in this Section
the Governor's Speeches
We Are Our Community’s Keeper
New Year’s Address 2013 by Eugene B. Holiday
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening and welcome to this new year’s reception.
I am pleased to gather here in the heart of Philipsburg on the captain Hodge Warf to celebrate the start of 2013 with you. To all present and to the people of Sint Maarten, Marie-Louise and I, extend warm greetings and best wishes for the year ahead.
Indeed, a brighter future is what we all wish each other at the start of the New Year. We wish each other “Happiness, Health, and Prosperity”. A quality of life wish, which is primarily directed to one another, but which also holds in it our individual and collective vision for Sint Maarten.
I am sure you will agree with me that our words of well wishes will only come to pass when pursued by us through committed individual and collective action. Actions which only we can take. That is because as a Sint Maarten people we bear the responsibility to be our community’s keeper. As keepers of our community it is our highest obligation to nurture and build a free, safe, secure and just society. A society in which we all have the right and opportunity to quality care, quality education and quality employment.
Having closed off 2012 and looking ahead the question before is: How do we plan to fulfill our role as keepers of our community’s vision in 2013? The answer will vary from person to person, from family to family and from organisation to organisation. There will be differences in views and approaches between and within the public and private sectors. There will be those who believe that their plans or approaches are the only way and there will be those who believe that there is no role, place or opportunity for them. There are those who will on a daily basis continue to give their all in pursuit of the vision, while there are and will be those who do not have confidence in our ability as keepers of Sint Maarten to achieve the vision.
Whatever your answer or plan I hereby remind you that we are in this together. And that we, as a result must recognize, live and act by the guiding principle that our community - Sint Maarten - is bigger than any of us, its keepers. This principle must therefore be the primary point of departure in all our actions and decisions. Let us therefore, as keepers of our community, resolve to not breakdown but to build each other and thus build our community up. And in so doing reach out to each other to work with each other and tap the full potential of our community’s scarce human reserves.
Ladies and gentlemen,
To attain our vision in 2013 and beyond through the deployment of the full potential of our human reserves it is imperative that we reinforce our commitment to our care and to the care of our environment. Let us commit ourselves to confront the threats of poverty, environmental degradation and crime to secure the viability of our community. This commitment calls for more effective initiatives by us as public and or private keepers of our community. It is a call:
a. to eliminate poverty;
b. to better shield and educate our children and youth as we prepare them for adulthood;
c. to broaden and deepen the reach of health care;
d. to protect and preserve our natural environment; and
e. to unite in stamping out crime and corruption.
In view of this I call on and challenge each of you to take up and give deeper content to your role as keepers of our community by expanding existing and implementing new programs to address mentioned threats and thus foster a happier, healthier and more prosperous Sint Maarten. As I make this call and you contemplate your responses allow me to give you some food for thought:
• Imagine a Sint Maarten where more schools are adopted;
• Imagine a Sint Maarten where more people need not worry about affording preventive care;
• Imagine a Sint Maarten where our natural environment is cherished; and
• Imagine a Sint Maarten where private-public partnerships converts deprived districts in safe and thriving social centers.
Such actions and contributions are critical, because in so doing you - in your role as keepers of our community - can make a real difference in guaranteeing a free, safe, secure and just Sint Maarten society.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In closing, as we begin this New Year, let us thank God for watching over our country. At the same time let us as individuals, corporations and government renew our commitment to be the keeper of our community aimed at building a society based on sound governance principles in which we all have the right and opportunity to quality care, quality education and quality employment. We owe this to our community and ourselves. And as Governor I shall continue to work with government and other stakeholders to promote the achievement of this vision in service of the people of St. Maarten.
With that commitment, I hereby on behalf of Marie-Louise and myself, wish you and your family a year of health, happiness and growth.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless Sint Maarten.
The Governor of Sint Maarten
Eugene B. Holiday