the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexdec 15, 2010

Speech Naturalization Ceremony

Delivered by His Excellency Eugene B. Holiday at Naturalization Ceremony December 2010

Invited guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon and welcome to the first naturalization ceremony to take place within the new constitutional setting of Sint Maarten as Country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands.
This ceremony is as a result a very special one:
• Special for you individually, because it marks a major moment in your lives;
• Special because you are the first persons to obtain Dutch citizenship within the New constitutional setup on Sint Maarten;
• And special for me because it is my first naturalization ceremony in which I have the honor to issue the Dutch citizenship to you as the first candidates for the Dutch Nationality in the country Sint Maarten;
I am therefore pleased to join all 41 of you, and your family and friends here at this beautiful location to officiate and celebrate this special occasion.
Before moving forward I shall give you a brief outline of the background of this naturalization ceremony. This, to emphasize the importance of this moment and of your decision.
• First, this ceremony was introduced in 2008 as a mandatory element of the option and Naturalization procedure.
• Second, you will become a Dutch citizen after I, in my capacity of Governor of Sint Maarten, hand you the confirmation of the option declaration and Kingdom Decree at this ceremony.
• Third, persons who made their option declaration after March 1st, 2009, are required to make their declaration of allegiance. This will have to be done in Dutch.
The declaration of allegiance reads as follows:
Ik zweer (verklaar) dat ik de grondwettelijke orde van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, haar vrijheden en rechten respecteer en zweer (beloof) de plichten die het staatsburgerschap met zich meebrengt getrouw te zullen vervullen.
In doing so you swear or declare allegiance to the constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, to respect freedoms and rights thereof, and to comply with the obligations which the Dutch citizenship brings with it.
For the 15 of you, for whom the declaration of allegiance is a mandatory part of this ceremony, you will be required to make your declaration of allegiance in Dutch before me in my capacity of Governor of Sint Maarten.

You can do so by ending your declaration with the words;
“zo waarlijk helpe mij God allemachtig”
You can choose to make your declaration of allegiance with the words;
“dat verklaar en beloof ik”

The end of this ceremony will as such mark a moment of transformation for each of you, one  in which you declare allegiance to your new country.
That is why I shall share some data with you with regard to your group as option and naturalization candidates for the Dutch Nationality present here today.
At the end of this ceremony we will be welcoming 41 new Dutch citizens, 22 of whom and thus more than half, born on Sint Maarten. Of this group, 25 are women and 16 are men.
A further breakdown of the demographics of this historic group shows that the group is comprised of:
A) 20 children younger than 10 years;
B)   10 persons born between 1999 and 2000;
C)         4 persons born between 1980 and 1990;
D) 4 persons born between 1970 and 1980;
E)         3 persons born between 1960 and 1970; and
F)         And the eldest born in 1960
I am pleased that all of you could be present at this ceremony so that you can receive your Dutch citizenship.
Obtaining the Dutch Nationality is a festive occasion. To underscore this festive nature, I wish to grant you a small present with the confirmation of your Dutch citizenship. The present is a CD of King Beau Beau with the National anthems which were played at the beginning of this ceremony.
At this moment, in this room, you are comprised of a diverse group; a group consisting of 11 nationalities; and as such a small sample of the Sint Maarten community. However in a short  while, you will all leave this room with a common bond that of  Dutch Citizenship.
After having received your Dutch citizenship we will take a group photo to immortalize this festive moment.
We shall then in good Sint Maarten tradition, along with your guest, get together to have a snack and a drink.
Having said that we will now go into the next phase of the ceremony.
I suggest that you come forward to receive your Dutch citizenship as soon as your name is called.
I hope you have a very pleasant and enjoyable naturalization ceremony.