Local USVI News

Bryan Exhorts Residents to Courageously Follow Their Dreams as Inauguration Ceremonies Conclude

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Governor Albert Bryan Jr. closed the Governor and Lieutenant Governor inaugural ceremonies on St. Croix on Wednesday with a message capsulized in hope of a better future.

The three days of activities ended Wednesday much like it began, with both Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach and Mr. Bryan asking residents to take advantage of the opportunities that they currently have to create a better life for themselves in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Governor Bryan crystalized his speech with fragments of bible text from Luke chapter 11, verses 9-13: “So I say to you ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

He used the scripture to encourage residents to go for what they want in life and to be sure of it. It is by doing so that he said the USVI would become a better place to live.

“Collectively, I know what we need but the individual decides what the collective will eventually accomplish,” he said. 

“Poverty is killing us in every single way. We fight poverty everyday by going to Congress and going down to wherever we need to get the investors and say bring it to St Croix, bring it to St. Thomas and bring it to St. John and say here’s your opportunity, what do you want,” he continued.

Meanwhile, Mr. Roach focused on the economic challenges that are preventing USVI residents from connecting with each other as well as people in the Caribbean region, resulting in less trade and travel among islands.  

“We are on three islands separated by water and the prohibitive cost of inter-island travel impairs our ability to build relationships with each other,” he said, noting that it is a gap that the Bryan-Roach administration is committed to closing. 

“When we can move freely between these islands, commerce will also thrive as we build up one another,” he stated.

As for the wider region, he said the challenge of transportation must be addressed as it is isolating the USVI from other Caribbean islands.

“We would not be wise to place out sole focus on drawing out tourism numbers from the United States and Canada, Europe and Asia, but also on growing regional tourism as well,” he stated.

It was a defining moment for both men, who grew to call St. Croix their home, having not been born there.

According to Mr. Bryan, his family moved from St. Thomas to St. Croix mere days before his deputy Mr. Roach moved with his family from St. Kitts to St. Croix, though the lieutenant governor has lived most of his life in St. Thomas.

“Tregenza came to the Virgin Islands 11 days before I was born. He came February 10, 1968; I was born the 21,” he remarked.

They have built a stronghold on St. Croix which allowed them to secure a second term in office on November 8, 2022.

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