Soualiga Newsday Latest News

Soualiga Newsday Latest News (3013)

Local Gymnasts Awarded at Weekend Inter-Island Gymnastics Competition

CAY HILL - For the first time in St. Maarten an inter-island gymnastics competition was held on March 14, 2015 at Asha Stevens Gymnasium, presented by Club de Gym Saint Martin and National Institute of the Arts (NIA). Forty students under the age of twelve were judged by St. Maarten judges who were trained under Comité Régional of Guadeloupe (Gymnastics Local Committee of Guadeloupe). Mme Pujol, a representative of the French Gymnastic Federation came from Guadeloupe to supervise the entire event.

The guidelines were based on elementary gymnastic basics, and are the same used in Europe and the rest of the Caribbean gymnastics federations. The competition was organized around basic gymnastic skills of alignment, strength and flexibility. All gymnasts were awarded a certificate of participation. To succeed in the parcours the students needed at least 12 points out of 20, and those that received these points were awarded a certificate of achievement. The top three scoring the highest points received the medals listed below.

It was well attended by family and friends of the talented participants and showcased the potential displayed by St. Maarten's young gymnast in training. NIA sends heartfelt congratulations to Director, Gratienne Riom, teachers Doris Barbes from Club de Gym Saint Martin and Peggy Oulerich Head of the Dance Department at NIA and all staff members and students on a well-executed event.

The medals awarded are as follows:

Category 1- Level 1

(Born 2009)

Rejal Peterson (Gold)

Nyah Kalmera (Silver)

Jayda Frederic (Bronze)

(Born 2008)

Ramlall Laya (Gold)

Antonio Roland Kenya (Silver)

Fleury Camille (Bronze)

(Born 2005/2006/2007)

Stomp Nubia (Gold)

Naudin Sarah (Silver)

Clemence Gerling (Bronze)

Category 2- Level 2

(Mixed age competition- 2004/2005/2006)

Halley Valerie (Gold)

Brooks Ellis Gabrielle (Silver)

Christina Trinity (Bronze)



Library receives donation from Indian Merchants’ Association

PHILIPSBURG — Recently, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library (PJL) received a donation by the Indian Merchants’ Association (IMA) for the purchase of a new network server.

The PJL is a place, not only for reading, it is also a multimedia center where the general public can go to use the internet, study, make homework assignments or do research.

This is an essential service for schoolchildren, especially those who do not have access to books, computers or internet at home. They can do their assignments at the library with all the facilities needed. Hundreds of schoolchildren visit the library on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis to do their homework.

Two weeks ago, the library had some technical problems with the network server for the public computers of the library. The server crashed, which meant that a number of students who were in the library could not finish their school assignments that evening.

This server has also had to be repaired numerous times since it was acquired in 2004. However, thanks to the generous donation of the Indian Merchants’ Association it was possible to replace the faulty network server with a new one.

The Philipsburg Jubilee library and its library patrons are very grateful to the Indian Merchants’ Association for said donation. (PJL)


All set for the NAGICO to NAGICO Cycling Race this weekend

GREAT BAY - Final preparations for the 3rd annual NAGICO to NAGICO (N2N) Cycling race were in high gear yesterday as all stakeholders and organizers met with the emergency services to review the plans for the exciting event which takes place this weekend, starting tonight.

NAGICO Insurances; the title sponsor in collaboration with the  Velo Club de Grand Case (VCG)met with the police, Red Cross at the police station to go over the safety protocol and cycling route.

"Our highest priority at this time is the safety of our riders and road users during our NAGICO to NAGICO cycling races," Lisa Brown; Marketing Supervisor of NAGICO said. "We have been receiving tremendous support from the police where road safety and usage is concerned and we really want to extend our thanks to them for this. I also want to use this opportunity to urge motorists to exercise caution and care on the road, especially during the races, as we have over 60 riders registered to compete and this includes children."

The race will take place from March 20th – 22nd with the route as follows:

March 20th: Stage 1- Time Trials 2km

Start time: 7pm - Causeway Bridge (Bellevue)

Finish 9:30pm: Causeway Bridge (Bellevue)

Mach 21st: Stage 2- Race, 85km

Start time 8am: NAGICO Quatier d 'Orleans

Finish 10:30am: NAGICO Quatier d 'Orleans

March 21st: Stage 3 – Time trial, 6km

Start Time 3:30pm: Sucker Garden

Finish 5:30pm: Top Link 2

March 22nd: Stage 4- Race, 110km

Start time: 8am: NAGICO Philipsburg

Finish 11:30am: NAGICO Marigot

All are invited to come out and support the event.


Rotary Sunrise Girls Day Camp a Success

PHILIPSBURG - Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise hosted “Shine like the Stars in the Universe” Day Camp. The camp was geared toward girls’ ages 12-18 years of age. The topics that were presented were Communication, Fitness & Nutrition, Leadership, Culture, Etiquette and Fashion.

The girls were welcomed by Camp Facilitator Keysy Ramirez. President Virginia Asin opened the event by emphasizing the Rotary’s mission to empower and build confidence in today’s youth. President Asin was then joined by Rachel Doorson for the invocation.

The event started with the communication topic “The Art of Conversation”.  It was presented by Rotarian Okama Ekpe Brook. She presented the topic by first having the girls introduce themselves to each other and continued the discussion on the importance of communication and the different types of communication. She used this opportunity to demonstrate communication by talking about the current National Development Plan and shared some questions to discuss in open conversation to get input and feedback on the plan.

The fitness and nutrition segment was headed by the visiting Vocational Training Team from Niagara, Ontario, Canada. The girls were led in a fitness routine and were given the opportunity to lead the routine as well. The instructor was very encouraging to the girls and even encourage them to not be afraid to lead even if they were nervous or might make a mistake.

The leadership portion was of the camp was given by Micaela Hart, President of the Rotaract Club. Ms. Hart gave a presentation of what it means to be a leader. She explained that being a leader was a lot of responsibility and was hard at times, but can also be rewarding.

The girls also learned about St. Maarten culture with a spirited and lively presentation by Rotarian Marcellia Henry in her capacity as Secretary General of UNESCO. Ms. Henry gave examples of the intangible and tangible objects that made up St. Maarten culture. She stressed the need for the young ladies to know about their culture so that it may be passed on to future generations. In addition she suggested books on St. Maarten’s culture like “The National Symbols of St. Maarten” by Lasana Sekou, which is available at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library.

Lastly, Francis Mathew professionally known as Mr. Fierce the Catwalk Professor gave a presentation on Etiquette & Fashion. He discussed the art of being a lady. He demonstrated how to walk, talk, sit, communicate, make friends and start a conversation. This was done very interactively by giving scenarios of a meeting and having the girls do impromptu role play. He instructed the young ladies how to eat and drink. He had each girl one by one demonstrate how they eat with a knife and fork and use their napkins. He taught them how to pour from a bottle into a glass and stressed the fact that ladies don't drink from a bottle. Demonstrating how a lady should pick up something from the floor brought much laughter to the group. 

The girls also received a dress and t shirts per group and some decorating material. They had 15 minutes to come up with a fantastic design; dress a group member to model it and also present it to the audience during the fashion show. After which the girls rocked the catwalk.

At the closing awards were given to Best Catwalk, Ms Congeniality and Ms Leadership. The girls had a fun but informative day.

President Virginia Asin was pleased with the turnout and would like to thank all the presenters and Paula Gordon and her associates for partnering with them on this initiative and looks forward to next year’s camp.

Rotary Sunrise meets at Philipsburg Jubilee Library Conference Room every Tuesday mornings at 7:00am for fellowship and breakfast.  For more information on the club visit us at or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., we are also on Facebook: Rotary Club of Saint Martin Sunrise


Mangrove Reforestation Initiative Results in 700 square meters of new Mangrove Strands by the Simpson Bay Causeway

SIMPSON BAY - Based on recently completed survey work the Mangrove Reforestation Initiative of the area surrounding the Simpson Bay Causeway has resulted in approximately 700 square meters of valuable Mangrove Habitat supporting a number of bird and wetland species. The Nature Foundation initially planted more than 500 square meters of mangroves after the construction of the Causeway and one year after the completion of the project did numerous follow-up surveys in order to determine the success of the project.

In the initial stage of the project juvenile mangroves were removed and were replanted at various locations around the island. Follow-up stages included reforestation techniques, monitoring, replanting initiatives and ecosystem management of the area. Based on all of these initiatives a total of 7850 new mangroves covering an area of 600 square meters was recorded during follow-up monitoring on the 13th of January 2014 and an additional 100 square meters during monitoring recorded late in February 2015.

