Governor Sarah Tucker and her husband Howard celebrated their first Christmas and Carnival in Montserrat, attending many of the national and community events to mark the 60th annual festival here.
The couple attended The Art Show at Hilltop, which featured art from up-and-coming artists here. They also experienced Night of Lights at the Montserrat National Trust and attended several of the calypso competitions at Festival Village.
In her Christmas message, Governor Tucker celebrated some of the island’s successes in 2022. She said the island benefited from a calm hurricane season. She added that farmers and fishers continue to innovate, and that the amazing talent of Montserratians were on international display throughout the year.
Governor Tucker acknowledged sculptor Veronica Ryan, who won the Turner Prize for her larger-than-life Windrush memorial of Caribbean fruits in Hackney, London.
London-based Actor Stedroy Cabey was mentioned for his groundbreaking work in the theatre production of SUS, Officer Kirk Brade was recognised as part of the UK Overseas Territories pool of officers who were on parade outside Buckingham Palace for the funeral of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
The amateur basketball league received appreciation for their hosting of a regional tournament and the cricketers who have been able to work abroad were also mentioned.
Governor Tucker said her office was able to host their first national charity event, Music for Montserrat, in support of repairs to the Montserrat Cultural Centre. She added that more information on this will be forthcoming. The governor was also able to get assistance from members of the HMS Protector during their stop last summer to make much-needed repairs to the facility, which serves as both a tourist attraction and an entertainment and conference centre for the island.
“2023 will be one of visible progress with projects” for Montserrat, stated the governor. She added that the office will continue to seek support for a new parliament building, which celebrated 70 years in 2022.
Acknowledging the recent Financial Aid Mission, the governor said that it ended with a renewed focus on collaboration, mutual respect, and mutual ambition to develop Montserrat for all.
Governor Tucker said that Montserrat needs to continue to build and grow its partnerships with the UK Government and its departments. Some of the ongoing partnerships include His Majesty’s Treasury for its support of the Financial Action Task Force, Suffolk County Council for education and social services support, Suffolk constabulary which is assisting with building capacity within the Royal Montserrat Police Service and the UK Health Security Agency for their continued work with the local Ministry of Health.
Collaborations with Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) have progressed strongly this year, Tucker stated, and more projects are in the pipeline.
She thanked the public service, singling out the nurses, doctors, police, fire and prison teams, and teachers for their hard work and commitment. Charities and volunteers, the private sector for their provision of jobs, goods and service and community support were also praised.
“My team in the Governor’s Office continue to explore other avenues of support for Montserrat and will continue to work closely with ministries to access funds, resources and expertise.,” she noted in an end-of-year letter released via Facebook.