the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexnov 11, 2012

One People Respecting The Past Investing In The Future

Delivered by His Excellency Eugene B. Holiday
at the Occasion of Sint Maarten Day 2012

Good Afternoon,

Happy Saint Martin/Sint Maarten Day to you.

It is good to be here with you and I am as always honored to address the people of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Today’s theme: “One People, Respecting The Past Investing In The Future” holds within it a call to action. A call to secure our future in honor of the work of our forefathers. A call in the face of a challenging world amidst major climate change and financial economic woes.

In concluding his sermon on the mountain Jesus said: 
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock”. (Mathews, 7:24-25) 

Called to action our forefathers took up the challenge and build us a solid house which we can be proud of today.  As a people we are blessed to live in and share this island, our house, our home, build by the individual and collective actions of our grandparents and parents. A house build on the rock of the enduring principles of self-respect, self-reliance, responsibility, kindness, and hard work. Today you and I are the beneficiaries of the hard work of past generations.

As residents sharing this house, residing be it in French quarter or Dutch Quarter, Philipsburg or Marigot, Grand Case or Simpson Bay, French Cul-de-Sac or Cul-de-Sac, it is our obligation to past generations and our responsibility to future generations to invest in preserving and perfecting our St. Martin, our home against the threats we face.

On this St. Martin’s day let us therefore, like our forefathers, renew and direct our commitment to the cause of securing our island, our home, against the rains and winds which we face today and which we will face tomorrow. Let us renew our commitment by investing in the strengthening of the foundation of our house, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Let us do so by investing to transform our island in a center of excellence. Let us do so by investing in excellence in education. By investing in excellence in health care. By investing in critical infrastructure. And by investing in the promotion of the enduring principles self-respect, self-reliance, responsibility, kindness, and hard work. Investments necessary to facilitate the further socio economic growth and development of our people and at the same time prepare our island for the challenges of the future.

As Dutch and French citizens, we can choose to make these investment separately or we can choose where possible to carry out these investment together as one people, as St. Martiners. A survey of our history, of the history of our people learns that the people of our island have always lived as one people. It is thus my hope that ongoing initiatives to foster greater governmental cooperation will catch up with the oneness of the people of Sint Maarten. For as the world around us become more complex and the magnitude of the challenges we face increase, I am convinced that joint investments and coordination of policies and programs is the only effective way forward. 

I therefore conclude with the conviction that we, like the wise man in Jesus Sermon, will take up the call of the theme of this St Martin day, as one people respecting the past investing in the future; and in doing so identify the actions necessary to preserve and perfect our house, our island against rising waters and strong winds, when and how ever they come. 

It is with this belief  in the wisdom of our people that I hereby, on behalf of my wife Marie-Louise and I, wish the people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin a most happy and safe St. Martin’s Day.

Thank you and God Bless you.