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Sint Maarten Lions Club received “UNSUNG HEROES” Award

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - On Monday November 11, 2019, the Sint Maarten Lions Club was one of the recipients to receive the UNSUNG HEROES award by the director of the St. Maarten in Retrospect Foundation (SIR).

The occasion marked the 20th anniversary of the St. Maarten in Retrospect program and the 60th anniversary celebration of St Maarten Day.This prestigious award was presented to Lion Oralie Boirard, Lion Club President 2019-2020 and Past District Governor Lion Wally Havertong PMJF during an interview with hosts of St. Maarten in Retrospect television program.

The Sint Maarten Lions Club was chartered on December 12, 1975 and since its inception, the club has become a well-known name on the island through the membership tireless service to the community.

Over the years, the hard working and dedicated members of the Sint Maarten Lions Club were able to raise the funds, which provided the opportunity to donate to several organizations and construct important landmarks on the island. Some of which are:

  • Donation of the 1st dialysis machine to the St. Maarten Medical Center
  • Donation of a bus to a school
  • Donation of wheelchairs to the St. Maarten Medical Center
  • Construction of (2) bus stops on the L.B. Scot Road
  • Construction of a playground in St. Peters
  • Construction of the Lions Civic Center in Sucker Garden
  • Hosting of two eye screening projects for primary school students

The club continues to work tirelessly for the people of Sint Maarten with fundraising projects such as the Annual Lions Christmas Bingo Spectacular and car raffles amongst others. The Sint Maarten Lions club and the two Leo clubs, namely the Alpha Leo club and the Omega South Leo club, annually hosts events such as the Lion Nelson van de Linde Senior Seniors Party and the Lion Rudy Hoeve Health and Wellness Fair; donating glasses to those in need, assisting schools with various projects and the distribution of Christmas baskets among many other projects.

The Board of Directors and the members of the Sint Maarten Lions Club would like to say thank Mr. Elton Richardson and team of the "St. Maarten in Retrospect" team for recognizing our club as a "Unsung Hero" on Sint Maarten.

Our club wish the St. Maarten In Restrospect team much success as they continue to reflect on the past and share information to public on the history of Sint Maarten - Saint Martin.

lions award unsung heroes





Workshop for supervisors, team leaders

SABA--Supervisors and team leaders of the Public Entity Saba this week are taking part in a two-day workshop on Tuesday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 20 to further develop their leadership skills. Island Secretary Tim Muller performed the kick-off on Tuesday morning.

Addressing the participants, Muller explained that this type of training was essential and in line with the vision of the Public Entity Saba to further develop and strengthen the government apparatus in order to provide high-level service to the Saba community. Muller further explained that as supervisor or team leader, the participants play an essential role in executing the government vision and to coach the teams in the right direction. 

The training was initiated by the Human Resources Management (HRM) Department and its HR Manager Miguela Gumbs. “Our supervisors and team leaders play an essential role in motivating and managing teams and getting the work done on time and according to the highest quality standards. Supervisors and team leaders are expected to manage their teams effectively, efficiently and with integrity. To be able to meet these expectations and excel in their role as a leader, our supervisors and team leaders will be provided with guidelines on performing their tasks properly,” said Gumbs.

According to Gumbs, trainer David McGregor of training bureau Charisma TDC facilitated a “very interactive, successful, and practical workshop to the supervisors and team leaders concerning establishing their leadership role, their responsibilities, taking ownership, motivating teams, effective communication and managing with integrity.” This training is s the beginning of a series of workshops that will continue through next year.


Four-Country Consultation Education, Culture and Science takes place

SINT MAARTEN/KINGDOM - The Ministers of Education, Culture and Science of the Kingdom held a ministerial Four-Country Consultation for the second time this year on November 11th and 12th.  

After the first Ministerial Four-Country Consultation on February 7th and 8th this year on Curacao, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) Ingrid van Engelshoven this time received her colleagues Marilyn Alcalá-Wallé (Curaçao), Rudy Lampe (Aruba), Minister Plenipotentiary of Aruba Guillfred Besaril (who replaced minister Xiomara Maduro of Culture) and Minister Plenipotentiary Jorien Wuite of St. Maarten (who replaced Minister Wycliffe Smith) in The Hague. The Caribbean ministers were in transit to the General Conference of UNESCO in Paris - which started on November 13th.

