354 James Walter Francis Drive
RJT Edifice Building, 5th Floor
Road Town, TORTOLA VG1110
Tel: 284 468 2730
Fax: 284 468 2750
Monday, 28th November is a public holiday in the Virgin Islands.
The 1949 Great March and Restoration Day holiday commemorates the historic demonstration on Sunday, 24th November 1949 that was led by Theodolph Faulkner, Isaac “Glanny” Fonseca, Carlton deCastro, and over 1,500 Virgin Islanders who marched through the streets of Road Town to the Commissioner’s Office (today known as the Governor’s Office) in protest of issues significantly affecting the quality of the lives of Virgin Islanders.
The demonstrators presented the Commissioner with a petition that highlighted their grievances with the political system, which was administered from Antigua at the time. The demonstration served as a catalyst for political development in the Territory, leading to the restoration of the Legislative Council and the evolution of a modern Virgin Islands.
On Monday a special featured documentary titled ‘March On Virgin Islanders, March On’ will be aired that will feature some significant highlights where there were tensions beginning with the 1789 Josiah’s Bay Riot, the 1811 Testimony of Pereen Georges, another important Josiah’s Bay Riot of 1823, the 1853 Cattle Tax Riot – a rebellion against a heavy-handed government taxation, and the 1890 Long Look uprising with ringleader Christopher Flemming.
The documentary, which is in collaboration between the Government of the Virgin Islands, Virgin Islands Communal Association and HLSCC Virgin Islands Studies Institute, is primarily in honour of our historical 1949 March as Virgin Islanders marched to protect their social, economic, and political freedom when the local Legislature was restored one year later in 1950.
For more information about this important part of Virgin Islands history, read the article: “Faulkner at the Front - The Demonstration of 1949: Its Beginning, Golden Jubilee and Implications” by Quincy F. Lettsome, Ph. D. See attached file.