Season’s greetings to all.
I am Julian Fraser, 3rd District Representative and Member of the House of Assembly of the Virgin Islands.
We are in a Season that we know and look forward to with as much excitement as we do for the ending of the Hurricane Season.
Usually there is plenty of joy and much celebration even without a thought given. But not so as of late.
Three years ago, we had to manage without many of the things we took for granted, such as Electricity, Roofs over our Heads, EllIs Thomas Downs, our Ports of Entry, Schools, and 90% of our Churches.
All of which were either destroyed or severely damaged by Hurricane Irma.
But our strong spirit and independence would not allow us to succumb.
Fast forward three years to today, same scenario, different circumstances.
Today we are fighting something we cannot see nor hear. It is totally unconventional and up until its arrival it was unimaginable.
It is COVID-19 -- and even after three lockdowns, numerous Curfew Orders and border closures, we still don’t know any more about it today than we knew before it’s arrival.
Our borders are only partially open, Cruise Tourism is still banned, everyone entering the Territory are still subjected to quarantine, and an aggressive Protocol aimed at preventing the spread of the virus is still in effect.
In the last 9 months of 2020, I have been placed in a most fortunate and rewarding relationship with you the people of the Third District, while trying to meet your needs brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Personally, I have brought bags of groceries to your doorsteps.
I have delivered daily hot meals in your hands totaling over 1000, to 90 households from mid-September to mid-November, thanks to the generosity of the Guana Fund & Dr. Henri Jarecki.
I also brought you grocery vouchers so shopping could be possible.
And through my office the Government was able to facilitate you with some much-needed stimulus monies.
One would think that the troubles of COVID-19 were enough, but despite all that, many of our families are still in mourning due to the loss of loved ones over the course of the year - and some even as recent as November and December as is the case with the Smith’s and the Thomas’ families. I pray for you as you grieve. And wish God’s blessings upon you.
Those of you who are ill must know that every effort is being made to make your recovery a swift and permanent one.
Our healthcare is not perfect, but it continues to serve us well.
You must also be comforted in knowing that we care.
While it is customary during these Holidays to say, put your worries aside for the moment and let your hair down, have fun and celebrate.
This time is an exception, and I hope you recognise that.
Because if you let your hair down you might just let your guard down too. And that you can’t afford.
Please observe all Protocols. Even in the midst of this Festive Season you can still enjoy your meals and favorite beverages even while acknowledging the protocols.
2020 marked the beginning of a new decade, and we were all looking forward to it, if for no other reason than the flair the name brought with it.
But we certainly hope that the events that came with it were just an anomaly, rather than a promise of things to come during the ensuing years of the decade.
As I look forward to a positive report on the outcome of the Season, I wish to take this very special opportunity on behalf of my wife Kharid and myself, to wish my constituents of the Third District, both those living here in the Virgin Islands, and those over in the US Virgin Islands, A most enjoyable Holiday Season.
Rule No. 1: Never lose money; rule No. 2: Don’t forget rule No. 1.