The Ministers decided that from now on the Ministerial Four-Country Education, Culture and Science Consultation will be held annually. In the odd years the meeting will be in the Netherlands – always following the biennial General Conference of UNESCO - and in the even years in one of the Caribbean countries. This agreement can be found in the Education, Culture and Science Cooperation Protocol between Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and the Netherlands, which was signed in The Hague on Thursday November 12th.

The ministers made more than 30 decisions about their cooperation. For example, it was decided that the countries would like to ratify and implement the UNESCO 2001 Convention on Underwater Archeology simultaneously. The Royal Library (Koninklijke Bibliotheek) will be working with the libraries of Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten to make agreements about connecting to its digital library.

The ministers also agreed to outsource an external investigation into the connection problems of students in the Kingdom. During the next ministerial Four-Country Consultation in 2020, partly on the basis of this research, proposals will be made to improve the academic success of students from the Caribbean islands. There will also be research into the possibilities of a fund to promote the mobility of students within the Kingdom.

In conclusion the ministers agreed to support further improvement of the communication and information on student finance, which will be effective in the Caribbean context. There will be an exploration if repaying student loans according to capacity to DUO, can also be carried out automatically in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom. And in 2020 the temporary counter function of DUO on Aruba and Curaçao will be evaluated.


Omar Ottley contesting elections with UP as #3

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Well known Civil Engineer Omar Ottley announced on Monday that he will be contesting the upcoming Parliamentary Elections of January 9, 2020 with the United People (UP) party. He will run in the #3 position on the list.  

Omar Eric Cornelius Ottley was born in October 1986 to Mrs. Merlyn Meyers Ottley and Mr. Milton ‘Bobby Ottley in Queens, New York. One month later, he was brought back to St. Maarten, where he later attended the Methodist Agogic Centre and St. Maarten Academy.

Ottley, the eldest of three boys for his parents, later moved to the United States where he spent three years at Lithonia High School in Atlanta, Georgia, before attending Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where he graduated in 2004. That same year he entered Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University (FAMU) in Tallahassee, Florida, and read for a Bachelor of Science degree, which he obtained in 2009. In October 2010, Ottley entered Strayer University in Georgia, where he earned a Master’s degree with honors in 2013.

After gaining his first degree and spending some time working with MNO and WWR, Ottley started his own business, O & Eric Construction Company, in 2010. In the years since then, he has completed a number of projects, including remodeling the Central Bank in Philipsburg and supervision the Foga Project in Sucker Garden.

Several buildings around the island also stand as testimony to his engineering abilities. These include Ace Lumberyard in Cay Hill, Motor World in Cole Bay, the Rockland Project at Emilio Wilson Estate, the Bastion Harbour Project, Mrs. Lalie Commercial Center on Bush Road, and the extension of the St. Maarten Vocational and Training School in South Reward.

Building on the values passed down to him from his parents and grandparents, the father of one said his motivation for starting his own company is mainly to provide opportunities for locals. When he started in the business, he noticed that there were mainly Dutch construction companies, with one specific company capitalizing on the labor for the projects and subcontracting the jobs. This gave him the inspiration to begin his own company and hire local workers.

As St. Maarten continues to face many challenges two years after Hurricane Irma, Ottley plans to focus on the people of the island and the myriad of issues in the neglected areas. To him, a country is only as good as its people.


Wever turns on Traffic lights on Sunday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) —The familiar red, green and orange lights giving instructions to motorists is again turned on after more than two years of being destroyed by hurricane Irma thanks to the effort of VROMI Minister Christopher Wever,

The new lights were installed a week ago and followed a series of tests to ensure that they were functioning correctly.

