My dear people of the Virgin Islands, a pleasant good day and God’s blessings to you.
We are once again in the most joyous season of Christmas when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Traditionally, Christmas has been a time of merriment, spending time with loved ones and rekindling our bonds with friends and family.
We are accustomed to the physical gatherings where we can sit down together and share meals, drinks, conversation, hugs and laughter.
But we all know that this year is different. COVID-19 is still with us and we are not out of the woods yet.
I do not have to remind you that we have to be careful and vigilant, that we have to maintain the protocols so that we can minimise the spread of the virus and keep everyone safe.
Physically, things are inevitably different. But spiritually, nothing has to change. COVID-19 cannot stop us from showing love for one another, as Jesus taught us to love.
It cannot extinguish the Hope that is within our hearts and which comes from our Faith in our God.
The Spirit of Christmas resides in each of us and in these difficult times we need to make the extra effort to let our lights shine brightly. We can do this by showing compassion for the needy and giving charity. Technology allows us to reach out and bring some measure of cheer to those who may be lonely and feeling forgotten. These are very meaningful gifts that we can give to spread joy and hope, and to honour the Christ child.
This should come easily to us because we are a people of BVILOVE, where we love our Virgin Islands and everything in and about it every day.
We are all well aware of the impact COVID-19 has had on the lives and livelihood of many of our people. We know the hardship that many have faced with being unable to work due the impact on Tourism and other sectors.
The reopening of our industry is in progress, which gives us hope. But many are still carrying heavy burdens, and it will take time for these pressures to ease up.
We are no stranger to tough times but we always overcome it by coming together and looking out for each other.
So, this Christmas, let us each resolve to make someone else’s Christmas even a little bit brighter and happier by sharing our BVILOVE and sharing whatever we can afford.
Although faced with many challenges in this COVID-19 era, let us put a smile on every face and warm every heart through sharing love and kind words that will permeate and saturate our Virgin Islands atmosphere because love heals all wounds.
Now, more than ever, the world needs agents to spread peace on Earth, happiness and good will to all men, women and children. And I know our Virgin Islands people are up to this task.
May God continue to bless and protect his Virgin Islands people this Advent Season which represents the birth of our Lord and Saviour.
I thank you.
The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.