Governor General Her Excellency Dame Cécile La Grenade
My fellow Grenadians, Carriacouans and Petit Martiniquans, I extend warm greetings to you from the Office of the Governor General, and take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and joyous Christmas.
Christmas is a wonderful, even magical, time of year. Homes are decorated, the aroma of black cake, ham, and sorrel wafts out of kitchens, music fills the air, gifts are exchanged, and family and friends come together to celebrate in an atmosphere of love and laughter.
The word Christmas is a shortened version of the word Christ Mass. Amidst the hustle and bustle and mirth and merriment of the season, let us therefore take time to pause and reflect on the religious aspect of Christmas and, more importantly, on the life of Christ.
In doing so, let us remember the importance of practicing the virtues reflected in Christ’s life and His teachings — humility, compassion, forgiveness, and caring for others, particularly the most vulnerable and needy in our society.
Over the past 2 weeks, I have had the opportunity to visit many institutions that have become the permanent home of many of our elderly citizens, orphans, and people with mental or physical challenges. Our senior citizens have made significant contributions to our country and ought not to be forgotten in the advanced years of their lifetime. Many of the children, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned and many in mental institutions have been subjected to one form of trauma or another that has negatively impacted their health. Christmas is the time to commit to reaching out to these citizens in a tangible and meaningful way throughout the coming year.
It is important that the true meaning of Christmas — the birth of the Christ child in a lowly manger, whose life on earth was devoted to preaching and practicing peace, compassion, and love for our fellow human beings — remains foremost in our lives. In particular, the words love and peace should assume greater meaning for each and every one of us during this season.
Christmas is an especially joyous time for children. The love that Mary so tenderly and selflessly gave to her son Jesus, should be extended to all the children of our country as we grapple with the heartbreaking issue of child abuse, a societal ill that has become increasingly alarming and disturbing.
Our Christmas festivities should also include celebrations of the successes of our young people in the sporting arena, many of whom come from humble backgrounds, and have, against all odds, distinguished themselves regionally and internationally, placing our small but proud country firmly on the world map.
I congratulate Anderson Peters on retaining his javelin title at the 2022 World Athletics Championships held in Oregon in the United States, and also for placing first at the Doha Diamond League and Stockholm Diamond League; Grenada’s first Olympian medalist, Kirani James, who, despite many challenges, continues to do us proud, placing second in the men’s 400-meter at the World Championship games in Eugene Oregon, and Lindon Victor for his outstanding performance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and also at the World Championships in Oregon. Afy Fletcher continues her outstanding performance as a senior member of the West Indies Women’s Cricket team participating in international fixtures, both regionally and internationally. Our star swimmers who participated in the OECS swimming Championships earlier this year also did us proud, placing 3rd in OECS swim meet.
As we celebrate Christmas and usher in a New Year, let us fill our hearts with gratitude to God for both the blessings He has bestowed upon us and the challenges he has sent us, which make us stronger and more resilient. Let us also thank Him for the peace and tranquility that exists in our country, as we pray for those countries in our region and further afield where lives and livelihoods have been disrupted by war, conflict, and turmoil.
On this 25th day of December 2022, I pray that Christ’s message of salvation, redemption, hope, and forgiveness will fill our hearts and minds, and wish all a Christmas filled with joy and peace, and a healthy, happy and prosperous 2023.