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Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
(7 March 1929 – 14 May 1995)
Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
Former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands

Hamilton Lavity Stoutt was the first and longest serving Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands, winning five general elections (1967, 1979, 1987, 1991 and 1995) and serving three non-consecutive terms of office from 1967 to 1971, again from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1986 until his death in 1995. He also served as a parliamentarian in the legislative council prior to the adoption of the 1967 constitution. He was the leader of the United Party.

Early life and education

Stoutt was born in 1929, the eighth child of Isaiah and Iallia Stoutt, of Long Bay, Tortola. In 1943, he became one of the pioneer pupils at the new British Virgin Islands' secondary school, at a period when a maximum of only 25 children annually could move on from primary to secondary education.


He left school early, studied house and boat building and then for 15 years made his way in and around the wholesale and retail business.

On the afternoon of 21 February, H. Lavity Stoutt was sworn in as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands for the fifth time since 1967, 38 unbroken years after his first election to the Legislative Council in 1957. He was the longest continuously serving parliamentarian in the Caribbean.

As Chief Minister of the Virgin Islands, Stoutt was credited with establishing the Cruise Ship Pier, creating the Social Security Scheme, devising the Central Administration Building and spearheading the development of the local community college fittingly named in his honour, the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.

Stoutt's lack of formal education must at times have been a handicap to him: perhaps because of this, he recognised the need to improve the quality and range of education for all in the British Virgin Islands and to provide government-financed opportunities outside it for bright, talented young people. Hence his support for the British Virgin Islands' Community College and for extensive scholarship and training programmes in the United States, Britain and in the Caribbean; and his determination to see British Virgin islanders at all levels of the Civil Service.

Personal life

Stoutt was married with two sons and three daughters. He was a staunch Methodist, a former Sunday school superintendent and regular lay preacher.

Death and legacy

Since Stoutt's death on 14 May 1995, a first Monday in March is declared as a public holiday in celebration of his birthday on 7 March 1929.

The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College in Tortola bears his name.

During his lifetime, Lavity Stoutt was extremely fond of the quote from Proverbs 29:18 - "Where there is no vision, the people perish", a phrase he would recite frequently when arguing in favour of development projects.

1957 1st District - - Winner
1960 1st District - - Winner
1963 1st District - 68.0 Winner
1967 1st District UP 65.4 Winner
1971 1st District VIP - Winner
1975 1st District VIP 75.1 Winner
1979 1st District VIP 57.0 Winner
1983 1st District VIP 53.0 Winner
1986 1st District VIP 64.9 Winner
1990 1st District VIP 85.8 Winner
1995 1st District VIP 68.3 Winner


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Hamilton Lavity Stoutt
Occupation Politician
Date of Birth 7 March 1929
Place of Birth Long Bay, Tortola
Date of Death 14 May 1995 (aged 66)
Notable Accomplishments
First Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands
British Virgin Islands
Heads of Government of the British Virgin Islands
Virgin Islands Party (VIP)

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