Press Release

Premier's Office
Release Date:
Friday, 19 August 2022 - 7:50pm

Premier and Minister of Finance Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley has stated that the late former USVI Governor Dr. Charles Turnbull was an “illustrious son of the Greater Virgin Islands”.

Premier Wheatley in a written tribute on the life of Governor Turnbull, who passed on July 3, said the Governor remained a committed partner in the Greater Virgin Islands’ efforts to maintain the cultural and familial ties between both sets of islands.

Dr. Turnbull, who was born in St. Thomas, had BVI roots. He was a cousin of the Premier and had many family members and friends in the Territory.

Premier Wheatley said, “Governor Turnbull, whose roots were firmly planted on Tortola’s soil, was a great leader, historian, culture-bearer, and educator of the US Virgin Islands. He came from humble beginnings but was propelled to great heights. His dedication and commitment to public service could be seen in the various positions in which he served with distinction.”

Dr. Turnbull helped to establish the Inter-Virgin Islands Council (IVIC), which came into being after he and then Chief Minister Honourable Dr. D. Orlando Smith signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding on May 29, 2004.

According to Premier Wheatley, Dr. Turnbull “was committed to the IVIC and recognised the need to build an effective framework for continued meaningful and productive social, economic and political exchanges.”

Premier also delivered remarks during the pre-service of the funeral of Governor Turnbull on August 13, in which he reiterated the bonds between both sets of islands.

Honourable Wheatley stated, “When you mourn in the USVI, we mourn in the BVI. When you hurt, we hurt. When you cry, we cry. Because we are one people and our bonds of friendship transcend the waters between us.”

Premier also noted that this year marks 50 years since the first Friendship Day was held in 1972, an event which celebrates the special relationship between the USVI and BVI.

“No one epitomised that friendship more than former Governor Turnbull,” Honourable Wheatley said.

Premier’s delegation to the funeral included Deputy Premier Honourable Kye Rymer, Minister for Natural Resources and Labour Honourable Melvin Turnbull and Permanent Secretary in the Premier's Office, Mrs. Carolyn Stoutt Igwe.



About Dr. Charles Turnbull

Dr. Turnbull was first elected as USVI Governor in 1999 and served two terms. He received numerous awards and citations for his contributions to public service, education, and cultural affairs -

Photographs are attached, courtesy of Dale Morton.

3083 - Premier Wheatley and Senator Jovan James

3095 - L – r: Senator Dwayne DeGraff, Premier Wheatley, Retired Lt. Colonel Kenneth Alleyne, Former Lieutenant Governor Vargrave Richards, Mr. Moleto Smith, Honourable Melvin Turnbull, Honourable Kye Rymer, Former Lieutenant Governor Gregory Francis

2947 - Premier Wheatley giving his tribute during the pre-service of the funeral of former USVI Governor Charles Turnbull.

3040 - L-r: Premier Wheatley, Former Governor John P. de Jongh Jr., Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett, Lieutenant Governor Tregenza Roach, Mrs. Yolanda Bryan, Governor Albert Bryan

4195 - Premier Wheatley with Former Finance Commissioner Bernice Turnbull

4182 - L-r: Honourable Melvin Turnbull, Honourable Kye Rymer, Centenarian Keturah Gibbs-Smith and Premier Dr. the Honourable Natalio Wheatley

4193 -Premier Wheatley with Former Governor Turnbull’s siblings at the grave site.


April Glasgow

Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations
Phone: (284) 468-2730