Opposition Leader’s 2017 New Year’s message

Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush

“Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be in working or in waiting, another year with Thee. Another year of progress, another year of Praise. Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

Another year of mercies, of faithfulness and Grace. Another year of gladness in the shining of Thy face. Another year of leaning upon Thy loving breast, Another year of trusting, of quiet happy rest.

Another year of service, of witness for Thy love, Another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be, On earth, or else in Heaven, another year for Thee”

(Frances R. Havergal)

 

My fellow Caymanians, it is with a grateful heart that I address you at the dawn of this New Year. It is a time for us to pause and give thanks for the many Blessings of the past and to look forward with hope to the promise of a bright future. I am so grateful and humbled to have had the honor and privilege of serving you and this our country we all call home for the past 30-odd years. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for putting your trust in me and standing by me during those years. Though the past has not always been smooth, together we have been able to overcome the obstacles we met along the way and have made a lot of progress.

Today as I reflect on where we have come from and my vision for this country, though I am proud of our progress, I am also a little sad.

It is with a heavy heart that I look around at our people and see far too many suffering. It breaks my heart. Somehow in our progress some of our society has been left behind. It is time to fix that!

I have a plan that will involve and benefit every member of our community, but it is going to take us working together.

It seems that the last few elections, I have had to spend the next four years cleaning up the mess left behind by other Governments. A lot of the problems we have had and have today, have been caused by a lack of planning and vision. We must change that. We have a great country but it is the responsibility of each one of us, to ensure that EVERY member of our society has a place in it.

We must work together to educate and train our people to fill their places in our society. We MUST keep the Caymanian dream alive for EVERY man, woman and child. We must stop talking, put our shoulders to the wheel and carry out our plan and vision for our people and our country.

I will continue to spend time listening to you our people and addressing your needs on a personal level. I will continue to work as I always have, to build a society of inclusion, free of prejudice, a society where we can all live and work together in harmony. That is what it will take to make our islands successful. The road we are on – where far too many are being left behind – will take effect in the negative and destroy us.

I must take this opportunity to say how proud I am of our young people. Many have taken advantage of the educational opportunities available to them. We have to ensure that we continue to build a Cayman that welcomes them and includes them. We have to continue to build a Cayman that they can contribute to, and feel like they are making a difference. We have to equip them to continue to build and secure the future of this country for future generations.

We have to stop pointing fingers and playing the blame game. It has all been said, and we all know who is to blame for what. It is time to move forward together. As we look at the turmoil in the rest of the world it must only strengthen our unified resolve, to build a Cayman that is inclusive and peaceful and where we can all feel safe and live and move and have our being successfully.

We have to address our Immigration issues and hold both Government and the private sector accountable for the hiring and training of Caymanians. I am not one to say, we are lost or lazy – because we are not. But we must be inclusive to be successful.

Caymanians have always looked out for and supported each other. It is who we are!!! We cannot stop now. We must continue to take care of each other, especially our senior citizens and those less fortunate in our community. Our seniors worked hard to build this Cayman we enjoy today and we must ensure that they are able to live their golden years with dignity. We must also acknowledge that there is a sector of our society that are the “people that time forgot.” We MUST ALL work together to ensure that ALL of our people, feel included and have a place in our society.

It is our responsibility to make sure that EVERY Caymanian feels included and is able to earn a living in our country and live here with dignity.

I have always worked hard for this country irrespective of whether I was serving as the Leader of Government or the Leader of the Opposition, but I promise you, my people that I intend to work even harder and with even more of a focused purpose over the next four years. The next four years MUST be the years of restoration, the years of coming together, the years of working together to preserve our heritage and culture, the years of creating and providing jobs for Caymanians from all walks of life, the years of us coming together as a society and a people and let nothing divide us.

2017 is an election year. It is a year that we as a people will have to make some tough decisions. We must consider the direction we want our country to go and prayerfully elect leaders that will chart that course. There have been sweeping changes made to the election law.

We must educate ourselves on those changes and we must all exercise our democratic right to vote. For only in so doing, will we be able to ensure the successful future of our beloved islands.

And so my friends;

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep……..”

May God continue to shower His Blessings upon us and may God Bless this Beloved country we all love and call home.

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