The survey also established numerous wetland bird species and sea grasses during the monitoring. There was also a reduction of the algae bloom which affected the area during the summer of 2014. This is considered a successful reforestation project and one of the most successful mangrove reforestation initiatives on St. Maarten to date and has started to provide mangrove seedlings for other areas surrounding the Simpson Bay Lagoon. The area has also become one of the most ecologically significant mangrove habitats in the south-eastern section of the Simpson Bay Lagoon.

Mangrove forests are under severe pressure and disappearing at an alarming rate and it is estimated that about 60% of the total mangrove areas have disappeared. All four species of mangroves were recorded at the Causeway namely Rhizophora mangle (Red mangrove), Avicennia germinans (Black mangrove), Laguncularia racemosa (White Mangrove) and Conocarpus erectus (Buttonwood).

Invertebrates were also recorded including Queen Conch (Strombus gigas), Cushion Stars (Oreaster reticulata), Sea Cucumber (Holothuria mexicana), and the Upside Down Jellyfish (Cassiopeia frondosa).

Mangroves also act as a filter for water being washed off the land by preventing harmful sediments from smothering the coral reefs, including those of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area. By establishing themselves successfully, the mangrove trees have the potential to become a thriving habitat for many other plants and animals as well as an important nursery for many species of fish. Fish using the mangroves as a nursery include Schoolmasters (Lutjanus apodus), Gray Snapper (Lutjanus griseus), Great Barracuda (Sphyraena barracuda) and the Foureye butterfly (Chaetodon capistratus). (Nature Foundation)


Cooperation between Police Force, IBPS and Royal Marechaussee enhanced since March 1

PHILIPSBURG - As of March 1st 2015 several services within the Judicial Department, the Police Force, Border Protection Service, and the Royal Marechaussee, have strongly intensified their cooperation in the field of border controls and human trafficking/human smuggling.

Under leadership of the Police Force the three above named services will cooperate on border controls in the ‘Back office’ team at the Princess Juliana International Airport. The new ‘Human trafficking/Human Smuggling’ team is housed in the police substation in Cole Bay/Cay Bay. Because of this cooperation investigating so called ‘migration crime’ will get a huge impulse. Controls on human trafficking and human smuggling will be intensified.

Both teams are going to concentrate on the exploitation of employees working in fields such as security, supermarkets, restaurants etc.

This cooperation means a fortification for the investigation of these forms of criminality. Separate incidents will be handled, but also joint projects and controls will be conducted.

In addition the members of both teams will be able to manage and to register data and information in an accurate manner. Because of the intensification of the cooperation between the different services, of which the Coastguard and Customs are also a part of, the coordination to solve the problems in the area of human trafficking and smuggling and border controls is going to be a lot stronger.

All members of both teams have a lot of experience within their working field, but their  knowledge in that field is going to get a refreshment because of the extra training programs in which practical behavior and recognition of human trafficking and human smuggling are involved. (Police Force Sint Maarten)


SCDF presents first copies Carnival schedule to annual sponsor Scotiabank

PHILIPSBURG - The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) on Monday presented the first copies of the 2015 Carnival schedule to management of Scotiabank, the sponsor of the schedule for almost 20 years.  The SCDF also presented Bank Manager Raymond Green with one of its uniform shirts for 2015 which Scotiabank also sponsored again this year.

“We cannot express enough gratitude to Scotia for standing with the foundation for so many years. A true, dedicated partner that we can always count on,” SCDF President Mike Granger said. “Even in a day and age when so much is strictly digital, people clamor for these schedules. Hotel properties, airlines and other businesses make good use of them. They will be distributed island wide,” he said.

Granger said the partnership with Scotia goes past the provision of the schedules and uniform shirts. “Scotia is also where we conduct our business and they’ve been very, very good to the SCDF. Their staff is beyond cooperative with the SCDF, often giving our requests priority treatment and giving sound, honest banking advice,” Granger said while singling out Business Banking Manager Nicole Hodge and Business Banking Officer Samantha Blaize for their steadfast support.

Green said that Scotia is very pleased to be able to continue supporting St. Maarten’s Carnival. “Let me take this opportunity to commend Mike and the committee for the great efforts put forth to grow and improve Carnival. We at Scotiabank are committed to giving back to the community and are very pleased to be part of this important cultural event. We wish all St. Maarteners a great and safe Carnival.” (SCDF)


Gulf Insurance acquires MEGA Insurance in Trinidad & Tobago

CARIBBEAN - Assuria N.V., the largest financial group in Suriname and parent company of Gulf insurance Ltd., recently acquired majority shares in MEGA Insurance Co. Ltd., a key player in the Life Insurance industry in Trinidad & Tobago, to further strengthen its investment position in Caribbean markets.

