Community spirit: Sir John Swan urges all of us to pull together in these challenging times. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
Community spirit: Sir John Swan urges all of us to pull together in these challenging times. *File photo by Kageaki Smith

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 4: My business and political career will span 50 years this year.

I have been fortunate in that period to experience many things as well as see both the good and the bad in Bermuda, socially, politically and economically.

Therefore, I wish to celebrate this period with my committed effort to bring the country together, regardless of personal and political prejudices or social and idealistic differences, for the benefit of all who occupy our shores.

We Bermudians as well as our guest residents have been very fortunate to live and work in such a beautiful, bountiful and socially and economically stable place.

No one can dispute that there have been changes in all aspects in the last 50 years. Some might say the glass is half empty due to the economic turbulence and anxiety that the world finds itself in. 

However, even in the current conditions, I see the glass as half full. Why? For our people’s strength has always been the ability to see opportunities during periods of adversity.

We should not allow ourselves to be anchored in the past. We must realize the progress that was made in difficult past times came about by a collective understanding and willingness by all to marshal our talents and seek out the opportunities and create conditions to benefit the island.

This vision and collaboration produced one of the highest per capita income countries in the world.

Even during times of great hardship and difficult experiences, Bermudians are always friendly, generous and helpful people.

If we come together as a true community with a common goal of helping and supporting our people and country there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

I know that the task at hand is not easy but together we can restore our economic well-being. We must make a determination of what is the right thing to do for Bermuda so that we can change the eroding economic cliff into a gentle slope.

We must lend support to our Government and assist them in fulfilling their obligations and duties.

We must recognize that we need to strengthen our relationships with our foreign neighbours to assist us in accomplishing our task.

Out of all that I have done, nothing would give me greater satisfaction than to see Bermuda back on its feet through a collective effort of all Bermudians and the Government.

I cannot feel that I have fulfilled my mission when I see so many people suffering by not being able to put food on the table or pay their bills.

The next stage of our journey is to come together collectively and support our people and our Government to heal the country and help to fulfill the dreams and desires of all.

This is a New Year. Let us not drag the suffering, blame apportioning, fear and estrangement with us.

We must learn to listen and participate without the degradation of people and ideas.

We must start this New Year with open minds, eyes and hearts, then and only then will we send a message to the world that Bermuda is open for business and together we are ready for any challenges that we encounter.