Wever turned on the lights at the intersection, Walter Nisbeth Road, Bush Road, Illidge Road and Long Wall Road on Sunday following a series of tests that were carried out to ensure that they function correctly. He said the lights would first blink orange for about a week to create awareness for motorists that they are operating again. 

This approach is necessary as he feels reprogramming the minds of motorists to expect and respect the traffic lights will be a gradual process.

In a release issued Sunday evening Wever said "Earlier this afternoon, we turned on the traffic lights which have not been functioning since the passing of Hurricane Irma. I want to thank Henry and his team from Hemco for their hard work.

He also thanked “Mr Nicolaas and his students for their contribution and said Sunday’s successful turning on of the traffic lights proves that “when people work together, we can accomplish great things.”

The traffic lights will go into regular functioning starting next week, and motorists are urged to pay strict attention to the traffic lights and abide by the rules governing their operation. The traffic lights are the most familiar symbols for regulating traffic and have been very useful at the intersection. It forces motorists to stop and reduces the risk of accidents as motorists are forced to slow down and ultimately come to a stop.

"It is against the law to ignore the traffic lights, and I am encouraging everyone to pay attention to the lights and be guided by them at the intersection to ensure all of our safety," said Wever. He added;” remember by respecting the traffic rules the life you save might be your own.” 


Nature Foundation Junior Rangers Experienced Informative Nature Exchange in Bonaire

SINT MAARTEN (COLE BAY) - The Nature Foundation Junior Rangers attended an informative nature exchange during the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance’s youth environmental exchange in Bonaire in October, in collaboration with STINAPA Bonaire and World Wildlife Fund.

The Junior Rangers; Marshall Leone from the Learning Unlimited school, Maya Speetjens from Milton Peters College, Nubia Stomp from St Dominic High school and Valerie Halley from the Caribbean International Academy, learned about the environmental issues the Dutch Caribbean islands are facing, marine conservation and the importance of our natural habitats.

At the end of the exchange, the junior rangers presented to the board and staff of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance about their experiences and their gained knowledge. The Junior rangers performed great, “they did an amazing job presenting to DCNA, it was truly impressive, as speaking to press, scientists, and a lot of important people can be difficult” explained their leader Guillaume Lacome.     

The junior rangers learned about the wildlife on Bonaire, about the impact of plastic pollution, migratory birds and worked on their snorkel skills while learning about fishes, corals and marine life in general. Maya Speetjens mentioned that she learned a lot while she was snorkeling, including the importance of parrot fish for our coral reefs as they eat the algae which can suffocate the corals.

Valeri Halley explained about the importance of learning from others “not only did I get to learn about Bonaire’s nature, but I got to learn from other children and what they are doing for their islands, that was just great”. 

The Junior Rangers experienced basic living conditions, without electricity and internet, while camping in the Washington Slagbaai National park. Nubia Stomp mentioned “being where I was in Bonaire, without internet or cell reception made me realize how refreshing it is that I do not have an option to be staring at the screen of my Phone for hours and that I could have so much fun and still enjoy myself without it”.

Marshall Leone enjoyed the lifestyle and stated “On this Junior Ranger Exchange, I have experienced how much of a different lifestyle you can make for yourself. In the protected area that we stayed in, there was raw beauty that resulted from not polluting or damaging the habitat. This made me realize the human impact on nature and why we need to protect it”. 

The youth environmental exchange was made possible by the project sponsors Rabobank, World Wildlife Fund (WWF-NL), STINAPA Bonaire and the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) together with a great and enthusiastic project team comprised of members from DCNA, STINAPA and Fundacion Parke Nacional Aruba (FPNA).

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Nature Foundation Junior Rangers on a birding trip with Board member and bird expert Binkie van Es in Bonaire.





Minister Johnson elated with Heyliger's acquittal

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) — The Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication Stuart Johnson is elated with the news of the acquittal of Suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Theodore Heyliger.

Close to 10 years of the "Cat-fish investigation" the accusation has finally been resolved. 

"I stood firm with MP Heyliger, his family and all who support him in the toughest of times. This victory today is testimony that good shall always prevail," Minister Johnson stated. 

