the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexnov 11, 2011

The Oneness of Sint Maarten, the Number One Island

Delivered by His Excellency Eugene B. Holiday
at the celebration of Sint Maarten Day 2011

Fellow Sint Maarteners,

Happy Sint Maarten’s Day to all of you. It is my hope that you are enjoying this national holiday with family and friends savoring our sweet Sint Maarten land.

Today November 11, we join together to celebrate Sint Maarten Day, our National Day. A celebration where we embrace our traditions and culture and project our potential as a people.

Our November 11, holiday is a calendar date comprised of a combination of a single number, the number: one one one one. Let us therefore rally around the embedded message of the calendar date of our national day. A message of oneness reemphasized on this Sint Maarten day with its unique numerical alignment: the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of this century, 11-11-11. 

As a result I will take this opportunity to continue my conversation with you, this time on the oneness rooted in our Sint Maarten day.
That oneness calls for all of us to embrace and celebrate the traditions unique to Sint Maarten. After all Sint Maarten day is uniquely reserved for that purpose. I therefore call on you to join in the festivities organized around the island, to join in the celebration of our traditional dances, songs and games, to join in the commemoration of the oneness of the people of the entire island, to join in paying tribute to our St. Maarten Song, to join in the saluting our St. Maarten Flag; in short to join in the complete observance of our national day. For as a people we can only forge forward successfully through knowledge of and building on our heritage.

That oneness, in addition, calls for us today, as our forefathers have in years gone by, to continue to live in harmony through mutual respect for one another. It is through this characteristic of harmony that we as a people have  grown from strength to strength. It is through our harmonious nature that we can face and overcome the many challenges facing us today. A harmony which transcends across the border of our shared island, a harmony uniquely Sint Maarten as depicted in our Sint Maarten Song.

Today we can look back at the strength of our oneness, the power of our unity as represented in our unyielding spirit displayed throughout our history when faced by seemingly insurmountable challenges. As a Sint Maarten people we can look back at the extraordinary challenges we faced from the destructive forces of hurricanes and the disruptive impact of man-made crises and at how we overcame by coming together as a unified people. Today on this Sint Maarten day, one year, one month and one day since obtaining the status of country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands we can celebrate the victory of our indomitable spirit of unity. And as we celebrate let us stay true to who we are and  continue to drink from the spring of our unity; let us do so to garner the strength and inspiration necessary to overcome the challenges associated with building our country.

My fellow Sint Maarteners, the number “one” in the date of our Sint Maarten day moreover stands for our common future. A future consistent with the words of the calypso song: “Sint Maarten the number one island”. A position and future which is only possible by our continued reaching out to claim it. Let us do so cognizant of the fact that we live in a global community and even more so on a share island, one island. Let us therefore transform our harmonious brotherly existence on our one island in real and concrete and tangible cooperation. A transformation which is imperative to realize, secure and sustain our island’s maximum potential as the number one island.
My fellow Sint Maarteners, in doing so let each of us individually and collectively reinvigorate our commitment to excellence to build a better, stronger, more just and perfect Sint Maarten. Let each of us unite around the objective of Sint Maarten the number one island for our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

It is with this bright prospect that I hereby, on behalf of my wife Marie-Louise and myself, wish the people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin a happy and safe Day and May God bless you.