We have heard much, this last year, of the importance of peace and reconciliation.
Indeed, almost every statesman in the world used the phrase at some time during the period of tribute to that greatest of statesmen, Nelson Mandela and it seems to me to be one of the finest ways for everyone to start the New Year.
There can be very few of us who do not need to make peace with someone or to reconcile our behaviour towards an individual or group of people, even here in Rutland, a county considered to be one of the finest and most peaceful places to live in the United Kingdom.
Let us all resolve to reconcile our differences and work together in a spirit of community that truly reflects our profound good fortune to live in this beautiful county.
We have only to look in our local paper each week to see the wonderful work being done by so many people across the whole spectrum of society, with never a thought for themselves, to realise just how fortunate we are.
With this very much in mind may I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland