Hon. Theophilus Ferguson John Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul
Home Up Hon. Dr. Kenny Davis Anthony Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, International Financial Services, Economic Affairs and Information and Parliamentary Representative for Vieux Fort South Hon. Philip J. Pierre Minister for Commerce, Tourism, Investment and Consumer Affairs and Parliamentary Representative for Castries East Hon. Felix Finisterre Minister for Communications, Works, Transport and Public Utilities and Parliamentary Representative for Babonneau Hon. Sarah Lucy Flood-Beaubrun Minister for Home Affairs and Gender Relations and Parliamentary Representative for Castries Central Hon. Damian E. Greaves Minister for Health, Human Services, and Family Affairs and Parliamentary Representative for Dennery South Senator The Hon. Calixte George Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Leader of Government Business Hon. Velon L. John Minister for Labour Relations, Public Service, and Co-operatives and Parliamentary Representative for Laborie Hon. Menissa M. Rambally Minister for Social Transformation, Culture and Local Government and Parliamentary Representative for Castries South East Hon. Cyprian Lansiquot Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Parliamentary Representative for Anse La Raye / Canaries Hon. Theophilus Ferguson John Parliamentary Representative for Choiseul Hon. Arsene James Leader of the Opposition and Parliamentary Representative for Micoud South


Once again the time of year demands that we take time to reflect, to analyse and to account for our own stewardship over the last twelve months. We need to do so for ourselves. And having done so we may choose to underline our regrets and mourn or to highlight our own achievements and celebrate.

Most of us will have regrets. The optimist in us will no doubt convince us that these were mere aberrations and amidst those regrets were achievements worthy of celebration. Perhaps we recognise too that the experience gained from those regrets may well be the foundation required for another lift off - another attempt to build.

Christmas however begs us to celebrate. We are all familiar with what King Pelay has termed Tradicion Noel. It has become part of us. Our stores become a hub of activity - our children masses of excitement and our streets tell us we live in a city. We all look forward to a very merry Christmas.

I believe that it is fitting that having sent His only son into this world to be our example, and to redeem us, we demonstrate to God, our own appreciation, and celebrate the anniversary of the birth of His son. But the celebration must be complete. While we are all entitled to choose the manner of celebration that suits us, we cannot forget that we are in fact thanking God for sending us His son. The season of advent that leads into Christmas, and the Midnight Mas that actually starts Christmas is a most powerful introduction and should guide the Christian in his manner of celebration.

Midnight Mass is probably one of the better attended masses of the year. In my view this is because as Christians we understand the significance of the coming of Christ and make that special effort to celebrate. But we know that time and the world do not stand still, and one cannot help but observe that as time has moved on, less emphasis has been placed on the Christian aspect of our celebration. Perhaps it would be advisable to take some time this Christmas to rethink our priority.

For some of us it is a time of renewal - renewal of the material things around us, our furniture, our wardrobe even our diet. Others only seek a renewal of spirit - a determination to find real success in the coming year. We should not deny ourselves the right to celebrate but as we celebrate we should remember that we cannot afford the excesses and we the older ones and the leaders in particular must be examples in that regard. Ours must be a society where love reigns and once that is the case, civility will be the hallmark of our society.

The cries are regularly heard - crime has got out of hand - that is a clear indication that we have abandoned our Christian principles. We lament the fact that criminals are not caught, even when they commit their crimes in the presence of a number of witnesses. The silence of the witness is like fertile soil to the criminal. The end result is the loss of a Christian virtue - that which requires us to Love our neighbour.

As a society we have failed to instil into our children the need to love one another. We have embarked on a path where, in the main, selfishness and greed dictate how we live our lives. The love and generosity that once characterised our society has been replaced by a “weer pou cow” attitude. We no longer seem to care about our neighbour. It is comforting to note however that there are still persons whose very existence has demanded the exploitation of every survival instinct imaginable, yet such persons can always welcome and offer something to a passer by. Such Christian virtues must survive if society will.

