CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 2015 A Merry Christmas to all: both residents and visitors of these magnificent Virgin Islands, particularly my constituents of the Third Electoral District. I am Julian Fraser, Representative for the Third District, and Leader of The Opposition. On November 16th I attended a prayer of thanksgiving service by the BVI Christian Council marking the end of our last hurricane season, to which thanks was given to God for sparing the territory yet another season from a single hurricane hit. Our territory has been fortunate in that regard, and such a service was very much in order. However, as we view the world today, we must acknowledge that the Virgin Islands are no different from Paris, Mali, or San Bernardino where residents and visitors alike has within the past weeks fallen victims to the hands of terrorists.
So our vigilance and prayers of supplication and thanksgiving can no longer be a seasonal thing, but an everyday thing. Since my broadcast of last Christmas our territory has gone through a General Election and has seen fit to reelect the National Democrat Party to office with an even bigger mandate than last. The general takeaway is, that all is well and the desire of the people was to leave well enough alone. But is this really true: When considering the imposition of an unpopular National Health Insurance Scheme expected to come on stream January 1st; The continued rationing of water resulting in the nuisance of supply inconvenience; Constant pressure from the United Kingdom Government for the establishment of a Beneficial Ownership Register, which is predicted by the experts to have grave consequences on our Financial Services Industry!
While clearly this is a day of joy and celebrations, it is my duty to reflect on the past year and give God thanks for his goodness to us for our spared lives. I am also obligated to be a source of comfort to those in our hospitals or at home afflicted with ailment. I also mourn with those who have lost loved ones in the territory, and in particular my District where even as we approached this day, the Smiths and Durants have seen their patriarch and matriarch respectively depart this life. I sincerely ask God’s richest blessings upon you during your time of sadness. The tough times experienced this time of year 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 overcome. On this Christmas day I know many of you are experiencing tough economic times, and that we are not all equally equipped to meet the challenges, but rest assured that I am with you.
In these Virgin Islands it is seldom ever possible to measure hardship through failure, because we Virgin Islanders have been conditioned to always put our best foot forward. Mindful of that fact I continue to remain grounded, and always remember that though you may not express your difficulties or sorrows, Christmas is not about me, but about you. It was on this day over 2000 years ago Jesus Christ was born, and ever since that day, during this season the true church celebrates the birth of this virgin-born child who is born to us, the son, who is given to us, the Mighty God, the Son of David, the everlasting King. My People of The 3rd District, and the entire territory, I extend my heart to you in whatever sadness you are confronted with this Christmas Day. Be it due to a personal ailment, or that of a family member or friend. Be it due to a loved one being incarcerated, or hospitalized, I pledge my continued support to you.
I am quite aware, that by the time this message reaches you, the caroling from the night before would have stopped, and the serenading may be at full blast. But as you sit down with friends and loved ones to enjoy the day’s meal, and salivate over your delicious pastries, particularly Tart and sweetbread, I want you to enjoy yourselves in the true spirit of Christmas. For if ever there is a time to celebrate it is now. After all, “Hark! The Herald Angels singing”, was a call to listen intensely, to hear the angels give glory to the New-Born King. Just as they celebrated then, on that day to be known as Christmas Day, you are expected to celebrate now. 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 17th 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, have a Merry, Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!