Hon Julian Fraser RA
Christmas Message 2017
A Merry Christmas to all: both residents and visitors of these peace-loving Virgin Islands, particularly my constituents of the Third Electoral District.
I am Julian Fraser, Representative for the Third District.
Each year I like to start my address with a recap of the economic state of the territory. This year however, the events of August and September have caused me to change that.
No one can ever recall having an entire August Festivity canceled as was the case this year, and neither is there record of a single category 5 Hurricane, let alone two.
That was the case for us in this 2017,after experiencing the catastrophic floods in August, and two devastating Hurricanes in September.
I cry for you my people as I see your misery, I lose sleep at nights as I feel your pain, I even go hungry as I devote my time to make your living comfortable.
But most importantly, I ask God to make a way for all of us as we seek to regain our way of life.
My people, on that unforgettable day in Septemberas you were made to watch helplessly as Hurricane Irma destroyed in 2 hours, what you had taken a lifetime to build, develop, or accumulate, you must still be thankful to God for sparing your life.
The BVI has to rebuild, both economically, physically, and emotionally. But it is this latter which is personal, we must be most concerned about.
The Government will raise capital to rebuild the infrastructure and its other facilities, the private sector will rebuild their homes and offices, and from this the economy will benefit, but how do we deal with your emotions?
Hurricane Irma has been credited with 5 lives on record, but people are still dying. Does anyone wish to say why? I venture to bet that there is a connection, and it’s all about emotions.
My advice to you this Holiday Season is that despite the temptations to bury your sorrows in spirits, or even to slip into depression as others around you may seem to be carefree, please seek help with whatever you are going through.
I have seen people resort to living in Public Toilets; people living on wood covered with a tarp so low they have to crawl under; others living in abandoned vehicles; and countless others living with friends, neighbors and even complete strangers.
And yes, many have left the territory either to live with relatives or reestablish themselves.
Government has a responsibility to see to this being fixed, for at the end of the day, it is their obligation to protect their citizens by ensuring their wellbeing.
In the weeks following Hurricane Irma, many persons and Organizations have vested their time and resources to ensure lives were saved, properties protected, persons got food, and that the territory remained attractive.
To all of whom, I say a big thank you.
I also wish to acknowledge Our Premier for his seemingly tireless energies, along with his entire Cabinet, albeit that too many places are still without basic essentials, such as Water and Electricity.
People of the Virgin Islands, this is our Sacred Holiday Season, and as a Christian community we have been taught to put our differences aside and come together for a common cause, which is to celebrate the birth of our newborn king, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I am also aware that ours is a multi-cultural and multi-national society that cuts across religious boundaries. So, it is with this knowledge that I ask for your indulgence in embracing our commonalities and celebrate this Season as one people.
For all of us, the tough times being experienced right now couldn’t seem to come at a worse time, but because we have Christ our loving Savior to look to for strength and comfort, we are sure to overcome.
Throughout the year, I have made individual and collective contributions in an effort to alleviate suffering. And for this Season I’ve made special arrangements for the less fortunate among us to be joyful, which pleases my soul.
In closing, let me say on behalf of my wife Kharid and myself how thankful I am to the people of The 3rd District for their expressions of love and confidence in me, for having me as their Representative for this my 19th Christmas.
I thank you.
And may I extend greetings to all the people of the territory, particularly my constituents, both those at home in the B V I; and in St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, United States Virgin Islands.
May each of you and your loved ones both near and far,enjoy this day and have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!