Monday, 10 December 2012
Christmas Message from South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie
This is my first Christmas message to you as Provost.
Upon becoming Civic Head of the Council I was reminded by a close relative of mine of an old saying, “To him (or her) whom much is given, much is expected”.
Not a bad yardstick for me to keep mindful of!
If it’s a wonderful world, then South Ayrshire is a wonderful place, and I have had a truly eventful first six months in office, with diverse and varied activities ranging from welcoming the Olympic torch to welcoming our newest citizens.
From paying tribute to outstanding people, welcoming foreign guests and dignitaries, supporting and promoting history and heritage, outstanding scenery, the economy, golf, amazing countryside and wildlife, acknowledging special anniversaries, watching young people and graduates take their first steps into adult life, to chairing full Council, and from Armed Forces Day to Remembrance Day our brave veterans and service personnel have never been far from my thoughts.
But now it’s time for Christmas.
Predating Christianity, the winter solstice was, for millions of people an important time for beating the winter blues with celebrations, ceremonies and festivities, and at least one thing in common with Christmas as we know it today, the short grey days and long dark nights, and a longing for the better things to come.
So what better time to have a magical festival, and hopefully some snow for snowmen and sledging, Santa, feasting and presents, family and friends and for giving and getting.
Mr Scrooge, of course in Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ learned the lesson that giving is better than getting and, in our communities, there is much that is given, from the carers young and old who care every day for others, the folk who volunteer their time on Christmas Day to help those in need, the emergency service workers, the Armed Forces Personnel, to simply buying gifts that are fairly traded or support a Charity, to just keeping an eye out for an elderly neighbour.
Christmas is also a time for reflection, for some on Christmas past, or of happier times, for others it is about Christmas present, enjoying the moment, and for others thinking about the future (and perhaps some New Year resolutions!).
On Christmas 2012 here is my message to you – as we struggle through dark days, remember this, it is darkest before dawn. Hope lives in all of us but let us not just hope for a better year ahead, or a better future, let us resolve to work for it.
A very peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.