James about Governor Holiday as his man of the year: “Nomination set off wave of pride and dignity”

POSTED: 01/2/13 12:30 PM

St. Maarten – “To say that the public’s response to the grassroots movement’s 2012 Top 5 persons of the Year has been positive would be an under-statement. For many people the choices of the recipients were very surprising – but very meaningful as well,” St. Maarten Nation Building Foundation president Leopold James said in a press statement.

“Although obviously our choices would not please everybody, judging from the feedback we got, the persons selected, reflect the movement’s main objective and vision of the importance of our St. Martin cultural heritage and identity, as the essential core for nation building, unification, inclusion and a comprehensive, island-wide national development plan,” James stated.

Most people also agree that all the recipients – clearly in their own manner – contributed towards the preservation of those core-elements for nation building and sustainable development.

A number of respondents expressed great surprise that the movement had the courage to rise to the occasion and to nominate Governor Holiday as the grassroots St. Martin people movement’s number one person of the year 2012, the release states.

“His nomination seems to add more appreciation and respect from the majority of the population for the work of the grassroots movement, since the organization has thus-far been extremely critical of those in authority for not defending the native people of the island,” James stated. “The choice of the candidates shows, that the movement, while very critical, has the ability to recognize all invaluable contributions to the preservation of native, indigenous St. Martin people and heritage, regardless, the position, gender, race, creed, religion or place of origin of the contributor.”

The governor’s nomination “is also having even far deeper significance and implications for the respect and admiration for him, from the native St. Martin people,” James added. “As a matter of fact, it seems that his nomination has also set off a wave of pride and dignity in our own St. Martin heritage and identity, which in turn seems to inspire hope in St. Martin people, that there is a significant future ahead for them in their own country of heritage. We would like to believe that the spirit of our ancestors has been moved by the fact that their blood-sweat and tears sacrifices, have resulted in one of their descendants becoming governor.”

James stated that he is proud “that our ancestors can rest in peace knowing that Governor Holiday, will continue to set the tone that development and cultural preservation are not necessarily incompatible. Not just Governor – but one who embodies their spirit and therefore guarantees that their cultural heritage, identity and cultural traditions will not be sacrificed as mass development takes over the island and literally changes it to a point of non-recognition of who we are as St. Martin People.”

There will never be any sustainable, peaceful and harmonious development on the Friendly Island if our native, indigenous St. Martin people, their cultural heritage and identity are not at the very core of every aspect of development and recognized and protected by law, James noted.


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