Christmas Address 2007

His Excellency Dr. Nicholas J. O. Liverpool, D.A.H.

Fellow Dominicans,

In our Constitution we affirm that our country is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God, and the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed. Our national anthem declares that God has blest our country with a clime benign and bright and a people strong and healthy full of Godly reverent fear. With such a background there is every reason why we should celebrate Christmas to the fullest.

No matter what may be our station in life, we do look forward with a special kind of anticipation to this time of year; and no other celebration brings out the best in human nature. At Christmas time in every corner of the Christian world, people celebrate the birth of the Christ Child in a variety of ways, according to their custom. There will be the traditional exchange of gifts, and visits to the needy and incapacitated. Pride of place will go to family gatherings when relatives get together to renew their love for each other and reminisce about old times. Many stories will be told and many half-forgotten acts of kindness will be remembered.

At this time of celebration I urge you to spare a thought for those less fortunate among us, those in most need, and to share with them in some tangible way, the warmth of the Christmas season. Show them the kindness of heart, and the generosity and love that is consistent with the message of the Christ Child.

It should also be a time when we reconnect with spiritual values; and a time for reflection and for the expression of heartfelt thanks to God for His many blessings. It is a time too for the expression of peace and goodwill in an otherwise turbulent world; and a time for caring and sharing in societies where material greed and profit tend to dominate human behaviour. Most telling of all is the unique spirit of unity, of belonging to family, community and nation, and the sense of oneness in the sight of God that all come as part of the celebration of Christmas. My wish is that these manifestations of all that is good should permeate our lives not only at Christmas, but also throughout the entire year. So as we celebrate Christmas this year, let us give thanks for the many blessings that have been bestowed upon us, not forsaking those, whether they are our neighbours or citizens of neighbouring countries, who may not be as fortunate as we are.

The New Year looks bright and full of promise, but we will only realise that promise if we harness our strengths, our skills, our resolve, our unity, our faith and our prayers; and ask for God’s guidance. He has never failed us. We should all work together to rediscover the unity and strength of purpose to overcome the many challenges that confront us every day. We should also continue to pursue the community spirit that is so vital to the further social enrichment of our nature isle.

It is in this spirit and with this high expectation that on behalf of my wife and family and on my own behalf, I wish all residents of Dominica a very merry and blessed Christmas. I also pray that the New Year will bring peace, joy, happiness and good health; and the prosperity that can only come with God’s continued blessings.

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