Christmas Address 2009

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

Fellow Dominicans,

The Christmas season is a time of sharing and caring for each other, as we celebrate the birth of Christ. Amidst all the plans for enjoyment of the season, I want to remind you of an important challenge that we face. We need to remember that Dominica is not isolated from the rest of the countries of the world now facing a downturn in their economies. We must take every step, and make every effort, to be wise, to reduce waste and to produce more. It is the time when love and happiness are given freely among friends and sometimes even strangers in our midst. It is this spirit of love and giving that I hope will continue to fill our lives in the coming year.

I remember, with a deep feeling of nostalgia growing up in my village with a strong sense of community; of oneness; of knowing that everyone in the village was family; not necessarily related by blood but by a common thread of respect and values. Those were the times when the well being of all was everyone's priority. And because Christmas is about loving and sharing and uniting, it is no wonder that every time the season comes around I long more and more for the return of that strong sense of community spirit to this island.

In the midst of your Christmas celebrations, I invite you to consider the less fortunate and disadvantaged among us and their needs. In so doing you will truly reflect the message of the birth which we celebrate on Christmas day – a message of love and goodwill for our fellowmen and peace on earth. The children in care, the elderly, the homeless, the addicted and the forsaken are around us everywhere from one end of the island to the other. We cannot ignore the needs of anyone, for in Christ the entire human family has become our family. Let us reach out to them and ensure that they, and all those who suffer indignity and deprivation in silence, catch the Christmas spirit and enjoy the season.

This is a time when we must continue to respect the dignity of the human being, as it transcends race, religion, political affiliation, gender and social class. To the older and wiser heads among us I invite you to find a young person to mentor in the traditional Dominican values of sharing, honesty and the importance of hard work.

As the Christmas season passes into the new year, I hope that we all might carry the spirit of generosity into all our actions in the coming year, without looking back to blame the past, and without hesitating to welcome the future. Let us reach out and help those who may be dealing with difficult challenges in their lives at this time. This may be the greatest gift you can offer them this Christmas.

Sad, but true, this Isle of Beauty and Isle of Splendour is filled with tremendous hurt, and badly needs a healing process that will lead to real peace. The end of the elections and the beginning of this festive season opens the way for our nation to heal its wounds. We must resolve to work together for the benefit and development of our country.

Fellow citizens I take this opportunity to advocate change in the coming year. Change that will bring hope, change that will bring peace; change that will bring unity, and change for the betterment of Dominica. Let us focus on building a sustainable economy; of forging closer ties for the good of this island, and on teaching our children and youth, respect for life and authority, and what is good and acceptable conduct for Dominicans. And as we prepare to make resolutions for the year 2010, let it be one of our wishes that we as a people will resolve to share more love and be more united.

Fellow Dominicans and visitors to our shores, on behalf of my wife and family and on my own behalf, I wish you and your families Season's Greetings and hope and pray, especially for the elderly and infirm, that the New Year will bring good health, happiness and peace.

May God bless you and your families, and may God continue to bless Dominica.

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