Author: Hon Paul J. Lewis | Date: 24 December 2020
Firstly, I would like to extend to all the people of Montserrat, our friends and our well-wishers in the international community, the richest of blessings as we look to bring 2020 to a close.
This year will go down in the history books as one of the most challenging years the world has faced. COVID-19 has been the great disruptor in all of our lives, putting challenges before humanity that tested the depths of our resilience and faith.
But as a people of hope, grounded in the teachings that our Almighty Father never gives us more than we can bear, we remain steadfast and optimistic that COVID-19’s upheavals will one day be behind us, and we will see better days in the future.
Thus, my Christmas 2020 message to you all today is one of strength, faith, love and kindness to each other. But most importantly, it is about resilience in a time of great challenge.
We all love this land, Montserrat; that is partly why we live here. This is why we become passionate about her future; her children’s aspirations; her leadership; her culture and her overall outlook. We may not all agree on how best to move her forward. However, despite all our disagreements, we share one commonality- and that is to see this island become the best it can be and rise to its full potential.
Christmas 2020 will be unlike any other. Many of our friends and loved ones who would traditionally visit us at this time of year will not be able to make it this year, due to global travel upheavals and other restrictions that will limit their time with us. Despite this, we know that they will be here with us in Spirit, and based upon my message of hope and faith, next year December 2021 after this COVID-19 scare is hopefully behind us , they will be here to dance, laugh, sing and create more wonderful memories with us.
Christmas time gives us that opportunity to reflect and to be thankful for our blessings – however small – that we have received. As the singer Koffee sang: “Gratitude is a must!”
In this COVID-19 impacted year, there are many individuals and organisations here on Montserrat that have been shining examples of what it means to work together for the greater good of our country. I cannot name each and every individual and organisation, however, do permit me to give special mention to a few.
To our frontline workers and Administrators – we all owe you a dept of gratitude. You have performed beyond the call of duty to ensure that COVID-19’s impact on Montserrat was minimalised, despite the reported cases that we had. It is your work that gives renewal and rebirth to this land. Thank you all for everything you have done over these past months for Montserrat during this COVID-19 Pandemic.
To Montserrat’s ever-committed private sector community, you have been impacted so severely, that to drive around and see you still opening your doors for business, this should serve as a demonstration to us all of what it means to stand tough against the odds; still holding faith in this island and the promise of how we can all collaborate to ensure a brighter future. Thank you all within the private sector for your belief in Montserrat’s promise.
To the other government departments and staff who did their duties during this COVID-19 impacted year – without you the process of recovery would have been unachievable! I thank all government workers for showing up each day and giving to Montserrat, in spite of your own personal challenges and circumstances.
Finally, on behalf of The Opposition, I wish to extend Seasons Greetings to our primary funding partners in the United Kingdom. Thank you for still standing with Montserrat and giving us your full support.
May this Christmas be one where we continue to bring out the best that this island has to offer; looking forward to a much-improved 2021, as we work together to see Montserrat move upwards and onwards!
On behalf of The Opposition, I wish to extend to all the people of Montserrat a very Merry Christmas, and the warmest of wishes for a Prosperous New Year. Both my staff and I pray that God will continue to bless you, as he will equally bless our land.
Blessings and Merry Christmas to all.
Hon Paul J. Lewis
Leader of the Opposition
Audio of Christmas Message below: