Ralph T. O'Neal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the World War I ace aviator, see Ralph Ambrose O'Neill.
The Honourable
Ralph O'Neal
OBE
Ralph T. O'Neal (cropped).jpg
O'Neal (right) being appointed as Premier by Governor David Pearey.
Premier of the British Virgin Islands
In office
23 August 2007 – 9 November 2011
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor David Pearey
Inez Archibald (Acting)
William Boyd McCleary
Preceded by Orlando Smith (Chief Minister)
Succeeded by Orlando Smith
In office
15 May 1995 – 17 June 2003
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor Peter Alfred Penfold
David Mackilligin
Frank Savage
Elton Georges (Acting)
Tom Macan
Preceded by Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
Succeeded by Orlando Smith
Personal details
Born (1933-12-15) 15 December 1933 (age 81)
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Political party Virgin Islands Party
Alma mater University of Oxford

Ralph Telford O'Neal, OBE (born 15 December 1933)[1] is a politician in the British Virgin Islands. He is the longest ever serving elected representative in the British Virgin Islands, and has served as Chief Minister (when the office was so titled) and Premier of the British Virgin Islands for three terms.

Ralph O'Neal was first elected to represent the district for Virgin Gorda and Anegada[2] on 1 September 1975, and he has held that seat continuously ever since. He is now the longest serving elected politician in British Virgin Islands history having served in the House of Assembly and Legislative Council for 39 years, 118 days, and his 10 election victories (including one uncontested) are second only to Lavity Stoutt in the Territory's political history.[3] Ralph O'Neal has indicated that he will stand down at the next general election.[4]

Ralph O'Neal was first appointed as Chief Minister when Lavity Stoutt died in office on 14 May 1995. He then served as Chief Minister until the 1999 general election, which he won. His party would later lose the 2003 general election, but he would return to power as Premier (as the office was renamed) for the third and final time following a landslide victory in the 2007 general election. He remained in office until 7 November 2011, after the Virgin Islands Party lost its majority following the 2011 general election. His combined 12 years as head of the elected Government is the second longest in the British Virgin Islands, behind only Lavity Stoutt.

Ralph O'Neal has also served as Leader of the Opposition in the British Virgin Islands on three occasions - more than any other politician. He first served as opposition leader for the United Party from 1986 to 1988. He then served in the role for the Virgin Islands party from 2003 to 2007, and then finally from 2011 to 2014.

For most of his political career Ralph O'Neal was a member of the Virgin Islands Party, and he led the party from the time of Lavity Stoutt's death, until he stepped down as party leader and was replaced by Julian Fraser. However, like most BVI politicians, Ralph O'Neal has "crossed the floor". He contested his first election, the 1971 general election, unsuccessfully on behalf of the VI Democratic Party. He then ran for office twice as an independent candidate before joining the Virgin Islands Party. Then, in 1983, he left to join the ruling United Party, and contested the 1986 general election on behalf of the United Party. He later rejoined the Virgin Islands Party in 1988 to take up a Ministerial position in Lavity Stoutt's government and has been a member of the Virgin Islands party ever since.

Personal[edit]

Ralph O'Neal was educated at University of Oxford where he studied Economics. He is also property owner and developer in the British Virgin Islands. Apart from his property investments, O'Neal has had a number of other commercial interests during his life before serving in the House of Assembly under the Ralph O'Neal Group of Companies.

He is married to Iris O'Neal, with whom he has one daughter - Abigail.

Electoral history[edit]

Ralph T. O'Neal electoral history
Year District Party Votes Percentage Winning/losing margin Result
1971 7th District VI Democratic Party -- -- -- Lost
R. George
1975 7th District Independent 306 64.0% +136 Won
1979 9th District Independent 403 70.8% +234 Won
1983 9th District Virgin Islands Party unopposed Won
1986 9th District United Party 337 47% +91 Won
1990 9th District Virgin Islands Party 445 50.9% +28 Won
1995 9th District Virgin Islands Party 534 66.1% +282 Won
1999 9th District Virgin Islands Party 617 66.2% +317 Won
2003 9th District Virgin Islands Party 596 60.8% +226 Won
2007 9th District Virgin Islands Party 476 47% +9 Won
2011 9th District Virgin Islands Party 565 49.3% +28 Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ralph T. O'Neal, 9th District Representative". The BVI Review. 
  2. ^ Then known as the Seventh District; now known as the Ninth District.
  3. ^ Although Stoutt has won more election victories than O'Neal, he served a shorter period in the Legislature because (a) he only served a small part of his 11th and final term prior to his death, and (b) during the early part of Stoutt's career, political terms were only 3 years and not 4.
  4. ^ "Opposition leader to retire". BVI Beacon. 28 May 2014. 

http://www.bviplatinum.com/news.php?page=Article&articleID=1320879676 http://www.bviplatinum.com/news.php?page=Article&articleID=1320925997

Political offices
Preceded by
Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
1995–2003
Succeeded by
Orlando Smith
Preceded by
Orlando Smith
as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
Premier of the British Virgin Islands
2007–2011
Preceded by
H. Lavity Stoutt
Leader of the Opposition
1986-1988
Succeeded by
Conrad Maduro
Preceded by
Orlando Smith
Leader of the Opposition
2003-2007
Succeeded by
Orlando Smith
Leader of the Opposition
2011-2014
Succeeded by
Julian Fraser