2022 New Year’s Day message by Rohan Isles

As the sun sets on another year, we reflect on what was the most eventful covid year yet for our small island paradise.

Through 2021, as a people we endured differently, for many heart break and tragedy, for some historic economic struggles, others lived life of wonder-wondering how they’d survive to the next day, the next week, the next month, the end of the year. There were times when we had glimpses of normalcy and life seemed better after all. We had moments of laughter, joy and gladness. There were times of happiness, memorable moments, achievements and accolades.

As Nevisians, the lessons received from departed and living grand and great grand parents were used as a means of getting by. Being able to make do with little and sharing the little we had because we understood the assignment. We have always been a generous and loving people and our ideals as a people who care about others burn as bright as the Nevisian sun comforted by the strength of our kindred spirits and resilience.

We may often trod different paths, fulfilling different purposes but forever united in a common purpose to see Nevis, like the Phoenix, rise from the ashes of a pre-covid and covid era. We all want to see our people prosper and to enjoy sustained levels of prosperity, being able to pass on good fortune and lasting joy to our generations yet born.

2022 must be our year of opportunity. Whether you find favour in water or wine, gospel or reggae, church or dancehall, green or blue. There must be opportunities for all of us a people. Opportunities to rise again, to sustain ourselves and our families, rebuild our communities, strengthen the ties of friendship and design policies that once embedded in our social safety nets will work to the benefit for all of our people.

2022 must be the year of necessity, it must be the year where we acknowledge and accept that our best interest is only served by people who understand our struggles. That our hopes must no longer be hinged on self serving proclamations and grandeur of promises only to not even attempt to fulfill them in 5 years. That our dreams, must be the ideal that drives those who work for us to do right by us, allowing us to realize our true potential and the reality of our dreams.

2022 must be the year we accept the fundamental necessity of change. If as a people we are to find employment opportunities constant change is necessary. If we are to accomplish growth at individual, family and community level change is necessary. If we are to transform the physical landscape of our communities, ensuring that such development is matched with the transformation of our human capital then change is necessary. If we are to see that long sought after desire to have yet another town, developed, fit for purpose, providing jobs and recreational activities which engenders a spirit of community cohesion then friends change is necessary. We can build out new housing stocks designed to meet the financial status of lower income families. We can begin the conversation about tax reform and finding ways to grant greater assistance to small businesses in Nevis 3 when we accept that change is necessary.

Let your 2022 be your year of opportunity, necessity and change. God bless you and keep you. One love.

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