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Soualiga Newsday Latest News (1513)

Stop, Drop & Go Ends on November 14. Drop your weapons off!

COLE BAY - The team of the gun awareness project “Stop, Drop &Go” is reminding the general public that the project is still operational and will end Friday November 14th 2014.

This means, that there is still the opportunity for those persons who are in the possession of an illegal fire-arm or are in the possession of a fire-arm that they have no use for anymore, to surrender their weapon at the office of the Solicitor General, which is located on the third floor of Puerta del Sol Building located on the Welfare road in Cole Bay. 

The team encourages everyone to make good use of this opportunity. This can be done without any fear of prosecution. 

On the French side of the island these weapons can be turned in at the Gendarmerie in Marigot and in French Quarter.  (Police Force Sint Maarten)


Africa Caribbean Heritage Alliance launches November 26, 2014!

GREAT BAY - The influence of the African continent on the Caribbean culture is undeniable.  Through food, clothing, dance, and art, the African culture (especially West African) is still alive in the Caribbean.  However, there is still a huge disconnect between the Caribbean and Africa, especially in economics, travel, and to some degree culture and education.

Recently founded, the African Caribbean Heritage Alliance (ACHA) was created to reunite Africa and the Caribbean in the areas of heritage, culture, economics, education and travel. Started by Okama Ekpe Brook, who has worked for the United Nations in different parts of the world and is now based in St. Maarten, ACHA is uniquely based in the hub of the Caribbean, St. Maarten. Mrs. Brook, originally Nigerian, fell in love with St. Maarten and the Caribbean. Her background working in nation building has uniquely given her a perspective on the relationship between Africa and the Caribbean that can be strengthened and nurtured.

To expose the similarities in culture, ACHA will be hosting its very first cultural evening.   On November 26, 2014 at Belair Community Center from 7-9 PM, various Caribbean and African artists will come together in a night of awareness and fun. There will be dancers, artisans, and various foods (available for purchase).

Though, ACHA will launch with a cultural event, it is really focused on bringing and building awareness to both Africa about the Caribbean and vice versa as well as facilitating the opportunities in various sectors that may arise thereafter. One of the missions in 2015 is to go to Africa and assess feasibility of hosting an African Forum in St. Maarten.

Admission to this cultural evening is free to the public and encourages the entire community of St. Maarten to come out and support.   For more information, please contact Okama Epke Brook at +1-721-520-7286 or e-mail the foundation at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Pink Orange delegates convene on St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG—The fourth annual convention of the Pink Orange Alliance will take place from Thursday, November 13 – Saturday, November 15, 2014 on St. Maarten.

The Pink Orange Alliance is a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (lgbti) network, consisting of representatives from all of the islands of the former Netherlands Antilles, including Aruba, and also The Netherlands. The various representative organizations have been meeting for the last three years on various islands in order to come to a more cohesive alignment of overarching goals.

In November, 2010, lgbti rights activists from all islands of the Dutch Caribbean, except St. Eustatius, and also a representative of COC in The Netherlands, signed the Pink Orange Accord, which laid the foundation for further and future cooperation. This document acknowledges the stigmas still often associated with lgbti lives in the Dutch Caribbean, which can lead to structural imbalances and inequality, but also notes that equal treatment, non-exclusion and non-discrimination are rights afford to all citizens of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It is based on the latter that the Pink Orange Alliance pledges to tackle the former.

 “Considering that our plight is seldom heard by our own political and social leadership, that the present statuses of the Dutch Caribbean islands limit the possibilities of support for international redress, it is without prejudice that the Kingdom and its institutions will become evident subjects to reclaim our rights, and that to achieve this we will seek cooperation and alliances with partner organizations in the European part of the Kingdom,” is stated in the 2010 document.

