St. Maarten Prime Minister commends the men and women of the VKS

POSTED: 07/5/11 1:03 PM

St. Maarten – Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams attended the 14th anniversary ceremony of the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps (VKS) on Saturday.  The event also served as the swearing in of an officer, and the promotion of officers and non-commissioned officers. The Prime Minister also took the opportunity to congratulate those of the VKS who recently became certified shooting instructors.

During the ceremony, the Prime Minister congratulated the VKS on their anniversary and on the accomplishments of the officers who were promoted for their dedication to the corps and their own advancement. Wescot-Williams called the VKS a very dynamic and evolving institution, one which in 14-years of existence has firmly established its foot prints in the landscape of St. Maarten.

“To keep that up, you need to have extra-ordinary qualities. You need to have extra-ordinary leadership. Both attributes have contributed to the successes of the VKS over the years. However, there is no time to rest on your laurels. The landscape of which you form part (safety, security and protection) is a critical one for the wellbeing of our community. The public expects of you to work out any legalities that might exist between the corps and institutions that work to protect our citizens. The public expects you to be there whenever needed,” the Prime Minister told the gathering, which also included Governor drs. Eugene Holiday.

In her concluding remarks the Prime Minister said, “This is the only way we are going to build country St. Maarten; by equipping ourselves with the necessary competencies, knowledge and training to paddle our own canoe. This is what I mean with the often stated mantra of “block by block, step by step.” I congratulate you all on this anniversary and I encourage you to continue the building of the VKS and the country St. Maarten.”

“A thank you is also in order at this time to the family members of these men and women. Without whose support and encouragement, your accomplishments would have been more difficult and strenuous to achieve. You too, as family are building our country. Think of this, when sometimes I imagine you would feel, “but who comes first?” Remember, these men and women are called to protect and uphold. In today’s world, temptations are plentiful and all around us. Stand strong, and true, to your oath of service. God bless you and our nation St Maarten.”

The event also entailed a parade of uniformed groups, a church service followed by a reception.  The VKS was established in 1997.


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