By The Hon. Philip Brave Davis M.P.
Member of Parliament for Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Works and Urban Development
This year 2012 marked for our nation a time of new beginnings.
All across the country the rise of a New Day brightened the skies as once again our democracy brought a new government into power.
That transition back on May 7th saw new faces of dedicated men and women who rose to the challenge of nation building. They, working together with the collective energies of ambitious and visionary Bahamians, are indeed committed to restoring the hopes and dreams of all across our country.
It is in this spirit of commitment that I greet you, knowing that brighter days are just ahead of us.
Just this December, the Speaker of the House, the Hon. Kendal Major, invited all sitting political leaders to join him in a profound spirit of fellowship and togetherness as we move into the New Year.
That event was one of great camaraderie that has indeed given birth to a promising future for our people.
For it is in this spirit of togetherness that we shall accomplish great things for our nation.
The loss of jobs, fanned by the prevailing winds of economic hardship, sparked by a global downturn, must be fought by the committed hands and minds of all our leaders across the political divide.
Our rescue of our people from the battlegrounds of hardship and despair is a priority number one.
Early in this term I was particularly delighted to witness the beginning of the transformation of our inner cities through the reintroduction of Urban Renewal 2.0 – which reached deep into the lives of many on day one.
Just days before the holidays, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Perry Christie presented a Thompson Lane resident, Mr. Herman Bullard, with the keys to his new single-storey home, which stands on the same the property where his old house once stood.
Mr. Bullard’s plight caught the attention of citizens who believed that, with the support of the community, they could change his life for the better.
And they certainly did! By coming together, the work was done.
But there is still more work to be done. More youths to reach, and more elderly to care for.
It is in that spirit that I call on each and every one of us this Christmas – and in the days and months to come – to do what we must, to help reach out to someone less fortunate than ourselves – as together – we change lives for the better.
Let us forget the lines of division that separate us as a people, and let us reach deep into the corners, blocks, alleyways, streets and communities to bring change to someone.
Let us reach deep into our souls for that talented youth, who simply asks for a chance.
Let us reach deep into our hearts, greet a friend and assist them in their search for a job.
Let us reach deep this Christmas and share a meal with some homeless son or daughter who has lost their way.
Whether a child, a neighbour, or a friend, let us do all we can in our power to inspire those around us to believe in themsleves again. For together there is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, no distance too far — together we are an unbeatable force.
To the fine, wonderful, warm and loving people of Cat Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador – I want to send the warmest greetings to you all during this most special time of the year.
I am humbled by your dedicated support to my family and me. And therefore, I renew my commitment to the advancement of these wonderful islands in the days, months and years to come.
Together, we are inspired to continue the vision, to transform these treasured communities into jewels of the world.
At this holy and happy time of year, I would like to offer a special tribute to the men and woman who tirelessly give service to our country, both here in The Bahamas and around the world. Your commitment, dedication and service to country, indeed, makes us all proud.
In this spirit, I want to particularly offer my special thanks to the staff at the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and affiliate departments which I serve.
Together, we will build a bright future for people.
And knowing this;……I am comforted to know that our best days are still to come and the talents and ambitions of our people are the driving engines of that bright future just ahead.
And so, with the words of the well-loved Christmas song, that ends in a prayer, it is my hope that we all adopt the words found therein:
“O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray!
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us to-day.
We hear the Christmas angels,
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!”
These words suggest that peace has come to earth.
And so, as we gather in this holy holiday season to spread this spirit of peace and goodwill to mankind, let us take this prayer with us into the homes of loved ones and friends.
Let us take it throughout our communities as we celebrate the great joy that has come to us.
On behalf of my wife Anne, family and I, it is my prayer that you enjoy a safe holiday season and every blessing of great favour into New Year.
God bless the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.