Arrindell presents referendum to library

POSTED: 01/21/13 1:04 PM

St. Maarten – “I was pleased to donate a collection of newspaper articles, framed posters and other memorabilia to our public library from the first constitutional referendum held on October 14, 1994 and the second referendum held on June 23 2000,” United People’s party MP Gracita R. Arrindell stated yesterday.
The second referendum continued to set the stage for the process leading up to the dismantling of the constellation of what was formerly known as the Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010. Some of these items displayed at the time, were used for the information campaign leading towards the date of the voting for the options presented in both referenda. The donated material also includes a framed full page original copy of an article in Dutch newspaper the ‘Telegraaf’ of 1984, reporting the outcome of historical discussions held in The Hague leading to the separate status Aruba, two years later.
As chairwoman of the referendum committee an official report of the first referendum was submitted to the Island Council. A copy of this report was provided to the library as well. This report contains not only the outcome of the four options presented in the referendum. It gives a detailed overview of the organization and the process leading up to the vote on October 14 1994.

“Regrettably, I am not in possession of more material left over from the second referendum, held in 2000. I have always underscored the importance of recording our constitutional history. Not only as recorded during formal meetings of the Executive and Island Council meetings. Making it ‘alive’ and accessible to the general public, will contribute hopefully to an awareness and recognition of where we have been, and where we are heading as we continue to evolve constitutionally in our new status as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands,” Arrindel said. “Having additional material on display and available such as the ones donated to the library which included the different opinions from people and organizations as expressed during and after the historic referenda, is a small yet significant step in recording more extensively this process. Once more I take this opportunity to encourage others who have photo’s, posters, newspaper articles, video tapes, t-shirts etc. to get in contact with Monique Alberts, the director of the library, and see in which manner they can also make their contribution. We are very grateful to the director for taking time out to welcome MP Johan Leonard and myself as we handed over the material in her care. It is our understanding that the library is in dire need of upgrading. We look forward to meeting with the director again to discuss the needs of the library and how to best to turn this public organization into a modern heritage institution of which we can all be proud of,” she continued.

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