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Happy 2023

by Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly resident Diabetes expert

May I start this article by wishing all readers and followers of Caribdirect.com a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

A new year for some might herald a new beginning/start, a new era, a new lease of life, a new resolve, new desires, new hopes, new aspirations, new dreams or new goals. Which ever approach one chooses to adopt let us all try to move forward with a renewed sense of purpose and optimism. 2023 is indeed the start of another year but a continuation of life as we all know it and hopefully, we are in that sense not only older but wiser too.

For those who are able to, cast your mind back to the beginning of the millennium, which some scholars cannot agree as to whether it is the start of the year 2000 or 2001. However, I am alluding to the turn of the century 1999 so from the Nineties to the Noughties and then try to remember where you ushered in that all-important new year date. As a British family we viewed this as very special and did so in New York with family members who live there.

Some people like to make New Year’s resolutions and before long break them. My take is the well-known proverbial saying ‘New brooms sweep clean but old brooms know the corners’ so I am all for a combination of the two. It is similar to not adopting the ‘Out with the old, in with the new’ phrase as our past history reflects the present and also has some bearing on the future. All three dimensions prove to be the circle of life as it continues no matter what time of the year it might be and we all must embrace it.

People celebrate, reflect, value and promote the new year in different ways ranging from dances/parties, cook-outs, Watch Night Services, quiet reflection/meditation to name but a few   and no one culture has a monopoly on what is the right way to usher it in. 

One of my childhood memories whilst at primary/high school was forgetting to put in my exercise book (for those who are from that era) the date of the new year when school resumed in January after the Christmas holiday period.  Most people hardly write cheques these days but that too used to be an issue when one would put the previous year on them completely forgetting that the year had changed. One also recalls the many predictions made by so called fortune-tellers/soothsayers/ prophets and other psychics at the start of the year that were meant to happen throughout it, with many forecasting doom and gloom. Most would not happen, which brings back school memories for those familiar with William Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar that quotes the famous line ‘Beware the Ides of March’, predicting his death on the 15th March the day he was assassinated. Others go as far as having their palm read or having a crystal ball determine what lies ahead in their life. If only life was that straightforward!!

In my experience many people choose to join gyms and health fitness clubs at this time having put on weight over the festive season. I often marvel at how packed these places are in January and within a matter of a few weeks they become empty again as people give up in no time. Most people know that as a diabetes ambassador my motto is ‘Our health is our wealth’ and if we can all get fitter, trimmer and more active that would be my one wish for everyone and let me stress that it does not have to be accomplished at the gym as physical activity can be done in the comfort of one’s home or other location.

Tony Kelly

Tony Kelly

London born Tony Kelly of Jamaican parents grew up in Jamaica and returned to live in Birmingham in 1979.
He is a graduate of Mico Teachers’ College and taught in Kingston high schools prior to working for 30+ years as a middle manager in central and local government with an emphasis on equity, equality, diversity and inclusion. He has a masters’ degree in socio-legal studies from the university of Birmingham.
For over a decade Tony has volunteered as a diabetes ambassador firstly for Diabetes UK and now for the National Health Service – Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group. A multi-award winner doing a yearly average of 150 health and well-being events, locally, nationally and internationally focusing on type 2 diabetes. He was diagnosed with this medical condition 18 years ago. However with a combination of physical activity and diet he has never taken medication thus proving with the right mindset and discipline it can be achieved.
As a diabetes advocate/activist Tony will continue delivering the message of healthy options to readers of CaribDirect.com .


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Andi Jones January 1, 2023 - 9:49 pm

Happy New Year, how wonderful to read this article. Always on point, informative and inspiring. Thank you for the care taken to support as many people, with a wealth of knowledge. Keep up your role as a great ambassador for the cause.

Elsie January 1, 2023 - 9:19 pm

Thank you Tony, for all you do for our community across the Diaspora.

Shirley J Duncan January 1, 2023 - 7:01 pm

Thank you so much!! Best Wishes to you and family for 2023 and Beyond.


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