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Christmas wishes of peace and joy

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Being able to live peacefully, care for our neighbours and forgive our enemies are among the Christmas wishes of our politicians and other public figures this year.

One Bermuda Alliance MP Leah Scott told The Royal Gazette: “My first Christmas wish is that as I go to Florida to visit my son Tyler, in this his second year of incarceration, and that our time together be filled with laughter, love and joy, because those things come from the soul and are not dictated by the surroundings we find ourselves in.”

Her second wish was for peace — a human necessity that she believed was possible, and deserved by all.

“My prayer is that we on this Island will come to exist in such a state of peace that it resonates throughout all of our relationships, and as a result, we will spend our lives basking in the wholeness and harmony that comes from living in peace and love,” she said.

Claudette Fleming, the executive director of Age Concern, said all should be thankful — and that the generosity of the Bermudian spirit had amazed her.

“But life is indeed a cycle and it has its season of bad times also,” she said. “We have seen our share of bad times recently with sudden deaths, road traffic accidents, gang violence and the like.

“So my wish for the holiday season is for your family, my family, the Bermuda family, that we take the time to heal and that in doing so, we find peace in knowing that God's guidance, love, and mercy can lead us into an even more prosperous new year.”

Progressive Labour Party MP Jamahl Simmons wished for “a Bermuda where every Bermudian who wants to work is able to work in jobs that are fulfilling and where they are treated well. I wish for every Bermudian to be able to reach their full potential and for every family to know happiness, peace and prosperity for 2015 and beyond”.

Mr Simmons added he hoped Santa would bring a PlayStation 4 and NBA 2K15 video game — “despite me finding myself perpetually on some folks' naughty list”.

OBA Senator Jeffrey Baron said he had “a simple wish for Bermuda — love, peace, joy, hope”.

“Let us share the gift of love by giving of ourselves and by sharing generously with those in need, because that's what this season is all about,” Mr Baron added.

He said Bermudians excelled at taking care of each other, and that he had been inspired by the compassion shown over the holidays.

“I know many of you are extending that kindness to the families who are still grieving the loss of loved ones, extending a helping hand to the families who are still picking up the pieces from October's storms, and extending prayers to the families gathered last week to remember the victims of gun violence.”

Sen Baron said acts of kindness were a part of all faiths, and “unite us as Bermudians”, adding: “So thank you for all that you've done this year for your neighbours and community.”

PLP Shadow Immigration and External Affairs Minister, Walton Brown, said: “My wish for Christmas is that we reflect on the life of Jesus — his selflessness, genuine respect and concern for people and his activism to help address the many forms of discrimination and hardship that people endure.”

Mr Brown said if each person took “small steps in this direction”, the country and the world would be a better place.

Kristin White, development director at the St George's Foundation, said: “For the holidays, I hope all families have peace, laughter and love. I hope we all take a moment to enjoy each other's company, appreciate the beauty around us and reach out to someone in need.”

PLP MP and Shadow Community and Cultural Affairs Minister, Michael Weeks, said: “Tis the season of reflection as to what we have done and what we plan to do.

“Let's forgive our enemies, tolerate differences, look to serve others, be charitable and, above all, strive to be a good example to the children.”

Salvation Army divisional commander Major Frank Pittman said his charity's hope for 2015 was to see its new emergency housing relocation become a success.

“We're not 100 per cent sure where that's going to take us in the New Year — right now we're just waiting for Government to review our proposals.”

The Salvation Army works throughout the year, Major Pittman added, and relies upon continual support, “not just in Christmastime”.

The founder and chairwoman of the Coalition for the Protection of Children, Sheelagh Cooper, said: “My hope is that the incredible outpouring of kindness and generosity that we have seen this Christmas towards our most vulnerable families will continue throughout the year as so many struggle to feed their children.”

The Bermuda Tourism Authority's chief executive, Bill Hanbury, said: “Much of what I wish for Christmas is already under my tree — we have assembled an outstanding group of Bermudian employees at the BTA who are delivering on the mission to improve the island's economy.

“The biggest wish for Christmas has been fulfilled — a $250,000,000 gift to the Island economy, America's Cup, and the benefits that are expected to far outweigh the costs.

“This is a gift that will keep on giving for many, many years to come.”

Thankful: Claudette Fleming
Appreciative: Kristin White
Sharing: Jeff Baron
Prosperity: Jamahl Simmons
Prayers: Leah Scott

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Published December 24, 2014 at 12:51 am (Updated December 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm)

Christmas wishes of peace and joy

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