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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (2419)

Post Office Director Antonia Wilson marks 35 years of dedicated service to St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG: --- Management and staff of Postal Services St. Maarten (PSS N.V.) sprung a 35th Anniversary Day surprise for Interim Director, Ms. Antonia Wilson, at the main post office branch Tuesday.

Saba-born, Ms. Wilson, has been an integral part of postal services on St. Maarten ever since she joined the forerunner to the present company, on 1st November 1979.

During her 35 years in service she has been recognized for her dedication with several promotions, the latest being Retail Director of the Windward Island for Nieuwe Post Netherland Antilles (NPNA).

Manager, Commercial and Business Development, Ms. Zaira Paulo, said managers and staff surprised Ms. Wilson with a presentation and a cake to mark her remarkable achievement, and also as a way of recognizing a “great leader".

“The celebration was well-deserved and our staff, along with the Supervisory Board of Directors was pleased to make this a special day for Ms. Wilson,” continued Ms. Paulo.

She described Ms. Wilson as being very experienced in the work executed by the Post Office on St. Maarten with first-hand knowledge of how the service has been developed over the years.

“We count on Ms. Wilson’s knowledge and experience to develop the modern services that new postal authority for St. Maarten has to offer and we look forward to many more years with us,” said Ms. Paulo.

She described the PSS N.V. Interim Managing Director as a firm but fair personality who only wants what is best for her staff and strives at all times to provide the best postal service for St. Maarten.

Ms. Paulo said this week has in fact been a week of celebration for a number of postal service employees who are also marking Silver and Jade anniversaries in service. Among these are our colleagues Kevin Gumbs (29 years), Rita Pantophlet and B. Monson (25 years) and Mr. Rombley (25 years), who will all be officially honored in the week upcoming.

Interim Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors, Mr. Stuart Johnson, congratulated Ms. Wilson on achieving a milestone in St. Maarten’s postal service, noting that another Saba national, Mr. Will Johnson, had also played an important part in the early development of postal services on St. Maarten when he also worked in the postal service here.

 “Ms. Wilson has come a long way and although I have known her to shy away from the spotlight whenever she can, on this occasion I would encourage her to take a well-deserved bow for a long dedicated service thus far, with much more still to give,” said the Supervisory Board Chairman.

He said it is a pleasure working with Ms. Wilson, noting that her dedication to PSS should serve as an example to many individuals, especially the staff of PSS."

Before cutting her anniversary cake, Ms. Wilson thanked God for her blessing, her family for the great support, her staff for their kind gesture and also members of the public and customers who have sent messages of good wishes - including former postal workers who are now retired.

“I have experienced a lot in the 35 years and my working colleagues are as close to me as my own family, because we spend so many working days together,” said Ms. Wilson.

She said the new postal authority on St. Maarten has set itself on a path to modernize its services in the face of increased competition from the internet and a global change in traditional postal business.

“In the short time I have been interim managing director we have opened two new branches and with some of the new services we are offering our customers, I believe we are moving in the right direction.

“There is a still a lot of work to be done and I promise to continue to work tirelessly to build good strategic relations with our business clients and excellent relations with the general public to show that our post offices are still relevant so that our younger members of staff can also celebrate 35 years when their time comes around,” said Ms. Wilson.

For more information about your post office personnel and the service and products available at the Postal Services St. Maarten, visit or like on www.facebook.com/post.stmaarten or call + (1721) 5422289.

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Sunday, November 9th – National Day of Prayer & Fasting. Pray for strong and upright governments for Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

PHILIPSBURG - Churches, citizens and all who lover and care for our beautiful twin-island nation are asked to observe Sunday, November 9th as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for our island. Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is facing challenges at all levels of society. The governments of this island are in need of our prayers. The economy is being challenged with unemployment and layoffs. Crime is on the rise. The social foundations of our society are being shaken and people are hurting in so many ways. One way to attack these problems is through prayer.

