the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexapr 26, 2017

Reaching out to foster Healthy Bodies, Minds and Community Remarks By H.E. Governor Eugene B. Holiday on the occasion of King day Celebrations

Westin, Dawn Beach
April 26, 2017

Esteemed Guests,
Good evening,

Marie-Louise and I bid you a very warm welcome to this King’s Day celebration in honor of the fiftieth birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. We are pleased to see and celebrate with you this evening. That in the spirit of this evening’s theme: Fostering Healthy Bodies and Minds. This theme was chosen to emphasize that reaching out to foster healthy bodies and minds, through physical activity, such as, sports, dance and the care and development of our youths, is an important component of our nation’s socio-economic development.
The great ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, in one of his many written gifts to mankind stated and I quote: “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” Unquote.

Put differently the active participation in sports, dance and music improves each individual’s health and that of our community. This because such activity creates social engagement, reinforces common norms, strengthens  discipline, builds character, generates great balanced leaders, and thus contributes significantly to the building blocks of our country’s economic development.

Our society is what it is today thanks to the many dedicated and caring professionals and volunteers, who in the words of the song of Diana Ross, one of my favorite singers, reach out every day to touch and make the lives of others better. Tonight, to celebrate the 50th birthday of His Majesty King Willem Alexander we will show case and treat you with a display of the potential of our youth. Potential which is being molded by a variety of persons who continue to reach out to help shape our future. It is with the knowledge of, and appreciation for, their valued service to our community that we can celebrate tonight and look to the future with hope for the further growth of our country. And at the same time use their example to call on others to reach out and touch somebody’s hand, to make our Sint Maarten an even better place.

Esteemed Guests,
It is therefore with gratitude that we shall in a few moments stand still to highlight the contributions and achievements of three persons who, because they reached out, have been singled out to receive Royal Decorations. This for their prolonged outstanding service to our community.
The three (3) persons who received a Royal Decoration for their prolonged outstanding service to our community are: Mrs. Elmora Pantophlet-Avonturin, Mr. Theo Liu and Ms. Joana Rijnboutt, have each been decorated as member in the Order of Oranje Nassau. A review of the contributions of these 3 persons to the Sint Maarten community reveals a common thread of reaching out to foster healthy bodies and minds. Their longstanding and continued passionate involvement in the development of our Sint Maarten community through training, through youth and sports development and through medical and emergency care and response is exemplary. In doing so they have influenced and as such helped to positively shape the lives of many in our country over a prolonged number of years. Their committed involvement in the development, health and wellbeing of others, and particularly of the youth, in service to our country for a significant part of their lives, is a necessary building block for a stronger, more resilient and sustainable Sint Maarten community. As such they serve as an example for all of us to become more involved in fostering a healthier and stronger Sint Maarten. 

I therefore extend my appreciation to each of the 3 persons who in a few moments will receive Royal Decorations for their exemplary service to our community. It is an honor and special distinction to be awarded a Royal Decoration and I thus, in closing, convey my congratulations to each of the 2017 recipients individually and to their family and friends.
Thus as we continue the tradition of celebrating King’s Day I hereby, with an emphasis on reaching out to foster healthy bodies, minds and community, wish you an enjoyable evening.

Thank you,
God Bless the King,
God Bless you, and
May God Bless Sint Maarten and protect its coast.