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Willard Wheatley
(16 July 1915 – 22 January 1997)
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Willard Wheatley, MBE, LLD
Former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands

Willard Wheatley was an eductor, politician, and former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands.

Early life and education

Williard Wheatley was born on 16 July 1915 at James Young (East End), Tortola. He was the son of Cornelia and Charles Wheatley and the brother of 24 boys and girls. He was educated at the East End Methodist School.

He began his teaching career as a pupil teacher without an appointment at the age of 15. He was appointed in 1932, teaching during the day, taking lessons from the headteacher in the afternoons, and working on assignments at night in preparation for examination.

Within five years he had passed four teacher's examinations and was appointed headmaster of the Long Look School at age 23. Shortly thereafter he was appointed as headmaster of a full primary school in West End. Three years later, he returned to East End, as the headmaster of the East End Methodist School.

In 1949. he attended the Teachers' Training College in Trinidad where he earned a Teachers' Certificate. In 1964, he attended Nottingham University in Great Britain and there he earned the Certificate in education.

Wheatley retired from teaching after 38 years in the service. He served as an administrative secretary in the public service for four years, after which he entered the politic arena.

Career

Willard Wheatley served two consecutive terms as the Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands from 1971 to 1979. He was the second ever Chief Minister of the Territory, and the first ever Minister of Finance.

In 1971, Wheatley contested and secured what was then the Sixth Electoral District, defeating a strong incumbent in Terrance B. Lettsome. He joined the Democratic Party in a coalition government and became the territory’s second Chief Minister. In 1975 he would secure a second term as Chief Minister, this time in a coalition with the Virgin Islands Party.

In 1979 the Virgin Islands Party, under H. Lavity Stoutt, won the Government and Dr Wheatley became the Leader of the Opposition. Then in 1983 with the United Party, he became the Deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Education and Welfare under a Cyril B. Romney Government.

Personal life

Wheatley was married to wife Dorothy Davies Wheatley and was the father of four sons - Corbett, Douglas, Didymus, and Nathan.

Death and legacy

Wheatley died on 22 January 1997, aged 81.

The Willard Wheatley Primary School  is named in his homour.

At an event to commemorate what would have been the 100th birthday in 2015, of Dr. Wheatley, current Premier Orlando Smith made a commitment to provide public funds to memorialise his achievements and for a book about his life to be published.

ELECTORAL HISTORY:
YEAR DISTRICT %  
1971 6th District IND - Winner
1975 6th District UP 52.7 Winner
1979 8th District UP - Unopposed Winner
1983 8th District UP - Unopposed Winner
1986 8th District UP 47.6 Lost to L. Walters
1990 8th District PPDP 26.5 Lost to L. Walters
1995 At-large IND 1.36 Lost

 

Sources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willard_Wheatley
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Willard Wheatley
QUICK FACTS
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Occupation Educator, Politician
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Date of Birth 16 July 1915
Place of Birth British Virgin Islands
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Date of Death 22 January 1997 (aged 81)
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Notable Accomplishments
Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands: 2 June 1971 - 12 November 1979
RELATED RESOURCES
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British Virgin Islands
Heads of Government of the British Virgin Islands
POLITICAL AFFILIATION
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BVI United Party (UP)
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