Christella Garard and Ivy Defoe win Caribbean Pearls Award

POSTED: 06/3/13 11:51 AM

good job (1)

Winners and nominees pose together for a group picture at the end of the award ceremony.

ROTTERDAM – Ivy Defoe and Christella Garard did St. Maarten proud during the second annual Pearls of the Dutch Caribbean awards in Rotterdam on Saturday. Garard won the student pearl and Defoe went home with the Science Pearl. An ode to the many Caribbean talents in the Kingdom. That’s what it’s all about at Pearls of the Dutch Caribbean, Jamila Baaziz wrote about the event on Caribisch Netwerk.

“We should not expect of others that they will draw a positive picture of us. It is super important that we do it ourselves,” said Rinchemar Rincho Martina, the winner of the Music and Entertainment Pearl.

Drawing that positive picture succeeded extremely well, because during an energetic evening full of speeches, music and culture, the more than 250 strong audience saw that there is plenty of Caribbean talent in the Netherlands. Seven of these talents were put in the spotlight for their achievements. They received a Pearl Award. But there are many others like us, Sarah-Quita Offringa, the 21-year-old Aruban windsurfing champion pointed out. She received the prize awarded by the public and the Sports Pearl: “Everybody who is busy with good things inspires. We have to do it together.”

“It is important to show the good things,” Kingdom Relations Minister Ronald Plasterk said. Together with Rotterdam’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb he took care of the event’s official opening. “This community is not always met in a positive way. Especially young Antillean men are often in the wrong columns with the wrong subjects. That is not good, but it is only a small percentage. The overwhelming majority is busy in a very positive way. They ought to be proud of what they are doing.”

For St. Maarten, Minister Plenipotentiary Mathias Voges attended the event.

The Pearls Award winners are most certainly proud. For Christella Garard, a student from St. Maarten, winning the Student Pearl was an emotional moment. She came as a 3-year-old girl from Haiti to St. Maarten. Now she is studying in the Netherlands and she helps students there to find their way. “I thank the island territory of St. Maarten for the opportunities it has given me. Without St. Maarten I probably would not be here.”

The freshly chosen role models take their task seriously. Danitzah Jacobs, winner of the Business Pearl, was honored to be on the stage as a business woman. “My entrepreneurship was born from a deep longing for freedom. I have decided that freedom is my right and that from my roots I have everything it takes to be powerful and to grow.”

Jacobs thanked everybody who ever fought for her freedom, including Tula, Joceline Clemencia and Helmin Wiels. The audience rewarded her with a thundering round of applause.

“Our islands may be small but our spirit is not,” Glenn Helberg said at the end of the evening.

The chairman of OCaN, the lobby organization for Caribbeans living in the Netherlands, closed off with an uplifting message. “We are all beautiful, we are all pearls. Let us stop with the crab mentality and do it together.

Everybody in the audience felt for a moment that this is possible. Then it was the turn for Izaline Calister and her band to let the people swing.

The 2013 Pearls Awards winners 2013 are: Archell Thompson (Community Pearl), Ivy Defoe (Science Pearl), Christella Garard (Student Pearl), Danitzah Jacobs (Business Pearl), Rinchemar Martina (Music and Entertainment Pearl), Sara-Quita Offringa (Sports Pearl and Most Outstanding Pearl), and Wijnand Stomp (Arts and Literature Pearl).

Did you like this? Share it:
Christella Garard and Ivy Defoe win Caribbean Pearls Award by

Comments are closed.