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Historical: First Grandfather & Grandson as VI Chief Minister & Premier!

Historical: First Grandfather & Grandson as VI Chief Minister & Premier!

It only happened once before in the history of the Virgin Islands (1950- current) but it was at a different level. The first father and son to represent Virgin Gorda today, part of the ninth district, started with Hubert Robinson O’Neal in 1970 who was from Virgin Gorda.

The late Hubert Robinson O’Neal ultimately lost his life in 1971 carrying furniture to the school in North Sound, Virgin Gorda that bears his name. His son, former legislator Dr Hubert O’Neal followed some forty-five years later and won a seat under the National Democratic Party banner and served from 2015-2019.

They became the first father and son to be elected to Parliament in the Virgin Islands (VI), albeit years apart taking into account the Parliament/House of Assemblies from 1950 to current.

Top job - grandfather & grandson


However, history has been made for the second time at a different level in 2022. Today in the Virgin Islands (VI), we have a new Premier in the person of Dr. the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) sworn in on May 5, 2022, whose grandfather the late Dr Willard Wheatley MBE, LLD was a Chief Minister and the First Minister of Finance.

The former Chief Minister Wheatley served from 1971-1986 representing what is today the 8th District. He also served as Chief Minister and Minister of Finance for two consecutive terms from 1971-1979.

Today his grandson also known as ‘Sowande’ is the fourth Premier of the Territory.

His late grandfather was the one that took the VI out of grant-in-aid in 1978, a programme where the VI had to depend on the colonial master the United Kingdom for money to fund the Budget.

The grandfather and grandson combination is another historical moment for the British Overseas Territory of some 30,000 people.

Other families in the House from 1950 to current


While other siblings of Chief Ministers have run for office, like the son of the Late H. Lavity Stoutt - Preston P. Stoutt and the daughter of the late Cyril B. Romney- Joann R. Romney; they have not been successful.

There were two brothers who served in the Parliament, former Legislator Earl P. Fraser (1983-1986) and current Representative Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) (1999-current) and Lavity Stoutt (1967-1995) and his brother Prince M. Stoutt (1977-1983, 1990-1995)

Over the years in the HoA, there were continued combinations of first cousins, uncles, aunts and nephews/nieces as well as in-laws serving in elective office because of the small population.

However, in the VI’s political history in the HoA of 1950 to current, only one combination of father and son and one of grandfather and grandson to date have held the highest office.

The late Hubert Robinson O’Neal ultimately lost his life in 1971 carrying furniture to the school in North Sound, Virgin Gorda that bears his name. His son, former legislator Dr Hubert O’Neal followed some forty-five years later and won a seat under the National Democratic Party banner and served from 2015-2019.


Two brothers also served in the Parliament, former Legislator Earl P. Fraser (1983-1986) and current Representative Hon. Julian Fraser RA (1999-current).

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