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A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone

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As the end of the year approaches, many of us will be involved in some measure of self reflection, after which, we may resolve, on some level, to do better in the New Year.

It is a good thing to look inward, whether as individuals, families, companies, communities or as a nation, for it is only in doing so that patterns of behaviour in our lives are revealed. Self-examination also presents the opportunity to figure out what has been working, what has not, and hopefully how better can be done.

2017 has been one of tremendous highs and lows for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). We were filled with pride, tremendous joy and hope when the Argyle International Airport (AIA) officially opened for business in February. There is still a great deal of work to be done to bring sustained business to the facility, but we have crossed the major hurdle, which had dogged successive government administrations for decades – we were able to build a fully functional international airport on mainland St Vincent.

We managed to dodge the bullet and escape relatively unscathed from the hurricane season, unlike some of our neighbours to the north. Their misfortune has resulted in some business being redirected our way, including medical students and purchasers of agricultural produce.

Our economy is still rather sluggish and although the larger economies of the world have seemingly recovered from the global economic recession of 2008, we are still struggling in our efforts to grow the pie and provide jobs for the young people.

The ugly spectre of violence in general, and against our females in particular, continues to be a problem, and 2017 will go down in history as the year when our homicide count reached 41, the most in our country’s history.

As we move into 2018, would it be unreasonable to summon a small amount of optimism about our economic prospects and the way we live with each other going forward?

There are glimmers of hope. We are in the middle of a bumper cruise ship season and as our newspaper goes to press, the cruise ship and ferry berth terminal is abuzz with activity and taxi men are busy on the roads conducting tours with cruise visitors.

At the AIA too, the tarmac is filled with private jets whose owners are spending the season at their winter homes in the Grenadines. This winter season too, Air Canada Rouge and Sunwing will be flying into the AIA on a regular basis. The Prime Minister has also announced that Caribbean Airlines should also soon come on board with a regularly scheduled direct flight from New York.

Then, just last week, bankruptcy trustee of Harlequin Properties Ltd Brian Glasgow said that the Buccament Bay Resort should reopen in “a couple months” and there are “at least three groups” who say they can get the resort up and running within two months.

The organizers of the Nine Mornings festivities have reported a highly successful season and it is interesting to note that the single homicide (possibly two) recorded in the last few days did not take place until after Nine Mornings period had ended. The season has generally been a quiet one, much unlike earlier this year when it seemed that we were waking up to the bad news of another homicide almost every Monday morning.

A sincere thank you to everyone

The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of Interactive Media Ltd. (publishers of SEARCHLIGHT) express our sincere gratitude to our advertisers, readers, vendors, contributors and newsmakers for your support over the past year. It has not been an easy time for us, as we have been called on to do more with less.

Despite the competitive news environment in which we operate, and a more discerning and demanding public, with more news options open to them, we have managed to keep our head above water.

We do not take your support lightly, as we know the decision to spend up to $3 a week on SEARCHLIGHT must be balanced against other household needs. We pledge to continue to work hard to maintain your confidence as a source of news you can trust.

A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone.

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