Christmas Message Robert H.O. Corbin, MP, Leader of the People’s National Congress & Leader of the Opposition December 24, 2007

Season’s Greetings, Guyana!

How quickly the year has gone by. It seems to me that it was but a short while ago that we were celebrating last Christmas and commemorating the birth of the Christ child in our own special ways.

This Christmas also reminds me of how much can happen in a single year. Each of us, I am sure, can reflect on some moment – or perhaps several moments – that affected our lives in ways that we perhaps will never forget. It may have been a birth or perhaps a bereavement in our family. It may have been an important breakthrough or significant achievement. All of us, I believe, can point to some important, personal occurrence in 2007.

The same is true for our country. As a people we can reflect together on the road we have traveled this past year. It has been a difficult year, one that brought new challenges and one that has not seen the removal of many of those difficulties that have been with us throughout many previous years. No Guyanese will ever forget the serious impact of the draconian value-added tax on their lives. But let me not burden you at this time of year with things that are familiar to all of us.

Christmas, I believe, ought to provide us with some respite, however brief, from our trials and our difficulties – and I say this, mindful of the fact that even at this time of year, problems and pressures continue to knock on our doors.

In those circumstances, and the season notwithstanding, I am aware that this is a difficult time for many Guyanese.

And while I wish to extend my very best wishes for the season to every Guyanese, both at home and abroad, I want to extend a special sentiment to those of my countrymen and women who, perhaps, were particularly challenged this year - those who felt the pain of bereavement, illness, material difficulty, and those who, for one reason or another, may find it difficult to contemplate the season with that special sense of joy that all of us should feel at this time. I want to sincerely express the hope that you receive a special blessing this Christmas and that the season serves to bring relief from your worry.

I extend greetings, too, to those Guyanese and friends of Guyana who have returned home for Christmas. Your annual pilgrimage at this time of year means a great deal to us. Your presence brings joy to your families here in Guyana and adds that special dimension to what, for us as Guyanese, is a unique celebration.

For me, the true significance of Christmas inheres in the fact that while it is a Christian commemorative event, it rises above considerations of religion, race, creed and political affiliation. Christmas creates a spirit of oneness in which all of us can share. Its underlying message of hope holds a poignant relevance for us as a nation.

As we take a break, however fleeting, from the rigors of our respective responsibilities, it is my hope that all of us can use some of those moments to contemplate ways of taking Guyana forward. In so doing I trust that this Christmas will help us find a new resolve to work together to improve the overall condition of our ailing country.

We, in the PNCR, are particularly aware of our responsibilities to the young people of our country, to the poor and the dispossessed and to those whose lives are deficient in one way or another.

We are resolved to work with all others who are charged to run the affairs of this country to give real meaning to what the season represents. Let us, by our acts of charity, by our generosity and by our genuine resolve to build a better Guyana, make this Christmas a truly memorable one for all our people.

On behalf of my wife and family, and the entire family of the PNCR, I wish to express to all Guyana and to Guyanese everywhere, my very best wishes for a warm and wonderful Christmas.

May this Christmas season create happy and long lasting memories for all of us and may it mark an unforgettable milestone for our Guyana.

Merry Christmas Guyana!

People’s National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia,
Georgetown, Guyana
Monday, December 24, 2007