Good Day, fellow citizens and residents of Montserrat.
I extend to you, and your families my warmest Compliments for this year’s Christmas Season.
Also, it is my sincere prayer as we advance towards 2022, that you may witness increased prosperity and success in all your endeavours; with the best of health and strength being bestowed upon you from our Heavenly Father.
This is the time when we reflect on the year that is about to close, and also look forward with vigour and purpose to what’s ahead.
The original meaning of Christmas was built upon a foundation of joy and goodwill. For it was with joy, that Three Wise Men set forth to seek out the new-born Christ that laid in a manger.
His Birth offering hope and a pathway to salvation for Mankind.
It is on this theme of Hope that I say to you today, that we as a Nation will rise once again, even more resourceful and prosperous than we once were!
I know that the present circumstance for many of you is not what you would have hoped it would be for this Christmas Season. With the continued hazard of COVID-19 still challenging global healthcare systems, the question, I am sure filling your minds, is when will this all be over?
None of us know the answer to that question. But whilst we wait, hope and pray – we all have a responsibility to lend each other a shoulder, so that the load being felt from COVID-19 is shared, and not burdened upon anyone of us as citizens of this land, more than the other.
Here on island, our economic fortunes have not seen the best of times. This will no doubt have a knock-on effect on the extent to which many of us enjoy this Christmas Season. In the Spirit of Togetherness, it is up to each and every one of us to help make each other’s Christmas be a measure of good cheer. It may not be much that we have this year to share, but whatever we can spare, I am certain that someone will be grateful. It could even mean taking some time during the Season and visiting with the elderly of our community so that they may know we remember them; we appreciate the contribution they have made and most importantly – we love them.
This year, very much like last year, many of our friends and loved ones who would have traditionally visited us at this time of year, will not be able to make it. For those of you that were able to make it home, we welcome you and hope that despite the change of circumstances of the Christmas Festivities, you would still find peace and joy just to be here visiting with your family and friends. We are happy to have you with us.
There are many individuals and organisations on our island, who through the greatest of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic – they continue to put their best forward for the benefit and advancement of Montserrat.
To our Frontline Workers and Administrators – I say thank you with every ounce of fibre in my being. Your performance on the job has proudly kept us safe from the worst effects of COVID-19. Yes, we have had some reported cases, but it is due to the diligence and commitment of our frontline workers why COVID-19 has not run rampant throughout our beautiful paradise. Thank you frontline workers for all you have done over these past months in keeping us safe.
We are living in challenging times, but it is how we as a people pull together and respond to this challenge that will set us on a pathway for a swift recovery when this pandemic is over.
To our private sector community, what can I say? You show us that your love is for Montserrat first. No matter the rough waters you are now paddling through, you are still focused on remaining true to this land. Thank you and a Merry Christmas to all those who operate within the private sector.
Season’s greetings also to all staff within the various government departments. This country cannot function without you. It is on that pillar of your profound resilience that I say thank you and a Merry Christmas to you and your families.
Remember fellow Citizens, for this Christmas, let us seek to embody and be examples of that Spirit of Togetherness and Joy, that first marked this day thousands of years ago in Bethlehem.
Let us also remember that it is in sharing and caring for the other members of our community that we will grow and advance as a Nation towards ultimate prosperity.
May this Christmas be one where we continue to look forward with prayer towards a brighter New Year!
In closing, on behalf of The Office of The Opposition and all Opposition Members, I extend to all the people of Montserrat a Merry Christmas, and a Prosperous New Year. May God bless you and may be also bless our land – Montserrat.
I Thank You!
Paul J. Lewis
Leader of the Opposition