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Current & Prospective Parents of Y2X members Invited to Orientation Meeting

SINT MAARTEN (ST. PETERS) - With increasing violence in our schools, and the challenging socio-economic conditions on St. Martin, many parents are struggling to keep their heads above water, while youth are seeking opportunities to advance themselves. Consequently, Victorious Living Foundation (VLF) has been actively developing opportunities and solutions to address these growing challenges. One of these solutions is through VLF’s youth wing, Y2X.

Youth 2 Xtreme (Y2X) is a group of motivated, ambitious, enterprising, talented, youth who desire to maximize their potential and be the best that God has called them to be. Their aim is to make a dynamic impact in St. Martin, the region and the world and have been doing so since 2003. Among the many youth who have benefitted from Y2X are Dr. Rolinda Carter, current Dean of Academics at University of St. Martin; Chasen Williams, a current immigration officer and many more including its founding president, Andre Huie, now a media mogul based in St. Kitts.

On Thursday November 21st, 2019 parents of current Y2X members and prospective members are invited to a special parents’ orientation meeting to learn of the opportunities in Y2X. At this meeting several special guests will speak via Zoom with the parents about the power of entrepreneurship and how important it is for their children and youth to become entrepreneurs.

Among the guests are Sean J Harris, the Generational Wealth Expert. He's a former Non-Commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, the Founder of The Thousandfold Group and a 27+ time serial author. His books include Bestselling Leaning Forward Towards Success, 15 Ideas Wealthy Parents Teach Their Kids, Money Moves Wealthy Rules, Redefining Wealth, and 7 Skills To Become Wealthy.

He’ll be joined by his wife Tara Harris, a United States Navy Veteran who is passionate about special needs children and adults. Tara and her husband Sean are on a mission to help as many families as they can become financially literate by developing multiple streams of income. She also manages two of her children’s fast growing businesses; Caden Harris, 9 year old CEO of “Daddy Did You Know?” and Kennedi Harris, 10 year old CEO of K-lock .

The third guest speaker via Zoom will be entrepreneur Peter Burton born in Dominica and a resident of St. Martin from 6 until 26 years when he moved to the US after Hurricane Luis. His very inspiring story led him from being homeless for several weeks while in the US to now owning very successful businesses and empowering others to become financially free. Parents will get the opportunity to learn from these generous persons, ask questions, and discover how their children can launch into their own businesses as well.

Y2X comprises several arms including, Y2X Media Ministries; Y2X Outreach; Y2X Empowerment and Y2X Entrepreneurship. Currently the active Y2X members range from 14 to 21 with a lineage of many prominent and upstanding Y2X alumni on St. Martin and all over the world making their impact. The visionary of Y2X, Dr. Erna Mae Francis Cotton and her husband Roy Cotton, Jr. advisor to Y2X along with the Y2X board members are extending a cordial invitation to parents looking for a great opportunity to mould, shape and develop outstanding citizens.

Space is limited so parents are advised to call 1-721-524-8731 to reserve a space at Y2X’ upcoming parents meeting on Thursday November 21st from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Rupert I. Maynard Community Center in St. Peters. Or visit www.victoriouslivingfoundation.com to send an email.

Y2K INS1

Peter Burton

 

 

 

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New interim cabinet sworn-in

SINT MAARTEN (HARBOUR VIEW) – On Tuesday morning, members of the new interim government took the oath of office before His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday at the Cabinet of the Governor in Philipsburg.

Candidates for the various portfolios have been vetted based on the pertinent regulations regulating the pre-screening of candidates before nomination (National Decree Appointment procedure candidate Ministers and candidate Minister Plenipotentiary, May 22, 2013, No. LB-13/0442). The following persons make up the new interim government:

  1. Ms. Silveria Jacobs, Prime Minister and Minister of General Affairs;
  2. Mr. Christopher Wever, Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure and Deputy Prime Minister;
  3. Mr. Egbert Doran, Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor Affairs;
  4. Mr. Ardwell Irion, Minister of Finance and Acting Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports;
  5. Mr. Rene Violenus, Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication

The Governor delivered the following address to those who were present for the ceremony:

Chair of Parliament, Members of Parliament, Prime-Minister, Ministers,

Distinguished Guests, Good Morning,

On September 22, 2019, a shift in the majority in Parliament took place resulting in the request to form a new government and in the decision of the outgoing government to dissolve parliament and call new elections on January 9, 2019.

