St. Kitts and Nevis bids farewell to former Ambassador Dr. Joseph Christmas

Ambassador Joseph Christmas, Permanent Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis, signs the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. (United Nations archives)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, AUGUST 12TH 2011 – St. Kitts and Nevis bids farewell to one of its illustrious sons, the late His Excellency Dr. Joseph R. Christmas, former Ambassador of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations and Global Chief (Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation) at the UNICEF, U. N. Headquarters in New York.

The Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Dr. Christmas, who died on July 28th at the age of 70, will be held on Friday 12th August, t the Bethel Moravian Church, where he taught when it was also the Bethel Moravian School.

Viewing of the body from 1 pm to 2 pm will be followed by the Service which will be officiated by Rev. Jeremy B. Francis.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas reads the first lesson and Nadia Rawlins, the second lesson.

The eulogy will be delivered by Mr. Anthill Rawlins.

Born on 7th February, 1940, Dr. Christmas was a school teacher from 1956 to 1965 as an employee of the Government of St. Kitts- Nevis and Anguilla.

He obtained the Certificate of Education (Teacher Training) Erdiston College, Barbados, with endorsement by the University of the West Indies, 1964; a B.Sc (Special Honors) in Geology with ancillary Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, 1969; an M.Sc. in hydrogeology (groundwater resources development) London university (UCL), U.K., in 197; a Diploma in Sanitary Engineering, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U.S.A., 1973 and a Ph.D. in Hydrogeology, University of the West Indies,(with the University of Waterloo, Canada), 1977.

Dr. Christmas served as Manager/ Water Engineer, Water Department, St. Kitts and Nevis, 1972-1977 managing the national water department with a staff of over 100, from the planning through to the delivery stages, plus the financial aspects.

From 1978 to 1983, he served as Senior Project Officer (Water and Environmental Sanitation) UNICEF, United Nations, based in Mozambique, Africa, employed by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and responsible for the Organization’s input in terms of water supply and environmental sanitation to Mozambique whose official language is Portuguese.

In executing those functions, he advised the government and trained technical personnel, among other duties.

He served as Senior Programme Officer (Water and Environmental Sanitation), UNICEF, United Nations Headquarters in New York and functioned as a part of a team with global responsibilities for sector in question from 1984 to January 1989.

Appointed Global chief (Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation), UNICEF at UN Headquarters in New York from January 1989 to 1992 , Dr. Christmas managed the sector, globally, covering virtually all developing countries.

As Global Chief, he handled all matters pertaining to policy and strategies for the sector and the inter-sectoral linkages to the other main sectors, namely, Health, Nutrition, Education, and Women in Development.

He served as UNICEF (Resident) Representative from January 1993 to December 1995 and carried out specific assignments in Angola and Kenya, where his main responsibilities were related to the management of the local diplomatic and development activities, on behalf of the organization.

Dr. Christmas took early retirement from UNICEF and the United Nations on January 1 1996.

He served as St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations from August 1, 2000 to November 20, 2006.

Dr. Christmas is survived by his mother, Mrs. Caroline Christmas; his wife, Mrs. Henrietta Douglas-Christmas; daughter, Titiana Zualo; son Oscar Andersson and and several other relatives and friends.

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