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Seasonal Greetings from... the Bailiff

Seasonal Greetings from... the Bailiff

Friday 24 December 2021

Seasonal Greetings from... the Bailiff

Friday 24 December 2021


In his Christmas message for Express this year, Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq reflects on hope, community responsibility, and learning the lessons of life with covid...

This is the third Christmas message that I have written in Bailiwick Express.

When I wrote at Christmas time last year we had endured a challenging year of lockdown and the restrictions to our liberty that very few within living memory had experienced. But we also looked forward to a new vaccine and we hoped that we would experience a much more normal 2021.

vaccine

Pictured: "... and the reason for that is the success of the vaccine programme which slowed the spread of the virus and made its consequences much less severe than they otherwise might have been."

And to a great extent 2021 met that hope. Although some restrictions placed upon us by Covid remained nonetheless 2021 was for most a materially better year than its predecessor. Of course, we have all had to take precautions, but there has up to now been a return to a considerable amount of normality.

We have been able to socialise, meet families and friends and, even if we could not in the earlier part of the year celebrate Liberation Day in the way that we had hoped, nonetheless we have been able to enjoy much more freedom through the summer and the latter part of the year than we did in 2020.

And the reason for that is the success of the vaccine programme which slowed the spread of the virus and made its consequences much less severe than they otherwise might have been.

But it is also because the people of Jersey understood their responsibilities as a community, have followed guidance and, with the exception of a few irresponsible individuals, have behaved in a way that has kept those dear to us and our wider community safe.

Ash_Trees_Liberation_Square.JPG

Pictured: "I am optimistic that we will be able to celebrate not only Liberation 77 in a more traditional way, but also the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Both of these events will enable us, I hope and trust, to come together, and to celebrate as an island the many blessings that we have."

Now we face a renewed challenge as we learn how to respond to this new Covid variant, Omicron, and as I write this, I very much hope that the restrictions that may be necessary in January will not curtail our celebrations at this time of year. But whatever requirements are placed upon us and the sacrifices that we may be called to make, I am confident in the Jersey spirit and that the people of Jersey will do what needs to be done as, in the great majority of cases, we have done up to now.

But let's look forward. We are, I believe, learning the lessons of life with Covid 19. We are returning to what is often called the 'new normal' and we are able, once again, notwithstanding some restrictions that may be needed to meet the new variant, to look forward with real hope to an even freer 2022.

I am optimistic that we will be able to celebrate not only Liberation 77 in a more traditional way, but also the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen. Both of these events will enable us, I hope and trust, to come together, and to celebrate as an island the many blessings that we have.

Let us look forward to all of these events with optimism and a sense of ownership and engagement because those events, Liberation, the Platinum Jubilee, and indeed the general election of the States Assembly in the summer, are significant parts of the life of our island and the nature of Jersey.

General Hospital winter 

Pictured: "I have in mind those who work in the hospital and other healthcare professions, our postal service, and indeed in retail as well as the many others who provide the services and support on which we rely all through the year. We thank them all."

One of the advantages of being Bailiff is that I have the chance to see the island at work at this time of year. I am very aware of how many islanders work extremely hard leading up to Christmas and over the Christmas period so that the rest of us can enjoy the holiday. I have in mind those who work in the hospital and other healthcare professions, our postal service, and indeed in retail as well as the many others who provide the services and support on which we rely all through the year. We thank them all.

And in terms of giving, the Jersey spirit was alive and well in 2021. This year's poppy appeal for the Royal British Legion raised £200,000 in November, and the Soup Kitchen in the Royal Square raised around £10,000 for the Jersey Shelter Trust. Indeed, the Bailiff's Covid Fund, active in 2020, was able to make a closing distribution to eight smaller charities who needed extra help.

I always look forward to this time of year. It is a chance to slow down, to reflect, to think and to look forward to the year to come. It is a time to be grateful to those who have served us in the last twelve months, in providing the services and support that we have needed. It is a time to dedicate ourselves to the future as we would wish it to be. I look forward to those things and to spending time over Christmas, if it is permitted to us, with friends and family.

But whether you keep Christmas in the traditional way, honouring the Christmas message and celebrating with those close to you, or whether you take it as an opportunity to be still and renewed and to reflect, may I wish the readers of Bailiwick Express a peaceful and joyful Christmas, a Happy New Year and optimism for 2022.

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