Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II receives a pouch of Salt Island salt and a BVI Welcome Guide
By Claudia Colli
In 1966 Queen Elizabeth made her first official visit to the British Virgin Islands. She was 40 years old and had been on the throne for 14 years. She returned in 1977 and I covered her visit for the Virgin Islander magazine, a regional publication that featured the events, people and places of the Virgin Islands. I hadn’t lived here that long, and as an American, I was fascinated by life in a Territory where West Indian culture was juxtaposed with British tradition. Cultural overlap was everywhere: official portraits of the Queen hung on the walls of the post office and other government offices, cricket and rugby matches were played down the road from basketball and softball games, and the refrains of God Save the Queen could be heard at official events while a reggae or calypso band played just a block or two away.