My fellow citizens and residents, Happy Easter to you.
Easter is a very special time here in our Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and the global Christian community, as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The 3 days have quickly sped by.
It is also a time when we come together with our family and with our friends.
The Easter story teaches us that no matter how bad things may seem, our faith will always lead us to a new beginning. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John help our understanding of Easter.
The message I take from the resurrection is one of renewal. A new life is given to us following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
That hopeful message of life and renewal is particularly relevant today.
This past year our Federation, as many other countries, has experienced the impact of COVID-19 on lives and our livelihoods. The COVID-19 pandemic has left a scar across our economy and our society, as it did across the globe. We are grateful to God that St Kitts and Nevis has so far weathered the COVID-19 pandemic better than most countries. But we are not yet out of the woods. We still have a distance to travel on the long road to recovery and growth sustainability.
This Easter, we can start to see a new beginning driven by our successful vaccination programme. As of Wednesday afternoon, our records show that 9,241 persons were inoculated from COVID-19. Our Federation is witnessing the early signs of a post-COVID-19 renewal.
We see our economy strengthening with new opportunities, such as an emerging film industry. We witness the strong confidence in my government’s leadership with a record number of business licenses approved and at least three (3) hotels and high-end residential properties set to open later this year. A luxury villa development has commenced construction and works are advanced for the groundbreaking for a new modern condo-hotel.
These will create more jobs and more opportunities for our young people.
We see people putting their community ahead of their own concerns.
Many people have told me they are getting vaccinated, not so much for themselves, important as this is, but for others.
People say they are getting vaccinated because they want to protect their families, they want to protect their friends and they want to protect their community. This love and caring should endure and pervade our society. Our taxi operators and hotel employees are doing it to participate in a new health-conscious stay over-tourism and cruise industry. They must protect themselves and their customers.
The more people vaccinated, and the sooner you get vaccinated, the quicker we will be in that post-COVID-19 new world.
Last Easter we prayed that the pandemic would not cause anyone to die here in St. Kitts and Nevis.
This Easter, let us give thanks that those prayers were answered, and we can now look forward to that new beginning of what we expect to be a sustainable economic recovery.
Easter also presents us with a chance to focus on our own spiritual renewal.
We can renew our own faith, taking heart from the fact that Jesus triumphed over agony, suffering and death. He is risen. Alleluia He is alive and not dead.
We can renew our commitment to each other, to our friends, to our family and Country.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything it is the importance of those closest to us.
Let us take this time to reinvest in those relationships and strengthen them. Let us renew our commitment to our Country.
Let us keep connecting with those who are vulnerable; those who are lonely; those who need our support, just like we did during the height of the pandemic.
We have seen the power unleashed when we come together as a people. We see that more can be accomplished when we work together – one people and one world.
Let us keep and cherish that community spirit. Let us cherish the spirit of unity.
I wish you, your family, and your loved ones a joyous Easter. Cast your burdens and anxieties on our risen saviour. He can bear them.
May the love of our resurrected Saviour bless you and bless our wonderful Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. Remember that God is with us even to the end of the age. May his spirit thrive with us and provide us with a real cause for faith and hope this Easter even as we face the existential threat of COVID-19.
A Blessed Easter is wished to everyone. Go light your Paschal candle. Go light the world with goodness and love.
God Bless Us All.