Premier's Office
Release Date:
Thursday, 24 December 2020 - 10:45am





Good day beautiful British Virgin Islands

This is your friend, sister and servant Shereen Flax-Charles sending a message of holiday cheer, joy and hope to all of those under the sound of my voice.

Today, I want to first begin by acknowledging reality. The holidays are a time normally defined by prosperity, generosity and a touch of lightness as we celebrate the year’s end and prepare to usher in vibrant newness.

However, 2020 is a year on which a number of abnormalities have presented themselves, shifting the balance and upsetting to some degree literally every aspect of our lives.

In the twelve months of this year we have seen crises and confusion on a global level, hazards and disruption on a national level and I cannot begin to imagine what some of you have had to go through in your personal lives, because the unique difficulties of this year did not mean that our annual struggles were forgone.

None of us can say that during this incredible challenging year we did not worry about bills, or of illness or of change.

But, these are still the holidays, and I remind you that what God has set into motion, no man, no virus, no election and no earthly threat can ever cast asunder.

My people, as you hear my voice I want you to pause, breathe and listen.

If you are still enough, you will realise that there is a constancy to you. There is a rhythmic, perpetual beating in your chest.

This is life.

This is hope.

This is opportunity.

As I look across my BVI, I will be frank because what I do not say with my mouth, your eyes will see anyway. We have lost much. Around us we see businesses catching themselves through a massive struggle, we see our social life transformed and we see or rather do not see our tourists afoot.

But when I look away from dismay and choose instead to look at my people, my beautiful, bold, resilient people, I see so much to be grateful for.

2020 has not taken our sharp wit; still our elders can give you a tongue-lashing like no other, even from behind the mask.

2020 has not taken our love for our culture, especially our food. Even if it was on FaceBook, we found ways to share our meals, recipes and passion.

2020 has not taken our entrepreneurial spirit, even if it meant that businesses had to adapt and innovate to satisfy new markets and new needs.

2020 has not taken our BVI, because our BVI is not sixty islands, islets and keys, it is not cruise ships and mega yachts or trust companies and law firms.

Our BVI is us! It is the rich tapestry of cultures, races, languages and peoples. It is the gleam in our eye, the twang in our tongues and the pride in our step.

So this holiday season, I consider myself rich to be party to this boundless paradise. I consider myself blessed to be acquainted with so captivating a country and so powerful a people.

To those who celebrate it, I say a very, very merry Christmas! Under the tree remember that there are the gifts which cannot be wrapped but should always be given. 

Give selflessness, give charity, give a compliment, give a smile, share a meal, lend a hand, give BVILOVE!

Whatever you celebrate, take this time to mark the end of a struggle and the beginning of opportunity.

Every year, every month, every day, every hour, every minute, is marked by the one ultimate gift which humanity was given; choice.

Whatever the time, season or hour, we have the unique opportunity as living, breathing, thinking beings to make conscious decisions about how we will use the resources that we have before us.

My wish, if there is a shooting star somewhere out there, and my prayer to the Father that I know has sustained us and will continue to do so, is that we as self-determining people and as a Territory, take stock of our autonomy and our power.

Weeping does not endure, joy comes in the morning. We stand now, all of us together, at the breaking of the day. In the next few weeks we will usher in a new season. 

Will it be our harvest?

Ponder on this, because the choice; the gift to shape our own 2021 is ours!