Mr. Speaker, as I thank god for his sustaining grace in our lives as parliamentarians, I wish to extend sincere gratitude to the beautiful people of south St. James for the confidence they continue to repose in me as their representative in this honourable house.

They have afforded me a wonderful priviledge over these many years, and i pledge to continue representing their interests with the vigour and steadfast determination they have come to expect.

Permit me also, Mr. Speaker, to thank the members of my immediate family for their unreserved understanding, patience and citadel of love as I carry out my duties both as a member of the cabinet and representative of the people of south St. James.

Lastly, but by no means least, I offer my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the staff of the ministry of Labour and Social Security for their support and cooperation presently and when I assumed the same portfolio as I do now in the past.

Mr. Speaker, members of this honourable house: this is an incredible year to live in this country of 2.7 million souls.

It is a year when our identity as a soveriegn nation, after fifty (50) years of independence from Whitehall, will be in the spotlight at home and abroad


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