Governor George Fergusson Christmas Message

December 25, 2015

[Christmas message from Governor George Fergusson]

This, sadly, will be our last Christmas in Bermuda – or, if it is not, we will be here as returning tourists, boosting the arrivals figures at the end of a year!

Like many others, this year we have family members with us. And, as with others, this Christmas festival at the end of the calendar year often stimulates some reflection on the year passed and the year ahead. More than any other time of the year, this is a time for family, and for reflection.

We think of our own families. In mine, the joy of seeing small grandchildren discover the world afresh, the sadness of the peaceful death of a much loved father-in-law at the end of a long and fulfilling life. Like many families in Bermuda, we are also scattered across seas and borders this Christmas. And we have much to be thankful for.

I am also regularly reminded of how much Bermuda itself is a family. So many people are connected to each other, by blood, by relationships and, even beyond the literal meaning of family, by other, close, longstanding ties. Several times this year, Margaret and I have had the privilege of feeling particularly part of that family: walking along Front Street in the happy excitement during the America’s Cup World Series; or shouting myself hoarse watching Bermuda’s football team in action. And sometimes sharing in times of shock and sadness.

As in all families there are moments of argument: but there is a precious family unity here too which everyone can help strengthen – and, I hope, all can reflect for a moment before doing or saying things that weaken it.

And, despite its physical isolation, Bermuda is tied to the rest of the world, to an extent that still sometimes startles me. Last month Margaret and I returned from a visit to a school just in time for her to join a work meeting being done online, chaired by someone in Madrid whom she didn’t know. When she mentioned she had just come back from visiting a school, the man in Madrid asked what school – and then turned out to have attended it, Whitney Institute, himself.

Bermuda’s net of family relationships, not to mention business relationships, spans the world. We are, sometimes helpfully, isolated from some bad things that go on. But probably less than we think, or hope. And, in any case, we should not try to isolate ourselves.

I have been impressed again this year by the organisations and individuals who have taken groups of young and not so young Bermudians to help to meet needs elsewhere in the world. Individuals, churches and other groups have contributed funds to help others. Part of the Christmas story itself includes a refugee family fleeing the threat of violence in the Middle East, and seeking safety in another country: Christ’s own family, going to Egypt to avoid Herod’s slaughter.

Even when Bermuda faces relatively tough times, and for many, economic hardship remains a daily reality, we can be aware that we are lucky. We are spared many of the horrors of strife and extreme poverty that are still much too widespread.

As I have said, this will be my last Christmas message here. I have not gone yet. But looking back at the four Christmas seasons that I have been here, I realise that there are very distinct Bermuda Christmas memories that will stay with us. The North Village Band Carol concert in front of the historic buildings on Queen Street in Hamilton; and the Salvation Army Band playing to shoppers from a balcony on Reid Street; our annual frustration at not being able to do the Christmas Walkabout in St George’s for different reasons each year and being told each year what a wonderful event it is; and visiting each year the remarkable residents of several of the care homes and some, now familiar, faces in MAWI. All these will become happy memories and are pure Bermuda.

But a central message of Christmas here and throughout the world, celebrated in this Christian festival but a reasonable challenge to all, is the message of goodwill to all mankind. We can each, whatever our faith – if any – rededicate ourselves to that.

I wish you all a happy, peaceful Christmas and God’s blessing for 2016.

click here banner Christmas

Read More About

Category: All, News

Comments (19)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. drunken ursula says:

    when is his time up….go please hurry !

    • Zevon says:

      Wrong story. You’re looking for the Bean message, where he talks about being in despair because he has no friends.

    • Plain nasty says:

      @drunken ursula. That was completely unecessary and inaccurate. Nice man, nice family, doing a decent job.

      It’s a christmas message of good will. Shame you have no comprehension of what that means.

  2. Ditto…. What He said..

  3. Coffee says:

    Talk is talk but , the truth be told , the residents of a particular westend rest home got all dolled up for the good governors much anticipated visit , the staff got out the best and rarely used China , the cooks hooked up a special grreeze and everybody , even the male nurses had manicures the day before .
    Well yah boy drove up wiff the driver ,’ he walked briskly inside , stayed very briefly before he turned on his well heeled heels , jumped back in the Beemer and beat a hasty retreat outta there . The poor elderly residents waited and waited in their Sunday best until the heartbroken spokesperson broke the disappointing news that the great governor had come and gone already .
    I’ll be glad when he gets his last check from those disheartened seniors who worked so hard all their lives to keep him n style ! I hope he reads this post and corrects the broken protocol , his behavior that’s unbecoming .
    Merry Christmas Governor !

