Christmas Message Mr. Robert H.O. Corbin, MP, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform & Leader of the Opposition December 24, 2008



FELLOW GUYANESE AND ALL OUR FRIENDS WHO ARE VISITING GUYANA DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON: Once again we are in the Season of Christmas. A season of peace and goodwill centred on the Divine Birth of the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who brought hope to mankind everywhere.

Christmas is indeed a time for giving, for sharing and for expressing good will to our fellow men. Even though this season is of Christian origin, its message is universal and can be embraced by people of all faiths.

Consequently, I wish, on behalf of the Central Executive Committee and membership of the People’s National Congress Reform, my family and myself, to extend sincere greetings and good wishes to all Guyanese for a Peaceful and Happy Christmas.

I am, however, deeply conscious of the fact that many Guyanese will not enjoy the bright and beautiful Christmas that we all dream about. For many others, it promises to be one of their bleakest Christmas seasons: the happiness being limited by the obvious harsh economic, social and weather conditions.

We are aware that this year has been a difficult one for all the citizens of our country. Public servants have not benefited from the usual year-end increase in wages and salaries; teachers are in a similar position; single parents have had their hopes for the implementation of the Single Parent Fund cruelly dashed and all Guyanese have had to face the spiraling cost of living that has effectively reduced their buying power. Indeed, the unemployed, widows, orphans, pensioners and the elderly are experiencing the worst effects of the present economic situation.

As if that were not enough, the usual December rain has visited us with a vengeance bringing with it reminders of the 2005 floods. The flooding has already caused severe losses and disrupted the lives of too many of our citizens in different parts of the country, with no significant effort made to provide relief. For those affected families, it may seem that there is little to be happy about at this Christmas time. Even in the face of material losses and physical discomfort, however, I hope that you can still take comfort in the true meaning of Christmas and come together as families.

It is in this context that I urge all of my fellow citizens to remember the true meaning of Christmas and the message of hope and deliverance it brings. It is my sincere wish that, as we celebrate this season with our families in true Guyanese tradition, eating our pepper pot and drinking our ginger beer, we can find time to think of those who are less fortunate in our society: the homeless and destitute, the senior citizens; the orphans and other needy children; the disadvantaged, the sick and especially, those who, at this time, are affected by the present floods. Let each of us pledge that in some small way we will do something to bring happiness to them. In so doing we will be demonstrating that we understand the true meaning of this season.

May I also take this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate the festival of Kwanza, a HAPPY KWANZA. May we remember the seven principles of this observance: Unity, Self Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, Co-operative Economics, Purpose, Creativity and Faith. In doing so, let us pledge to work continuously to strengthen the family.

I also wish to bid a special welcome to all Guyanese and friends of Guyana who have come home at this time to experience a true Guyanese Christmas and to reunite with their families and friends. May you enjoy this season and leave with renewed hope for the future of our dear beloved country.

On behalf of my Family, my Party and on my own behalf, I extend best wishes to all of you for a very Merry Christmas. May the peace and joy of this Christmas season remain with you and may you also enjoy good health and happiness throughout the New Year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY KWANZA!

Robert H O Corbin
Leader of the PNCR &
Leader of the Opposition