Both Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Mark Vanterpool, and Lions Club of Tortola President, Mr. Heskith Newton urged the community to keep others in their thoughts during the holiday season.
Mr. Newton in his remarks during the 35th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony that took place at the Sir Georges Olva Plaza on 29 November said: “Let us continue to remember these and other persons who are in need because Christmas is a time of giving. Sharing does not always mean giving money or material things, but rather being mindful and sympathetic with others experiencing difficult circumstances. Sometimes taking time to help and give comfort to someone in need is worth much more.”
Hon. Vanterpool told the gathering that as they celebrate this season they should remember others here and abroad who might be facing difficulties. In admonishing reflections on those overseas, the Minister said: “I urge you to remember those across the world in places such as Syria, Iraq and Palestine; and right here close to us in Ferguson…There are many who are suffering, having hard times, many who are in conflict, in poverty, many who are suffering from diseases and illnesses that are deadly.”
In calling for neighborly help, Hon. Vanterpool said: “Let us also remember those who live among us, those who are having difficult times, those who at times cannot make ends meet, those who may have difficulty getting a meal.”
The Fourth District Representative, also called for a return to community oneness for the season: “Let’s reach out our hands and help at this time, when we as a community with a tradition that we have always had, live together, remember our neighbors, sing carols together, serenade and we share what we have with our neighbors and I want us to continue that tradition.”
During the 2013 Christmas Tree lighting event Minister Vanterpool made a similar call. At that time he said: “I want us especially to reflect on those both near and far who tonight are going through difficulties and are not as peaceful as we are here in the Virgin Islands. I want you to reflect on that and certainly do whatever little part you can do as you remember those who are all over the world, either in refugee camps or in some way discomforted by misfortune.”