It is for this reason that the Saint Martin United Ministerial Foundation (SMUMF) and the Federation of Churches on French Saint Martin (FEDOC) are calling on the people to pray earnestly for our beloved island. We don’t have to gather en masse to pray for the island, but if everybody, in their own way and in their own time, spend a few minutes on Sunday asking for God’s mercy, blessing and guidance for the island then we would have a national day of prayer. In your individual morning and evening prayers remember Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. You can also come together in small groups and pray. Pastors and priests are asked to spend a few minutes during their service or mass to pray for the island. When all of these prayers are put together we would have had a national prayer meeting on behalf of our nation. As far as the fasting is concerned, even skipping just one meal on Sunday the 9th to pray would also turn this day into a national day of fasting.

The National Day of Prayer and Fasting will culminate with a general prayer gathering at Christian Assembly, Grande Case, Saint Martin at 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited! Pastors who have evening services will be able to get back to their respective churches on time. In this service we take our cue and advice from the wisest ruler who ever lived, King Solomon. He counsels the people of God to be humble, to pray, to seek God’s face and turn from their selfish ways. When we do this, God will hear our prayers, He will forgive our sins and He will heal and restore our nation.

Let’s join together on Sunday, November 9th to pray for the peace and prosperity of Sint Martin/Saint Martin.  (SMUMF)

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Copper thieves setting back restoration work on Telecom infrastructure

POND ISLAND – Copper thieves are setting back restoration work on TelEm Group’s telecommunication infrastructure, part of which was damaged with the passing of hurricane Gonzalo.

 

The thieves have been going into action in the dead of night, cutting copper cables set aside to connect pockets of neighbourhoods worst affected by hurricane Gonzalo.

 

“The latest incident happened recently in the Sucker Garden area where brand new copper cable was cut and removed from a site even before we had a chance to connect customers,” said Manager, Outside Plant, Mr. Marco London.

 

He said the thefts are putting back restoration work for workers in the field who are forced to remove the cables from the work sites at the end of each day. The workmen are also having to ensuring the cables left behind at the end of the day, are properly concealed and protected to prevent further theft.

 

“We have to take these precautions and this is causing a slowdown in the number of customers we can reconnect to the infrastructure each day in different areas,” said Mr. London.

 

He said some three weeks after the passing of hurricane Gonzalo, close to 300 TelEm Group customers in various areas throughout the island continues to be affected and is awaiting reconnection for landline and internet service.

 

“Unfortunately for some of these customers, there is a slight delay in having their service resumed since we have decided, along with GEBE and Cable TV to put our cables underground right away rather than repair and restore damaged overhead cables.

 

“This will cause some inconvenience in the short term, but the in the long term it will be better for the customer because the underground cables are better protected and will also allow for quicker reconnections in the future should there be any other hurricanes or major incidents,” said  the Outside Plant manager.

 

He said the areas where the utility companies are going underground within the next two weeks include Sucker Garden and Betty’s Estate, however there are other areas, such as Middle Region, Dutch Quarter and Nazareth, where the companies cannot lay underground cables because of succession land issues and are therefore forced to maintain an overhead cabling system.

 

“We are doing all that we can in several areas to have customers back in landline and internet service as soon as it is physically possible.

 

“We are working along with GEBE and St. Maarten Cable TV in different areas for efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but none of us are helped by the inclement weather that the island has experienced in recent days,” continued Mr. London.

 

He said the setback of heavy rain, combined with the theft of copper cables is slowing down progress, but customers can rest assured that technicians will be getting to them soon.

 

He has meantime urged members of the public who witness people stealing company equipment and copper cables to report the matter to the police right away.

 

The Outside Plant manager said in areas where customers do not have service because of felled poles and dangling drop wires, these customers should ensure they report the outage to TelEm Group’s Customer Care department so that adjustments can be made to their monthly subscription fee.

“Unless we are officially informed a customer’s service has been interrupted because of damage to the telecommunication infrastructure, they will continue to be charged for service,” Mr. London said. (TelEm)

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Volunteers wanted for new Library Café

PHILIPSBURG - Are you an adult who is looking for a volunteer job where you will meet lots of people from different cultures and ages? Do you have some spare time available in the mornings or in the afternoons? If this is the case, then volunteering at the library might be just the thing for you!

Library volunteers play an important role as partners in the library's mission of connecting people to the world of ideas and information. If you would like to volunteer and the description above applies to you, you are invited to assist in our new open library café. The café will be open daily (except on Mondays) to provide library users with healthy and delicious drinks and snacks.

If you would like to support your library by working as a volunteer in the library café, please contact us by email or phone. 

For more information, call or send an e-mail to the library’s director Mrs. Monique Alberts (542 2970) or contact the library café coordinator Ms. Cherida Creebsburg (554 6154) at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. (Library)

 

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FC Soualiga wins Second International Women’s Soccer Tournament

CAY HILL - FC Soualiga Women's Soccer Team hosted its 2nd PJIA International Women’s Soccer Tournament during the weekend of October 25th and 26th, with the hosting team FC Soualiga winning both of the matches it competed in (5-2 and 7-3).  

This time around it proved a little bit more difficult to get teams over to the island as opposed to 2013’s tournament with 6- a side games where St. Barths, Curacao and Trinidad participated along two FC Soualiga teams. This year Raoul Illidge allowed for official 11- a side games. This however proved difficult for other regional teams as airfare for regional flights are quite expensive, especially when an entire team, including coaches, need to travel. The fact that chikungunya has been circulating in the region has also made matters worse, as team Trinidad had to cancel a day before the opening match due to contracting the virus.

Considering that FIFA has deemed this year ‘the year of women in soccer’, world-wide more investment should be made in having women participate in the sport, it is regrettable that many teams, some affiliated with FIFA, have not yet been able to represent themselves internationally.

However, FC Soualiga was still very pleased with the outcome of this year’s PJIA International Women’s Soccer Tournament. They were applauded for their professionalism and great organizational skills, as well as everyone being impressed by the improvement the team has shown in such a short time span. The team, only being in existence since April 2013, has proven it is a force to be reckoned with.

FC Soualiga walked away with the first place prize, while their main competitor, ‘Association Sportive de Gustavia’ from St. Barth's came in second. Other personal prizes such as the best defender prize went to Cindy Havinga, Daphne Wittenberg was named best goalie and the most valuable player prize went to Kandice Franklyn, as well as winning the prize for most goals scored.

FC Soualiga would like to thank all their amazing sponsors for making this year’s tournament another success. FC Soualiga would especially like to acknowledge its corporate sponsor Princess Juliana International Airport, and Divi Little Bay Beach Resort for always supporting the team. Without them and the sponsors Windward Islands Bank, GEBE, Sint Maarten Building Supplies, Majula Corp., Travel Planners, Holland House Beach Hotel, and Heavenly Water, the tournament would not have been as successful as it was.

Special thanks also goes out to Coach David Forsythe, Rita Aikman and Ruthlyn Hooi from the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation, the Red Cross Foundation, Robenson Gassant for his graphic design expertise, Mr. York from Ocean Island NV, and the Foundation Upkeep Sports Facilities for always supporting FC Soualiga in all its endeavors.

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KAREL FRIELINK WILL JOIN FORCES WITH BZSE ATTORNEYS AT LAW

CAY HILL - Well-seasoned corporate and finance attorney Karel Frielink is joining BZSE Attorneys at Law and Tax Lawyers of St. Maarten, and will  set up and manage a Curaçao office of the firm. The office will open on January 1, 2015, and Frielink will serve as its managing partner.

“We are extremely excited to be opening a Curaçao office and to have Karel joining the firm,” said Roeland Zwanikken, managing partner of BZSE in St. Maarten.

