This Christmas and New Year, the Bailiff, Richard McMahon, is also the Acting Lieutenant-Governor while the Bailiwick awaits the arrival of its next Lieutenant-Governor early in 2022.
In a Christmas message to readers of Bailiwick Express, Mr McMahon reflects on progress made this year and looks forward optimistically to next year.
"Each Christmas is unique and so different. Whatever the circumstances this year, I do hope that everyone across the Bailiwick will be able to enjoy themselves and make it the special occasion that it should be.
One of the positive differences from last year is that travel restrictions have been eased. As a result, although the uncertainties surrounding the emergence of the Omicron variant mean that each of us must have proper regard to the guidance designed to reduce the transmissibility of the virus, there are better opportunities now for people to enjoy seeing family and friends from elsewhere, whether that is here in the Bailiwick or by travelling away.
Christmas should be a time to step back from the rigours of daily life and to rest a little, to re-charge one’s personal batteries, and to spend time with loved ones. This is a bonus that many people missed out on last Christmas.
That ability to have some wider connection with people living elsewhere has been a welcome development, achieved in no small part through the success of the Bailiwick’s vaccination programme.
Pictured: The Bailiff congratulated the Bailiwick on its vaccination programme and thanked health workers and volunteers who continue to steer the islands through the covid-19 pandemic.
A year ago, that programme was just starting, but the jolly good response from Bailiwick residents means that everyone involved should congratulate one another on the steps taken to ensure we enjoy such a high level of protection.
Importantly, that protection benefits others as well as each of us. Subject to managing the different challenges currently presented by the variants that have taken hold, the overall response of the community to the fight against the virus really should offer us all renewed confidence that we can go about our everyday lives as best we can.
Accordingly, each of us owes a debt of gratitude to those workers and volunteers who have done so much to keep our community safe. We should continue to be thankful for the wonderful community spirit of togetherness that has contributed to that.
For many, the cancellation of events that traditionally happen in the run-up to Christmas will have been a disappointment.
I thoroughly enjoy Christmas carols and other seasonal music, so I understand the difference flowing from there having been fewer opportunities to sing out the Christmas message of peace on earth and goodwill to all people. This has actually meant that those events still taking place, including pantomimes, have become even more important and I applaud all those who have been doing their best to spread such joy across this festive period.
It is unusual for the Bailiwick to have Christmas without a Lieutenant-Governor in office.
Pictured: Sir Ian Corder's successor will arrive in the Bailiwick early in 2022. Until then, the Bailiff will continue as Acting Lieutenant-Governor.
Our links to the Crown remain strong, something which was emphasised by Sir Ian Corder during the various events prior to his departure last month. As a community, after this short time when I am deputising, we can look ahead to welcoming our new Lieutenant-Governor and his family arriving early next year to join us and they will become as much a part of our special islands as their predecessors have been.
In 2022, there should be many opportunities for islanders to get to know them and to explain in their own ways just why our relationship as a Crown Dependency continues to be something in which we take great pride.
All being well, another highlight in 2022 will be the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. I am looking forward to joining with others in giving our Bailiwick competitors a huge amount of support as they take on some of the best athletes in the world.
Whether as a participant or a spectator, sport is a unifying activity, so the re-emergence of competition this last year has rightly been welcomed by so many.
Pictured: The logo and countdown clock for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. The Bailiff is looking forward to encouraging Bailiwick competitors at the Games in July and August.
I sincerely hope that the year ahead will again be one where we all approach it with a positive outlook.
I believe that there have been tangible improvements in how 2021 has gone, especially compared to 2020, and so I also believe that we should hope and pray that 2022 will bring further improvements for us.
As we look ahead to another year, hope is such an important factor to buoy our spirits, so I encourage everyone to remain optimistic.
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."
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