London, United Kingdom, 10 May 2023 – The British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies are now visualized in the UK House of Parliament with a depiction of each of their heraldic shields embedded in stained glass.
All 16 overseas territories (OTs) and the three Crown Dependencies are represented in two windows within Speaker’s House.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said the works of art, which he unveiled on Tuesday [9 May], ‘would be a permanent and tangible reminder of the strong and close links between the UK and its wider family. In my opinion, the OTs and dependencies have been overlooked for too long – yet many of the decisions we make here in the UK have a huge impact on their futures. They are important to me – they are part of our United Kingdom family – and I want to provide them with a platform on which to speak, to air their concerns, to share experiences and to enable us to learn from each other. From now on, every single person coming into Speaker’s House will be reminded of how closely we are connected.’
Premier Hon. C. Washington Misick said: In place that is considered the mother of all parliaments, the Turks and Caicos is depicted in the stained glass of the House of Commons. This gesture signifies the long history we share and for many years to come people who visit this place, will leave informed of who make up the full list of British Overseas Territories.”
The stained glass windows feature coats of arms from Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Anguilla, Ascension, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territories, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn Islands, St Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Tristan da Cunha, Turks and Caicos, Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.
Each of the window lancets displays the coats of arms delineated in a circle, and one lancet shows the group of arms linked by an intertwining rose and leaf pattern to the coat of arms of Sir Lindsay. This features three Lancashire roses, bees from his home village of Adlington in Lancashire, the key of Gibraltar and a Rugby League ball. The other group of arms is linked to those of John Evelyn Denison, the first Speaker to live in Speaker’s House (Speaker from 1857-72).
The original windows dated from 1858 and possibly contained the arms of Speaker Denison. However, those windows have long since been removed and were replaced by plain, plate glass.
The new design, created by John Reyntiens Glass Studio – the same London-based stain-glassed window specialists who recently reglazed the Big Ben clock dials with new, mouth-blown glass – is sympathetic to the original Pugin-inspired windows and décor at the entrance to Speaker’s House.
At the unveiling of the new windows, the Hon Dr. Ellis Webster, Premier of Anguilla, said he was ‘delighted’ to see his island nation represented in Parliament.
‘It is a proud moment for our territory and a testament to our shared history and heritage with the UK and its British Overseas Territories,’ he said.
‘I commend Speaker Hoyle and all those involved in bringing this project to fruition.’
Joseph Eason Taylor Farrell, Premier of Montserrat, said he was ‘excited’ to see Montserrat’s heraldic shield displayed in Speaker’s House, particularly ‘at a time when residents of the Overseas Territories have joined with the rest of the UK family to celebrate the coronation.’
The British Virgin Islands’ Dr the Hon Natalio Wheatley said the window ‘acknowledged the importance of the Territory and its people’ and ‘their contributions to our shared history and heritage.’
Sir Lindsay Hoyle has made it a mission of his Speakership to extend a welcoming hand to the 16 BOTs, which are located from the Pitcairn Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean to the British Indian Ocean Territory almost 10,000 miles away.
He made history in July 2021 when he hosted an inaugural virtual meeting of 10 of the islands that have Speakers or Administrators.
He convened the first physical meeting of the Commons and Overseas Territories Speakers’ Conference (COTSC) in May 2022 and helped to organise a second gathering in Anguilla in April 2023.
The Speaker feels that for too long the British Overseas Territories have been overlooked, yet so many of the decisions made in the UK have a huge impact on their futures.
He believes the UK must allow the skills of democracy to be developed in overseas territories. ‘If their people wish for independence, it should be up to them to choose that. We ought not to restrict them by stopping them making their own decisions. There is much more that we can do in respect of overseas territories, and I hope that we will take things forward.’
During the debut COTSC meeting, the Speakers also had the opportunity to meet the then Prince Charles, now King Charles III, who hosted a lunch at Clarence House in their honour.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s coat of arms includes an antelope from his home village of Adlington in Lancashire, wearing the key to Gibraltar and a Rugby League Ball, representing one of the Speaker’s favourite sports. The green on the shield represents the House of Commons and the mace – a key symbol of the role of Speaker. The shield also features three Lancashire roses, each with bees from Adlington. His motto translates as ‘We are seen in action’.
