SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - It was a bittersweet afternoon at the Government Administration Building as Civil Servants within the Ministry of VROMI said farewell to their Minister Miklos Giterson on Wednesday, August 21, the eve of his birthday.
Giterson received a huge surprise when he was asked to go to the Chambers of the Council of Ministers. Inside were dozens of staff from the Ministry of Public Housing, Environment, Spatial Development and Infrastructure (Ministry VROMI) who screamed “surprise” as he entered the room.
Giterson, set to leave office officially on September 1, has been caretaker minister for his Ministry since he resigned a few months ago from office. During the pre-birthday surprise celebration and farewell, chief of Staff Chris Wever presented to the Minister on behalf of the Cabinet of VROMI several gifts including a personal crystal award.
The award read, "We hereby honour Minister Miklos M.C. Giterson Minister of Public Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure January 15, 2018 – August 31, 2019. Thank you for serving Country St. Maarten.”
Amongst the gifts Giterson received, were plaques showing some of the work that he did while in office.
Additionally, the Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin presented Giterson with several gifts. In a brief address to those in attendance, she said she was not too happy to see Giterson leave and said some things were "not fair."
She said, "I did not want to come here because I don't feel good about what has happened. But I promise I will not say Goodbye." With teary eyes, she gave several gifts to Giterson which she said were part of a tradition for departing Ministers.
Minister Miklos Giterson said, "I did not have a speech prepared, but I am touched by what you all did." He called his mother former Education Commissioner Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet to the centre of the room and said he always thought he did not want to follow in her footstep. He told his mother, "but I am very happy that I did."
Giterson spent much of the afternoon exchanging pleasantries with his colleagues.
Also, in attendance were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Youth, Sports and Culture Wycliffe Smith, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport & Telecommunication (TEATT) the honourable Stuart Johnson and Minister of Finance the Honourable Perry Geerlings.
They all joined with the VROMI Ministry in bidding farewell to the Minister as he finishes the final leg of his journey as Minister.