Based on the request of the new majority to form a new government, I consulted with various persons and on September 30, 2019 named Ms. Silveria Jacobs as formateur to form an interim government. Ms. Jacobs accepted the formation assignment and presented her final report on November 16, 2019. To all who gave their input to the transition and formation process and, in particular to formateur, Ms. Silveria Jacobs, I hereby express my appreciation, also on behalf of the people of Sint Maarten.

Ladies and Gentlemen

You have, as a result of the formation process, just witnessed the transfer of executive responsibility for the governance of our country to a new team of Ministers supported by the new majority in Parliament.

Prime Minister, Ministers,

As you assume your mandate to govern our country in these difficult and challenging times, I shall share a few thoughts with you.

Accepting the position of Minister through the taking of the oath today, is a solemn expression of your commitment to perform your duties with integrity. It is your pledge of allegiance to the King and to the Charter of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  It is your individual declaration to always uphold the Constitution of Sint Maarten and it is your solemn affirmation to always dedicate yourself to foster the wellbeing of the People of Sint Maarten. Through your oath, you have accepted the obligation to serve all the people of Sint Maarten. I therefore hereby advise you to use your oath as a guide in the fulfillment of duties.

Having such a guide and anchor is important under normal circumstances and even more so during challenging times. During the formation process I emphasized, and now that the formation process is concluded I wish to reemphasize, that our country faces several pressing challenges for its future development. Considering the interim nature of this government it was agreed that you will give priority to:

  • - concluding the legislation regarding the combating of money laundering and financing of terrorism;
  • - the execution of the agreements made with The Netherlands regarding the financing of the national recovery of Sint Maarten, including the financing of the rehabilitation of the airport;
  • - concluding the budget for 2020;
  • - furthering the preparation of the execution of the scheduled elections; and
  • - realizing electoral reform by bringing the Ordinance for the Registration and Finances of Political Parties and the Election Ordinance in accordance with the Constitution.

Your giving priority to and following through on existing government commitments on these issues will provide for needed continuity to effectively address the challenges we face despite the political developments.

With regard to mentioned challenges I must stress that the level of urgency in two cases demand that you must act immediately:

  • - The first pressing course of action is the handling of the amendment to the penal procedural code as part of our international commitment to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. This is necessary to reduce the risk of being blacklisted; and
  • - The second urgent course of action is the signing of the pending loan agreements for the financing of the rehabilitation of our airport as part of our commitments with the bondholders, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Netherlands. This is necessary to help secure our airport and our country’s long term economic recovery.  

Acting immediately means ensuring that Parliament and government take and execute decisions regarding the amendment of the penal code and regarding the airport financing by the end of this week. Not doing so can come at a high price which we cannot afford. To achieve any of these urgent objectives we will have to work together at home and with others. It is as such in our interest to take the lead in that regard. To do so I refer you to and encourage you to apply the guiding principle as outlined in the preamble to our own constitution, which states that:

WE THE PEOPLE OF SINT MAARTEN ……” are “ …determined to work with each other, with our partners in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, ….. and with all peoples of the world ….”.

Thus, as you assume the responsibility to govern our country, I urge you and trust that you will apply our guiding principle of cooperation which underpins our constitution in your handling of these urgent matters for our country’s future.

Prime Minister, Ministers,

Today, almost two months since the previous team of Ministers made their positions available, you come before the people of Sint Maarten as a new team of ministers to further the ongoing recovery process aimed at meeting the urgent needs of our people.