REOPENING OF THE TURKS & CAICOS ISLANDS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly of the Turks & Caicos Islands
The Opening Ceremony for the First (1st) Sitting of the First (1st) Meeting of the Third (3rd) Session of the Twelfth (12th) Legislature of the House of Assembly occurred on the 14th September at 10 o’clock in the forenoon with its usual pomp and fanfare.
During the proceedings, the Honourable Premier and Minister for Public Policy, Hon. C. Washington Misick, moved the motion that the House of Assembly be suspended to allow for the reading of the Speech from the Throne, presented by Her Excellency, the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam.
The Speech from the Throne, having highlighted some of the Government’s accomplishments since being elected to office on 19th February 2021, culminated with the proposed Legislative Agenda to be considered for the upcoming legislative year which included, but is not limited to:
Constitution (Amendment) Order;
Retiring Allowance (Amendment) Bill;
Community College (Amendment) Bill;
Gaming Control (Amendment) Bill;
Business Licensing (Amendment) Bill;
Real Estate Licensing Bill
Immigration Bill; and
Crown Land (Amendment) Bill
The Speech from the Throne took a long-term perspective and placed emphasis on fulfilling the objectives of the Vision 2040 document and the Government’s strategic plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards developed country status within the next two decades by investing in projects and policies that will result in a more robust triple-bottom-line economy.
The Speech from the Throne also addressed short to medium term deliverables; highlighting that the Government has twelve (12) high-priority projects being progressed. It posited that the National Delivery Unit (NDU) is tasked with assisting project owners and implementers advance the Government’s priorities. The value added by this Unit is the facilitation with streamlining of project management processes to ensure the most efficient timelines and use of available resources – all for the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The day’s proceeding ended with a motion entitled: Write-Off of TC Invest/TOLCO Loan that was tabled by the Minister of Finance, the Honourable E. Jay Saunders. The motion which sought to write off $10.8 million in debt accumulated by scores of borrowers was passed. This write-off was a welcomed intervention by many Turks and Caicos Islanders, laden with debt obligations for over 11 years following the divestiture of the former TC Invest Agency. The write-off directly affects over 150 borrowers but is indirectly beneficial to many more.
For some, giving them a second lease on life, which, when property ownership is considered can be extended to inter-generationally.
Turks and Caicos Islands Government Reminds Residents in the Islands of North, Middle and South Caicos of the Availability of On-Island Customer Services
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – The Customer Services Department, in the Ministry of Immigration and Border Services, herby reminds residents in the islands of North and Middle Caicos, and South Caicos of the availability of its services on those islands.
Persons in North and Middle Caicos applying for work permits, visas, residence permits, homeowners permits, birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates can submit applications at the Immigration Office in North Caicos and conveniently pay for such applications at the Government Treasury, both located at the Paul Higgs Complex, Bottle Creek, North Caicos.
Persons in South Caicos applying for work permits, visas, residence permits and homeowners permits can submit applications to the Immigration Office located in the new Government Complex near Regatta Village and at the District Commissioner’s Office for birth, marriage and death certificates. Services can be paid into the Government Treasury also located in South Caicos.
Unfortunately, applications for naturalisation and permanent residence certificates cannot be submitted on islands other than Grand Turk and Providenciales at this time.
Speaking on the availability of these services in the family islands, the Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams stated: “As a part of our efforts to improve service delivery across the Turks and Caicos Islands, additional recruitment and training has taken place on the islands of North, Middle and South Caicos in order to provide more on-island support to the population of those islands and to ease the burden of persons having to travel to Grand Turk or Providenciales to receive certain services.
The Ministry of Immigration and Border Services is heavily focused on the implementation of our new border management system. This system will give persons the ability to access services from anywhere in the Turks and Caicos Islands and around the world. More updates on this will be issued periodically through press releases and stakeholder engagement.
