Happy Holidays Virgin Islands family and friends.
It is my pleasure to bring you greetings as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ during this 2014 Christmas season.
Christmas in the Virgin Islands is like none other. As we welcome home many residents, citizens and visitors to our shores this holiday season, I encourage one and all to take the time to sit with family and friends and truly have a moment of celebration for the life of Jesus Christ, the lives of our loved ones and for the many blessings in which 2014 has afforded us.
There are many that might need a helping hand this holiday season, and I encourage all of us, to look around our community and just as we have been taught by the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, during this season, let us be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers and ensure that all that call these islands home have a merry Christmas.
This season is also a time for reflection.
During this past year, as a Territory, we have had a few challenges, but we have also had many more successes. Many of these successes have come after much sacrifice and with the strong leadership of our Premier, Hon Dr D. Orlando Smith, OBE.
For the first time in a number of years, the numbers indicate that as a Territory our economy is strengthening while Government has been able to build up our reserve fund and importantly, make investments in projects that will affect the lives of everyday Virgin Islanders and residents.
The world continues to change, but amidst this shift into a new economy, a new way of doing business and even a new way of learning and interacting, the Virgin Islands has managed to keep pace.
This is evident in:
- the opening of our new Asia Office to attract more businesses and opportunities in the increasingly growing and extensive Asian economy;
- the capital investments made in our cruise pier;
- the modernisation of our sewerage system;
- the development of national health care;
- our ongoing efforts to protect our environment and natural resources; and yes,
- the recent successes of our youth on the local, regional and international arena in education, the arts and sports.
In my portfolio of education and culture, I look forward to further realising the investments we have made over the past three years in 2015. We will continue to:
- invest in our education system through further training and professional development of educators;
- provide opportunities for exposure and competition for our students;
- ensure our youth are better trained and prepared for jobs in our local economy;
- and continue our path towards creating and culture of excellence in our education system and the same in all of our students.
From my family to yours and also on behalf of the fine and distinguished public servants in the Ministry of Education and Culture, I wish one and all in the Virgin Islands a safe and joyous Christmas season and a happy and prosperous 2015 when it comes.
Happy Holidays Virgin Islands!