One of my great pleasures as Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of West Glamorgan is meeting people from all communities in the County. I was delighted therefore to receive an invitation to attend the National Romania Day Celebrations at the Grand Theatre in Swansea which would be my first opportunity to meet people from the Romanian community. It was a joyful occasion as I was not expecting to renew some old acquaintances; I also made new friends and so, in the spirit of friendship, I wanted to send you a Christmas message.
In living and working in the UK you are contributing in a range of different ways to this country. Many of you work in the NHS and in other front-line services; in the academic and hospitality sectors; you are business people and entrepreneurs; you generate income and employment; and much more. Whatever you do, I would like to thank you all for what you do in our communities which are enriched by the diversity you bring.
Although you have made your home in Wales or perhaps elsewhere in the UK, I expect that many of you still have family and friends in Romania and maybe in other countries too, who you may not have seen for some time. To be parted from those we hold most dear is difficult in the best of times, but even more so at Christmas and especially under the challenging circumstances of Covid. Christmas is a special time of year when the importance of being surrounded by the love of family and friends resonates with us all. If you are separated from those dear to you this Christmas, I hope that technology will help you to keep connected with them.
Advent and then Christmas is a joyful time, giving us the opportunity to reflect over the past year and to look ahead with hope to Christmas and the Nativity and then to the New Year beyond. Sometimes we know what will make us joyful and sometimes it is the unexpected that does that, such as my visit to the Grand Theatre. As Advent progresses, we look forward to enjoying the Christmas traditions we know and love but as we reflect back over the year perhaps also it is the unexpected that has given us joy. I wish you much of what brings you joy, this Christmas and in the year ahead.
With my very best wishes for a reflective Advent, a blessed Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year.
Happy Christmas – Nadolig Llawen.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of West Glamorgan