That is according to Mr. Athill Rawlins, who recently served as the Manager and Engineer of the local Water Department. Mr. Rawlins was at the time eulogizing Dr. Christmas, at funeral services that were held here last Friday, (12th August, 2011), at the Bethel Moravian Church in Parsons Village.
Mr. Rawlins said that Dr. Christmas was the one who wrote the master plan for the supply of water throughout the island of St. Kitts and he converted the slow sand filters at the La Guerite Water Treatment Plant, to rapid sand filters, thereby increasing significantly the quantity of water that was treated daily through the process of filtration.
“He also disinfected the water supplies to Basseterre by introducing chlorination. Dr. Christmas also realized very early that ground water was the future of water development in St. Kitts and Nevis and he pushed that agenda with his program for the drilling of wells,” said Mr. Rawlins.
While highlighting the accomplishments of Dr. Christmas, Mr. Rawlins explained that he was one of the top experts of ground water development in St. Kitts and Nevis and beyond our shores. The late Dr. Christmas is said to have left a body of information on ground water exploitation in his dissertation on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer.
Mr. Rawlins told the large congregation of mourners that Dr. Christmas’ long term planning for water resources in St. Kitts and Nevis… forms an important base for the country’s water development and it is still quite relevant today.
He noted that from January 1993 to June 1994, Dr. Christmas was the UNICEF (Resident Representative to Angola based in Luanda). His responsibilities involved the management of developing activities and diplomatic relations regarding Angola and the twin Island Country of Sao Tome and Principe.
“As a linguist, he was highly proficient in English, French, Portuguese and several African dialects. This enabled him to function at a high level of proficiency in many of the African Nations where he was fortunate to serve. He was instrumental with the peace negotiations between the Dos Santos Government and the UNITA rebels in helping to end the twenty-year war which existed since Angola’s independence in 1975,” said Mr. Rawlins.
He noted also that in June 1994, Dr. Christmas was transferred to Kenya as the United Nations Resident Representative.
“His Excellency Dr Joseph Christmas, as he was rightfully called, supervised a staff of two hundred and fifty persons who were responsible to him in his mission of diplomatic and development assignments. He has truly been an excellent ambassador for his native country of St Kitts and Nevis,” said Mr. Rawlins.
Dr. Christmas also served as the St. Kitts & Nevis Ambassador to the United Nations before retiring and returning to St. Kitts. He died on 28th July, 2011.