered Management Institute, London in 2008. Later in that year, he received a Master in Theology and an Honorary Doctor in Theology from the Grace Institute of Biblical Studies in Antigua. He also received Certificates of Completion in Chaplaincy from Cancer Treatment Centers of America (2013) and CSU Institute for Palliative Care (2019). Dr. Turnbull is a Member of the American Association of Christian Counsellors (AACC). Dr. Turnbull has been married to his wife, Marion, for over 43 years. They are blessed with two purpose-driven sons, and three granddaughters of destiny and one grandson of substance. He is charismatic and deeply dedicated. He is serving this region for God, and as such, touches many hearts and lives. Dr. Turnbull applies his Christian principles to commerce and industry. He is a social activist who sees self-determination as the key to national destiny.

Dr. Charles Wheatley

The foundation for the lengthy educational career of Charles H. Wheatley began at East End Methodist School and continued at the Leeward Islands Teachers...

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Dr. Charles Wheatley

The foundation for the lengthy educational career of Charles H. Wheatley began at East End Methodist School and continued at the Leeward Islands Teachers College where he earned the Teachers Diploma in Education. Following that training, Dr. Wheatley was awarded the College of Preceptors Associate Diploma (ACP) in 1963 and the Licentiate Diploma (LCP) in 1966. He was awarded an honours Bachelor’s degree in History and Philosophy and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Mount Allison University in 1970. In 1975 he completed studies for a Master’s degree in Curriculum Development and Educational Administration from the University of Toronto, and doctoral studies in 1997 earning a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Leadership and Multicultural Education from Union Institute and University. He also completed post- doctoral studies at Harvard University, Carnegie Melon University and University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Wheatley served as Pupil Teacher, Assistant Teacher, and Principal. Dr. Wheatley also served as Assistant Principal 1970-1972 and the first local principal 1972-1980 of the B. V. I. High School (now the Elmore Stoutt High School).

In 1980, Dr. Wheatley was appointed Chief Education Officer and served in that position until 1987. In 1987, Dr. Wheatley became Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Education and Welfare and served until 1991 when he became President of the newly established BVI Community College, (now the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, HLSCC). He retired from HLSCC in 2005 and was made President Emeritus and has served as Chairman of the Board of Governors 2007-2019. He continued to serve on numerous boards and committees and continues to render community service in the church and various civic organisations.

The Constitutional Review Commission was established in 2022 for the purpose of conducting a full review of the Virgin Islands Constitution Order, 2007.

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Contact Information

Address:
Constitutional Review Commission
RFG Building, Market Square (temp)
1st Floor, Cutlass Tower (perm)
Road Town, Tortola VG1110

Tel: +1 (284) 468-2034
Tel: +1 (284) 499-8819

Email: yourconstitution@gov.vg

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