Terrance Buckley Lettsome
Former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands
Terrance Buckley Lettsome was a former Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands. He was one of the Territory's longest-serving legislators.
Early life and education
Terrance Lettsome was born on 11 March 1935 in Long Look to Francis Henry and Frances Lettsome (née Thomas), the ninth of 11 children. He received his early education at Long Look Infant School and East End Methodist School. Lettsome became a Methodist preacher in 1956. He also worked as a fisherman, farmer, photographer, contractor and entrepreneur, both locally and overseas.
Lettsome served as Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Council from 1986 to 1990.
Lettsome first was elected to the Legislative Council on 4 November 1963; during that term he, along with Lavity Stoutt and Ivan Dawson, formed the United Party. On 14 April 1967 he was re-elected to the Legislature under the ministerial system and appointed as the first Minister of Communications, Works and Utilities. This position he retained after being successful in the 1979 elections.
Successful on 12 November 1990 in his bid for the Legislature. He was again appointed to the post of Minister of Communications and Works, a position which he held until 1995. He then served another term as Backbencher.
He was successful in the elections of 1983 and 1986 saw him respectively in the role of Member of the Opposition, Deputy Speaker and Government Backbencher.
He was one of the few legislators who served consecutive terms since the inception of the ministerial system. He retired in 1999 after 36 years of uninterrupted service to the 7th District.
Major changes that took place during his tenure include the building of multipurpose community centres; the establishment of police stations on all major islands; the provision of electricity and potable water; the development of ports at West End, Port Purcell and Road Town; the completion of the Central Administration Complex; and sea defense work on Drake's Highway.
Lettsome was married to the former Claudia S.R. Frett, a retired school principal, and was the father of four children, Bertrand Lettsome, Baines Bradley Lettsome (deceased), Brenda Lettsome-Tye, and Constance Scatliffe. His son Bertrand is the BVI Government's Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer.
Death and legacy
Lettsome died on 12 January 2007 after a prolonged illness, aged 62. His body was buried on 20 January 2007 at the Lettsome Family Burial Ground following a Royal Homegoing Service at the Long Look Methodist Church.
As a tribute to his outstanding record of service, in February 2001 the Legislative Council voted to rename Beef Island Airport in Lettsome's honour.