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Prime Minister's Christmas Message to Vieux Fort - December 12, 2000

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Tonight, we officially mark the start of the holiday season in Vieux Fort with the illumination of the lights in and around our beautiful town. Unfortunately, I am unable to be with you tonight because I have to be in Dennery on national duties, the opening of the Festival Lights and Renewal. I hope you are able to forgive me.

It has been yet another wonderful year for our town as we continue to harness our energies and resources to build and develop Vieux Fort. The lights we switch on tonight demonstrate the cheer we feel in our hearts at the upliftment our town has experienced these past few years. The lights signal the gratification of our citizens that finally, Vieux Fort is taking its proud place as a leading development area in our country.

The developments we see around us are but just he beginning. What is being done now will be multiplied as the development spirit takes root in our community, whether in the center of the town or its environs, whether at the Mangue or at Baccadere, whether at Shanty Town or along the sea shore, whether at the freezone or at the stadium project, whether at the new Southern Shares Commerical Centre, whether at the sidewalks or in our own homes, whether in the new drainage or the several areas being developed for various community purposes.

But even while we develop even while we continue to change for the better, it is important that this change also be reflected in what we do and how we relate to each other as citizens of our town and of our country. We cannot build together if we do not live together; and we cannot live together if we do not love each other.


In this town, we have to strive even harder to get rid of the acrimony of the past. In the same way that we are learning to work together and in the same way that we are seeing the results of working together, we also have to learn to smile together, to laugh together, to embrace each other as fellow citizens of our town and of our country.


This is the festive season, which will be followed by the political season. But as we share the joys and pleasures, the warmth and friendliness of Christmas and the New Year, let us also strive to extend this warmth and love, this respect and cooperation into the next political season.

Let's remember always that politics and politicians come and go, but we as the people of Vieux Fort will always have to live together during and after the political season. Yes, we should take our politics seriously; yes we should take life seriously. But we should not take life and politics so seriously as to hate each other, to despise each other, to harbour ill feelings about each other.


I take great pleasure in being your constituency representative and Member of Parliament. What I have done and what I am able to do for Vieux Fort would never have been and will never be possible without the support and cooperation of all of the citizens of our town and constituency.

What our government has been able to do for this town brings our ministers as much pleasure as what we do for every other part of our beautifully country, because we are a government of the people and for the people. Indeed, what I do as Prime Minister would not have been possible without the trust, confidence and hope that you the citizens of Vieux Fort reposed in me and in our government. As you will also have seen since 1997, all that we do for Vieux Fort is for the benefit of all, for the benefit of the majority, for the benefit of those who most need help and assistance, for the benefit of all who are willing to help themselves as part of the process of helping to build our community.


Lives are changing and lives are being changes in Vieux Fort. I sincerely hope that the lights we switch on tonight will illuminate our lives with the love, friendliness, trust, cooperation and mutual respect that every community needs if we are to build our town and our country into a nation with one destiny for all its people.

I wish you an early Merry Christmas and best wishes for the happiest New Year when we start the beginning of the new millennium in a couple weeks time. I have absolutely no doubt that the people of Vieux Fort will continue to display the characteristics of a developing community and that we will continue to take our pride of place in our dear land.

December 12, 2000


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