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Back to Speeches Indexjan 13, 2023

Governors New Year's address 2023

Date: January 13 2023

Governor Baly New Year’s address 2023


I bid you on behalf of my wife Janique and I Bonsoire/Bonochi/Goedenavond/Good Evening. Thank you first of all for taking the time to attend our New Year’s reception, you could have been anywhere else at this moment and yet you chose to be here with us, we appreciate that. Thank you.

Welcome to this Governor's new year reception where we have the opportunity to come together from different sectors, industries, walks and stages of life, at the beginning of the new year and share a drink, a bite, a smile maybe even shake a leg, but in my view most importantly have the opportunity to connect and reconnect to our collective purpose and predict and determine what is going to be next, needed and necessary for us individually, as a country, and in light of recent developments that I am sure you all will be talking about this evening or already have been talking about a people.

In my address to you this evening I will, as is usually done around this time of year, briefly reflect on the past year, set goals and aspirations for this new year and wish everyone a happy new year.


In the past year we have seen and experienced:
A brief resurgence in the Covid-19 cases at the beginning of the year;
A war in Europe with international consequences such as food shortages, a rise in fuel prices and high inflation;
The passing of prominent figures/loved ones;
Movement within the political arena;
The celebration of carnival again for the first time since 2019;
The adoption of the unity flag as a cultural symbol & our first SAGE cultural awards were held, honoring Soualiga’s cultural icons;
The climb of our tourism numbers;
Our locals excelling on the local and international stage in numerous areas such as sports and academics just to name a few; &
A score of projects implemented, supported and funded by amongst others foundations, private citizens & governmental organizations.

Goals Aspirations & a Happy New Year

In this new year there will undoubtedly be challenges, but more importantly there also will be opportunities.
My wish for St. Martin in this New Year and for every one of you and your families in particular is:

That we are in charge of our own narrative. We have to write our own story, turn the page and matter of fact close that book and let's write our own. So that we can determine our own destiny, and yes we can do that. It's up to you, me, all of us, to grab those opportunities with both hands.
There is no knight in shining armor coming to save the day for us, we have to do it ourselves and doubt not for a second if we can, to quote a famous leader I believe we all know; yes we can! Of course we can and we will;

I wish a year of sound financial management;
But for that we need finances to manage in the first place. So everyone has to contribute, play their part and not cut corners, because when you do, you also cheat, in addition to everyone else and in particular the most needy in our society, yourself.
You cheat yourself because you take from the very community and society you are a part of and are benefiting from in the first place;

Affordable and accessible quality health care which includes attention for mental health, and a healthy healthcare fund;
I wish for a continued spirit of giving throughout the entire year;
Give of your talents. It is the God given talents of each and every one of us that is needed to propel our country forward to the next level on our ever ascending arc of progress;
I wish for continued support from the IGO’s, NGO’s and the NPO’s that work voluntarily for our community. These public/private partnerships play an integral role in our society;
So I wish for the vulnerable in our society to be remembered, let us continue to assist them in achieving their goals;
Let us this year commit to tackle the high cost of living and its negative effects on the population;
We pray for a safe hurricane season;
I wish this year we hone, adapt and diversify our economy with the purpose of meeting the needs of our people while preserving our nature, natural habitats and environment, so in a sustainable manner;
For a healthy functioning democracy a free, independent, professional and responsible press/media;
May we further embrace participation in the arts as well as technological and digital advancements;
Continue to support one another not only locally but in the region and within the Kingdom, in the true spirit of our Kingdom Charter;
Be our brother's and sister's keeper, tolerance in our society should have more priority;
Let us eradicate abuse against children, spouses, in the work field and from those in positions of political power;
Hold each other accountable and let us be the best versions of ourselves that we can be as we compete with our past selves and not the Jones';
That we invest in our families, and that's all families regardless of the composition, compilation or make up of such;

Not everyone has access to the ears of the influencers, movers and shakers. I call upon us who do to make use thereof and be the voice of the voiceless, make sure that their plight is heard, we all know of the inequalities of our society, let us not stand idly by, complain about the situation and wait for the next person to do something about it.
Instead in this new year I wish we give constructive criticism, bring and hold each other up, don't be a victim of the conquest to divide and conquer;
You see, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. So when criticizing, start with yourself or better yet become part of the solution;

I wish in this new year we are more than ever moved to alleviate the social and economic imbalance and injustices in our society, or at least by our efforts and actions inspire the ones who will ultimately do so;
We sometimes underestimate the influence and power we have. We need to be aware of this and we need to use it for good.
We have a duty to inspire and prepare not only our future leaders, but future ready leaders! Creating Visionaries, entrepreneurs and innovators;
I have a special wish for two groups in our society, and you can classify yourself in whichever of the two groups you wish.
To the youth.
Talk, conversate with your elders, learn of their stories, struggles and successes. Let it be a moment of experience based learning for you, gain that knowledge, guidance and inspiration. They are our history and heritage.
To the elders.
Talk, conversate with the youth, learn of their stories, struggles and successes. Let it be a moment of experience based learning for you, gain knowledge, guidance and inspiration. They are our lineage and legacy.
My point here is that the past looks forward to the future and the future looks to the past to move forward.
None is less or more important than the other. We are both the same just at different times. It is in this symbiotic unison that we as a people find and serve our purpose.

Therefore in closing I wish you prosperity, blessings, safety, good health, wealth, happiness and most of all I wish for those who have not found it yet, for you to find your purpose.
How do you do that you may ask? I don't know what it is for you but I can tell you how it feels. It is that which when you see it, feel it, hear it or do it, it tugs at your heart, you feel it deep in your soul, it engulfs you and your entire being. I wish for you to find it and stand in your purpose!

For you see in the words of the Scottish Minister and Theologian William Barclay;
There are two great days in a person's life -the day we are born and the day we discover why.

So as we raise our glasses to the New Year I wish that we all stand in our purpose and have a prosperous 2023.
Thank you, God bless you and your family and God bless our great Village St. Martin.
Happy New year! Cheers!