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      The British Virgin Islands       OnePaper Community Edition       October 17th, 2018      
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Deputy Speaker of the Legislature and at large Representative

     Mrs. Eileene L.S. Parsons was born on Tortola to Virginia Parrott Fahie of Cooten Bay and James Elmore Stevens of Long Look, British Virgin Islands. She was enrolled at Infant Primary School at Zion Hill, West End where she lived with her Aunt Constancia Parrott. She recalls that both herself and compatriot Cyril Romney were enrolled on the same day. Later she went to Road Town, and after a short while migrated with her Aunt Constancia to St. Thomas where she completed her high school education at the Charlotte Amalie High School.
     
     Mrs. Parsons' quest for higher education took her to the Escuela Vocational School in Puerto Rico, and the Oswego State Teachers College where she studied Dressmaking and Industrial Arts, respectively. She also attended the Leeward Islands Teachers College, earned an Associate Degree in Secretarial Science at the College (University) of the Virgin Islands, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism Promotion at Florida International University.
     
     Mrs. Parsons' career has spanned the fields of Education, Secretarial Science and Politics.
     Mrs. Parsons taught in the Public Schools in the British and US Virgin Islands from 1959- 65. She held notable secretarial positions during the period 1965-95 including Secretary to the Commissioner of Education USVI, and the Dean of the College (now University) of the Virgin Islands; Secretary, BVI Tourist Board, and the Board of Governors of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. Mrs. Parsons served as Cultural Officer from 1984 - 1989 and as Registrar/Bursar of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College from 1990 - 1995.
     
     A keen interest in culture and sports has dominated Mrs. Parsons' extra curricular activities. She has been indefatigable in her pursuits, designed to stimulate and encourage development in the cultural life of the community. She is the founder of the (now dormant) Community Singers (1974 - 1986) and the BVI Heritage Dance Company 1979. Mrs. Parsons has also written extensively for publication in the local newspaper and co-authored the book 1834 - 1984 - One Hundred and Fifty years of Achievement and Development through the Performing Arts. She also chaired the BVI's Festival Committee from 1975-83. In sports she has been secretary/treasurer of the Blue Wings softball club since 1975; Secretary-General, BVI Olympic Committee 1976; a past vice-president of softball in the Caribbean and Latin America, 1981-83, and secretary/treasurer, BVI Softball Association, 1975 - 1989.
     
     In 1983 Mrs. Parsons entered the arena of politics as a candidate for district five, she contested the seat unsuccessfully in the 1986 and 1990 elections. In 1995 as an Independent candidate, she was elected number one from a field of 24 candidates, with the highest number of votes cast to date in the territory; thus becoming one of the first two women elected to political office.
     
     Mrs. Parsons served as a member of the Opposition from 6th March - 31st May 1995, and as a member of the Government back bench from 1st June, 1995 - 24th February, 1997. On 25th February 1997 she was appointed Minister of Health, Education and Welfare, becoming the first female Minister in 30 years of Ministerial Government. Mrs. Parsons retained her seat in the fourteenth Legislature, polling the fourth highest number of votes as Territorial candidate in the general election of May 17, 1999. On May 21, 1999 she was appointed as Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Health, Education and Welfare in the Virgin Islands Party Government. That appointment was revoked on July 20, 2000.
     The recent election saw her returned to the Legislature and her election as Deputy Speaker.This was the first time she was runnning as a National Democratic Party member and a historic first in being elected as Deputy Speaker of the Legislature.
     Mrs. Parsons has traveled extensively in the Caribbean, Continental U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, United Kingdom, Mexico and Asia. Her hobbies are reading, needlework, sports (especially softball and horse racing), music, travelling for relaxation and education and the holding together of the BVI Heritage Dancers who are the Territory's cultural ambassadors.
     Mrs. Parsons was a mother of two, until recently she lost her daughter. She now has one son and four grandchildren.
     
     
     Major Issues/Challenges that Arose During Her Terms of Service
     
     
     
     

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  Mr. Thomas Townley Macan
  
  Governor of the British Virgin Islands with effect from October 2002.
  
  Tom Macan joined the Diplomatic Service in 1969, having graduated in Economics from the University of Sussex where he was also President of the Union (1967-68). Appointed initially to the UN Department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), he was posted to the Embassy in Bonn in 1971 and subsequently Brasilia (1974). Back in the FCO in 1978, he was Head of the Environment and Maritime Boundaries Section until 1981, when he returned to the Embassy in Bonn as Press Secretary.
  
  In 1986, he served again in the FCO, first as Head of the Commonwealth Co-ordination Department and subsequently (1988) Head of Training Department. In 1990, he was appointed Deputy Head of Mission in the Embassy at Lisbon. From 1995 to 1998, he was Ambassador at Vilnius, and subsequently took a private sector secondment to the BOC Group. From 1999 to 2002, he was Minister and Deputy High Commissioner at New Delhi.
  
  Tom Macan and his wife, Janet, have two children. Nicholas (1981) and Melissa (1984).
  
  
  
  
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  Hon. O'Neal entered the Political Arena in 1975
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