This Wheatake is a short excerpt from my forth coming Book "Dawn of a new Day: BVIslanders Reclaimed their Homeland 1942-1967."
The excerpt speaks to a fluid period comparable to today in many ways.
BVIslanders also brlieved in tolerance which was manifested in their allegance to the Leeward Islands Federation. However, it should be noted that while they were prepared to be immersed in the affairs of the Federation, they were not prepared to be submerged by them. They guarded their allegance so that they eould not be submeŕged by undue pressure from the vicississitudes of the Fedration behaviour. They were now on the threshold of modifying that allegance. They believed in trust-keeping one's words. In daily life, they expressed this in utterances like," a man is only as good hls words," and "stick to your guns." The gloried in civic engagement, and you heard that in their speech through expressions like "give Jack his jacket,"-one should always be fair his dealings with his nrighbours." Another expression, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," warned the individual to hold on to what he has. This attitude accounted for the refusal by many B. V. Islanders to sell their land which they inherited. They preferred to pass it on to their children. Elders admonished young people to obey the laws of the land with liturgical emphasis. These characteristics did not express a prefetance for isolation or rejection of other people, but rather a love for faith, family and friends. These ideas constituted the north star of B.V.Islanders and helped to stabilize themduring the turbulent years of the 1940's, as they prepared to enter the international
arena. as a colony separated from the Federstion. THIS WAS THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY for BVIslanders. They had reached the point in thrir collective aspirations where they could sing with the song writer"no turning back, no turning back."
The seeds of non-confornity were being sown. These seeds would now germinate. The 1949 Freedom march was the break through the evil of oppression. B. V. Islanders had decided thst they would not endure the political, social, economic, and educational suffocation inflicted by the Federation any longer. Many of them sang, "once like a bird in prison I dwelt, but glory to God, he set me free."
Dr. Charles H. Wheatley