Statement
24 December 2018 - 12:45pm

CHRISTMAS 2018 MESSAGE
by

HONOURABLE MARK VANTERPOOL
MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND WORKS
4TH DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVE

I greet you my fellow residents of the Virgin Islands, in the spirit of the Christmas season.

This is traditionally a time when we celebrate the birth of our Lordand Saviour Jesus Christ, with gift-giving, family and other social gatherings, feasting and festivities.

At this time, as we look back over this year, I join with those who have lost loved ones and friends and I express condolences to you, on behalf of my family, the constituents of District 4 and the Ministry of Communications and Works of the Government of the Virgin Islands.

As we come to the end of 2018, in spite of it all, we can truly look back and give God thanks for His mercies towards us.

It is now more than an entire year, 15 months in fact, since our Territory was struck by the devastating storms of 2017.

Many of our homes and businesses were severely damaged, the majority of the infrastructure of the islands was destroyed and we were all clinging to our faith in God and leaning on one another for strength, just to face another day.

Today, as we reflect on the past year, 2018, it is that strength and that faith and that hope and that unity and that togetherness and that resilience, that I want to urge us all to maintain, as we continue to rebuild and develop this Territory of the Virgin Islands, not only for us, but for our children and their children’s children.

We are known to be a people steeped in history and a sense of belonging, where our fore-parents fought collectivelyfor our emancipation from slavery andfor our economic freedom.

Successive Governments continue to fight even today to improve the standard of living for our people.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is in this same spirit of uniting for our common good, that I urge us not to forget from whence we came.

We have made significant strides over the years in developing our infrastructure and economy, notwithstanding the setbacks of last year.

As a Government and also as a people, we must continue these efforts, and in particular, to assist those who are still struggling.

We must continue to stay focused on the goal of development for all.

As we forge ahead, I declare that unity must be our watchword; in fact,I submit that there is little to gain from divisiveness.

Even as we prepare for the upcoming General Elections, let us remember that unity is strength and this Territory can only be built as we unite for the common good.

We are better, stronger, together.

Even with our cultural, social, religious, political and ideological differences, let us be tolerant of one another, let us maintain and improve the relatively peaceful nature of this Territory, let the spirit of unity continue to fill our hearts and homes, as we all seek to further develop our islands.

So as we celebrate this season, let us remember to stay positive, support one another,put aside negative thoughts and ill feelings, use words that evoke strength and success, cultivate an optimistic environment at home, at school, on the job and wherever we go,and focus earnestly on the future development of our beautiful virgin islands.

On behalf of my family, the constituents of District 4 and the Ministry of Communications and Works, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays to all.

May this season bring us joy, peace and prosperity and may we all head into 2019, with the mindset that we are better, stronger, together.

May God continue to bless these, our beautiful Virgin Islands.

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