U.S. Virgin Islands officials are paying tribute to Vance Amory, the former premier of Nevis who received his master’s degree at the University of the Virgin Islands on St. Croix.
Amory, who served Nevis as premier from 1992 to 2006 and from 2013 to 2017 and founded the Concerned Citizens’ Movement, died on Saturday, April 2 at age 72. According to news reports, he was being treated for cancer at a hospital in London, England.
“He will truly be missed, as his contributions personally and professionally touched many lives and had a tremendous impact on the Virgin Islands and the island nation of St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Lt. Gov. Tregenza Roach in a statement.
“I recall his time spent living on the island of St. Croix as he pursued his studies at the University of the Virgin Islands. As alumni of UVI, there is tremendous pride in sharing this connection with a giant of a man like former Premier Amory,” said Roach.
Calling Amory the “embodiment of an outstanding leader,” Roach recalled how he fostered infrastructural growth and economic advancement for Nevis. “His commitment in these areas granted him the distinct recognition of having the airport named in his honor, a legacy that will be remembered,” Roach said.
Amory came to the University of the Virgin Islands in September 1986 when he decided to further his studies with a master’s in business administration at the St. Croix campus before dedicating his life to the betterment of Nevis, according to UVI’s tribute.
“The passing of Vance is a monumental loss to the people of St. Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean,” said UVI President David Hall. “We consider it a blessing that some of the myriad talents of such a visionary Caribbean man were cultivated here in the Virgin Islands and shared with numerous beneficiaries across the region and the globe. The region will feel the magnitude of his loss, but has benefited from his insight, passion and now a lasting legacy,” said Hall.
“It is with great pride that I can say our beautiful territory influenced such an outstanding man,” said Sen. Javan James in his tribute that, like the others, also noted Amory’s dedication to sports.
The premier was an avid cricketer. An opening batsman, he played for the Combined Islands and the Leeward Islands from 1969 to 1981, according to his entry on Wikipedia. In his last match he captained Leeward Islands against the touring English team in March 1981, scoring 37 and 56. He also suffered injuries during his career, including a broken nose that caused him to be carried off the field.
“Mr. Amory and I share a few commonalities, such as our decision to become politicians and our concern for the well-being of youth, but we also share a love of the great sport of cricket. His dedication to this sport shined as he enjoyed playing it for much of his life and became Minister of Sports in the Nevis Islands Administration. His dedication to all his crafts is truly inspirational,” said James.