Meanwhile, our newly appointed Director of Business Transformation is currently performing an in-depth audit of systems and processes across government, to assist in mapping out plans to make necessary changes in government ministries and departments to improve service delivery.
The transformation of service delivery across government is a key objective for the public service in this and future financial years. We recognise where there are gaps and we are working diligently to improve the way we serve the public going forward.”
Hon. Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services with responsibility for the Customer Services Department and the elected representative for Electoral District 4: North and Middle Caicos, remarked: “As a government, we have a responsibility to bring our services to the people and to ensure that doing business with the public service is easy, convenient and efficient. There should be no barrier to services for residents who do not reside in the islands of Grand Turk and Providenciales.
The majority of these services have been available in the family islands for quite some time now, but we recently refreshed our training, processes and our engagement in these islands, to ensure that we are serving the people in the most efficient manner.
I am proud of my team’s efforts to improve these services and I am reminding the people of ED 4, as well as South Caicos, that they do not need to travel to Providenciales or Grand Turk just to submit applications or pay receipts, as they can do so conveniently on their home islands.”
The Customer Services Department continues to review all of its processes and procedures in all islands, to ensure that it is meeting its mandate to the public and invites you to participate in its customer satisfaction surveys which are undertaken quarterly.
Avi Adams appointed Director of Department of Tourism Regulation
#TurksandCaicos, September 19, 2023 – The Office of the Deputy Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Avi Adams to the post of Director of the Department of Tourism Regulation (DTR) within the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs, and the Environment.
Mr. Adams is a native of Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, who graduated from the H.J. Robinson High School in 2000. His tertiary education includes a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from Bernard M. Baruch College, CUNY, New York, NY, and a Master of Business Administration from Edinburgh University, Edinburg, SC. He also holds several certifications in accounting, finance, and human resources.
Mr. Adams has a proven track record of success in various roles, including ten years as an Accountant/Financial Analyst, ten years in Human Resources and 15 years of management experience. He has also worked in the hospitality industry for the past three years. His previous roles include several at Fortis TCI, including Supervisor of Accounts Payable, Superintendent of Supply Chain Management and the Manager for Human Resources. Mr. Adams also most recently served as the Human Resources Manager at the Shore Club Resort with the Hartling Group.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Adams stated:
“It is incredibly humbling to be chosen to lead the new Tourism Regulatory Department. Only with God have I come this far, and it will only be him that sustains me to continue pushing forward for the Turks and Caicos Islands Government.
I am thankful for everyone who has contributed to this new beginning. I am excited to take on this new challenge with the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a premier tourist destination. I am confident that my skills and experience will positively impact our work.”
Deputy Governor and Head of the Public Service, Her Excellency Anya Williams, in extending congratulatory remarks to Mr. Adams, stated:
I am pleased to officially announce and congratulate Mr. Avi Adams on his appointment as Director of the Department of Tourism Regulation (DTR) within the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs, and the Environment.
The Department of Tourism Regulations (DTR) has been formally established under the Ministry of Tourism to absorb the functions of the Turks and Caicos Islands Tourist Board Quality Assurance Unit and TIDES Training Unit. The DTR’s mission is to develop and promote a regulatory environment conducive to a dynamic, competitive, and sustainable tourism sector in TCI.
As Director, Mr. Adams is tasked with the DTR’s oversight, coordination, and leadership, which will be responsible for regulating our leading industry. Mr. Adams will also play an integral part in legislative and policy reform that will help shape the success of our tourism product.
Mr. Adams comes to us from the private sector with a vast amount of administrative and leadership experience that will add invaluable support to efforts being made by the Ministry of Tourism, Agriculture, Fisheries, Heritage, Religious Affairs and the Environment.
This appointment is a pivotal step for the Turks and Caicos Islands as it moves into its new tourism management and regulatory structure.
Congratulations on your new appointment, Mr. Adams and welcome to the Turks and Caicos Islands Public Service!”
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