Ministry of Communications and Works
Release Date:
Monday, 17 June 2019 - 11:58am


JUNE 16, 2019

Of all the rocks upon which we build our lives, we are reminded today that family is the most important. We are called to recognise and honour how critical every father is to that foundation.

They are our teachers and coaches - our mentors and role models.

They are examples of success, and the men who constantly push us towards it.

But if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that, what too many fathers also are, is missing – missing from too many lives and too many homes.

They have abandoned their responsibilities, and the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.

We have witnessed in our communities the loss of a child at the hands of another child.  

How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night by the sound of a gunshot or a siren?

How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners, when they should be sitting in a classroom?

How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction?

How many?

Fathers it is important that we realise that responsibility does not end at conception. The ability to have a child does not make us men– it is the courage to raise one.

This father’s day I am sounding the horn to us men, and fathers, to help all mothers who are raising these children by themselves.

I applaud the men who embody the traits and have blazed the trail in our communities, in defying odds and embracing the reality of parenthood. That is what keeps the foundation strong. It is what keeps the foundation of our territory strong.

It is up to us – as fathers and parents – to instill this ethic of excellence in our children.

And that means meeting those expectations ourselves. That means setting examples of excellence, in our own lives.

As fathers we have to pass along the value of empathy to our children.

Not sympathy, empathy – the ability to stand in someone else’s shoes; to look at the world through their eyes.

We show our children that we are not strong, when we put other people down – but we show strength when we lift people up.

That is our responsibility as fathers.

And that is why one of the greatest gifts, we can pass on to our children, is the gift of hope.

Reflecting on my younger days, I thought life was all about me – how do I make my way in the world, and how do I become successful and how do I get the things that I want?

But now, my life revolves around my two daughters. And what I think about now is, what kind of world am I leaving them? Are they living in a territory where there is a huge gap between a few, who are wealthy and a whole bunch of people who are struggling every day? Are they living in a territory that is divided by party? A territory where, because they are girls, they don’t have as much opportunity as boys do? Are they living in a world that is in grave danger because of what we’ve done to its climate?

And what I’ve realised is that, life does not count for much unless you are willing to do your small part to leave to our children – all of our children – a better world.

Even if it’s difficult; Even if the work seems great; Even if we don’t get very far in our lifetime.

It is our ultimate responsibility as fathers and parents. To try. To hope. To do what we can, to build our house upon the sturdiest rock. And when the winds come, and the rains fall, and they beat upon that house, we keep faith that our Father will be there to guide us, and watch over us, and protect us, and lead His children through the darkest of storms into the light of a better day.

That is my prayer for all of us fathers in this Territory and especially the fathers of the Fifth District and those in the Ministry of Transportation, Works and Utilities, on this Father’s Day.

It is my hope, for this Territory, in the years ahead.

May God Bless you and your children, and these beautiful Virgin Islands.

Happy Father’s Day! Thank you.