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Red Cross St. Maarten Recognizes the Importance of Young People in Volunteerism

SIMPSON BAY – On Saturday August 12th, 2017 the United Nations will celebrate International Youth Day with the theme "Youth Building Peace”.

International Youth Day 2017 is dedicated to celebrating young people’s contributions to conflict prevention and transformation as well as inclusion, social justice, and sustainable peace.

Our aim as Red Cross St. Maarten and the Red Cross St. Maarten Youth Chapter is to promote and encourage volunteerism amongst our teens of the various schools on the island and young people as a whole.

As the youth arm of the Red Cross St. Maarten we are delighted to be part of this commemoration for 2017 on International Youth Day. We are excited of the opportunity to celebrate together the enthusiasm, the creativity and the energy of youth throughout the world and especially St. Maarten. There is large amount of untapped potential and talent in our young people and it is important to give them the right tools to express their opinions and unlock their potential.  

In this rapid change that is taking place in the world with the assistance of social media have caused that becomes overwhelming in both lifestyle and politics. In the Youth Policy, the goals of the Red Cross International is to strengthen the contribution of teens and young people by providing them with the opportunity to be engaged as active members and volunteers.

During the past years our Youth Chapter members have been working closely together with the adult members of the branch in various trainings such as the annual hurricane exercise, disaster simulation training as well as going into the High Schools to promote the Red Cross purpose. We are also looking at taking the lead in introducing programs that will be catered for youths and the community in other areas such as; bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, relationship violence and abuse.

The impact of the successful implementation of this policy is expected to be a growth in the numbers of young people involved with National Societies, and a growth in those staying on with them as adults. National Societies’ activities and measures involving youth, and the number of youth in their governance and leadership positions are also expected to grow. Youth will be engaged in high quality and high impact activities that contribute to the building of stronger National Societies.

Let us continue to support and protect our young people and give them the necessary tools they need to change the world, stated the Red Cross St. Maarten Youth Chapter on Friday in a statement.

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Condolence message of Prime Minister Marlin on the passing of Queen Maxima’s father

POND ISLAND – “Your Royal Highness, it is with great sorrow that we received the sad news of the passing of your father, the late Mr. Jorge Horacio Zorrequiete Stafanini in Argentina on Tuesday August 9th, 2017,” the condolence message from Prime Minister William Marlin reads.

“We pray that God will grant you the strength to bear this irreplaceable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and the Royal Family.

“We join millions in the Kingdom and beyond in praying that his soul may rest in eternal peace and wish you much strength and divine comfort during your time of bereavement.

“On behalf of the people and government of Sint Maarten, I extend our deepest condolences to your Majesty and the Royal Family,” the Prime Minister’s condolence message concludes.

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SMMC hosts APPRECIATION CELEBRATION EVENT for Oncology patients

CAY HILL- On Saturday August 5th, the SMMC hosted an appreciation celebration event for their heroes, current and former oncology patients. The theme of the event was an ‘Appreciation Celebration; Surviving the Odds’.

The purpose of this celebration was to commemorate their patients and all that they have overcome. A small team of the Outpatient department felt a great need to celebrate their patients by involving all those that they have helped along the journey. The preparations for this event begun earlier in the year, with the initial idea brought forth almost two years previously.

Coincidentally, this year marks 20 years since the hospital first started oncology treatments for patients in need. Supervisor Nurse Cijntje recalls, “We started with our first patients in a very small room where there are now the surgeons’ offices.

Over the years the chemotherapy services provided at the hospital has expanded tremendously. We have survivors who have celebrated over ten years and many others who have success stories to be celebrated”.

 The celebration featured a full day of events including a bus tour, make overs, and a dinner with entertainment at the Little Well Oasis. Fish da Boss entertained guests with an eventful performance showcasing some of his winning calypso songs. Cecil Griffith and company gave beautiful renditions on the saxophone.

Guests were addressed by several speakers amongst which were specialists Dr. Holiday and Dr. Wassenaar who have worked closely with survivors of cancer. Some of the heroes shared their experiences with the audience, dignitaries, and staff members of the hospital.

Honorable Minister of Health Emil Lee and President of Parliament Sarah Wescott-Williams congratulated the heroes for surviving the odds and also shared their heartfelt gratitude to SMMC for organizing such an event. 

