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Cyril Brandtford Romney
(1 March 1931 - 19 July 2007)
Cyril Brandtford Romney
Former Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands

Cyril Brandtford Romney served as Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands from 1983 to 1986. He also served as a member of the Legislative Council of the British Virgin Islands from 1979 to 1995. He was the first BVIslander to hold the post of Financial Secretary, and was also a business leader in the Territory and the region.

Early life and education

Cyril Brandtford Romney was born to Benjamin and Miriam Romney on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands on 1 March 1931. He obtained his primary education in Tortola and completed his secondary schooling at the St. Kitts-Nevis Grammar School, from which he graduated in December 1947. Mr. Romney obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration from Inter-American University in Puerto Rico and a Master’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from Syracuse University, New York.


Romney began his teaching career at the age of 13 for 5 years until he was 18. In August 1949 Romney was appointed head teacher of the West End School; he was the youngest qualified teacher in the territory at that time. He subsequently transferred from the field of Education to Public Administration in the Civil Service of the British Virgin Islands, and held the posts of Administrative Secretary to the Minister of Works and Communications, Permanent Secretary to the Chief Minister, and Financial Secretary.

Romney took early retirement from the Civil Service after 27 years of public service and pursued a career in private enterprise as a business and travel consultant with the firms of Romney Associates Consultants Limited and Travel Plan Limited which he owns.

Romney's first foray into politics was in 1975, when he stood as an independent candidate in the First District against Lavity Stoutt. He lost, but was subsequently elected in 1979 as the representative for the Fifth District and became a member of the opposition. He served a second political term from 1983 to 1986 and was Chief Minister of a coalition government with the United Party led by Willard Wheatley. During Romney's term as Chief Minister the International Business Companies Act, which was responsible for so much of the Territory's economic success, came into force.

In 1986 Romney's ruling coalition lost power after calling an early election, but he was re-elected and continued to serve on the opposition benches for two more consecutive terms. In both 1995 and 1999, he tried unsuccessfully to recapture the Fifth District seat standing on a pro-independence platform.

Personal life

Romney and his wife, Lily, of 50 years successfully raised a family of 5 daughters. He was an avid sportsman and, like most everything else he set his mind to achieve, Romney was a champion participant in deep sea fishing, table tennis, cricket and tennis. He was a Founding Member of Rotary Club of Tortola and was posthumously awarded the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his famed generosity and commitment to his Club. He was also awarded, the title of, the BVIHCCA Businessman of the Year and, he served as a Justice of the Peace.


Cyril Romney died on Thursday, 19 July 2007 after a prolonged illness. He was 76.

1975 1st District IND 24.9 Lost to H.L. Stoutt
1979 5th District IND 68.3 Winner
1983 5th District IND 39.3 Winner
1986 5th District IND 42.2 Winner
1990 5th District IND 46.5 Winner
1995 5th District IND 46.1 Lost to E.E. Smith
1999 5th District IND 31.8 Lost to E.E. Smith


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Cyril Romney
Occupation Politician
Date of Birth 1 March 1931
Place of Birth Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Date of Death 19 July 2007 (aged 76)
Notable Accomplishments
Chief Minister of the British Virgin Islands: 11 November 1983 - 1 October 1986
British Virgin Islands
Heads of Government of the British Virgin Islands
Independent (IND)

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