Fellow citizens of St. Lucia and in particular my constituents of Castries
This wonderful time of Christmas is here with us once again. This year we seem
to have begun the process of celebration earlier than usual; some say that this
is our way of relaxing after a strenuous and stressful 2003.
Whatever the reason, it is important that we do not lose sight of exactly what
it is that we are celebrating – that day two millennia ago when Christ was born.
I would like to extend the warmest of wishes to my constituents and the people
of St. Lucia. I thank you for your tremendous support throughout 2003. In the
past few months the encouragement I have received for my stand on abortion has
been nothing short of overwhelming. This gives me the courage to know that the
majority of our people support, even if silently, the proposition that
governance can be a principled task.
I am now aware, however long it takes, that a new approach to politics can be
possible in the Caribbean, politics that is not just filled with promises but
with a realized potential that improves the quality of our lives, creates
employment for our talented people, improves our internal security and mends
rather than destroys our social fabric.
This is the dawn of a new year - 2004. There were many challenges this year both
internationally and locally and even more in all probability will have to be
faced in the next. Key to resolving these problems is first of all admitting
that we have issues to solve and then applying the political will to get the job
done. We as a citizenry must also fully come to grips with what we are facing in
terms of the development of our society and make an attempt to stand up for what
is required for us to improve this country of ours.
For this coming year I wish peace and a cessation in criminal activities
plaguing our nation. Whilst the coming of Christ assures us that peace, his own
journey on earth tells us that nothing good comes without suffering, sacrifice
and hard work. We as a people must work hand in hand to ensure that we build
strong families, fight fearlessly against the social ills which provide the
breeding ground for crime and stand up for what we know in our hearts is the
right path to tread.
And Christians, we who profess to believe in the true story of Christmas must
remember that even Christ himself gave us the example of praying hard and
working hard as both sides of the same coin. Prayer alone is never enough, it is
only one part of the formula. We must work and fight for what we believe in both
within our individual lives and for our country. Let this Christmas be a new
beginning. Let us no longer continue to have limited dreams and to accept a poor
quality of life as our unfortunate lot on Earth. It is time for us to raise the
bar as to what we accept is possible in this country of ours.
In this new year, I also hope for more employment opportunities for our young
people in particular, some of whom who had an extremely challenging 2003 and who
have ended the year in a depressed mood.
I remember too at this time all our women and children who continue to struggle
to live violent free lives, the family and friends of Verlinda Joseph and
Giselle Georges who will see the dawn of another year without closure to the
quiet pain they suffer each day.
Many of us spoke in 2003 of crime and the internal security of St. Lucia as
though it was some mystical state which has nothing to do with us. We must
remember that this involves the very security of our home environments which we
need to ensure the security of our children, spouses , parents, and other
relatives. We must all work together to ensure in this regard that 2004 is
vastly different from 2003.
To my constituents in Castries Central. On December 3, 2001, you again placed
your trust and confidence in me by giving me another opportunity to serve you.
Working together in the constituency during the past year, we have had a number
of successes which have benefited us collectively in different communities.
From the clean up campaigns we had in Conway and Barnard Hill, to the footpaths
and bridges we were able to build and commission in Georgeville and Lastic Hill;
the many one to one discussions we had, the individual problems we were able
tackle by putting our heads together whether we met at the constituency office,
at a private meeting or on the street or sidewalk . I feel privileged to have
earned your trust and that you felt secure enough to share even your most
intimate problems with me . I will continue in the coming year to strive to
serve you even better . We have unfinished business to complete in 2004 which
will have to be accomplished as a joint effort at the community level.
I wish you and your families a bright and merry Christmas and a truly peaceful