11 May 2020
Your Royal Highness, Your Excellency, Chief Minister, Connetable, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am delighted to begin this brief ceremony to mark the opening of the Jersey General Hospital Nightingale Wing.
May I start by thanking Your Royal Highness for taking time out of your busy schedules to be here with us today? It adds lustre to this event and to the celebrations of Liberation that took place here over the weekend.
It is quite amazing to realise that if we had all been standing here five weeks ago we would have been in an open grassy playing field. It is rather different now!
We are surrounded by a fully functioning hospital wing which has been built in response to and to protect islanders in the Covid-19 pandemic. It is a truly remarkable achievement and testimony to what can be accomplished when we unite to serve a common purpose.
In this case this purpose has been achieved as a result of the cooperation between government, particularly Health and Community Services, our construction industry and J3. You will hear about the timelines shortly and I am sure that you will agree with me that this has been an exceptional project and a magnificent response to a challenge.
Three of the Ministers most involved in this project are here, the Chief Minister, the Health Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and we must acknowledge all that they and their teams have done to make this possible.
The construction industry has pulled together and cooperated to complete this project and I look forward to learning more about that in the video that we will see shortly.
When I spoke on Liberation Day I talked of the Jersey spirit…..well this cooperation in the face of a crisis is an example of what I was talking about….we identified a need, worked out how to meet it, and got the job done.
We have now a further line of defence against the Covid-19 pandemic. A line of defence it is essential to have and Jersey people can have confidence that we are much better equipped as an island to face this challenge as a result of all this work than we would otherwise have been.
With those introductory remarks I would like now to invite the Chief Minister to say a few words to us.