There has been much to celebrate in 2023 as Bermuda has continued to shine on the world stage.

I was honoured to represent Bermuda, along with the Honourable Premier, at the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III in London on 6 May this year. As we gathered in Westminster Abbey with royal families, world and religious leaders and representatives from across society, it was hard not to be mesmerised by the display of history, tradition, modernity and diversity.

The depth of history and culture within Bermuda is unquestionable. In 2023 I had the privilege of joining celebrations for the 400TH Anniversary of Holy Trinity, 150th Anniversary of Allen Temple, the 50th anniversary of Bermuda Sea Cadets and 50 years of Bermudian Aide-de- Camps to the Governor. In my third year in Bermuda there were still some ‘firsts’. Most notably, I was delighted to join the people of St David’s at our first Pow Wow in June genuinely reflecting the diversity of these islands.

In a year when we did not lack for ‘tank rain’, the King’s Birthday Parade was one of the casualties of adverse weather conditions but, true to the ‘rain, blow or shine’ tradition, I was delighted that the Bermuda Day parade went ahead.

Whilst I have not hosted as many events at Government House as I would have liked this year, I have wonderful memories of hosting: the first King’s Birthday Party in a number of generations; an end of the school year barbeque for children who participated in the school gardens programme and regularly played pickleball at Government House; and

a closest to the pin competition in memory of Brian Morris.

As I start my fourth year in Bermuda, I look forward to creating more cherished memories and working with others to increase the resilience and realise the opportunities for a more inclusive and prosperous future for the people of Bermuda, amidst the complexities of our modern world.

As we all gather with friends and family, most of us will be overwhelmed by a sense of love and gratitude but in a year when Bermuda has lost so many beacons, this will be tinged with sadness for many. As we enjoy the festivities, we will also reflect on the pain, suffering and discord around the world. I pray that as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we will be guided by His teachings and become kinder, more compassionate and learn to live in peace with each other here in Bermuda and around the world.

On behalf of my family and colleagues at Government House, I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

Whilst I have not hosted as many events at Government House asI would have liked this year, I have wonderful memories of hosting: the first King’s Birthday Party in a number of generations; an end of the school year barbeque for children who participated in the school gardens programme and regularly played pickleball at Government House; and a closest to the pin competition in memory of Brian Morris. As I start my fourth year in Bermuda, I look forward to creating more cherished memories and working with others to increase the resilience and realise the opportunities for a more inclusive and prosperous future for the people of Bermuda, amidst the complexities of our modern world.

As we all gather with friends and family, most of us will be overwhelmed by a sense of love and gratitude but in a year when Bermuda has lost so many beacons, this will be tinged with sadness formany. Asweenjoy the festivities, wewill also reflect onthe pain, suffering and discord around the world. I pray that as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we will be guided by His teachings and become kinder, more compassionate and learn to live in peace with each other here in Bermuda and around the world. On behalf of my family and colleagues at Government House, I wish you and your family a blessed Christmas and a peaceful New Year. HE Ms Rena Lalgie Governor of Bermuda December 2023