In the document it is also written that, “All islands in the Dutch Caribbean need a center or other physical point of reference for the provision of emotional, physical and spiritual health services, psycho-social and legal support to the LGBTI community, we will promote the visibility of our LGBTI communities in all their diversity, present positive role models and fight  stereotyping, we will create opportunities to report instances of exclusion, discrimination, bullying, violence and other rights violations and develop strategies to address misinformation and defamation in our media, we will promote an environment in our schools that is more inclusive of LGBTI sexual diversity, health and rights issues.

The various organizations have spent the years since 2010 working individually and collectively towards these goals and there have been successes over the years. In 2013 St. Maarten’s first LGBTI organization (St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality or SAFE SXM) was established on December 10 (International Human Rights Day). In 2014 Born This Way was established on St. Eustatius. Surveys have been undertaken across many of the islands and will continue on others in order to better understand the dynamics and needs of the LGBTI communities on the various islands.

During this year’s conference the delegates will chart the way forward for the next four years; looking at the psycho-social health of the various communities and also drafting a regional strategic approach.

As part of the conference there will also be an LGBTI production called “Don’t Be Afraid Of Rainbows,” produced by SAFE SXM and directed by Clara Reyes. For more information about this production please contact SAFE SXM at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

President of St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality, Lysanne Charles – Arrindell said that St. Maarten was pleased to host this year’s event.

“Last year’s event was held on Bonaire and we really had a great experience discussing common challenges and approaches as LGBTI activists. So this year we are excited about the conference coming here to St. Maarten so that together we can further our work in the best interest of LGBTI people, particularly on the various islands,” Charles – Arrindell said.

Charles – Arrindell said that looked forward to many, many more years of great work and good experiences within the Pink Orange Alliance.

“As an LGBTI organization, SAFE SXM is well aware of its obligations to the local community, but we are also aware of the facts that there is strength in numbers and that knowledge something that is best shared. So we can learn from others who have more experience and they can also learn best practices from us and this way we can all see that we are not in this struggle alone. There is still a lot of work to be done to 1) alleviate the misinformation that people have about LGBTI individuals, 2) eradicate the prejudices that people come with whether they are religious or culturally based, 3) prevent self-stigma and self-hatred amongst LGBTI people. We cannot do it all alone and therefore we are thankful that we have our partners in the Pink Orange Alliance to work with as we tackle these complex issues,” Charles Arrindell said. (SAFE SXM)




Torrential rainfall in USVI Causes Disruptions and Flooding

USVI – Torrential downpours on Friday, November 7 brought life to a standstill in the Virgin Islands.  The slow moving weather system that is passing through the northern Leeward Islands is creating havoc with three to six inches of rain in isolated showers.

At 6.00pm on Friday the Cyril King Airport had to close and all flights were cancelled.  The runway will not open until 6.00am on Saturday morning November 8.  Technicians believe that as a result of the heavy rainfall, a short resulted in a number of runway lights to shut down.

USVI was placed under a flood advisory by the Weather Service on Friday.  The service reminded motorists that flood waters are often deeper than they look and caution is advised, and that most flood deaths occur in automobiles.

All public schools were closed on Friday at 1.00pm.  A number of roadways were inundated due to flash flooding.

The Department of Planning & Natural Resources sent out a notice on Friday advising the public to refrain from swimming or playing in water affected by storm-water runoff, and for children to keep away from impacted beaches.  There may be an elevated risk due to concentrations of bacteria in the water and other pollutants that are harmful to human health.


Post Office Director Antonia Wilson marks 35 years of dedicated service to St. Maarten

PHILIPSBURG: --- Management and staff of Postal Services St. Maarten (PSS N.V.) sprung a 35th Anniversary Day surprise for Interim Director, Ms. Antonia Wilson, at the main post office branch Tuesday.

Saba-born, Ms. Wilson, has been an integral part of postal services on St. Maarten ever since she joined the forerunner to the present company, on 1st November 1979.

During her 35 years in service she has been recognized for her dedication with several promotions, the latest being Retail Director of the Windward Island for Nieuwe Post Netherland Antilles (NPNA).