Manager Patient Care; Antonio Pantophlet extends a heartfelt thank you to the organizing staff of the outpatient department and everyone that has contributed in any way to help make the event a success. The event’s realization and success stems from all of the lives touched throughout the 20 years of chemotherapy services at the SMMC.

A very special thank you is extended on behalf of Management and staff to all of the patients who throughout the years have chosen the SMMC to be their treatment center, and trusting staff with the provision of quality care. With the success of this event and the request of many patients a future celebration may be in the works.

The SMMC would like to thank our sponsors of this event: Ace Mega Store, Amsterdam Cheese Shop, All in one place dollar store, Beautyliscious, Cabana Restaurant, Caribbean liquor and tobacco, Carl’s and Sons, Chesterfield, NAGICO, NV. GEBE, Oysterbay Beach Resort, Sunny Food, UTS (make-up specialist Ms. Christine), Windward Island Bank, Little Well Oasis, Quality Catering Service and Bell Bus Tours. 

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LOCAL BUSINESSES REMODEL THE BASKETBALL COURT AT THE SISTER BASILIA CENTER

ST. JOHN’S ESTATE - Managing Director of Marine Management Consulting Jeffery Dale Boyd and his management team has done it again according to a press statement from the company.

Mr. Boyd visited the Sister Basilia Center two years ago after sponsoring a charity event in their honor, since then he and his management team have made a pledge to support the center.

MMC has continued to offer kindness to the clients of the center with their newest endeavor, the remodeling of the broken-down basketball court.   

Mr. Boyd’s team comprising of Leon Wilson, Jesse Petersen, Stephen Hartley, Jeremy Peterson, Denzel Levinstone, Nicolaus Boyd and Phardo Construction, have worked tirelessly to organize logistics, gather donations & install the new court for the clients to enjoy.

Thanks, are in order for additional support by Buccaneer Beach Bar for their donations and treating all the volunteers to lunch during the entire project, Nidaro Construction NV for project design & layout, Ace Mega Center for donating building materials, Phardo construction for assisting with additional labor, FKG for the donation of the basketball pole & Beyond Limits for their public relations contribution.

Mr. Boyd and his team continue to follow through on their generous commitments to the Sister Basilia Center and have not wavered for a minute with their ongoing offerings. 

Congratulations is in order to Marine Management Group of Companies, and the extended Sint Maarten community for their incredible ongoing efforts and year-round support to the Sister Basilia Center that so needed the love that this compassionate group of professionals offers them. Yet another job well done!

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TelCell Group workers and CEO take center stage in Toastmasters Corporate Chartering Ceremony

POND ISLAND - TelEm Group workers and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, took part in an impressive Toastmasters induction and Chartering ceremony at the company’s main building on Pond Island, Tuesday evening.

A total of 18 workers, including Mr. Dupersoy were inducted into the ranks of the prestigious leadership training and public speaking organization with a world-wide reach - becoming the third corporate group on St. Maarten to have its own Toastmasters Club.

In a short presentation to his fellow inductees, visiting Toastmaster officials and members of other Toastmasters clubs, Mr. Dupersoy touched on his professional and academic growth and his propensity to being outspoken even from an early age.

Mr. Dupersoy looks forward to putting this to good use as a member of the Telecom Corporate Toastmasters Club, recognizing that even as the company’s CEO, there is always room for continuous development of public speaking and leadership skills.

“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” the CEO said, quoting from a popular American author, Brian Tracy: “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others, but unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘what’s in it for me’.”

Present to witness the proceedings and to officiate in the mass induction ceremony was Sherry-ann Batson, the Immediate Past District Director of District 81 of Toastmasters, under which the Telecom Corporate Toastmasters Club falls.

The Distinguished Toastmaster, with more than 25 years of service and numerous levels of responsibility within the organization over those years, was visiting from Barbados and personally congratulated each new Toastmaster after they had been pinned by other high-ranking Toastmasters officials attending the ceremony.

Ms. Batson was especially thankful to former Area 30 Director, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), Elroy Hughes, for spearheading the Telecom Corporate Toastmasters Club charter. She also praised the company’s CEO Mr. Dupersoy, for his membership and for a strongly worded endorsement at the start of the evening’s proceedings.

 “This is a very important occasion both for these new members and for this brand-new club. You have come to Toastmasters seeking to improve your communication and leadership skills and you now have the opportunity to learn and grow and achieve,” said the District 81 Toastmaster.

