December 04, 2007
A wide cross section of Nevisians braved inclement weather last night (December 3rd) to herald the traditional Charlestown Christmas Tree lighting ceremony at the War Memorial Square.
The ceremony was the first in a series of tree lighting ceremonies hosted by the Department of Community Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) and held under the patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Meade, former civil servants and residents of Craddock Road.
Area representative for the St. Paul’s Constituency Hon. Robelto Hector said the event marked the beginning of a season of goodwill, cheer, gift giving and one which was symbolic for Christians worldwide. However, he reminded Nevisians as they enjoyed the happiness of Christmas, to be mindful of their obligation to each other and to have compassion for those who were less fortunate.
“We must thank our nurses and our doctors and other caregivers; our police our immigration and customs personnel and all our public servants whose jobs will be demanding during the season. Let us remember to give thanks to God for the blessings we have received throughout the year. Let us ask Him to continue to spare our lives so that we can continue to live, love and share with each other.
“Let us offer special prayers this Christmas for the poor, the lonely and those who have served us and are now in the twilight of their years,” he said.
Minister Hector lauded and acknowledged the patrons Mr. and Mrs. Carlton Meade, whom he said had contributed in making Charlestown a better community. He said the island had also benefited from their years of dedicated service in both the public and private sector.
In appreciation of their sterling contribution and on behalf of the NIA, the Area Representative presented the Meades with flowers and an award.
“Mr. and Mrs. Meade as the representatives for this constituency, I say thank you for your contribution to this Parish and it is my prayer that God will continue to bless you both. The government and people of this country commend you both for your service and pray for God’s blessing to you and your family,” Mr. Hector said.
Nonetheless, this Christmas season, Mr. Hector said, it was his prayer that every father and mother would recognise their responsibility as parents and recommit themselves to being true parents to their children.
He further added, “It is also my fervent hope that children with special needs would be recognized and given the love they so rightly deserve. Finally we can all say, as a nation, we have gained great blessings in 2007 and let us all ask for love, protection and guidance throughout 2008,” he said.
Meantime, Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry, joined with Minister Hector in congratulating the patrons and endorsed the example they had set for young and old on the island of Nevis.
As Premier Parry extended season greetings and wished the audience an enjoyable Christmas while he said that Nevisians had a lot to be thankful for in 2007.
“This year has been a good year for us. First of all we have to thank God for sparing us again another hurricane season and any severe storms. We came through this year with flying colors and we have much to be thankful for. Even as we thank God we must look at the situation in other parts of the world because in Africa, or Asia or Europe many other persons have had difficulties. While we pray for them, we sympathise with them and we ask God to relieve them of their distress.
“We did have a period of drought but I must say that it is good to see that even now as we are exploring for water, we have dug two wells on the island and we have found water in both wells. Just last night we explored a well in Barnes Ghaut and we have gotten water at 125 ““ 150 gallons per minute. So even though there might have been dry spells this year and there was the scare of the availability of water, come next year rain or shine, the people of Nevis will be benefiting from water,” the Premier said.
He entreated the audience to think of the church as they gave God thanks and they looked to receiving gifts during the Christmas season. He also called for an incident free celebration.
“Enjoy yourselves but behave yourselves. We have to speak continuously to our young. We need to reach out to our sons and brothers, our boyfriends, our schoolmates and our classmates and say to them, you are having a good life! You have parents and you have people who love you! You have a chance to go to school! Stop fighting! Stop looking for the opportunity to do harm to each other because one fight leads to retaliation. At this Christmas time as they reach out and give love and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, let us talk to these young men. Let us thank God for our fortune.
“On behalf of my wife and my family, on behalf of the government of Nevis I thank all of you who come here to see this tree light ceremony tonight and I wish you all a merry Christmas and great things in the new year of 2008,” he said.
Advisor to the Department, Mr. Halstead “Sooty” Byron who stood in for Minister of Community Development Hon. Hensley Daniel brought greetings. Community Development Officer, Miss Joyce Moven read profiles of the Patrons while chairman for the occasion was Mr. Ron Daniel.
The evening’s programme was punctuated with local music, traditional dance, poetry recitals and Christmas carols. It also featured performances by the Shell All Stars Steel Orchestra, Advent Ministrels, Nevis Boys Choir, Weslyan Choral Group, Maranatha Choir, Gospel on Wheels, Velona Claxton, Tishoneth Jeffers, Jerusalem Children, Ivor Walters Primary School, Lonence Carey, Dahlia Prentice and the Gospel Flames of Joy.