the Governor's Speeches

Back to Speeches Indexmay 01, 2018

Recovering through Resilience and Service Remarks By The Governor of Sint Maarten H.E. drs. Eugene B. Holiday on the occasion of King’s Day Celebrations at the Simpson Bay Resort and Marina

Esteemed Guests,

Good evening,

Marie Louise and I bid you a very warm welcome to this King’s Day celebration in honor of the birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. We do so in the spirit of this evening’s theme: Resilience and Service. That in the context of our post-hurricane Irma reality. The theme has been chosen to celebrate the resilience of the people of Sint Maarten as well as the service provided by various groups to our country as a source of inspiration for our recovery. I have therefore named my address: Recovering Through Resilience and Service.
Having lived through the strongest hurricane on record and looking for ways to recover from its impact, it suffices to say that we are living at a critical crossroad in our nation’s history. Looking back there can be no doubt that we have made great strides in responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma to our island. Hurricane Irma and her aftermath have set our country back in no small way. Looking ahead it has left government, businesses, households and individuals – yes, all of us – with a most daunting and urgent challenge; What steps are we to take to secure our recovery?

The book of Jeremiah provides some guidance for action in that regard, were it states: and I quote:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it.”     Unquote.

We must according to those words, learn from our past, complete our vision and our plans for our island and get ready to execute them, which is get ready to walk the good way. In doing so, I believe that we can draw inspiration from the words of Nelson Mandela where he stated, and I quote:
“With resilience, we realize that life is not a sprint but a marathon, and that we will need patience, endurance, pacing, and faith in order to weather the rough spots and keep going. So, persevere. Refuse to stay down for the count. You never know if your next attempt will be your breakthrough” unquote.

Nelson Mandela’s words are profoundly applicable to our situation. I say that, because I believe that we have the strength and responsibility to pull ourselves up and propel our nation’s recovery. That is after all what we started in the past 7 months and that is what we must and will do in the period ahead. Considering our situation we can, even though there is a long way to go, safely state that our daily life has in large part been restored. This because of the resilience demonstrated by our people and thanks to the dedicated service of many persons and organizations, some present and represented here tonight. Persons who, having suffered damage to their property themselves, came out and continue to come out under difficult circumstances to serve our community and make recovery possible.
Esteemed guests,
Imagine where we would be today without the sacrifice and commitment of so many – such as, police officers, military, nurses, doctors, firefighters, teachers, technicians, volunteers, business owners, government officials and others – who, in so many different ways, worked and continue to work to create a foundation for our recovery. Thus, as we stand at the crossroads to chart our path for recovery, let us stand still to celebrate our resilience and to express our gratitude to those who have helped brought us this far. 
And as we celebrate this evening, let us with an eye on our future, remember the words of Mandela. Namely, that our continued pursuit of our recovery from the effects of Hurricane Irma, requires that we – you and I – must prepare for the marathon.  And as we do so, let us draw inspiration from our resilience, which time and time again has fueled our efforts and country’s progress. It is with that knowledge and appreciation for the valued service of so many to our community that we can look to the future with hope for the full recovery and further growth of our country.

Esteemed Guests,

It is therefore with gratitude that I have chosen this King’s Birthday Celebration as a moment to stand still to celebrate the resilience of our people and to highlight all invaluable service rendered to the people of Sint Maarten.
Thus as we continue the tradition of celebrating King’s Day let us do so this evening with an emphasis on Resilience and Service and I wish you an enjoyable evening.

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