In that regard, there rests on you, individually as Ministers, and jointly as Council of Ministers a great responsibility. Your decisions will have lasting influences on the lives of the people of Sint Maarten. Thus, as you deliberate on taking action on the matters before you during your governing period, I wish you wisdom, individually and jointly, in the conduct of your responsibilities as you seek to meet your constitutional responsibility to the people of Sint Maarten. 

With that in mind, I hereby congratulate the people of Sint Maarten with the installation of this interim government and similarly congratulate each of you and your families with your appointments as Prime-Minister and Ministers.

Thank you,

God bless you and

May God Bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast. 

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Four new classrooms ready for SMVTS says Smith

SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - The Sint Maarten Vocational Training School (SMVTS) recently received four new classrooms upon the completion of the construction project by the contractor.

The outgoing Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith was present last week for the symbolic handover of the building. The additional space provides the staff and students of the public secondary school much needed improvement in the facilities to accommodate the growth in the school’s population and the expanded curriculum.

In the last Council of Ministers’ press briefing on Wednesday, the outgoing Prime Minister/ Minister of ECYS Smith stated, “The management, staff, parents and students of this school will know the relief of having these additional spaces for an enhanced teaching-learning experience. This is still part of Phase 1 of the Improvement plans for the SMVTS. Phase II comprises curriculum reform and improvement of teaching skills.”

The plans for the construction of these classrooms began in 2013 and led to a public bidding process in February 2015. The bid was initially won by Sabrenzo Landscaping Construction. However, when that company defaulted on the contract, a new bid was awarded to Eric Construction in 2017. Then- Minister ECYS, drs. Jorien Wuite placed 1 million guilders on the budget to ensure that the funds would be available to complete the project. After an initial deposit was made, the contractor began the work and received reimbursements for invoices submitted intermittently. The minister would like to commend the Contractor, Mr. Omar Ottley for his commitment to seeing this project through and a job well done.

Due to a change in the quality of the fencing from link to Dijtham fencing and the change of the roofing from galvanized zinc to concrete, an additional sum will be required for the connection of utilities. Once the utility meters have been installed, the rooms will be ready for use. Smith concluded that, “The onus is on the management and the Division Public Education and the future Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, to continue to implement the plans to realise an improved delivery of the education system for our public secondary school.”

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SMCP MP CLAUDE “CHACHO” PETERSON RESIGNS AS MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On Monday, November 18, 2019, Faction Leader of the Sint Maarten Christian Party (SMCP) and Member of Parliament (MP), Claude Chacho Peterson, sent a letter to President of Parliament informing him of his resignation as a Member of Parliament according to article 49, sub 2 of the Constitution of St. Maarten. 

MP Peterson was quoted as saying: “Since the formation of Government process in 2018, I always told the Leader of SMCP, Mr. Wycliffe Smith, I would give back the seat to the party should Government fall and he would no longer be Minister. I became MP when Mr. Smith as the highest vote getter resigned to become Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports in the UD/SMCP Coalition. On numerous occasions, I have said it on the floor of Parliament and in the public. It is said that no man willingly gives up power, however, it is with no hesitation that I honor my word to return the seat to the party”.

The Party and Minister Smith has no qualms with MP Peterson staying on as the SMCP Member of Parliament.

On Monday, Peterson submitted a letter to Chairperson of Parliament William Marlin, informing him of his resignation as an MP in accordance with article 49, sub 2 of the Constitution.

In light of the resignation of MP Peterson, it is expected that Mr. Smith, when no longer Minister, will once more become the SMCP Member of Parliament as soon as his credentials are vetted and approved by the Voting Bureau and the Parliament of St. Maarten. 

MP Peterson goes on to state: “This past year was a great learning experience. I learned a lot in my freshman year about the role of an MP, the functioning/shortcomings of Government but also, I was able to see first-hand the corruption which is creating instability and destroying our island. 

As Faction Leader of SMCP, I fought for stability and upheld our word in the Coalition to be a team player and work together for the best interest of St. Maarten and its people. 

During my time in parliament, I have seen first-hand how the seat of a parliamentarian can be used to manipulate and further promote instability. I have seen how MPs can be lured for months and ultimately convinced to ship jump. I have seen how the floor of parliament can be used to misguide and misinform the people at times. Yet, in closed door meetings, I have also seen when necessary how unification in parliament can produce or bring about positive changes for St. Maarten. 

I would like to thank the SMCP Party Board, Membership, Leader of the Party and the candidates who won the seat in 2018, for the opportunity to serve since July 06, 2018 as the SMCP member of Parliament. 

I would like to thank my Faction staff and the entire Secretariat of Parliament for all their assistance during this past year. 

Last but surely not least, I would like to thank those who have guided me, my family and the people for their continued support. 

It was an honor to represent the people of St. Maarten as a Member of Parliament. This position is one that should be held with the utmost respect and integrity. I have done so and will continue to do so should I be given the opportunity again.

I will be contesting the January 09, 2020 Snap elections as the number 2 candidate on the SMCP slate. I remain committed to fight for a St. Maarten where good governance and integrity will become the order of the day. I remain energized to serve my island in the best interest of my people. God bless St. Maarten”.

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Minister Geerlings submits proposal of US$10-15 million to stimulate national economy

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Caretaker Minister of Finance Hon. Perry Geerlings has developed a detailed proposal to grow the economy through a stimulus for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises.

The proposal was developed as part of the World Bank project to enhance financing possibilities for enterprises in Sint Maarten.

It was recently submitted for final approval to the Steering Committee of the Trust Fund.

In November 2018, the Steering Committee of the Sint Maarten Recovery and Resilience Trust Fund approved an Enterprise Recovery Project.

This project aimed to use the lending and credit facilities on Sint Maarten to give tailored loans and grants to eligible Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Sint Maarten. In principle USD 35 million was approved for this project.

The implementation of this Enterprise Recovery Project turned out to be complex and not feasible on a short-term basis as the financial sector has to be involved as well.

In the meantime, also the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten has offered help in this respect.

Given the aforementioned concerns the Steering Committee asked the Minister of Finance to explore other opportunities to provide short term relief to SMSE in Sint Maarten.

The proposal of the Minister of Finance uses part of the available budget for a swift and much simpler to implement relief subsidy or grant to micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises that were affected by the hurricanes to improve their financial position during this phase of the recovery.

USD 10-15 million would be made available once approved, Minister Geerlings stated on Monday.

In the proposal, the amount of relief subsidy or grant will be based on the loss in turnover as reported by the enterprises on their turnover declarations in the 12 months period prior and after to Irma.

The proposal also includes the requirements for the enterprises to be eligible for this economic stimulus. The proposal and plan of approach were submitted to the Steering Committee by Minister Perry Geerlings recently.

The Steering Committee is scheduled later this month and Minister Geerlings asked and hopes for a final decision to execute the project.

After approval, a special team will execute the project. The rules of the relief subsidy, the eligibility requirements for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, the application process and forms will be made available at that time via different channels.

The Minister expects approximately 2.500 applications. The execution of the project, once approved, is expected to take some four to five months.

“Finally, and thanks to the efforts of the Tax Department, my team and the Chamber of Commerce, we came up with a proposal that, after approval, will lead to at least some urgently needed financial support to the business community that still struggles to overcome the effects of Irma,” Minister Perry Geerlings said on Monday.

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Grisha Heyliger to run as #4 on UP Party-list

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Grisha Heyliger, the wife of former Member of Parliament and beloved politician Theodore Heyliger, has officially announced she is running as a candidate on the United People's Party for the Parliamentary Election set for January next year.

Grisha will be the number 4 candidate on the UP party slate, which is sentimental to her, as her husband, Theodore Heyliger, entered the political arena on St. Maarten with the same number. He then became the largest vote-getter and pioneered the redevelopment of St. Maarten.

When she made her announcement, Grisha said, "I wish to share with you my decision to enter the Parliamentary Election set for January 9, 2020. This decision was not an easy one, but it comes from the realization that each of us must Stand Up for what we believe." She explained that the decision was not one she was expecting to make. 

She said, during my battle, “I have said on many occasions; this is not only about Theo. It is our battle as a family. However, while standing up for my husband, it brought home the reality that this is even bigger than he is. Whether you support him or not, I, like many of you, realize that our Country needs people more than ever, who are committed to standing up for the people of this Country.”

She was referring to the almost seven-year struggle her husband endured to prove his innocence amidst false allegations of vote-buying and attempted briberies that culminated in his pre-trial detention. He was later acquitted of all charges by the Court of First Instance in St. Maarten, on Thursday, November 14, 2019.

Her husband's incarceration was perhaps the most profound moment of her struggles. It was also a time when St. Maarten and the entire world saw her real strength when she stood up and insisted on reclaiming her husband's passport so he could seek medical treatment abroad. She also travelled to Bonaire when Theo was taken surprisingly from pre-trial detention in St. Maarten and has shown real strength of character throughout the entire ordeal while still being mother and Entrepreneur.

Initially, Grisha thought of creating an educational movement for St. Maarten to educate people about the root of the problem, which she believes, lies in the lack of true autonomy and the need of true self-governance.

After facing many shortcomings in our Country's laws, and seeing the challenges with our Constitutional status, it became clear that our people's rights are not clearly defined within those laws and guidelines. “This approach is still a worthy cause, and from the floor of Parliament, I can access the tools needed to bring about real change for the betterment of our people,” said Grisha on Sunday.

“We must make our citizens aware of the instruments being used to bind and constrict us. We need to get to a place where we see our bottlenecks and stand UP for change. I have stood firm as my husband's pillar, even while he worked and pursued his vision for the future of St. Maarten, and I am ready to take a stand for you.”

The starting point for her plan to redevelop St. Maarten, is reigniting the passion and determination seen after past challenges, such as hurricane Irma. “We must stand Up, shoulder-to-shoulder, and support each other for better, for right, and strength. It is the only way to secure our future and our children's future," said Grisha.

Prior to postulation day Grisha intends to release several updates outlining her platform including information surrounding her decision to run for office. It will be released via social media outlets including her website www.vote4grisha.com. For those interested in additional information regarding her platform you can contact the candidate on 550-4444,

She also intends to work on social issues surrounding the redevelopment of communities and creating a network that drives economic activities in the districts. She will be releasing more of her Platform during the coming weeks as campaigning intensifies.

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UP Board/ leader congratulate party founder on his acquittal

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) —The Board and Leadership of the United People's Party are happy at the news of the acquittal of Theodore Heyliger in connection with the so-called "Catfish" investigation.

After almost 10-years of being falsely accused of offering a bribe to former Member of Parliament Romaine Laville, Heyliger is now vindicated by the Court of First Instance who handed down its judgement on Thursday, November 14th.

"At this moment, my happy thoughts and grateful prayers are with Theo and his family, who continue to endure so much. Justice was slow but prevailed. I am happy that Theo and his family and the extended-UP family and supporters, can at least find some peace having overcome this victoriously," Leader of the UP MP Rolando Brison said

The UPP Board extends our sincere congratulations to Theodore Heyliger, our Founder and his family. We can only imagine the relief you must feel after the ordeal you have endured for years, being falsely accused.

UP Party President Silvia Meyers and her family like many other members of the board and party supporters also suffered the horror of seeing Heyliger and his family endure these accusations.

Meyers said Thursday evening "On behalf of the Board of the United peoples Party needless to say how delighted we are to know our Founder has been acquitted."

She said, "it is through God's continued presence in your life and his protective arms around you that we have been able to see the day where you are vindicated." Meyers said the UP Party remains steadfast and fully supports Heyliger in his continued legal battle to prove his innocence.

Heyliger has consistently been the largest vote-getter on St. Maarten and a central figure of the rebuilding of Dutch St. Maarten.

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‘Family and Diabetes’ primary focus for World Diabetes Day on November 14

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – The 2019 theme for World Diabetes Day (WDD) on November 14 is ‘Family and Diabetes.’ 

Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces.

Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Hyperglycaemia, or raised blood sugar, is a common effect of uncontrolled diabetes and over time leads to serious damage to many of the body's systems, especially the nerves and blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, blindness, kidney failure and lower limb amputation.  In 2012 alone diabetes cause 1.5 million deaths.

Worldwide 422 million adults are living with diabetes, which is four times what it was in 1980, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  In the Americas, approximately 65 million people are living with type 2 diabetes, largely due to obesity. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), this number is more than double the world average, with women more affected than men. 

The Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, would like the community to know that diabetes can be prevented and controlled.

Many people are not aware that they have type 2 diabetes, understand the risk factors, the signs/symptoms, and to seek prompt medical care if diabetes is suspected.

“Diabetes can be prevented through public health policies and lifestyle changes that support healthy eating, physical activity and healthy weights, and it can be controlled to prevent complications. If diabetes affects you or your family, make sure to follow a healthy lifestyle and adhere to treatment,” the WHO/PAHO reports.

For more information about diabetes, consult your general practitioner or contact the Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten.

prevent complications db

 

 

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Sint Maarten’s Day Celebrated in Grand Style

SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS (DCOMM) – After four months of preparations and communication with participants, the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary commemorated the 60th anniversary of Sint Maarten’s Day with two separate events.

This year’s celebrations were mirrored to that of Sint Maarten in regard to the theme and contents.

On November 8th entrepreneurs, up and coming artist and professionals were showcased. Attention was given to the history and traditions of Sint Maarten, where the former Minister Plenipotentiary, Mathias Voges hosted the breakout session themed “back in the days”. Voges presented interesting historical facts and shared some of the island’s customs.

John Sandiford was the host for the entrepreneur’s breakout session, where local entrepreneurs of Sint Maarten descent were given the opportunity to relay to the large audience present, their road to doing business in the Netherlands.

Some of the entrepreneurs participating in this session included, M. Beauperthuy, Duarte Smith, Jerome York and Nazeth Smith.

Clifford Brown and Manukiel Edward, two Sint Maarten students studying dance in the Netherlands, presented the futuristic version of the ponum dance where the key elements were presented.

In this year’s setup, Sint Maarten culinary artists were afforded the opportunity to sell local dishes to the patrons in attendance. The dishes presented were the famous Johnny cake and chicken-leg, various local soups, rice and peas, coconut tarts and much more delicious delights. Guavaberry from Sint Maarten, Sint Maarten apparel and souvenirs were also for sale during the celebratory event.

At the official reception where various Ambassadors, representatives of the Government of the Netherlands, international organizations and Non-Governmental Organization’ (NGOs) along with a vast turn out of persons from the Sint Maarten diaspora in the Netherlands consisting of students young professionals and seniors alike, were witness to a well- rounded array of performances.

The evening program began with musical interludes by the Lady of Jazz herself Anastacia Larmonie accompanied by acoustic guitarist, Luis Larmonie, to the delight of all present. The traditional to the eclectic presentations of Sint Maarten music set the tone for what was to come.

Starting off the evening event, was daughter of the soil and professional songstress, Rachell Brown with her rendition of the Sint Maarten song which was to everyone’s delight a most memorable experience.

Reverend dr. Joan Del Sol Mead, of the Netherlands circuit of the Methodist Church did the prayers. Speakers for the evening were the director of the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary, Carol Voges, whom in her welcome address, highlighted the theme of ‘We Story,’ and its connection to the path Sint Maarten is on, with the clear message that through unity and mutual respect Sint Maarten will move forward.

There was also a spoken-word segment where Lysanne Charles and Edwina Hodge recited works they created specifically for the occasion.

One of Sint Maarten cultural icons here in the Netherlands, Violet Lake together with her group Gwendis, performed their skit representing the local market vendors of ‘back in the days.’

The Minister Plenipotentiary in her address eluded to the historical relevance of keeping both the tangible and intangible culture of Sint Maarten alive.