“Karel is a great attorney, lauded for his technical knowledge and experience of the local (Curacao and Sint Maarten) markets. He is highly regarded for his work in corporate (governance) and finance matters, as well as his broader commercial practice.”

“Growth for growth’s sake has never been what we have looked for. We have carefully measured this opportunity, which we believe to be good for the firm and, above all, good for our clients,” said Zwanikken. “We offer the highest quality in terms of experience and service to our clients.”

“Having a close relationship with several partners of BZSE for many years and having worked with lawyers of BZSE on several cases, I know the firm’s excellent reputation is well founded,” said Karel Frielink.

“We also share the same values. A straightforward approach, as well as independence, integrity, quality, loyalty and team spirit are paramount to the professionals of BZSE. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in offering efficient and highly effective legal services to our clients.”

For more information about the firm, visit www.bzselaw.com.

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“Sint Maarten Soccer Association Represented at CONCACAF “Let’s Develop Women’s Football Seminar”

PHILADELPHIA-SINT MAARTEN - The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Association_Football (CONCACAF) hosted a top-level conference seminar focusing on development in women’s football on October 25 and 26, 2014, in Philadelphia, coinciding with the semifinals and final of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

The Sint Maarten Soccer Association, the national body for football on Sint Maarten, sent Ms. Danaë Daal to represent Sint Maarten at this two-day event. Ms. Daal has been the key figure in developing the sport for females on Sint Maarten, by establishing the first women’s soccer association on Sint Maarten and continues to develop female football with a team of other female football aficionados so that more girls and women can continue to enjoy the beautiful game.

The two day event had three main goals: education of stakeholders about the current status of women in football in the region and around the world; promoting the various opportunities which women’s football offers; and inspiring stakeholders to continue to invest in and improve the women’s game.  39 of 41 member associations of CONCACAF attended to discuss the issues and opportunities surrounding women’s football development.

On Saturday 25 October the seminar included topics like elite player football, football pathways, hosting the FIFA’s women’s world cup and many other topics that were discussed by representatives from all over the world. On Sunday the program followed with a workshop with the member associations and discussions were held on the challenges they face pertaining to female football and how we can learn from each other.

The main conclusion of this event is that more focus should be on development and tools were given on how to achieve this. This was also stressed by the president of CONCACAF.  “The priority for all our Member Associations should be development,” said CONCACAF President Jeffry Webb. “

The Oualichi Women’s Soccer Association has been a member of the Sint Maarten Soccer Association since 2013 and is also a member of CONCACAF.  The participation by Ms. Daal at the seminar “Let’s Develop Women’s Football” marks a positive development for female football on Sint Maarten which would not have been possible without the support of the president of the Sint Maarten Soccer Association, Mr. Nicky Owen. “This is a dream come true for me by not only be amongst many who share the same vision for female football development but also as a player to see many of my idols like Abby Wambach, Sydney Leroux and Hope Solo play on the field,” commented Daal.

The seminar closed with the attendance of all member associations at the semifinal and final of the 2014 CONCACAF Women’s Championship. Trinidad and Tobago was defeated by Mexico with a 4-2 score leaving the team with a last opportunity for a spot at the Women’s World Cup in Canada next year if they defeat Ecuador. The finals were won by the US team by a victorious 6-0 win on Costa Rica. Both countries have secured their spot for the World Cup. Twenty-one finalists are confirmed for the Women’s World Cup, including four teams from CONCACAF.

For more information of Sint Maarten participation in Philadelphia visit the Oualichi Women’s Soccer Team Facebook page or their website: www.oualichisoccer.com. (Qualichi Women’s Soccer Team)

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Reading Rainbow Pre-School Receives Educational Books and Computers from SMTA

PHILIPSBURG - The Reading Rainbow pre - school recently received some educational books and computers for their foundation with the assistance from the SMTA’s $ A Day program.

The day care /pre-school and after school service foundation caters to approximately 50 children from the ages of 0 to 13 years old. Besides the regular afterschool programs the school is heavily involved in teaching their students about geography and agriculture.

