In our personal lives we have no doubt experienced moments of joy, anguish, pain, happiness, frustration and hope and it is the unfailing goodness of God that has brought us through. Hence, we must pause and express our gratitude to Him for His sustenance, guidance and comfort, whatever our circumstances.
In our national life, there have arisen over the past year, numerous matters of public concern that we as a people have grappled with, some of which have brought us success and joy, while others have brought us only pain, shame and hardship.
Our successes and causes for celebration this year include the thirtieth anniversary of our Federation of St Kitts and Nevis as an independent nation. The retirement of Dr. Sir Cuthbert Sebastian, the longest serving Governor General in our country’s history, after an illustrious career of public service. His exemplary performance as Governor General is worthy of emulation by his successor. We laud too the achievement of forty years of conducting business by the TDC Group of Companies; the excellent performances of our young people in several endeavours, particularly in the field of education where we have produced joint State Scholars following this year’s CAPE results; and in the development of young leaders such as the “Twenty-five Most Remarkable Teens”.
All of these accomplishments and others, we are truly grateful for.
Yet however, there are other developments that have dogged and plagued this country in a manner that have caused bewilderment, consternation, horror and malaise across the body politic of this once proud democratic society.
The abandonment of its constitutional authority by the Parliament to exercise its most sacred and inalienable responsibility to allow a Motion of No Confidence to be debated, to ensure the legitimacy of the Executive Branch of the Government has indeed rendered our Parliament “a useless instrument”, according to former Chief Justice of the OECS Supreme Court, Sir Brian Alleyne.
Another great cause of concern is the deliberate attempt to gerrymander the constituency boundaries in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis by an illegitimate Prime Minister who has lost favour with the people and who at all costs wants to foist himself upon a people enduring hardship and shame after eighteen years under his leadership.
Still, atop all these woes are some social and economic fundamentals that strain our quality of life. For example, the decline in social cohesion amongst our people; increasing economic hardship manifested in unacceptably high levels of unemployment, especially among our young people; a crippling cost of living; and the unrelenting scandals that have damaged the image of this country over the years. Most recently, we have heard of the sale of a diplomatic passport to an Iranian national for one million dollars and to date the good people of St. Kitts and Nevis have not been given a credible explanation by the Prime Minister.
Our man-made challenges notwithstanding, as we enjoy this Season of peace on earth and goodwill to all, we can find solace for the New Year in a great old hymn, by James Lowell, which states:
“Once to every man and nation,
Comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood,
For the good or evil side;
Though the cause of evil prosper,
Yet ‘tis truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold,
And upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future,
And, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow,
Keeping watch above His own”.
As we once again celebrate the birth of Christ our Saviour, let us take pleasure in the example of the Shepherds “abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night”. Let us spread the tidings of great joy and hope throughout the land and convey peace and goodwill to all mankind and to all humanity. And as we delight with family and friends this Christmas, let us remember those less fortunate among us and recall the words of our Saviour, Himself, who said in the Gospel of St John, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly”.
It is with love that I wish you all bountiful blessings and hope for an abundant life for all of us this Christmas.
May God bless you and may God bless the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
Have a wonderful Christmas.