This Christmas in our moments of reflection we should ask ourselves a number of questions: Have we done anything to make this a better place? Have we simply sat back and allowed things to happen rather than stood up and made things happen? And if we sat back, did we just criticise what we allowed to happen? Have we trapped ourselves into thinking that whatever happens we must criticise even if we have not taken time to think about it? Do we always follow rather than lead particularly when our leadership skills are evident? Are we being true to the values that make us model citizens?

If we cannot answer these questions in the affirmative then we have been failing ourselves in our duty towards our society. Our society needs us. We in turn need a society that reflects who we are and the values we appreciate. If we do not participate and contribute towards the achievement of this ideal the decadence, the permissiveness, and the moral decay that has crept into our communities will destroy us as well as those who succeed us.

This Christmas, we must remember the many families who will be celebrating without one or more of their loved ones. Many of us will send one Christmas card less because we were confronted with our own mortality during the year and saw the demise of someone we cared for. We pray that we have come to terms with our own grief, and recognise that as we pass through this world our contribution should be such that we leave a happier place, in happiness.

We must have a special place in our hearts for those children who only know gifts at Christmas. Many may have spent the year in abject poverty having been brought into this world and effectively forgotten. The gifts of Christmas and the special parties will no doubt allow them to feel the spirit of Christmas.

We must remember too those persons who no longer have a family to spend Christmas with. Our duty in civil society, is to ensure that they are not alone, that they can be comforted because we, their neighbours love them and because we do, they will continue to be cared for and theirs will not be a sad and lonely Christmas.

And there are many whose mobility is limited and who are not able to join us as we move around in merriment. Perhaps last year they were as lively and mobile as some of us but because of accident or other eventuality are now confined to bed, to a wheel chair or to crutches. Let us not forget that they too must have a happy Christmas and if they cannot join us, we should join them.

And there are those who have offended society and are repaying that debt with their liberty. That does not preclude them from having a Happy Christmas. We pray that they are in fact being rehabilitated, can have as Happy a Christmas as circumstances allow. We also hope that the majority of them will return to contribute lawfully and meaningfully to a better society.

Christmas will always be Christmas and that special feeling of joy and good cheer must be maintained. The Sewenal that has survived the ages must continue. The seasonal greetings and the songs of Christmas must continue to herald glad tidings. That celebratory mood must be part of our season but we must remember to be measured and considerate. We cannot afford to have a post Christmas bulletin dominated by the effects of the use of guns - the real weapons of mass destruction - and other attacks on civil society.

I trust therefore that those entrusted with upholding the law will be vigilant and ensure that law breakers are brought to justice. Guns and ammunition are not part of our culture. Neither is gang related crime. Weapons are not clothes. We should leave home without them. We must pray however that innocent ones are not locked away because someone chooses to take the easy option. Our duty must be to find criminals not create them.

In Choiseul and in Saltibus Christmas has brought with it continuing complaints about the state of our roads. It is heart-wrenching to observe that women and children in particular must continue to struggle with their shopping because vehicles simply cannot afford to drive on some of our roads. As I’ve often noted there’s hardly a road in this constituency that is motorable.
And whether we are in Darban or in Le Riche, in Delcer, Bois Den or Raveneau the road continues to be an impediment to progress.

We have attempted slight relief in some areas. I can assure you however, that the Government is fully aware of our predicament and hope that the plans which are already afoot will be implemented urgently. We know that these are the roads that matter to us. Every one will use the highway but few will be able to savour the beauty of our constituency unless we make our very many communities accessible.

It has not been all gloom however and the people along the De Brieul Montete to Myers Bridge road and to a lesser extent the people of Balcar can now ride along a far more comfortable road. Additionally our fishermen now have excellent facilities to work with and once use of this facility is maximised the benefits to the industry will be incalculable.

So there is good reason to celebrate. Let us therefore enjoy this Christmas together. Let us try to forgive the indiscretions of some of our neighbours. Let us try to love one another and, together, let us all have a Really Merry Christmas.

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