Reader’s Letter: Who is a St. Maartener?

POSTED: 07/25/11 12:10 PM

Mr. Editor,

Please allow me to see if I can try to diffuse this problem. There is nothing wrong in defining who is a St. Maartener!
If our Government had determined in the 1950’s who can be considered a St. Maartener everything would have been clear. Those outside of the definition would never have had a problem accepting it. They would have been brought up and educated with that knowledge and learned to respect it. To be realistic seeing how the “locals” are now being treated the “non-locals” are scared of that treatment befalling them should the term “St. Maartener” be defined. That should not be the case!
I remember some years ago I went to Anguilla with my wife and my good old friend Vanrick Pantophlet (God rest and bless him) and his wife, also a Dutch woman. When the Immigration Officer saw his passport he said, I quote: “Go ahead man, you and your wife are Anguillans!” Pantophlet was born in Anguilla and due to the policy in those days as his mother was from Anguilla and was not married to his father he still became Anguillan. What this demonstrates is that the host made the guest a host and not the guest claiming to be a host – a fundamental difference!
Government at one time declared that at the age of 60 you become a Senior Citizen. Whatever situation that fact brings along (at GEBE and some banks the senior citizen window) is a consequence of the law, not meant to be a discriminating factor, but in hindsight it can be considered as one. However no one has ever objected to the fact. It is accepted and rightfully so, using Doc’s expression. This is what some folks are afraid of having to experience!
In the meantime government is contemplating on changing the age limit to for instance 65, based on the development in society. This could have happened similarly on the definition of the St. Maartener: adjustment made based on due consideration to the composition of the population.
So declaring the definition of a St. Maartener should never be a problem, although those who have to make that decision may find themselves falling outside of said definition.

Dr. G.A. Scot

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