The strategic move is in line with the regional development- and expansion strategy of Assuria, and is aimed to further invest in the fast evolving insurance markets and to continue to provide customers with state of the art insurance products & services.

The Central Bank of Suriname and of Trinidad and Tobago both approved the acquisition whereby Assuria N.V. obtained 77% of the shares in MEGA Insurance. The takeover will bring financial strength and technological expertise to MEGA Insurance, while the Assuria Group will now have an ideal platform for expanding its life insurances operations in wider Caribbean markets.

The acquisition will create good opportunities for Assuria’s subsidiary company ‘Gulf Insurance’ that is currently operating in different Caribbean territories including St. Maarten, Saba, Statia and Curacao. Ms. Nadira Hellendoorn, Branch Manager of Gulf Insurance stated: “We are very pleased with the strategic alliance between Assuria and MEGA and we look forward to work together with the dedicated and knowledgeable staff of our new sister company for the further enhancement of our insurance portfolio. Collaborations like this will add value to our operations and is something our customers will definitely benefit from”. More Information will be made available via the company website:


Minister Connor visits MAC School Grade 3 Students and Talks about the Importance of Tourism to the Everyday Life of Residents

PHILIPSBURG - On March 11, 2015, Honorable Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Claret Connor visited the Methodist Agogic Center (MAC), St. John’s Campus and spoke to the 3rd grade students of campus 1 & 2 about Tourism and how it affects their lives. 

The visit is in keeping with the Ministry’s vision, which is to create greater awareness and understanding about the industry and the importance to the economy and by extension, the citizens of this country.

Minister Connor was very impressed with the knowledge the students have about Tourism, and how it contributes to the island.  The students were very eager to answer questions posed by Minister Connor. 

The Minister shared his beliefs in what Tourism being part of our everyday lives means to him. He reminded the students that even in their young age their knowledge and input in making tourism successful depends on them as well.

He encouraged the students that each of them has the key for our success as an island that lives primarily from tourism. That means that their attitude towards one another, to the parents and family at home, to their neighbourhoods and the communities must all be positive in order for the island to develop properly.

“I must commend the MAC for including Tourism in their curriculum, and providing the teachers and students, with the information about this very important industry.

“What better place to start, than with those who are expected to take up the baton in the near future.  Tourism is indeed Every Body’s business,” Minister Claret Connor further stated.

Minister Connor reiterated to the students that the key elements they must have are positive attitudes; hard work in school; commitment to each other and our communities; respect and a spirit of conservation for our environment; and understanding the importance of our island culture.

Minister Connor concluded that the aforementioned key elements would guarantee a great visitor experience and will encourage persons to return for many more visits, as these qualities expressed the best in us.

The Minister presented a booklet on tourism and a goodie bag to the students & teachers.  In return, the MAC form 3 students presented Minister Connor with a token of appreciation for visiting their school.  It is the intention of the Minister, going forward, to visit the other schools in the coming weeks ahead. (Press Secretariat, Government of Sint Maarten Council of Ministers) 



PHILIPSBURG - Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP-SXM) represented by Ryan Wijngaarde met with core members of the CSR committee of the Caribbean Telecom Association (CANTO) in Trinidad this week for the kick-off of a regional E-waste project.

The session was chaired by Mr. Julian Wilkins, Chairman of the board of Directors of CANTO. Objective is to raise awareness amongst telecom providers in the Caribbean region regarding the global Electronic Waste problem and to assist them in finding sound solutions for the collection and disposal of end of life (EoL) mobile phones. CANTO’s project team, a unique collaboration between providers, regulators and suppliers, is working diligently to establish guidelines, papers and best practices for the industry.  

Reason for CANTO to create awareness for this issue is because E-waste is harmful to the environment. Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, can contain toxic and hazardous materials and when those electronic products are burned or put in a landfill, those toxic substances - such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead - can leach into our soil and water.

Director of BTP-SXM, Mr. Anthony Carty sustains the initiative for a regional approach to tackle the issue effectively. “The global volume of e-waste generated annually is almost 90 millions of tons, and figures shown that the volume is going up in a rapid pace. It’s very concerning since it’s causingsignificant environmental pollution andhealth risks. As the regulatory body in the Telecom industry we will continue to assist CANTO in creating awareness for this problem and work towards a sound solution for the disposal of End of Life mobile phones in St. Maarten”.   (BTP-SXM)

Subscribe to this RSS feed

Soualiga Radio