Terrance Buckley Lettsome (11 March 1935 – 12 January 2007) was a politician after whom the main airport in the British Virgin Islands is named. Born Terrance Buckley Lettsome in Long Look to Francis Henry and Frances Lettsome, he was one of the Territory's longest-serving legislators and the ninth of 11 children.
He married the former Claudia Frett, a retired school principal, and was the father of four children, Bertrand Lettsome, Baines Bradley Lettsome (deceased), Brenda Lettsome-Tye, and Constance Scatliffe. His son Bertrand is the BVI Government's Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer. Lettsome received his early education at Long Look Infant School and East End Methodist School. Lettsome became a Methodist preacher in 1956. He also worked as a fisherman, farmer, photographer, contractor and entrepreneur, both locally and overseas.
Lettsome first was elected to the Legislative Council on 4 November 1963; during that term he, along with Lavity Stoutt and Ivan Dawson, formed the United Party. On 14 April 1967 he was re-elected to the Legislature under the ministerial system and appointed as the first Minister of Communications, Works and Utilities. He was one of the few legislators who served consecutive terms since the inception of the ministerial system. He retired in 1999 after 36 years of uninterrupted service to the 7th District.
Major changes that took place during his tenure include the building of multipurpose community centres; the establishment of police stations on all major islands; the provision of electricity and potable water; the development of ports at West End, Port Purcell and Road Town; the completion of the Central Administration Complex; and sea defense work on Drake's Highway.
As a tribute to his outstanding record of service, in February 2001 the Legislative Council voted to rename Beef Island Airport in Lettsome's honour.
In an interview with The Virgin Islands Daily News, Opposition Leader Ralph T. O'Neal referred to Lettsome as "a great soldier." He said Lettsome was a man who believed in his people and in the Territory.
"He always wanted to be, in his spare time, at a place called The Sticket in Long Look, where he met his people, talked with them and exchanged good times with them," said O'Neal, who worked with Lettsome as Clerk of the Legislative Council and later as an elected representative and a member of the Virgin Islands Party.
Lettsome, affectionately called T. B., served faithfully as an accredited local preacher in the Long Look Methodist Church, where he regularly attended services, bible studies, and prayer meetings. He considered himself "God's servant" and led many persons to Christ over the course of his life.
Lettsome died on 12 January 2007 after a prolonged illness. Chief Minister Orlando Smith joined in mourning Lettsome, whom he called a great statesman who served his country well. "He was also very committed to his district and did considerable work there. He was a tenacious legislator, but he was also concerned with the country and the good of his party," Smith said.
The body of the late Terrance Buckley Lettsome lay-in-state at the Legislative Council Chamber in Road Town on 19 January 2007, after which the flag covering the coffin was presented to Lettsome's widow by the Commissioner of Police in a formal ceremony. His body was buried on 20 January 2007 at the Lettsome Family Burial Ground following a Royal Homegoing Service at the Long Look Methodist Church.