As the country transitions and moves forward, this is of major importance, the Minister said. Notwithstanding the many hiccups experienced over the past nine years, Sint Maarten as a young country was allowed its mistakes, but that in moving forward as a nation, we will get it right in the benefit of its people. She further emphasized the significance of embracing unity between the North and South of the island. Her main message being, “One island, one people, one destiny”.

The Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary, Michael Somersall, after giving the words of thanks, recited his rendition of a poem inspired by Maya Angelou in which his message to Sint Maarten was, WE WILL RISE. The MC for the evening was Kelly Busby.

The official reception was followed by a mini concert by a few Sint Maarten-very own Musical Ambassadors in the Netherlands, namely, Orange Grove who had the crowd on their feet and Kyle Brown, also known as DJ Spy, with his repertoire of artists from way back in the days to the present.

On the 10th of November, the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary held the first around the island relay race NL edition in the Zuiderpark, The Hague.

The intention of this new initiative is to engage students in sports and health related activities next to their academic studies and is set to be organized annually by the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary.

The organization of this event was led by a sports committee consisting of Alaine van De’Listle, Jamil Richardson and Kevin Javois, under the leadership of Minister Wuite.

The committee received assistance from Trisport, the top sport division of the municipality of The Hague, as well as USC and UPG.

In total seven teams registered, each team consisting of 11 runners. Teams participating came from the private and public sectors. Two universities registered and were among the top teams together with a team of the Kingdom Relations Ministry and the Runners Pack of The Hague.

Two local teams consisting of both young professionals and students also participated and were successful in placing first and second in the winner’s circle. The medals were presented to the winners by Sint Maarten Council of State member, Maria van der Sluijs-Plantz.

Both the Minister and Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary were amongst the runners. After the run, all present were treated to local Johnny Cake provided by the Johnny Caker in the Netherlands through the sponsorship of IS cleaning, a company owned by young professional Luis Hurrault and Bush tea. Duarte Smith sponsored the catering services through his company DIS.

Images of the 2019 Sint Maarten’s day celebration can be seen on the Cabinet’s Facebook page courtesy of Jeffrey Richardson, who was on hand to provide live streaming of both events.

The Cabinet takes this opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to the over 200 patrons that took part in, attended and sponsored this year’s celebration of ‘We Story’.

MinAGZ Sxm House Relay Race Capt of the Winning Team Kevin Javois

Captain of the winning team Kevin Javois (R) of the Sint Maarten Relay Race.

MinAGZ SXM Day 11 NOV Sxm House SN

Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite delivering her speech to 200+ attendees in celebration of ‘We Story’.

 

 

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Parliament showcasing paintings by local artists of the Art Craft Café Foundation

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The Art Craft Café Foundation is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2015 to explore social, environmental and creative influences that contribute to a sustainable future for Sint Maarten.

The Art Café Foundations’ initial engagement commenced with the Art School where art classes are provided for all ages. The following art classes are offered: drawing and painting, screen-printing & design, sculpture & pottery. The foundation also host’s many events such as: Sip & Paint date nights, Birthday parties and many more.

In December 2018 the Art Café expanded the foundation by incorporating the development of the Waste Factory Sint Maarten, located on Front Street 3A, beside the Art Craft Café Gallery located, in Philipsburg. Ms. Tes Verheij is the founder and Managing Director of both the Waste Factory Sint Maarten and the Art Café School.

The Waste Factory is a one-stop shop for information, advice, education, the sale of environmentally friendly products  and a champion of a circular economy on Sint Maarten that embraces the 5 R’s of sustainable waste management, namely Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Repair & Recycle.

From October 2019 to April 2020 a selection of paintings from the Art Craft Cafe students will be prominently displayed in the lobby area, library and conference room at the House of Parliament.

The general public is invited to see the work of various artists of the Art Café displayed at the House of Parliament.

The Parliament of Sint Maarten exhibits the work of different local artists approximately every six months.

Previously the work of Ms. Beverly Mae Nisbeth was displayed. 

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