HOLIDAY MESSAGE BY DEPUTY GOVERNOR MRS. ROSALIE ADAMS
I am Deputy Governor, Rosalie Adams, and I count it a pleasure to bring seasons greetings to the residents and public officers of this Territory . First of all, allow me to thank all of you for your commitment, support and remarkable spirit during what can be described as an unprecedented year in the Virgin Islands. The catastrophic events of gigantic proportions have put the year 2017 in the history books for the Territory. As we look back over the year we recall many things For example, we started out averaging one murder per month. We had the terrible floods during the first week in August. Emancipation celebrations were canceled for the first time that I can recall. Two category 5 hurricanes ravaged the Territory within the space of two weeks bringing with them destruction, damage and death. The months to follow saw the death of many of our older generation who charted the way in business, education, and farming. We also saw the death of a number of elderly persons in whom much of our cultural identity resided.
But what have we learned, what will we take into 2018 with us that will make things different, better and improved for generations to come? Bear in mind, all of these situations must be seen as teachable moments. We cannot simply look back at 2017 and recall what a terrible year it was . Rather, we can chart a new era for the Territory as a whole. For instance, as the public sector recovers, our theme is," A stronger more resilient, more effective Public Service" We must therefore purpose in our hearts to live out the “BVI Strong” mantra that slips out of the mouths of locals and visitors alike? We must prove what it really means to be “resilient” by rising above and going beyond where we started in 2017. Have our mindsets been changed? Are we trying to find ways to improve our building standards, road construction, education delivery, medical outreach, disaster preparedness, social services, communication - on the mainland, inter islands and internationally? The list could go on.
It is not hard to be moved by the dedication, hard work and commitment from a number of ordinary people doing extraordinary work. To the key agencies and individuals involved in our recovery and restoration efforts, and to everyone who has and continue to contribute to our recovery and development, I say thank you. I am amazed by your fortitude and resilience. You have been exceptional, and I applaud your dedication and commitment to the task of rebuilding our Virgin Islands. If there be any of you that has not started this journey towards recovery, I beg you to partner with us - All of us must come on board; we need all hands on deck!
Let us not quickly forget the lessons of the recent past. Let us look to God Almighty as we rebuild our Territory. Let us pray to Him for wisdom, as well as for spiritual, mental, physical and financial guidance for the months and years to come. Let us pray that we extend understanding, patience, grace and mercy towards our fellow men along this the journey to recovery.
I encourage each of us be thankful for the many blessings still being bestowed upon us. Be thankful for both the great and small things: for spared lives, for the green on our hillsides and for the smiles from a loved one. Appreciate more and ask God for the strength needed to embrace what lies ahead. An attitude of thankfulness will see us through all the trials and tribulations of life. Thankfulness has the power to bring joy and to turn a situation around because it changes your attitude and your outlook. There is power in a thankful heart.
Let me take this time to remind public officers and department heads who have not yet done so to schedule and attend a Project Uplift Group or individual support session to see to their emotional wellbeing. This is an avenue of psycho-social support during the Territory's recovery process and a place to embrace your emotions, share your story of thanksgiving and gain insight into adjusting to the "new normal'.
I close by reminding us all to use this time to interact with family, as well as to search out some person in need and show them kindness. It is in so doing, that the true meaning of the season will fill you with joy. I wish you love, peace and happiness for the holidays and may the Lord bless each and everyone with health, strength and prosperity for the coming year. May our spirits remain strong and I look forward to us accomplishing great things for 2018 and beyond.
On behalf of my husband, Larry, I wish you all a blessed Christmas and a bright and prosperous New Year.
May God bless you all.