Tuesday’s induction ceremony was also marked in the presence of many Toastmaster officials from both sides of the island including Immediate Past Division Director, Kathia Magdeleine, present Division Director Brenda Maynard and Area Director, Sanjana  Manek.

Newly inducted Telecom Corporate Toastmasters Club President, Nina Diaz, thanked her club officials for a successful Chartering ceremony and meeting. She congratulated all the new Corporate inductees and especially thanked her visiting Toastmasters colleagues and officials, including District Toastmaster Ms. Batson.

“We very much appreciate the effort made by DTM Batson in sharing this moment with us. We will certainly be taking up her suggestion to seek out the experience of our fellow Toastmaster colleagues and clubs on the island and in the region to help with our own development,” said Telecom Corp Toastmaster Club president Nina.

She said following the official part of the meeting, the regular order of the day proceeded and regular meetings will continue on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month on TelEm Group premises starting at 5:00 pm.

PHOTO: TelEm Group CEO Kendall Dupersoy gave a presentation during Tuesday’s Chartering ceremony and regular meeting of the newly formed Telecom Corp. Toastmasters Club.

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PHOTO: A special word of thanks went to Philipsburg Toastmasters Club member, Elroy Hughes, who was also amongst the 18 persons inducted into the Telecom Corp Toastmasters Club Tuesday, having spearheaded the creation of the new Charter.

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Shanice Powell welcomed home by Prime Minister and Posh Productions

SIMPSON BAY - Ms. Shanice Powell returned home on Tuesday evening after participating in the Miss Caribbean Culture Queen Pageant held in Nevis.

Shanice represented St. Maarten to the best of her ability and won “Best Promotional Video (produced by Soualiga Media)”, Best Interview and Best Talent and ultimately placed 2nd Runner-up. The regional pageant was held during the Culturama Festival in Nevis and consisted of contestants from 11 islands and was won by Miss Dominica, Jade Romain.

Mrs. Anna Rabess-Richardson, CEO and Founder of Posh Productions expressed her congratulations and thanks stating “Shanice has made St. Maarten very proud and has represented St. Maarten to the fullest. We would like to thank the Prime Minister and his wife for at a drop of a dime agreeing to be there per Posh Production’s request to welcome home Shanice”.

The Prime Minister shared very encouraging words to Shanice which included “We are proud of your accomplishment, proud of what you have done, I want to tell you don't give up. Win or lose, you have done your best”.

“I’ll like to thank Keoma Hamer for answering the call of Posh to connect with the Prime Minister to have this organized” added Mrs. Rabess-Richardson.

Alston Lourens, President of the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) was also present to welcome home Shanice and said a few welcome words “Much success to you further, every time you go abroad you take St. Maarten carnival to those places and people look at us. All the love in our hearts towards you and everything that you are doing and congrats”. Mrs. Rabess-Richardson also thanked Alston for coming and showing support on behalf of SCDF.

“We would like to thank both Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Silveria Jacobs and Minister of Tourism Melissa Arrindell - Doncher for their willingness to attend but due to being on vacation were unable to be present. They expressed their well wishes and congratulations and how proud they are of Shanice.

Mr. Derrick V. Fraites, one of the judges at the pageant expressed his congratulations stating that Shanice created a hit at the pageant and that he was very impressed with her Costume, Evening Gown, On Stage Interview and Talent.

Shanice’s talent segment was a dramatic piece on being a mother who disciplines her daughter for taking inappropriate pictures to post on social media and garnered her “Best Talent”.

“Posh Productions is very proud of the work Shanice and her team has done so far in representing St. Maarten internationally. Thank you to everyone who have showed positive energy, love and support to Miss St. Maarten, Shanice Powell and all other 2017 queens in every capacity and we look forward to your continued support” concluded Mrs. Rabess-Richardson. 

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New Theatre Arts Foundation launched on St. Maarten

COLE BAY Great news theatre lovers – a brand new Foundation has been formed to stimulate new dimensions in theatre enjoyment and production on St. Maarten.

The new Non-Profit foundation, BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION is the brainchild of a small group of theater lovers led by fine arts teacher Cor Sikkes. The Foundation lends its name to the hugely successful production of the Stephen Leacock comedy play, Behind the Beyond, staged earlier this year, by Cor’s partner, Ukrainian director and drama teacher, Albina Matuzko,

“It was a logical step to set up a foundation to continue with the hard work and commitment to theatre on the island by Albina”, explained Cor. He says another important factor was all the encouragement and positive comments received from theatre-goers and members of the public after the stating of Behind the Beyond earlier this year.

“People said they missed this form of theatre and very much wanted us to continue. Members of the group spoke about how this could happen, and after much deliberation and planning proceeded with the setting up of the new Foundation so that we can continue our theatrical work,” continued Cor, who now expects the BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION to bring new dimensions to the theatre arts on St. Maarten under the direction of Ms. Matuzko.

Cor and members of the foundation believe they can provide a unique opportunity for theatre lovers on the island to fully experience a wide range of “Live Theatre” possibilities embracing and benefiting from a multicultural diversity and variable experiences that already exists on the island.

Thinking even further, Cor sees a whole range of untapped resources and possibilities of art education and participation at the island’s senior homes, hospitals, prison and other social groups and organizations presently excluded or set apart from the general community.

“We truly intend to fully explore a world which is far beyond the Island’s reality,” said Cor.

He said generous and kind comments from the theatre community on St. Maarten is the motivation behind the foundation’s serious thought about a mission and a goal to recover traditions of the community theatre as a platform to encourage people of different generations and cultural backgrounds to meet each other to Explore, to Experience, to Express and to Exchange through the dramatic arts and to serve the cultural, educational and entertainment needs of the community.

Director, Albina Matuzko, says she has worked with all age groups in theatre arts, but especially enjoys working with the youth, whom she expects will form an important and active part of the new foundation’s work in the coming weeks and months.

 “It was not by accident that we decided to keep the name of our first show in forming our new foundation. We want to remind ourselves always, also our audiences and our sponsors, that there is a lot going on all around us that we should stop and pay attention to instead of always dealing with clichéd themes and topics that are continuously being explored through skits and shows, while the real underbelly of the community continues to flourish almost in an invisible world. We must make time to listen and look out beyond the daily vanities and routines to find the comedic and also tragic nuances to expose things that can be very meaningful to the soul,” said the director.

In realizing their dreams to enhance live theatre on St. Maarten, both Cor and Albina are most thankful for the support and encouragement of others working behind the scenes to get the new foundation off the ground with a running start.

“We are so happy and fortunate to have others like us who passionately believe that theatre can be a powerful force to transform and unite the island’s multicultural community, building empathy, compassion, understanding, inclusion of all of us, and appreciation and value of everyone inside the St. Maarten community,” said Albina.

And how will this be done?

The theatrical director says B the B will provide opportunities for artistic growth for youth and adults through Dramatic Arts, offering theatre performances, drama and acting workshops, master classes and acting classes which will be challenging, inspiring, stimulating and fun to develop and build artistic freedom in each individual.

She says the BEHIND the BEYOND COMMUNITY THEATRE will consist of:
BEHIND THE BEYOND THEATRE LAB: adult company, open for everyone from 16 years who would like to be involved in making diverse, exceptional, affordable, accessible theatre of any genre: Play, Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Mask theatre, Clowning, Puppetry, Storytelling and multi-disciplinal shows and exhibitions based on the best Classic and Contemporary Literature and Art for all ages.

BEHIND the BEYOND Children Theatre COMPANY, 6 to 16 years, selected by audition or during participation in regular drama/theatre/acting classes. Children productions to CREATE AND INSPIRE youth.

BEHIND THE BEYOND DRAMA SCHOOL: regular drama and acting classes for kids, teens and adults.

Besides participation in stage production and acting/drama classes, various roles are open to members of the public who would like to work behind the scenes, get involved in the local productions without being on stage, assist with the gathering of props and theatrical clothing and most importantly, assist with fund-raising activities.

"We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in the development of theatre arts on Sint Maarten, who can assist our non-profit foundation as a volunteer in any way,” said the director, Matuzko.

“You may be interested in the production process, or you may simply have some good ideas about improving our facilities. You may be someone with things at home that you want to donate, such as chairs, tables, theatrical-looking clothes, old fashioned accessories, PILLOWS, etc… all things that we can use at our new venue,” continued Ms. Matuzko. She says Cor will be happy to hear from helpers, donors and sponsors and he can be contacted at the following e-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION has been officially established at the Notary Office and will be officially launched with an Open House during the month of September to which invitations will be extended to all.  At the Open House, those interested in all aspects of the theatre arts will again be invited to come to see what the Foundation and its members have to offer.

