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Prime Minister's 2001 Christmas Address

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2001 Christmas Message from

MP for Vieux Fort South,

Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony

On this occasion, I shall take off my hat as Prime Minister and speak as the Member of Parliament for Vieux Fort South, in the spirit of the festive Christmas and New Year Season.

If the election campaign served to temporarily divide us - as it normally does -- into partisan camps for the purpose of choosing elected representatives, then the end of the elections and the beginning of the festive season opens the way for us to heal wounds, hug each other and resolve to work together for the benefit and development of our community and our country.

I want, in particular, to welcome to our constituency the new areas of Cantonement and Aubrier. I am anxious to embrace our new constituents and extend to them the same quality of representation offered to the constituency as a whole.

On December 13 we participated in the switching on of the lights in our town for this festive season. At the time, I pointed out that it marked an opportunity to begin a process of national enlightenment, as our people grow in national consciousness and as we develop a better understanding of ourselves and our unique Caribbean family.

As we all know, Christmas is meant to be a time for joy and goodwill. It's a time when we think of each other and take care of each other. It's a time of giving and sharing, a time when those of us who are better off should go out of our way to help someone less fortunate to enjoy the good will of the season. It's a time when our relatives abroad remember us and send gifts, whether through envelopes and money orders or through Christmas barrels -- which, as you know, are now duty free. It's also a time for reflection, as we come to the end of yet another year in the evolution of our country as a nation.

This Christmas Season, which approaches the end of the first year of the new century and the new millennium, allows us the opportunity to reflect on our achievements, not only over the past year, but also over the past five years, as a people and as a nation. It also allows us in Vieux Fort to recall what our town looked like in 1997 and what it looks like now; how our people of Vieux Fort felt back then, and how we feel now.

As the Member of Parliament for Vieux Fort South, I have tried my best to share as much time as possible with my constituents. Once I am not ill or away from the country, I try, every Wednesday, to be in my constituency and among my people, listening to their problems and attending to their needs.

My national responsibilities are as important to me as my responsibilities to my constituents, without whom I would not have had the honour of being a parliamentarian or of serving our country in the capacity as Prime Minister.

Once Again, I want to thank all of you for the support which you so freely gave, the advice extended to me and the comfort in moments of despair, anxiety and hurt, and the prayers offered for me from time to time. There can be no better gift than the gift of prayer.

As I said recently, I want to reiterate my pledge and commitment to continue to aspire to create a more gentle, humane and prosperous Vieux Fort.

I thank you again for once more giving me the opportunity to work with you and to serve you for another five-year term. I pledge to continue to give you as much of my time, energy and effort in this term as I gave you in the previous one.

I also wish to thank all those who worked with me over the past four-and-a-half years, as I am confident that, together, we can build the kind of Vieux Fort that is waiting to be awakened in the hearts and minds of us all.

I want to wish all my constituents of Vieux Fort South - and indeed all St. Lucians - a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year, when we will all, once again, join hands to face the challenges of our community and our country.

December 20, 2001


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