Surprise gift for outgoing education authority Roborgh

POSTED: 04/24/12 12:02 PM

St. Maarten – Dr. Renk Roborgh, the director-general for higher education, science and emancipation, received a surprise parting gift from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, Dr. Rhoda Arrindell yesterday, after the two had met for a breakfast meeting. Dr. Roborgh is on a farewell tour of Saba, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten. He retires on July 4.

Making the presentation at a brief ceremony at the University of St. Martin, Arrindell explained that the gift was a painting of a flamboyant by renowned local artist Max Phelipa.

“The Flamboyant is the Emancipation tree, popularly called here the July tree,” Arrindell said. “I thought it fitting to offer you this painting as a token of our appreciation. Since on July 4 you will have your own ‘emancipation’ and we will be celebrating Emancipation Day on July 1, I hope you will remember St. Martin each time you look at it.”

In a brief but emotional response Roborgh said he was touched by the gesture. After opening it, he said he really liked the painting and promised it would find a place of honor on his wall. He also said he would have some bush tea ready for Arrindell whenever she comes to The Netherlands.

The two education authorities had struck up a warm working relationship. Dr. Roborgh has been working on a number of cooperation initiatives in education and science with the new entities within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, including an MOU which is still being fleshed out with all the partners in the Kingdom.

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