Manager, Commercial and Business Development, Ms. Zaira Paulo, said managers and staff surprised Ms. Wilson with a presentation and a cake to mark her remarkable achievement, and also as a way of recognizing a “great leader".

“The celebration was well-deserved and our staff, along with the Supervisory Board of Directors was pleased to make this a special day for Ms. Wilson,” continued Ms. Paulo.

She described Ms. Wilson as being very experienced in the work executed by the Post Office on St. Maarten with first-hand knowledge of how the service has been developed over the years.

“We count on Ms. Wilson’s knowledge and experience to develop the modern services that new postal authority for St. Maarten has to offer and we look forward to many more years with us,” said Ms. Paulo.

She described the PSS N.V. Interim Managing Director as a firm but fair personality who only wants what is best for her staff and strives at all times to provide the best postal service for St. Maarten.

Ms. Paulo said this week has in fact been a week of celebration for a number of postal service employees who are also marking Silver and Jade anniversaries in service. Among these are our colleagues Kevin Gumbs (29 years), Rita Pantophlet and B. Monson (25 years) and Mr. Rombley (25 years), who will all be officially honored in the week upcoming.

Interim Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Directors, Mr. Stuart Johnson, congratulated Ms. Wilson on achieving a milestone in St. Maarten’s postal service, noting that another Saba national, Mr. Will Johnson, had also played an important part in the early development of postal services on St. Maarten when he also worked in the postal service here.

 “Ms. Wilson has come a long way and although I have known her to shy away from the spotlight whenever she can, on this occasion I would encourage her to take a well-deserved bow for a long dedicated service thus far, with much more still to give,” said the Supervisory Board Chairman.

He said it is a pleasure working with Ms. Wilson, noting that her dedication to PSS should serve as an example to many individuals, especially the staff of PSS."

Before cutting her anniversary cake, Ms. Wilson thanked God for her blessing, her family for the great support, her staff for their kind gesture and also members of the public and customers who have sent messages of good wishes - including former postal workers who are now retired.

“I have experienced a lot in the 35 years and my working colleagues are as close to me as my own family, because we spend so many working days together,” said Ms. Wilson.

She said the new postal authority on St. Maarten has set itself on a path to modernize its services in the face of increased competition from the internet and a global change in traditional postal business.

“In the short time I have been interim managing director we have opened two new branches and with some of the new services we are offering our customers, I believe we are moving in the right direction.

“There is a still a lot of work to be done and I promise to continue to work tirelessly to build good strategic relations with our business clients and excellent relations with the general public to show that our post offices are still relevant so that our younger members of staff can also celebrate 35 years when their time comes around,” said Ms. Wilson.

For more information about your post office personnel and the service and products available at the Postal Services St. Maarten, visit or like on or call + (1721) 5422289.


Sunday, November 9th – National Day of Prayer & Fasting. Pray for strong and upright governments for Sint Maarten/Saint Martin

PHILIPSBURG - Churches, citizens and all who lover and care for our beautiful twin-island nation are asked to observe Sunday, November 9th as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting for our island. Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is facing challenges at all levels of society. The governments of this island are in need of our prayers. The economy is being challenged with unemployment and layoffs. Crime is on the rise. The social foundations of our society are being shaken and people are hurting in so many ways. One way to attack these problems is through prayer.

It is for this reason that the Saint Martin United Ministerial Foundation (SMUMF) and the Federation of Churches on French Saint Martin (FEDOC) are calling on the people to pray earnestly for our beloved island. We don’t have to gather en masse to pray for the island, but if everybody, in their own way and in their own time, spend a few minutes on Sunday asking for God’s mercy, blessing and guidance for the island then we would have a national day of prayer. In your individual morning and evening prayers remember Sint Maarten/Saint Martin. You can also come together in small groups and pray. Pastors and priests are asked to spend a few minutes during their service or mass to pray for the island. When all of these prayers are put together we would have had a national prayer meeting on behalf of our nation. As far as the fasting is concerned, even skipping just one meal on Sunday the 9th to pray would also turn this day into a national day of fasting.

