Portal:British Virgin Islands

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British Virgin Islands

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Flag of Bermuda
Coat of Arms of Bermuda
Location of the British Virgin Islands in the World

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) is a British overseas territory, located in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. The islands make up part of the Virgin Islands archipelago, the remaining islands constituting the U.S. Virgin Islands. Technically the name of the Territory is simply the "Virgin Islands", but in practice since 1917 they have been almost universally referred to as the "British Virgin Islands" to distinguish the islands from the American Territory. To add to the regional confusion, the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra, Vieques and surrounding islands began referring to themselves as the "Spanish Virgin Islands" as part of a tourism drive in the early 2000s. Administratively, these islands are part of Spanish speaking Puerto Rico, and were historically ruled by Spain.

The British Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke, along with over fifty other smaller islands and cays. Approximately fifteen of the islands are inhabited. The largest island, Tortola, is approximately 20 km (approx. 12 mi) long and 5 km (approx. 3 mi) wide. The islands have a total population of about 22,000, of whom approximately 18,000 live on Tortola. Road Town, the capital, is situated on Tortola.

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Copper Mine, Virgin Gorda.jpg

The Copper Mine on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands is a National Park containing the ruins of an abandoned 19th century copper mine.

Copper was first discovered on Virgin Gorda in the 17th century by the Dutch, but they were never able to successfully exploit it. Local legends also suggest the shafts were originally dug by Spanish adventurers to mine silver in the late-fifteenth century, but no documentary evidence can be found to support this theory, and no firm evidence of Spanish occupation of the islands prior to the Dutch settlement exists, much less the size of settlement which would be needed to sink shafts. (more...)

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Dancia Penn-Sallah

Ruth Dancia Penn, OBE, QC is a British Virgin Islands politician and former deputy governor of the British Virgin Islands. Dancia Penn also formerly served as the Attorney General of the British Virgin Islands from 1992 to 1999. She was the first woman to be appointed to either post, and the first British Virgin Islander to serve as Attorney General. She served briefly as the acting Governor of the British Virgin Islands during 2006 in the gap between Tom Macan leaving office and David Pearey taking up his appointment. Professionally Dancia Penn goes by her maiden name, but her legal name has been changed to Mrs Dancia Penn-Sallah since her marriage to Captain Sallah, Registrar of Ships in the British Virgin Islands. (more...)

Islands of the British Virgin Islands
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