 “We are very excited about our new foundation and about all that we will have to offer. For us it’s a brand-new day and a brand new experience that we want to enjoy with all lovers of the arts,” said the proud and excited fine arts teacher and theatrical director – on behalf of the rest of the group. They say everyone is looking forward to a brand-new world of live theatre production on St. Maarten through the newly formed BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre Foundation (B the B).

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CIBC FIRSTCARIBBEAN OPENS STATE-OF-THE-ART BANKING CENTER AT EMMAPLEIN AS OF AUGUST 21

PHILIPSBURG – Clients of CIBC FirstCaribbean will have an improved banking experience from August 21st. The bank will soon be opening the doors to its new state-of-the-art Philipsburg location at Emmaplein on that date. 

The move by CIBC FirstCaribbean comes after twelve-and-a-half years of operating at its current Back Street location. The decision to relocate, according to Country Manager, Garth Sherwood, was taken following a detailed assessment that was designed to ensure that the bank continues to offer an excellent banking experience to its clients in a more spacious location.

“With the opening of our Finance Center in Cole Bay just a year ago, the bank continued to look for ways to grow and invest in St. Maarten. Selecting this prime location is a substantial investment and highlights our commitment to giving our clients the best service, from the best location.”

The new location will offer the same full suite of financial services and many convenient banking channels as the bank’s current location. Clients will also have access to a wide banking team and faster, more convenient services. Mr. Sherwood noted that his staff will be available to clients throughout the transition to ensure their move to the new location is seamless.

Employees' telephone and email contact information remain unchanged, and mail services continue in parallel during the move, to ensure employees at the branch are within easy reach of any clients who wish to discuss and concerns with them. The bank’s new mailing address from 21st of August will be:

Emmaplein 1, 

Philipsburg, 

Sint Maarten, 

Dutch West Indies

1-721-542-3511

To facilitate the move, the Philipsburg branch on Back Street will close on August 18th at 3:30PM. Clients will still be able to use the bank’s alternative banking channels including internet, mobile and telephone banking services. Some services, such as night deposit, will have interim arrangements during the relocation period.

“We remain committed to minimizing the disruptions of the relocation. That is why during our transition, clients will be able to use the night depositary service at our Cole Bay branch if required. Clients will be able to contact, Branch Manager, Mr. Perry Wilson to make arrangements for the use of the night depositary service.”

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Police Seeking Community Help in Elderly Lady Assault Case

MIDDLE REGION - On Sunday, the 23rd of July 2017, in the early morning hours, an elderly lady was assaulted at her home in Middle Region.

The Police Department is requesting witnesses and/or anyone who have seen anyone, going or leaving from the home, and or who have heard anything to please get in contact with Youth and Morals Department.

They can be reached during office hours at telephone number 542 22 22 ext. 501,502,503 or 504 or the anonymously tip line 9300 (free of charge). (Sint Maarten Police Force) 

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UTS provides Philipsburg Jubilee Library with 25 Mb broadband internet and sponsors Digi Summer Time Camp

PHILIPSBURG - Recently, UTS CEO Glen Carty met with representatives of Foresee Foundation and its funder Windsong Foundation and expressed his support for projects that bring technology to the schools and youth of St. Maarten.

One of these locations where students from all schools are coming to do school work, do research and collaborate on joint assignments is the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. With the increasing connectivity of the Internet, libraries have also become global information centers where information is available through a number of resources.

Since 2013, Foresee Foundation and the library have collaborated and established the Medialab which has catered to over 4,000 students in the last few years, giving technology workshops whereby internet access plays a crucial role.

With the exponential growth of interesting software which demands higher internet speeds, UTS is filling that gap allowing students and staff to work on exciting projects like coding and programming, graphic design, 3D printing, gaming and much more.

The installation of the internet was done before the Digi Summer Time camp started, so participants were the first lucky ones to profit from the increased speed.

They also had the opportunity to visit UTS on-site and learn about the role of technology in the telecommunication business sector.

Foresee Foundation and the Philipsburg Jubilee Library thank UTS for partnering on these exciting projects and greatly appreciate their generous support.

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