July 10, 2003 – A delegation of five senators represented the 25th Legislature on Thursday at the "first sitting" of the first session of the 15th Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands.
At the opening ceremonies, Senate President David Jones and Sens. Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton Jr., Louis Hill, Shawn-Michael Malone and Luther Renee congratulated Chief Minister D. Orlando Smith on his newly formed government.
According to a release from Jones, hundreds of BVI residents were present in Briercliffe Hall for the opening, where Smith spoke of "a new chapter in our country's history" and former Chief Minister Ralph T.O'Neal emphasized the need to "treasure the long-standing relationship with the U.S. Virgin Islands."
Jones said he was pleased at the opportunity to "witness this historic transfer of power" and pledged the Senate's support "to foster the friendships and relationships that the B.V.I. and the U.S. Virgin Islands have enjoyed and developed over the years." He also quipped that he would try to "employ some of the tactics that were displayed during the changeover of power."
Inez Archibald was elected speaker of the Legislative Council, the first female to hold that position, and Eileene Parsons was elected deputy speaker.
In addition to Smith, O'Neal, Archibald and Parsons, the council comprises Lloyd Black, Delores Christopher, J. Alvin Christopher, Andrew A. Fahie, Julian Frazer, Omar W. Hodge, Kedrick Pickering, Ronnie Skelton, Mark Vanterpool and Paul Wattley.

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