The National Day of Prayer and Fasting will culminate with a general prayer gathering at Christian Assembly, Grande Case, Saint Martin at 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited! Pastors who have evening services will be able to get back to their respective churches on time. In this service we take our cue and advice from the wisest ruler who ever lived, King Solomon. He counsels the people of God to be humble, to pray, to seek God’s face and turn from their selfish ways. When we do this, God will hear our prayers, He will forgive our sins and He will heal and restore our nation.

Let’s join together on Sunday, November 9th to pray for the peace and prosperity of Sint Martin/Saint Martin.  (SMUMF)


Copper thieves setting back restoration work on Telecom infrastructure

POND ISLAND – Copper thieves are setting back restoration work on TelEm Group’s telecommunication infrastructure, part of which was damaged with the passing of hurricane Gonzalo.


The thieves have been going into action in the dead of night, cutting copper cables set aside to connect pockets of neighbourhoods worst affected by hurricane Gonzalo.


“The latest incident happened recently in the Sucker Garden area where brand new copper cable was cut and removed from a site even before we had a chance to connect customers,” said Manager, Outside Plant, Mr. Marco London.


He said the thefts are putting back restoration work for workers in the field who are forced to remove the cables from the work sites at the end of each day. The workmen are also having to ensuring the cables left behind at the end of the day, are properly concealed and protected to prevent further theft.


“We have to take these precautions and this is causing a slowdown in the number of customers we can reconnect to the infrastructure each day in different areas,” said Mr. London.


He said some three weeks after the passing of hurricane Gonzalo, close to 300 TelEm Group customers in various areas throughout the island continues to be affected and is awaiting reconnection for landline and internet service.


“Unfortunately for some of these customers, there is a slight delay in having their service resumed since we have decided, along with GEBE and Cable TV to put our cables underground right away rather than repair and restore damaged overhead cables.


“This will cause some inconvenience in the short term, but the in the long term it will be better for the customer because the underground cables are better protected and will also allow for quicker reconnections in the future should there be any other hurricanes or major incidents,” said  the Outside Plant manager.


He said the areas where the utility companies are going underground within the next two weeks include Sucker Garden and Betty’s Estate, however there are other areas, such as Middle Region, Dutch Quarter and Nazareth, where the companies cannot lay underground cables because of succession land issues and are therefore forced to maintain an overhead cabling system.


“We are doing all that we can in several areas to have customers back in landline and internet service as soon as it is physically possible.


“We are working along with GEBE and St. Maarten Cable TV in different areas for efficiency and cost-effectiveness, but none of us are helped by the inclement weather that the island has experienced in recent days,” continued Mr. London.


He said the setback of heavy rain, combined with the theft of copper cables is slowing down progress, but customers can rest assured that technicians will be getting to them soon.


He has meantime urged members of the public who witness people stealing company equipment and copper cables to report the matter to the police right away.


The Outside Plant manager said in areas where customers do not have service because of felled poles and dangling drop wires, these customers should ensure they report the outage to TelEm Group’s Customer Care department so that adjustments can be made to their monthly subscription fee.

“Unless we are officially informed a customer’s service has been interrupted because of damage to the telecommunication infrastructure, they will continue to be charged for service,” Mr. London said. (TelEm)


Volunteers wanted for new Library Café

PHILIPSBURG - Are you an adult who is looking for a volunteer job where you will meet lots of people from different cultures and ages? Do you have some spare time available in the mornings or in the afternoons? If this is the case, then volunteering at the library might be just the thing for you!

Library volunteers play an important role as partners in the library's mission of connecting people to the world of ideas and information. If you would like to volunteer and the description above applies to you, you are invited to assist in our new open library café. The café will be open daily (except on Mondays) to provide library users with healthy and delicious drinks and snacks.

If you would like to support your library by working as a volunteer in the library café, please contact us by email or phone. 

