Paramount in his thoughts was the fact that Kittitians/Nevisians were spared the wrath of natural disasters – something that the people of the Philippines, Australia, the United States and so many other countries are, unfortunately, unable to say today.
This was the second year in which the islands were not seriously affected by the usual summer storms, some of which in the past have not only taken life but also caused severe damage to property, food crops and the coastline of both islands.
Another important reason, said the Prime Ministry in his Christmas Day message, to be thankful and grateful, is related to the relatively calm nature of the political environment. Dr. Douglas said the tumult, chaos, and blood-shed that have so traumatized the people of Tunisia, Egypt, Ukraine and elsewhere have, thankfully, stayed far from our shores.
“The socio-economic collapse and anguish that have pummeled nations large and small, from our very own region to the most distant of lands, have mercifully spared us,” added the Prime Minister, who must have been reflecting on recent local political events that have made his 18 year reign as the Head of Government, perhaps the most difficult and challenging.
It was last December, weeks before Christmas 2012 that a Motion of No Confidence was filed against his Government. A second one was later filed in the summer and there were demonstrations and protests by opposition politicians and their supporters. Added to that nightmare was the defection of his two most senior former comrades from his party, to help forge an alliance with the main opposition parties on both islands. To date however, the motion has not been debated or voted on and his administration has been able to prod on for another year, another Christmas.
It is therefore understanding, when the Prime Minister used his Christmas message to suggest to his fellow citizens that “We enter the Christmas Season with a great deal for which to be grateful.”
In words that were apparently admitting that 2013 was indeed one of his most challenging years, Dr. Douglas said, “Indeed, the teachings of Christ have served us, here at home, very well this year – a year which was, in so many ways, very different from any other.” Different it was indeed.
Turning to the teachings of the Christian faith, the Prime Minister however implied that part of his political survival in 2013 was rooted in religious beliefs, “But did Proverbs not remind us to trust in the LORD with all our heart; and to lean not unto our own understanding?”
As St. Kitts and Nevis celebrated this year, the islands were placed under a flood watch, like the rest of the Leeward Islands, and residents were cautioned to be mindful of changing weather conditions.