Henson calls for more financial support

POSTED: 07/15/13 12:01 PM

July 14

The tart and candy makers were presented with plaques in recognition of their exceptional work yesterday at the Bastille Day celebrations. Photo Today/Andrew Bishop

MARIGOT, St. Martin – It was a time for reflection as the Collectivite of St. Martin celebrated Bastille Day yesterday, which was held at the Marigot Waterfront. President of the Collectivite Aline Henson in what was seen as the shortest Bastille Day message, called for the French Republic to continue to play their role so that in areas such as education, environment and health are effectively carried out.

“St. Martin wants what is due to St. Martin, its fair share. No more, no less as is done in the different regions of France,” President Henson said.  She acknowledged the work done by the staff of the Collectivite for their input for the programs of action. She noted that it is only together that they will be able to conquer to reach a better economical situation on the island. “We have to work hand in hand,” she said.

She further noted that the situation of the youth in the communities and made a call for a closer working relationship. She appealed on them to show interest in the development of the local handicraft in order to perpetuate the local traditions and sees this as another way for job opportunities even though it may not seem as a lucrative venture.

It was mentioned that the development of such an industry on a larger scale could not only benefit the communities but also the Collectivite at large. She sees this as another way to reduce the unemployment which is seen on the island.

During the ceremonies several of the local artisans who are responsible for the making of tarts and sweets were honored for their work in keeping the traditions alive for more than fifty years. These traditional tarts and sweets are sold at the local market during the week and particularly during the festive seasons like Christmas.

In acknowledging the presence of the representatives of St. Maarten and Anguilla she called on them to continue with the collaboration and work together to uplift St. Martin so it will be showcased in the world.

In giving an historical account of Bastille Day, she noted that it was in 1789 following the revolution that  France adopted the  motto of Equality, Integrity and Brotherhood and mentioned that when Bastille Day is celebrated they reflect on the motto which is “written in stone” and forms the basis for the Human Rights Organizations. “We have the responsibility to remember those who have fought and died to defend these ideas, which continue to invoke hope in St. Martin since it has become an overseas Collectivite,” she said.

Meanwhile, although this year celebration was done with the same pomp, with the different groups that march through the streets, the presence of the Prefet who is the representative of the State of France was not available to give the traditional from the State.

The celebrations continued with the traditional boat race, games, the six kilometer road race and a firework display in the evening which is sponsored by the Semsamar.

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