Author: Hon Paul J. Lewis | Date: 23 December 2018
Christmas is that time of year where we stop and reflect on all that has gone before us as we approach that end of year date.
Christmas time gives each of us that opportunity to look back on the way our lives have gone over the course of the year, and to give thanks for the blessings we have received.
It is that time of year when family, friends and loved ones all join in that festive cheer, extending a courtesy, however small it may be, towards bringing a smile to another member of our community.
On behalf of the Ministry of Communications, Works, Energy and Labour (MCWEL) I wish to extend to all the people of Montserrat a heartfelt Merry Christmas, and the warmest of wishes for a Prosperous New Year. Both my staff and myself pray that God will continue to bless you, as he will equally bless our land, and that this season will serve to bring us even closer together as a community.
2018 has had its fair share of ups and downs for us here on Montserrat. But in the face of all our challenges, we have still shown enormous tenacity, belief and hope in this the land that we call home.
You the people of Montserrat have not given up on this island. When I see those smiles amidst all of our collective struggles; when I see the will and the fight to push onwards despite the turbulence of the times in which we live, it gives me as a Minister of Government and a Leader of our people immense strength and encouragement. Your belief, and your hope gives me my energy and purpose to continue to do the best for all the people of this island – both myself and my staff at MCWEL.
Our development thrust here on Montserrat has been impacted significantly by global developments that we cannot afford to overlook. BREXIT has been one of the biggest stories for 2018, and its impact on the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) is one that we cannot afford to leave to chance here on Montserrat. Even during this Christmas season, many of us would have seen and heard of the great upheavals within the UK’s Parliament, as they seek to find a collective way forward to ensure that BREXIT benefits the UK in the best way possible.
I highlight the BREXIT chaos facing the UK to underscore the reality that our development is not set in stone despite our best aims to negotiate the best deal for Montserrat with our funding partners. Thus, for Christmas 2018 as we reflect on what we want for Montserrat, let us also take into consideration that it is a joint effort, with all of our people onboard, that will ensure that we achieve the truest form of development for Montserrat.
With that being said, the work we have done so far on island would not have been possible without the efforts of many contributors.
As Minister, I wish to offer my thanks to the Permanent Secretary and Staff within the Ministry of Communications, Works, Labour & Energy. Thank you all for your efforts, your ideas, your team work ethic, and also for your dedication to this island.
To Montserrat’s resilient and dedicated private sector community, I cannot begin to tell you how much you mean to this island in keeping us open for business. A very Merry Christmas to you all.
To all the other government departments and staff with whom we have worked with via some form of collaborative effort, Thank You also and have a wonderful Christmas.
Finally on behalf of MCWEL, I wish to extend Seasons Greetings to our primary funding agency – The Department for International Development. (DFID), and also too, to others who have still found it meaningful to consider investing in Montserrat.
May this Christmas be one that we all can find the best in each other, and seek even more to advance the hopes for all of our collective futures here on Montserrat.
A Blessed and Merry Christmas to all!
Hon Paul J. Lewis
Minister of Communications, Works, Energy & Labour (MCWEL)