A Christmas Message to Bermuda

Published on December 24th, 2016

With the 35th America’s Cup to be held this coming year in Bermuda, this British island territory in the North Atlantic is eager to see its investment as host help to stir its economy. Here we share a Christmas message from John Rankin Governor of Bermuda

2016-12-24_5-18-50Having arrived in Bermuda just a short time ago, I am delighted that one of my first responsibilities is to deliver a Christmas message to the people of Bermuda.

Since my arrival I have been fortunate to meet a number of people — both residents and visitors alike — from all walks of life. This is something which I plan to continue during my time here, both on an official and unofficial basis.

2016 has been a year of important anniversaries and commemorations, some global, some specific to Bermuda. Her Majesty The Queen attended many varied celebrations to mark her 90th birthday; a birthday party involving 900 horses and 1,500 participants, a street party in the mall complete with real British rain, as well as the traditional trooping of the colour and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.

It was a fitting series of events for our longest-serving monarch. And I know that Bermuda marked the anniversary with the traditional Queen’s Birthday Parade on Front Street and the Queen’s Birthday Party which saw many of you at Government House for the first time. I plan to continue to ensure that people from across the Bermudian community feel welcome at Government House.

Two important global commemorations this year were the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, whose literature still has a far-reaching influence across the world today, and of course the centenary of First World War events including the Battle of the Somme which included representatives from Bermuda families whose members died during that terrible battle.

At the beginning of the year, Bermuda saw the 400th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s first sitting in Bermuda. We should be proud of the long and distinguished history of our judicial system — not all jurisdictions can boast such well-developed and robust processes as ours.

There have been many highlights in the world of sports too. I understand that Bermuda’s clubs and bars were buzzing when Portugal played France in the Euro 2016 finals. And of course all were cheering on the Bermudian athletes who did us proud during the Olympics and Paralympics in Rio. It is fitting that in the year of the 80th anniversary of the Bermuda Olympic Association, Bermuda was so well-represented in the number of athletes who qualified and the range of disciplines in which they participated. Their impressive performances were testament to their dedication as athletes and to the support they receive from the community as a whole.

I look forward to experiencing that community spirit personally throughout the many events which take place in the Bermuda calendar and not least when Bermuda hosts the 35th America’s Cup in May and June 2017. I hope to meet members of the America’s Cup teams in the lead up to the main event — the spectacular racing to take place in the Great Sound — and will try to remain neutral in my support.

As Aristotle once said: “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” Bermuda’s parts — its people, businesses and government — all have their own important role to play in the island’s future. In times of potential crisis, such as the onset of Hurricane Nicole, the community pulls together like no other, taking care of each other and working to get Bermuda back on its feet. That collective spirit, if applied more generally, can achieve great things. If we all work together collectively in a spirit of friendship and fellowship, we can certainly accomplish more than working individually. I promise to do my part to ensure that Bermuda’s future is secure and bright.

I look forward to meeting many more of you over the coming years and to serving Bermuda as best as I am able.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Source: The Royal Gazette

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