    • thetruth says:

      And I can remember when two PLP MP’s came to a meeting of parents with autistic children. They made a smiley speech promising a bunch of things they never ever did, and then walked out. They explained they had ‘a prior dinner engagement’. They had been there for about ten minutes. The audience, numbering about 100, watched them leave in total silence. No wonder they lost the election.

      • Coffee says:

        And the truth is that the governor is supposed to be apolitical …. Bet that went right over your silly nog .

    • jahmani says:

      so the moral of the story is to break out the china more often

      • jahmani says:

        so the moral of the story is to break out the china more often Merry Christmas

    • George Fergusson says:

      Oh, dear. I am sorry if I missed anyone. I had (for me) very enjoyable visits to Packwood and Lefroy in the West and thought I had met everyone who was available. Everyone was certainly very smartly dressed, though I failed to notice the male nurses’ manicure! I unfortunately had completely lost my voice, which didn’t help, but did have cups of good tea and met residents having a more substantial tea. Best wishes and Happy Christmas.

      • Edward Case says:

        We appreciate it sir and I apologize for some if the disrespect shown towards you on this page.



        • Zevon says:

          I totally agree. He’s the nicest Governor I can ever recall us having. The Governor and his wife have met my son (a young teenager) several times, and they have always been really nice to him. He thinks the world of them, as a result of a few interactions. I wish them the very best this season.

    • Legacy says:

      Sir.John Vereker was the best Governor EVER. He was so nice and down-to-earth. You wouldn’t even think he was the Governor-he was down with the people. Remember, he used to get his hair cut back-a-town and hang out shooting the breeze with the locals. I remember I was at a Christmas event in St. George once and he was walking past with some other officials. I said to my mom “Look, there’s the Governor!” and he heard and came over to shake our hands when he could have just ignored us. He was so sweet and teased me about the Tweety Bird logo I had on my sweatshirt and was so, so nice. Plenty of people were sad to see him go-I remember people calling for him to do another term but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.

    • Tania Stafford says:

      Coffee, you seem so very disappointed with your world, I find myself wondering at times what are you doing to improve it?

  4. Evie says:

    Shut-up you drunk you leave frist please smh hate filled drunk

  5. Ryan Bean says:

    First and foremost… Top of the Season to all of Bermuda and we hope that everyone has had a great and blessed holiday season so far.

    I have to say that it is a sad realization to know that no matter how much good you do you will always be smothered with some sort of negativity because its humanly impossible to meet everyone’s expectations and standards.

    Governor Ferguson and his family will forever be recognized as some of the most genuine and caring people that we have come across in a long time that hold significant position within our country. We would like to publicly thank him and his family for showing sheer humility and love to us during such a great and trying time in our lives forever. Thank You Governor Ferguson and Lady Margaret for taking the time out during your vacation to Halifax to visit my wife and twins who had a very critical start at the IWK Hospital and needed that extra touch of love shown by people who know how to remove any title or position that they hold and actually show that they themselves are just like us at the end of the day. Thank you for the gifts and the thoughts given. To even humble yourselves enough to ask if it would be possible to visit our family while in the area during your much deserved vacation was a true sentiment of your genuine spirit. Your kindness to my family did not stop there. It would be remiss of me if I did not mention that when we were all cleared from the hospital and returned home, you and your family made it a point to come to our home in Southampton to visit us despite your busy, busy schedule. You gave us a special piece of your heart by coming to spend time with us at our home to get a personal update on our little additions to our family. It will forever hold a special place in our hearts to know that you still find it so important to remain in contact with us even after your unforgettable visits with us.

    Knowing that we have privately thanked you and after seeing misinformed comments from my fellow Bermudian brothers and sisters I find it necessary to PUBLICLY thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your care, concern and genuine friendship. Last but not least, on behalf of my family, we wish you and your family a great and blessed holiday season.

    With Many Thanks and Much Love,
    The Bean Family (Miracle Twins)

  6. Herb says:

    wow, such hate filled messages, I cannot believe that real Bermudians actually think like this, I am totally ashamed at these replies from a Christmas Message, discussing to say the least.