This Christmas comes at the end of a year that has not been without challenges of various dimensions. Not only have there been natural disasters of earthquakes, storms and hurricanes but we have had to interface with man-made financial crises of almost global proportions.


During the last few months, the loss by death of our youthful, charismatic Prime Minister was yet another heavy burden the nation was called upon to bear.

Although we know, by reason and experience, that it is futile to predict or attempt to predict the length of life, yet the death of a young person always seems to take us by surprise.

However, as we have so often done in our little Island, resting on our faith and trusting in our help in ages past, we have girded our loins for the shock and the after shock and set in train the necessary arrangements to manage the silver lining when it shows itself.

According to our calendar, the hurricane season for Barbados ends officially before the advent of Christmas. This affords an excellent opportunity for us to pause and reflect upon our good fortune. However, some may say, we seem to take our good fortune for granted and as a right.

My earnest wish is that at the end of every such season in the future, we choose an appropriate occasion to gather in our several congregations and each in his own way, without distraction, give thanks to the Almighty for the many disasters that we have been spared and for the many blessings that have been showered upon us.

We may then move on to welcome the Christmas Season, which, for Christians, is a season that impels us to be mindful of others and generous to all, remembering the sick, the elderly, the young, those who are less fortunate than we are and those who are no longer with us. The absence of a loved one at this time is indeed very difficult to bear.

Christmas morning has an ambience like no other morning. Locally, in keeping with tradition, the practice is to dress up “to the nines” in one’s newest and finest and journey from all parts of the island to Queen’s Park to stroll and listen to our excellent Police Band and to sing and mingle with countless others, many from overseas, who are there for the very same purpose. This is, as it were, manifestation of the glow sparked by the energy of this very special day. And so it has always been, ever since that first Christmas.

Christmas is about sharing. Christmas is about love. Let this spirit of Christmas remain with us through the end of the year and into the New Year which we will enter with hope and a firm resolve equal to any challenge that may confront us there.

Fellow Barbadians and visitors to our shores, on behalf of my family and on my own behalf, I wish you all a Blessed Christmas and a New Year of peace, prosperity and happiness.

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