Jan 13, 2002 – The storm clouds threatening to the south were no match for the spirits that prevailed Monday morning at the swearing in ceremony for the 25th Legislature in Emancipation Garden on St. Thomas.
The 14 male senators were resplendent in smartly tailored suits set off by American Beauty rose boutonnières. The sole female senator, veteran Lorraine Berry, embarking on her 11th term, wore her rose on a black suit shot through with silver threads.
The bandstand at Emancipation Garden was gaily decorated in red, white and blue banners. The Ivanna Eudora Kean High School choir stood erect by the bandstand in black and white outfits with a red, white and blue flag over their right shoulder as they sang "The Virgin Islands March."
The bandstand was crowded with members of Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's cabinet, families and friends of the senators, a delegation from the British Virgin Islands, Delegate Donna M. Christensen and Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards.
Probably the most excited members of the audience of some 150 persons were school children from Joseph Sibilly and E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary Schools. EBO teacher Lillian Moolenaar explained that her pupils had been studying the legislative process since last year, before the election, as had the Sibilly students.
Moolenaar explained that attending the swearing-in was the culmination of all that study, and the youngsters agreed, naming the candidates they had supported in mock elections held last fall. "I want to meet Dowe," several Oliver students called out, while several Sibilly students said they were looking to see freshman senator Louis Hill.
There was a sprinkling of demonstrators outside the garden protesting government fiscal operations, including the raises for top officials that the governor vetoed on Friday. However, they held their signs in silence and did not interfere with the swearing-in ceremony. Members of the group said they would be part of a larger demonstration from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday outside the Legislature Building, where Turnbull was to deliver his fifth State of the Territory address.
After John Abramson, elections supervisor, presented the senators and read their certification, Territorial Court Presiding Judge Maria M. Cabret administered a collective oath of office as the 15 lawmakers stood solemnly behind her with their right hands raised.
The Charlotte Amalie High School marching band played a spirited recessional march to send the senators off the bandstand in the traditional trek to the Earle B. Ottley Senate Chambers in the Legislature Building, where they would hold their first session of the new two-year term. With friends and well-wishers stopping them at every step of the way, however, the march became more of a genial amble.
At the opening session, the new Democratic majority was expected to introduce a resolution naming the body's officers. Following the opening session, the senators were to attend a reception luncheon at Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort before returning to the legislative chambers Monday evening for the governor's address.

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