By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:16 Updated



My brothers and sisters. This is the third year that I have had the great privilege, as Leader of the Opposition, to address you at this very special time of year. I am deeply grateful for the confidence and support you have shown me in what, as the sole elected opposition member, is quite a lonely task!

To those of you suffering hardship or fear for your future, especially following Hurricane Irma, be of good courage. I hear you and will do everything in my power to influence the righting of the wrongs and a more compassionate and constructive approach to the creation of jobs and the relief of hardship.
And to those of you blessed with more, let us look out for each other. Let us provide comfort for those that are suffering and food for those who are vulnerable. Let us commit this Christmas to welcome the stranger, the lonely and those in mourning.

I wish you all the peace and joy of the season. Though we have experienced many difficult moments throughout 2017, may the wondrous joy of this season remind you of your dear ones, your strength, and your faith. May each and every one of you find peace in the broken pieces, and allow your hearts to be filled with love. Let us hold our children, all children, close to our hearts, so that they too can experience happiness.
The New Year is a time of hope and renewal, when we pray that there will be better times to come and that we will have peace and good will among men, yet we cannot fail to look back on the last twelve months as a time when our resilience has been put to the test. So many of our heroes and heroines and loved ones have passed during the year, whom we shall continue to miss, and the suffering inflicted by Hurricane Irma is ongoing and will likely be so for months to come.

In facing these challenges we must unite, under leaders with integrity, vision and compassion, in the way that the Father of the Nation, the late James Ronald Webster, inspired the nation and its people. We need leaders with the ability to collaborate. There is need for us to recommit ourselves to the noble task of nation-building; to uphold the principles of freedom, justice for all and the rule of law. These have been the cornerstones of our beloved island on which we must continue to build.
I renew my call on you to protect your future; to create among you a spirit of oneness and to work towards making Anguilla an economically self-reliant and dignified nation. Now, more than ever before, we need strong and well-defined leadership, and a platform on which we all can share love, understanding – and close the political divide that affects us so greatly. We need to return to the days of 1967, when politics was all about service to country without personal gain; and when there was greater public trust, integrity and commitment.

2017 is winding down, and 2018 is swiftly approaching. In reflecting on our past, let us prepare for our future. The New Year is like sunrise and an immense scope of opportunity awaits us. Let us not idle as time passes us by, but let us march boldly in the direction that will allow us to achieve our dreams and aspirations, bearing in mind the famous quotation by John Heywood: “Rome was not built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour”. And to use another of his expressions: “Many hands make light work”. Let us not await change in 2018, but let us be the engines of change, equipping ourselves with the armour and accepting the challenge to be the change we all desire.
May blessings abound for us all, and may the gems of the present moment become the golden memories of tomorrow. A very happy Christmas to all, and a prosperous and productive New Year.
God bless you.

Pam Webster
Leader of the Opposition
18 December 2017

By anguillian December 25, 2017 11:16 Updated


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