The kids are growing their own vegetables and botanical gardens and planting fruit trees. Also, along with their Dutch lessons, the kids often have speech contests, and poetry classes.

The Reading Rainbow foundation teaches their kids the fundamentals of reading different educational books in order for them to excel academically.

“We as an association is honored to be a part of the educational growth of our youths and that we are able to provide the tools that they need to develop all of their skills that they will need for their future” said Arnaldo Philippa, SMTA Board Member and General Manager of Diamond Flamingo Resort.

The SMTA’s successful $ A Day program has been assisting many foundations and associations with their educational and environmental programs, and this program is made possible from the numerous generous tourists who visit our beautiful timeshare resorts every year. These guests voluntarily give $1 every day that they stay on the island, and the SMTA is honored to display in many ways the benefits of their contribution. (SMTA)

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WANTED: Poems for the New Anguilla Book of Poetry, “Where I See the Sun”

GREAT BAY—“All poets and spoken word artists from Anguilla, including those studying or living abroad” are invited “to submit up to five poems” for a new poetry book to be published here by the House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

“Where I See The Sun – Contemporary Poetry in Anguilla” is the working name for the planned anthology. A wide range of subjects and writings styles are encouraged, said HNP president Jacqueline Sample. The submission deadline is December 22, 2014.

HNP recently issued the “Call for Poetry” online, outlining the guidelines of how Anguillan poets and aspiring poets could get their poems in the new book, at: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152495554957399&set=a. The guidelines

can also be requested from This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Information about the poetry book will also be available at the mid-November “Poetry Evening” hosted by the department of Library in Anguilla, said Sample. “HNP is in contact with organizers and supporters of literary activities in Anguilla and is widening the outreach to realize a unique literary volume,” said Sample.

The publisher hopes that young and old writers of poems will see the book project as an exciting proposition from a press that has published literary giants like Kamau Brathwaite (Barbados) and Amiri Baraka (USA), Harvard scholar Marion Bethel (The Bahamas), outstanding Palestinian poet Nidaa Khoury, and the late St. Martin bard Charles Borromeo Hodge.

“Rita Celestine-Carty and Lexus Ryan are two of the poets with serious material from Anguilla that we’re learning about,” said Lasana M. Sekou, HNP’s projects director and editor of Where I See The Sun - Contemporary Poetry in St. Martin (2013).  

“Early cultural forums organized by Ijahnya Christian; visiting author readings linked to Stephanie Stokes Oliver; the Anguilla Lit Fest over the last three years; book club activities involving Coral Reef Bookstore; and poetry readings facilitated by Josveek Huliger, are among a number of internal activities flinging the doors wide open for contemporary writers, especially poets and spoken word artists to write about their Caribbean nation, to be heard, and to become known at home and abroad,” said Sekou.

“All of the poems submitted for the anthology will go through a rigorous selection process by a confidential editorial board. I hope that the idea and challenge of the anthology will inspire poets and aspiring poets from Anguilla to take a chance at getting published in the new book,” said Sample. 

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Governor Holiday to Visit SXM Airport

SIMPSON BAY, SXM Airport - His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday is scheduled to pay an official visit to the Princess Juliana International Airport, SXM, on October 30, 2014.

“We are excited to welcome him since he was President of the airport before his appointment to the position of the first Governor of St. Maarten,” said Regina LaBega, SXM managing director who succeeded him.

The Governor will be given a tour of the facilities of the airport, including the Air Traffic Control tower and will also receive a presentation about the latest and future developments that are being undertaken at the island’s major gateway.

“It is an honor for us, while we’re winding down the celebrations of our 70th anniversary, to bring the Governor up to date with what has been happening at the airport and to show him what we have been able to achieve building on the strong foundation that he laid,” added LaBega.

It was under Governor Eugene Holiday, while he was President of the airport, that the new terminal building and ATC tower were built.

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