Christmas is special time of year. It is a time where Christians across the world celebrate of the birth of Jesus Christ. A time when families and friends from all parts of society gather together to reaffirm those special human ties that bind us together.
Christmas is not just a time to think of just family and friends, but also of those that are less fortunate than we are and how we can make a positive change in their lives. To quote Leo Buscagalia, “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the many organisations and individuals in the BVI who contribute their time, energy, and skills for the betterment of society. To the Rotary club, the Lions Club, the BVI Red Cross, VISAR, the Diabetes Association, HIV/AIDS Foundation, the Humane Society, the Family Support Network and all those who have supported these groups through fund-raising or donations.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank those in uniformed organisations such as the Scouts, Guides, Boys and Girls Brigade and Cadet Corps for all the community work they do. The values of giving, sharing, and caring are a part of what makes the BVI special. It is important that we recognise and celebrate those who uphold these values.
I encourage each and every one of us to be thankful and appreciative for our many blessings. Thankful to the almighty for his faithful watch over the BVI and that we once again emerged safely through the Hurricane season. Thankful to all those who work in disaster management, the emergency services, the health care professionals, law enforcement agencies, educators, churches, volunteers and others who help to ensure that the BVI remains safe and if the worst happens that we are ready to respond to the needs of our people.
This will be the first Christmas that my family and I will spend in the Virgin Islands our new home. We would like to say a personal thank you to the people of the BVI for the warmth of your welcome and your hospitality over the past few months.
May I conclude by wishing all those in the Territory for Christmas -Virgin Islanders, residents, temporary visitors and holiday makers-a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2015.