"Over the last few weeks, I have welcomed to the Convent pupils from many of our schools, who have come here to record a programme of carols which will be televised this evening and tomorrow."
"Since arriving here 18 months ago, I have endeavoured to visit as many schools and colleges as possible. I have done so to allow me to thank the teachers who have been amazing in adapting their teaching methods during an incredibly difficult period, to ensure the best possible education for their pupils, and so that I can meet those younger members of our community. What a pleasure it is to meet them all. Our younger ones stand out for their resilience, their self-confidence and their love of learning. Whether on the sports pitch, on the stage, as part of a band or orchestra, a choir or any other association, young Gibraltarians demonstrate the dynamism and adaptability that is part of the enduring and wonderful culture of our community. And they do so, not isolated from the wider world but fully understanding the global challenges that we all face today."
"Unlike many of us who are older, they have not had to rely on the Encyclopaedia Britannica or other reference books for information. A few taps on a key board is all that is required to access the World Wide Web and more information than anyone can possibly absorb. They are alert to the dangers of climate change. They too are horrified when men, women and children perish crossing the English Channel, looking for a better life. And they are most certainly a generation that is more tolerant and understanding of each other. They are our future, and I sense the future is safe in their hands."
"As for the present, we adults here in Gibraltar have to grapple with challenges probably not seen since the evacuation of Gibraltar at the start of the Second World War. And my goodness I wish to applaud those people who are addressing these challenges head on."
"I have spoken before of our Emergency and Armed Services. My admiration for them during the Pandemic has been and remains immense. But there are others, charities that some may not have heard of, which have not only survived this traumatic time but have adapted so that they can continue to assist those less fortunate."
"One visit that moved me greatly was to a very small charity - The Gibraltar Society for the Visually Impaired. Being in lockdown at home for long periods, or self-isolation, has been hard enough for all of us. But consider for a moment someone who has no sight or who is only partially sighted. They could not even enjoy a view out of a window, and might have suffered a degree of loneliness that many of us might not even start to comprehend."
"During my visit, I learnt how the charity changed its approach dramatically during the height of the Pandemic, using technology to keep in touch with those visually impaired, ensuring that they knew that they were not alone or isolated."
"Gibraltar is a community that cares. A community that is kind to others and has a deep and heartfelt respect for its land and its people."
"I shall never forget walking down Main Street and being in Catalan Bay on National Day this year, and becoming overwhelmed by the pride that each Gibraltarian has in this place, underpinned by a deep sense of family, of social awareness and simply looking out for one another."
"Hardship often brings out the best in a community, as Gibraltarians have recognised many times over the centuries. And while there are a range of difficulties facing us, I am sure that we as a community can look forward with confidence, sure in the knowledge that those in governance over us are sparing no effort to make Gibraltar the best possible place for everyone. The Emergency Services, steadfast in protecting our safety and security. Staff in our hospital and our Elderly Residential Services homes, who ensure our health and wellbeing. And those in so many charities, including Calpe House in London which I had the privilege to visit only a few weeks ago, are providing that additional kindness and love which is at the heart of the Christmas message."
"Finally, we are safe in the knowledge that our teachers are following in the footsteps of one who, as the bible says, brought light to the world."
"We can be grateful to everyone who is ensuring, day by day, that our young will flourish in an often imperfect and very difficult world."
"I will be remembering all those who will be working over the Christmas period, to ensure that we have the chance to celebrate this wonderful time of year, with our families and friends."
"May I wish everyone in Gibraltar a very happy Christmas, and my heartfelt good wishes for the year ahead."