BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
HONOURABLE JULIAN FRASER, RA
A Merry Christmas to all: both residents and visitors of these peace-loving Virgin Islands, particularly my constituents of the Third Electoral District.
I am Julian Fraser, Representative for the Third District, and Leader of The Opposition.
Each year I like to start my address with a recap of the economic state of the territory.
Unfortunately however, for each of the past 4 years since the National Democratic Party has been in office, I have been unable to honestly say that the lives of you the people of this territory has been better than when they took office in 2011.
On Tuesday December 6th in his National Address, for the very first time the Premier has admitted that the economy of the BVI is in decline, and is desirous of concern.
However, he went on to associate that decline with the recession of 2008, which was 8 years ago, so I found that to be ludicrous. Especially since he has been telling us all those years, that the economy was robust.
This is also a good time to show that caring side of me, by acknowledging the grief many people in the community has, and is going through in the course of 2016.
I know it exists, for as early as February this year I was hit with the sad news of the passing of my friend Venovia, then in May it was Enroy.
I mentioned those two because of their long and distinguish standing in the Sea Cows Bay community, and the differences they have made in the lives of so many. Myself included.
And even as I speak, the dirt is still wet, as we laid to rest Ethelyn and Calvin just one week ago.
My prayers go out to all who have lost loved ones in 2016. Not forgetting you Yvette, on the loss of your young son.
I pray for my own nephew Marvin and all those who are critically ill in hospitals, and ask God to be with them and their families in these their times of greatest needs.
People of the Virgin Islands, today is Christmas, and as a Christian community we have been taught to put our differences aside and come together for a common cause, which is to celebrate the birth of our newborn king, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I am also aware that ours is a multi-cultural and multi-national society that cuts across religious boundaries. So, it is with this knowledge that I ask for your indulgence in embracing our commonalities and celebrate this day as one people.
For some of us, the tough times experienced this time of year couldn’t seem to come at a worse time, but because we have Christ our loving Savior to look to for strength and comfort, we always overcome.
On this Christmas day, I know many of you are experiencing tough economic times, and that we are not all equally equipped to meet these challenges, so rest assured that I am with you.
Throughout the year, I have made individual and collective contributions in an effort to alleviate suffering. And for this Christmas season I’ve made special arrangements for the less fortunate among us to enjoy today.
I know that here in the Virgin Islands it is never wise to judge one’s condition by mere appearance, since we Virgin Islanders have been conditioned to always put our best foot forward.
Mindful of that fact I continue to remain grounded, and always try to remember that though you may not express your difficulties or sorrows, Christmas is not about me, but about you.
It was on this day over 2000 years ago, Jesus Christ was born, and ever since that day, during this season the true church celebrates the birth of this virgin-born child who is born to us, the son, who is given to us, the Mighty God, the Son of David, the everlasting King.
I am quite aware, that by the time this message reaches you, the caroling from the night before would have stopped, and the serenading may be at full blast.
But as you sit down with friends and loved ones to enjoy the day’s meal, and salivate over your delicious pastries, particularly Tart and sweetbread, I want you to enjoy yourselves in the true spirit of Christmas.
For if ever there is a time to celebrate it is now. After all, “Hark! The Herald Angels singing”, was a call to listen intensely, to hear the angels give glory to the New-Born King. Just as they celebrated then, on that day to be known as Christmas Day, you are expected to celebrate now.
In closing, let me say on behalf of my wife Kharid and myself how thankful I am to the people of The 3rd District for their expressions of love and confidence in me, for having me as their Representative for this my 18th Christmas.
I thank you.
And may I extend greetings to all the people of the territory, particularly my constituents, both those at home in the B V I; and in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, United States Virgin Islands.
May each of you and your loved ones both near and far, have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!