As we get ready to celebrate another Christmas let us not forget the true
meaning of Christmas. It is a season of spiritual significance. It is a time of
hope and renewal. It is a time to remember the importance of families and close
friends it is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ as our Master and
Redeemer. Christmas is also a time to reflect on the values that bind
communities together, and most of all we must reach out to those most in need.
The year 2003 has been a very challenging one, but together we are able to
breach these challenges as one people. Despite these challenges, we still have a
lot to celebrate and be thankful for.
Brothers and sisters, inspite of our failures and disappointments we need to
lift our hearts in praise and thanks giving to our God for the many mercies and
blessings he bestowed upon us throughout 2003.
Upon sober reflection, our hearts must be grieved over the loss of our departed
loved ones and friends due to the unfortunate occurrences of violence, crime and
road accidents. The social and economic hardships which continue to plague our
unemployed youth is also a major cause of concern.
We are grateful to God for carrying us through the safest Hurricane season
recorded over the past twenty years. The mercies of the weather and improved
marketing conditions were favourable to our farmers who are now experiencing
increase production and better economic returns which will hopefully continue in
the new year.
Brothers and sisters Christmas brings us a message of hope, comfort and joy. Let
us forget for a moment the message of despair and hopelessness we hear in our
news media and talk shows day after day. Fellow St. Lucians we have achieved
enough to make us proud internationally. In addition to our two novel laureates;
this year we saw a St. Lucian being elevated to be the President of the United
Nations- the first Caribbean man to hold such a high and esteemed position on
the international front. Let us think more about our achievements, instead of
allowing the detractors or prophets of Doom and Gloom to sacrifice our
reputation on the altar of political expediency. We are rapidly gaining
prominence in the OECS if not the entire Caribbean in many respects. We are
proud of our achievement in education e.g. Sir Arthur Lewis College and we can
boast for having the most modern and state of the art stadium and international
cricket ground. Very soon we will have a brand new General Hospital which will
rate among the best in the Caribbean.
With Christ as our leader and continued Government support to our major
industries we look forward for a more fruitful prosperous and productive New
I am grateful to the Government and the St. Lucian community especially the
people of Anse-la-Raye/Canaries for the opportunity afforded me to serve as a
Parliamentary Representative and the Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In the Ministry my special responsibility
is in the area of Foresty and Fisheries. We will continue to expand and
diversify the forestry sector to make it a more viable tourism product and we
will also continue to improve and modernise the fishing sector with modern,
state-of- the art and landing facilities in all the major fishing communities
including Anse-la-Raye and Canaries.
I wish to express my many thanks to the people ofnAnse-la-Raye and Canaries for
their relentless and unfailing support. Notable among our achievements this year
were construction of two Multi-purpose courts at Autabore and Vanard, expansion
of the water system at Belle V Dere, improved footpaths in Canaries, increase
street lighting throughout the constituency especially the highway from Roseau
to Anse-la-Raye and the drainage and irrigation projects in the Roseau Valley.
We hope to achieve more next year with the improvement of roads at Tet Chemin,
Roseau dam road, Venus to Anse-la-Raye, St. Lawrence, Ti Caye Village, Canaries
Plans are well underway for the flood control project in Anse-la-Raye, fish
landing facilities for Anse-la-Raye and Canaries and the secondary school for
As we prepare to celebrate our 25th Anniversary of Independence, let us all make
the commitment in helping each other to take the challenges of the coming year,
and pray that in 2004 that our goals will be realised.
Finally I thank the St. Lucian public in general for their support and the
Minister and staff of Ministry of Agriculture for their cooperation and
assistance in pursuit of the goods of the Ministry. I now take this opportunity
to wish everyone a joyous and Merry Christmas and a bright and Prosperous New