"I can only imagine the new friend’s MP Heyliger might have flocking back to him but only few of us stood every step of the way at his side. I continue to pray for him, his family and his genuine supporters," Minister Johnson added. 

MP Heyliger has been a visionary leader for decades and his shoes are hard to fill.


Da’ Manual Sint Maarten Legislative Process: The making of a law Simplified is out

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Continuing efforts to raise the awareness and educate the general public (of Sint Maarten) about the political process of Sint marten has resulted in my newest publication Da’ Manual Sint Maarten Legislative Process: The making of a law simplified.” 

The book covers an overview of the general legal system of Sint Maarten encompassing types of laws, levels of lawmaking and procedures in lawmaking.

The structural framework of laws are then outlined and illustrated, followed by: the sources of laws (from idea to law), the legislative process (coming into force of national ordinances, decrees and regulations), and concluding with the general principles widely considered best practices when making laws.

Included, as appendices, are the Code of Order for the Parliament of Sint Maarten and the Oder of Procedure for the Council of Ministers.

It is the hope that this manual will serve as a useful reference source for legislators and an educational tool to the general public in understanding the legislative lawmaking process of their constituent state – Sint Maarten.

Limited copies are now available by calling (721) 522-8505

On the request and the recommendation of community members the author Julio R. Romney, will be conducting free “Each One Teach One” information sessions. Interactive information sessions on understanding your (St. Maarten) defined political process.  Date, place and time of sessions will be announced at a later date.


Sint Maarten hosts AWOK meeting

GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten (DCOMM) – On November 13th and 14th the annual AWOK (Ambtelijk Wetgevingsoverleg Koninkrijksrelaties) meeting was held at Simpson Bay Resort and Marina.

During this two-day meeting, legislative lawyers from Aruba, Curaçao, the Netherlands and Sint Maarten came together to discuss various topics regarding the countries’ legislative matters.

The AWOK members convene two times per year, whereby one meeting is held on a different Caribbean island. This year’s AWOK was organized by the Department of Legal Affairs & Legislation.


SMMC installs Micro-Grinder to process its medical waste

SINT MAARTEN (CAY HILL) – The St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) recently installed a Micro-Grinder, a medical waste processer, on its premises in order to safely treat its medical waste.

The Micro-Grinder, a SterilWave 250, can process up to 50 kg of medical waste per hour and turns medical waste into sterile (non-infectious) municipal waste. The medical waste treatment process entails first grinding the medical waste to small particles after which the small particles are further processed via Microwave treatment and heated up to 110 degrees Celsius at which point all waste becomes sterile.

The benefit of this technology is that the medical waste becomes sterile, dry and stable for easy further logistics. The medical waste is also greatly reduced in volume (by 80%) and weight (by 20%) and there are zero polluting emissions for the environment when operating the Micro-Grinder.

SMMC’s Head of Maintenance & Facilities, Michael Sargeant, lauded the arrival and installation of the Micro-Grinder and stated: “Here at SMMC, we constantly are looking for ways to increase efficiency in our operations. In the absence of a functioning incinerator at the landfill, SMMC had to make use of third parties for incineration of certain (non-bodily materials) medical waste.

Not only was this very costly, it is also not a logistically viable solution. SMMC still makes use of crematoria for the proper disposal of bodily materials.  However, with the installation of a Micro-Grinder at SMMC, we can safely and swiftly process the bulk of our medical waste, which are non-bodily materials, on site which reduces the risk of contamination and reduce its volume while doing so. A win-win-win situation in our view”.

A technician from the SterilWave Micro-Grinder’s manufacturer, Bertin Medical Waste, recently concluded a week long installation and validation of the equipment.  An intense training was also provided for SMMC’s technical team and operators.

The Sterilwave Micro-Grinder is an on-site medical waste processing solution which reduces the risk of contamination in comparison with incineration and landfills. Sterilwave has been registered and approved by health & environmental ministries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and America. The uniqueness of Sterilwave is linked to its innovative microwave technology and high level of treatment respecting both the environment and security processes.

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The newly installed Micro-Grinder at SMMC.



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