Albert Bryan Jr. on Monday took the oath of office as the ninth elected governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Albert Bryan Jr. on Monday took the oath of office as the ninth elected governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, capping off a momentous journey that was years in the making. The event took place at the Emancipation Garden in St. Thomas before the 12 noon deadline set by Virgin Islands law, and came with the traditional exchange of power program.
The mood of the event was rather mellow; while there were loud cheers when Mr. Bryan and Mr. Roach were announced as the governor and lieutenant governor of the Virgin Islands after taking the oath of office, and before and after the men gave their speeches, the inauguration event happened fairly quickly with little fanfare.
When Mr. Bryan took to the podium to give his address, his jovial nature persisted, but he spoke of serious matters confronting the territory, which his administration has vowed to fix. He also asked for the community’s patience as his team undertakes what is expected to be a difficult road to recovery. In return, Mr. Bryan said he and his team would be patient in earning the community’s trust.
For Mr. Roach, who spoke of migrating from his birth land of St. Kitts and Nevis, a hard decision for his mother at time, the embrace he received from the Virgin Islands has been a transformative experience — and he believes there are many lessons that U.S. mainlanders could learn from the territory. He also spoke of his deep love for St. Thomas and by extension the entire U.S. Virgin Islands. A former journalist, Mr. Roach crafted a beautiful speech that encompassed his entire life experience, which has led him to the second highest office of the land. Mr. Roach also reminisced on the time when the U.S. Virgin Islands was the Caribbean’s center of attraction, when commerce was at its peak, and new businesses were opening seemingly everyday.
The governor told The Consortium following the ceremony that cabinet members would be announced either Friday or next Tuesday — a reality that hints to difficulty the Bryan administration is having finding the people it wants as cabinet members, or a painstaking process that demands more time to choose the right individuals.