Governor Holiday calls on people to live in solidarity

POSTED: 05/3/11 11:51 AM

Queen’s birthday address

St. Maarten – Governor Drs. Eugene Holiday called on the people of St. Maarten to live in solidarity with each other in his address on the occasion of the Queen’s birthday. The governor made his remarks during a ceremony at the Westin Hotel where seven St. Maarteners received royal decorations. The evening’s theme was “A cultural aubade to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix.”

The celebration of the Queen’s birthday, called Konininnedag in Dutch, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands dates back to 1890 when it was first celebrated on Augustus 31, the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Since the succession to the throne by Queen Juliana in 1948 the Queen’s birthday has been celebrated on her birthday on April 30. Queen Beatrix, born on January 31, following her coronation in 1980, decided in honor of her mother the late Princes Juliana, to maintain April 30, as the day to celebrate Koninginnedag.

“The initiative to celebrate Queen’s Birthday in 1890 was taken to emphasize national unity,” Governor Holiday said. “Promoting unity just over six months since obtaining the status of country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands is just as important now for Sint Maarten and for the Kingdom, as it was in 1890 for the Netherlands.”

The celebration in St. Maarten has a long tradition, the Governor pointed out. “As a symbol of our ties with the Royal Family, the Queen’s Birthday celebration in St. Maarten has in past years been characterized by cultural manifestations of song, dance and games; what better way to demonstrate notable ties than through customs and culture. This evening’s celebration under the theme “A Cultural Aubade to Her Majesty” seeks to revive and continue that tradition. In carrying on that tradition it is important that we stand still and reflect on the things Her Majesty Queen Beatrix stands for and which we as the Friendly Island, are known for.”

Fine and noble human virtues such as friendliness, fairness, respect and love for our fellowmen are important for Her Majesty and are the driving forces behind her thoughts and deeds, the governor said. “These thoughts and deeds accentuate Her Majesty’s status as the symbol and personification of unity within the Kingdom. This evening’s cultural tribute of storytelling, song and dance is an expression of our appreciation for Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. It is intended to highlight some features of our community and the historic ties with the royal family.”

The governor called upon his audience to embrace the aforementioned principles “by living in solidarity with each other and within the Kingdom as we pursue our goals of building a stronger and better St. Maarten. In appreciation of people who display these fine human qualities Her Majesty recognizes their kind, valuable and selfless deeds for the community by placing them in the spotlight every year.”

Governor Holiday added that “such selflessness is critical for the development of St. Maarten. People who selflessly volunteer their time and contribute to our community and in particular to the cultural and educational development of St. Maarten are important because they help to form a stronger, more principled people and community. Such voluntarism helps to form a people grounded in common values that are critical to the promotion of the overall governance of and unity within our newly founded country Sint Maarten.”

The governor promoted the celebration of “fine human values”and urged people “to move forward selflessly to serve and build a united St. Maarten community within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Let us do so based on shared values, united in good human principles. Lets us do so mindful of the saying: unity is strength.”

The governor called upon his audience “to unite, to be kinder, gentler persons and to rally for and to respect each other as a Sint Maarten people and as citizens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

Governor Holiday closed with a reference to the upcoming visit of Queen Beatrix to St. Maarten in the fall. “I am looking forward to that visit and based on your presence this evening, I am sure you are too.”

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