His Excellency President Charles Savarin
His Excellency President Charles Savarin

My fellow Citizens and Residents of Dominica,

Christmas is an occasion to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and to appreciate the selflessness of God's love that he should send his only begotten son to live among us and to die for our sins. Therefore we should not merely celebrate the Birth of Christ as an event of history, or as a time to engage in reckless abandon with wine, food and music but rather as a time to reunite with family and friends, a time to help those in need, to give hope to those in despair, and to show them the kindness of heart and the generosity and love that is consistent with the message of the Christ Child, the Prince of Peace.

Jesus Christ is the reason behind the celebration of Christmas. He is the essence of true love which should be celebrated at Christmas. We cannot join the developed world for whom reference to Christ must be dropped from public pronouncements and public institutions, as our Constitution proclaims that we are a nation under God affirming "that the Commonwealth of Dominica is founded upon principles that acknowledge the supremacy of God," and Christ is the son of God.

We should therefore use this occasion to heal, renew and restore our fellowship following an election campaign which by its very nature is adversarial and divisive, impacting on families, communities and our beloved country. For the Christmas Season and beyond, let us examine ourselves sincerely, realizing and admitting our weaknesses; getting rid from our hearts all selfishness, anger and hatred and instead adopt the values of our Saviour that is, love, compassion, forgiveness and humility.

Now that the election campaign is over and the people have elected a government of their choice it is for us to put aside our differences as a people and come together as one, to build upon the foundations we have laid over the years and to work our way through the economic and financial challenges that lie ahead. We have made significant strides in many sectors particularly in the areas of physical infrastructural development, health, housing, education, information and communication technology, entrepreneurship and renewable energy development, and in providing for the elderly; the very young and the dispossessed. During the election campaign there was a commitment to the development of several infrastructural projects geared at further enhancing our economic growth and social development. There appears to have been a consensus for the construction of a new, modern and well-equipped General Hospital; completion of the Roseau Enhancement Project which includes the Roseau Riverside Promenade and the improvement of streets, drains and sidewalks; implementation of the Portsmouth Enhancement Project to transform the town into a modern urban centre and major tourist attraction.

There also appears to have been a consensus for the development of an international airport, the transformation of Dominica into a 100% renewable electricity country, and the rejuvenation of agriculture.

So my Fellow Dominicans, we have a lot to be thankful for. We should look to the future with great optimism as we seek to build on our accomplishments and pray for the continued outpouring of God's Blessings, Grace and Mercy.

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, I wish to take this opportunity on behalf of the Government and people of the Commonwealth of Dominica and on behalf of my wife and myself, to recognize and thank those individuals, business houses, and non-government organizations that continue to give time and financial resources to national charities and non-profit organizations dedicated to the care of orphaned and abandoned children, the aged, the sick and the shut-ins.

As always, we must be especially mindful of those who will work during the Holiday Season so that the rest of us may enjoy the Season; members of the Police Force, Fire and Ambulance Services, the State Prisons, Customs and Immigration Departments; Sea Port and Airport employees, and the Doctors, Nurses and Health Care Workers who labour to improve the health and well-being of our people.

On behalf of the Government and people of Dominica, and behalf of my wife and myself, I implore the Good Lord that the joy of Christmas and the true love and peace which the Birth of the Saviour brings into the world be in your hearts forever.