Nevis Island Premier – Joseph Parry
December 25, 2008
Fellow citizens at home and abroad, residents, visitors and friends of Nevis, I extend to you heartiest Christmas greetings.
The year seems to have sped away. However we see it, we are thankful to be able to celebrate another Christmas. This is a holy, though festive season. It has become inescapable for everyone whether Christian or non-Christian. It appeals to all of us because it is a time for peace and goodwill toward all. Christmas helps us to rediscover the child in all of us. It tells us that we have hearts and are capable of loving.
We pause to thank the Almighty God for blessing us with a very good year. He has saved us from the ravages of hurricanes and man made disasters, even though we were visited by Hurricane Omar which did major damage to our coastline and the Four Seasons Resort, we are grateful that no lives were lost. Once again in the face of crisis Nevisians came together to assist in the speedy refloating of the Sea Bridge and the Sea Hustler and for that, we all are grateful.
Christmas time is a very difficult time for those who have recently lost loved ones, those whose families and relationships have been broken or separated for any number of reasons, and even within families, those who have lost their jobs and are unable to join in the buying of gifts and food. Many of you, especially those of you living overseas are going through a very difficult period due to loss of jobs and homes. My heart goes out to you and believe me I feel your pain.
Here on Nevis we are still struggling with the matter of the Four Seasons Resort. All indications are that the New Year will be a challenging one for that institution and our people. We will have to practice patience and work with all the stake-holders to have the property functional as soon as we can.
During the past year we saw a spike in the price of fuel and subsequent increases in the price of fish, bus fares and electricity. As I speak to you, I am pleased to report that the price of gas which had been risen to as high as $17.00 per gallon has fallen to below $7.50 per gallon. I am pleased to also report that your December electricity bill will reflect a 50% cut in the fuel surcharge. Additionally, government continues to subsidize the cost of certain basic consumer items through the Supply Office. What this demonstrates is that my government is taking serious steps to reduce and control the cost of living here on Nevis.