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Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 22, 2016 (SKNIS)—The Mary Charles Hospital in Molineux held its Christmas programme on December 22, 2016, under the theme “One Christmas Morn”. The programme was attended by several government officials from the Ministry of Health, including Minister of Health, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of State with Responsibility for Health, Senator the Honourable Wendy Phipps, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hazel Laws, Medical Chief of Staff at the Joseph Nathaniel France (JNF) General Hospital, Dr. Cameron Wilkinson, Matron Sonia Daley Finley, Permanent Secretary Mr. Andrew Skerritt and local PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) Representative, Dr. Patrice Williams.  Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris gave the feature address.

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In his address, Prime Minister Harris reflected on the Christmas Season, highlighting its universal nature.

“This is the Season of Christmas. It is supposed to be one of the more joyous ones among all nations of the world that share in common a belief in the Christian faith and so what we are doing here, all over the world people are doing this in one form or another. In the USA, the stores and the malls are all being decorated and though on one hand, some of the celebrations have become commercialized, the true meaning of Christmas is still there, whether we want to feel it or not, the meaning of Christmas is still there.”

“What gift will you bring this (Christmas) 2016 to your neighbour? Will it be the gift of forgiveness?—that every morning you wake up, you look at her or him and no good morning because we’re not talking…sometimes our friends abandon us, our family abandons us, our leaders abandon us, and yet in the end we have to do as he did—forgiveness, forgiveness, so that we could move to something higher because in forgiving them he recognized that it was not about him—in the end, it’s about making it right with God. We claim that we are a nation under God. It means then that if we are serious, we have to find those examples which we can live as a people so that God is always visiting us as a country, prospering us, keeping us on the right track, and we must never be silent as a church in reminding us of our Christian values and our Christian calling,” Prime Minister Harris added.

Minister of State, the Honourable Phipps, said that the Ministry of Health, perhaps more than other ministry, gives an opportunity to show Christ to the rest of the world in terms of the care that health practitioners give to patients.

“What you might think is a simple job, that you come in day in and day out, day after day and do, might be simple in your eyes but maybe the way in which you render that job, the service that you carry out might be the only opportunity for Christ that somebody sees because perhaps its only when they’re in a place like this, a hospital or a health center, you get to see what compassion is all about,” Senator Phipps.

The programme was punctuated by several renditions including a song “O’Holy Night” by the staff of the Cayon, Tabernacle and Molineux Health Centers, another song “The First Noel” by the staff of the Mary Charles Hospital and a poem. Enrolled Nursing Assistant Mavis Nisbett gave the invocation, while Reverend Adlyn Mgonela delivered the Christmas message using the scripture passage taken from Matthew 1: 20-21. Staff Nurse Vincia Burroughs gave the vote of thanks. The programme was chaired by Dr. Garfield Alexander, who was one attached to the Mary Charles Hospital. The programme ended with all in attendance, including patients at Mary Charles Hospital, singing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  After the programme, the health officials and Prime Minister Harris visited the patients at the hospital, delivering gifts to them.     



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