Government of Montserrat

2017 Christmas Message – The Honourable Premier, Donaldson Romeo

hon-premier-romeo-bust2Fellow Citizens, Residents, and friends of Montserrat, I greet you this Christmas with joy, hope, and peace, from the one whose birth we celebrate at this time of year.

 

Christmas is a good time for all of us to count our many, many blessings, and to reflect on the events of the past year. Firstly, I would like to give God thanks for keeping us all alive to see another holiday season. It is always so special to see our family and friends come home, especially at Christmas time. There is truly no place like home.

 

Amidst the turmoil and uncertainty around the world, and our own challenges on island, we in Montserrat can pause and give thanks, for the peace, security and friendliness that we continue to enjoy on our beloved Rock.

 

As we celebrate Christmas with our friends and family, may we remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. So, as we praise and give thanks to the Prince of Peace, let us be inspired by His example, keeping others in mind in all that we do this season.
 

May we make a special effort this Christmas to help and care for each other, whether it be someone who needs a warm meal, a visit at their home or in the hospital, or a friend who has lost a loved one, and who just needs someone to talk to.
 

This year some of our sister islands were devastated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Montserrat was spared, and we are grateful. It was touching and encouraging to see the outpouring of kindness and compassion, as groups on Island, and in the region, rallied round to help our Caribbean sisters and brothers in their distress.
 

I personally wish to express thanks to God for opening the way, a month ago, for me to address the United Nations, giving the people of Montserrat a unique chance to have our case brought back to the attention of world leaders.
 

Just a week before that, a personal dream of mine, for which I had worked very hard, became a reality. I had the privilege of joining Heads of Government from six British Overseas Territories in Miami. The emphasis was on unity of purpose amongst the Territories, as we took on the broad range of challenges the British Overseas Territories share; working as one in support of each other, with one approach to Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) and the world.
 

It is customary for us to emphasize love, joy, peace and unity in the Christmas season. It is my conviction that if we – Nationals, Non Nationals and friends of Montserrat – choose, with God’s help, to pursue unity of purpose and mutual respect as a permanent lifestyle, beyond Christmas, and into the new year, there is no limit to what we can achieve.
 

On behalf of the Government of Montserrat, and on my behalf, I welcome this opportunity to express gratitude to God and to the people we represent and serve.
 

I say thanks and best wishes for the season to the private and public sector and all members of the general public, to each and every Minister of the Gospel and gardener, farmer, fisherman, teacher, hustler, lawyer and retiree, to every police officer and fire rescue worker, labourer, contractor, tradesman and business person, to each doctor and domestic worker, nurse, paid and unpaid carer, to every National, Non National and friend of Montserrat, those away and those on Island. You all have helped to keep Montserrat moving ahead in challenging times.
 

I want to say a special word of thanks and blessings to all those who pray for our leaders and people daily, whether you are an elderly person at home on your own, one of those who gather to pray in twos or threes, or as a church. We are grateful for your intercession, and feel the positive results of your prayers every day.
 

We thank Her Majesty’s Government, Her Excellency the Governor and other UK representatives here, as well as the European Union for their much needed support. May God also bless our Caribbean brothers and sisters for their continued and valued support in various ways.
 

Thanks and best wishes to our Hon Speaker, Attorney General, Financial Secretary, and Deputy Governor as well as the Opposition for the important role they are called to play, and wish them God’s blessings, this Christmas, and for the New Year.
 

Thanks and best wishes to my fellow Ministers, Parliamentary Secretary and Member of Government, their Heads of Departments and Ministries for the hard work, day in and day out. May we all, along with our families and loved ones, be refreshed in our spirits and energy for the new year ahead.
 

As we approach the close of 2017, my heartfelt wish, is that the Christ of Christmas will empower us with the love and unity needed to turn the challenges of 2018 into opportunities to do good.
 

Finally, on behalf of myself, my family, and the Government of Montserrat, to those of us here on Island, as well as the many overseas with their hearts and minds on the Rock, I say, “A Happy, Joyful Christmas, and God bless everyone!”