For more information, call or send an e-mail to the library’s director Mrs. Monique Alberts (542 2970) or contact the library café coordinator Ms. Cherida Creebsburg (554 6154) at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. (Library)



FC Soualiga wins Second International Women’s Soccer Tournament

CAY HILL - FC Soualiga Women's Soccer Team hosted its 2nd PJIA International Women’s Soccer Tournament during the weekend of October 25th and 26th, with the hosting team FC Soualiga winning both of the matches it competed in (5-2 and 7-3).  

This time around it proved a little bit more difficult to get teams over to the island as opposed to 2013’s tournament with 6- a side games where St. Barths, Curacao and Trinidad participated along two FC Soualiga teams. This year Raoul Illidge allowed for official 11- a side games. This however proved difficult for other regional teams as airfare for regional flights are quite expensive, especially when an entire team, including coaches, need to travel. The fact that chikungunya has been circulating in the region has also made matters worse, as team Trinidad had to cancel a day before the opening match due to contracting the virus.

Considering that FIFA has deemed this year ‘the year of women in soccer’, world-wide more investment should be made in having women participate in the sport, it is regrettable that many teams, some affiliated with FIFA, have not yet been able to represent themselves internationally.

However, FC Soualiga was still very pleased with the outcome of this year’s PJIA International Women’s Soccer Tournament. They were applauded for their professionalism and great organizational skills, as well as everyone being impressed by the improvement the team has shown in such a short time span. The team, only being in existence since April 2013, has proven it is a force to be reckoned with.

FC Soualiga walked away with the first place prize, while their main competitor, ‘Association Sportive de Gustavia’ from St. Barth's came in second. Other personal prizes such as the best defender prize went to Cindy Havinga, Daphne Wittenberg was named best goalie and the most valuable player prize went to Kandice Franklyn, as well as winning the prize for most goals scored.

FC Soualiga would like to thank all their amazing sponsors for making this year’s tournament another success. FC Soualiga would especially like to acknowledge its corporate sponsor Princess Juliana International Airport, and Divi Little Bay Beach Resort for always supporting the team. Without them and the sponsors Windward Islands Bank, GEBE, Sint Maarten Building Supplies, Majula Corp., Travel Planners, Holland House Beach Hotel, and Heavenly Water, the tournament would not have been as successful as it was.

Special thanks also goes out to Coach David Forsythe, Rita Aikman and Ruthlyn Hooi from the St. Maarten Soccer Educational Foundation, the Red Cross Foundation, Robenson Gassant for his graphic design expertise, Mr. York from Ocean Island NV, and the Foundation Upkeep Sports Facilities for always supporting FC Soualiga in all its endeavors.



CAY HILL - Well-seasoned corporate and finance attorney Karel Frielink is joining BZSE Attorneys at Law and Tax Lawyers of St. Maarten, and will  set up and manage a Curaçao office of the firm. The office will open on January 1, 2015, and Frielink will serve as its managing partner.

“We are extremely excited to be opening a Curaçao office and to have Karel joining the firm,” said Roeland Zwanikken, managing partner of BZSE in St. Maarten.

“Karel is a great attorney, lauded for his technical knowledge and experience of the local (Curacao and Sint Maarten) markets. He is highly regarded for his work in corporate (governance) and finance matters, as well as his broader commercial practice.”

“Growth for growth’s sake has never been what we have looked for. We have carefully measured this opportunity, which we believe to be good for the firm and, above all, good for our clients,” said Zwanikken. “We offer the highest quality in terms of experience and service to our clients.”

“Having a close relationship with several partners of BZSE for many years and having worked with lawyers of BZSE on several cases, I know the firm’s excellent reputation is well founded,” said Karel Frielink.

“We also share the same values. A straightforward approach, as well as independence, integrity, quality, loyalty and team spirit are paramount to the professionals of BZSE. I am looking forward to working with my new colleagues in offering efficient and highly effective legal services to our clients.”

For more information about the firm, visit

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