TORTOLA — British Virgin Islands residents and foreign dignitaries filled the Multipurpose Sports Complex in Road Town for a state funeral on Wednesday, to bid farewell to the territory’s longest serving politician, Ralph T. O’Neal, who was laid to rest in his native Virgin Gorda.

Wednesday was declared a holiday in honor of O’Neal, who passed away on Nov 11 at age 85. Visitors from Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada and Tortola, had spent the previous two days paying their last respects as O’Neal lay in state at at the House of Assembly in Road Town.