On the first Monday of every March, British Virgin Islands remembers its most influential leader, Hamilton Lavity Stoutt, by celebrating his birthday.
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Stoutt was the Chief Minister of BVI for some 16 years, off and on, between 1967 and his death in 1995. He also founded the Unity Party, and later, the Virgin Islands Party.
He often quoted from the book of Proverbs in the Christian Bible, stating “Where there is no vision, the people perish” as he argued in favour of various development projects. Some of the projects he helped achieve include: establishing Social Security in BVI, seeing the construction of Cruise Ship Pier, and founding the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, which was named after him. He also helped make BVI an international finance centre of note.
On Hamilton Lavity Stoutt Holiday, which has been celebrated since Stoutt’s death in 1995, there are official wreath laying ceremonies done by public officials at the Cappoon’s Bay cemetery. And there is also an annual remembrance event with speeches on the significance of Stoutt’s achievements and with high-quality choral presentations.