It is with an even deeper sense of humility and honour that I once again embrace the opportunity to address you this festive season as Parliamentary Representative for Dennery North and also as Minister with responsibility for the portfolios of Youth Development and Sports.
It has often been said that this is the most wonderful time of the year because of the love kindness and generosity that characterize our interaction with each other during the season.
Also, the festive season provides an opportunity for us to reflect and reminisce on the events and occurrences of the past year, particularly the wonderful things we’ve accomplished.
As a country we’ve had much to be proud of in Youth Development and the realm of Sports in particular. During the Last 12 months we all watched with pride as our very own Darren Sammy led the West Indies to T20 world Cup glory with another son of ours, Johnson Charles featuring prominently in the West Indies championship winning team.
Also during the last 12 months, St Lucia captured;
• The OECS Swimming Championship
• The Eastern Caribbean Volleyball Association’s Female Championship and
• The Windward Island Senior Male Cricket Tournament (for the first time since 1969)
In partnership with the St Lucia Football Association, not only were we able to bring back crowd support for our national team during our hosting of Group II of the Caribbean Cup but significantly, we moved a considerable 42 places up the FIFA rankings where we now sit at 149 instead of the undesirable 188th a year ago.
These are some of the exploits of our athletes worthy of commendation.
Amidst the financial and economic challenges that continue to affect our country, the year 2012 has been one of the most rewarding for the constituents of Dennery North in recent memory.
As a community, we’ve stepped up to the national plate with a collective determination and sense of purpose that are bound to serve us in good stead in the years ahead.
We’ve been fortunate to undertake several community projects which have begun to improve the quality of life for our people. Most of the schools in the constituency have been assisted with the execution of their programs.
Our farmers continue to receive assistance with farm inputs and very recently the Ministry of Agriculture embarked on a comprehensive drainage program that is geared towards bringing further relief to our farmers.
Our elderly, through the Home Help Program are now being cared for in a manner that truly reflects our appreciation for the contributions they would have made to nation building in a previous era.
There has been a concerted effort to improve the infrastructure in the Mabouya Valley. The sidewalk on the La Ressource Main Road which I promised a year ago is now completed and the much anticipated Dubonnair Bridge will be finished in time for an official opening ceremony which I hope will coincide with 2013 Independence celebrations.
I am aware that there is much more work to be done in the New Year and so a number of other projects will be undertaken perhaps the most critical being a comprehensive rehabilitation of our water supply. This project will bring an end to the water woes of residence of Mon Panance in Grand Riviere and Austin Hill in Derniere Riviere and the many other affected areas.
The lighting of the La Ressource Playing Field for night sports is expected to commence in early February.
Be assured that a program to address your concerns will commence immediately following the festive season.
We’ve worked hard throughout the year and as we pause for a much needed break, let us embrace each other with love and harmony for the continued progress of our beloved community.
I urge you to continue subscribing to the ideals of the festive season; kindness, generosity treasuring your loved ones and accepting others for who they are.
Let us use the festive season to forget the stresses and strains of everyday life, and celebrate the occasion for what it is – a chance to enjoy the company of the people we love.
On behalf of my family, and support cast in Mabouya Valley along with the Staff of the Ministry of Youth Development and Sports, and also on my own personal behalf I would like to extend Season’s Greetings to each and everyone and may God shower you with his richest blessings in 2013.