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Over 300 Lions & Leos attend a very successful 43rd Multiple District 60 Convention

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Sint Maarten Lions Club hosted a very successful 43rd Multiple District 60 Convention with over 300 Lions and Leos from countries as far south as Suriname up to Grand Cayman in the north and including all the English-speaking Caribbean islands staying at the luxurious Divi Resort Hotel. Delegates from French St. Martin, Guadeloupe, Martinique, France and the U.S.A. also participated in the Convention.

Delegates were honored with the presence of specially invited guest, Past International President of Lions Clubs International, USA, Lion Al Brandel and his Partner-in-Service, Lion Dr. Maureen Murphy, PMJF.

The week’s activities officially began on Wednesday, May 17th with leadership training workshops, conducted at the Paradise Event Hall and Belair Convention Centre by powerful local presenters namely Rolande Tobias, Lion Brenda Maynard, and Marcella Henry.

The colorful International Parade of Clubs through Front Street later that afternoon was followed by the official Opening ceremony in which our very own Honorable Prime Minister Ms. Silveria Jacobs, who is also an Honorary member of the Sint Maarten Lions Club, delivered the keynote address and welcomed the delegates to the island and Convention.

She focused on the theme “Serving from the Heart” and encouraged the Lions and Leos to continue to be beacons of light in giving service in their communities as the needs are great and more involvement means a better chance for positive change. This event was catered by NIPA as part of our Club’s continued effort to promote our country’s young professionals.

During the evening’s event held at the Belair Convention Center, members of the Sint Maarten Alpha Leo Club presented the flags of the 21 islands and countries of Multiple District 60 in addition to the flags of the Past International President and Lions Clubs International in an impressive, well-coordinated ceremony.

The remainder of the week was filled with Meetings during the day where Lions and Leos reviewed and celebrated their service achievements while discussing the continuity of impactful service in their various communities and beyond. On Thursday May 18th, the Sint Maarten Night Social was held on the rooftop of the Belair Convention Centre.

This fun-filled event showcased our culture and attendees were treated to entertainment by the Cole Bay Theater Company and The Family String Band and were served delicious local snacks with fresh coconut water and Guavaberry drinks.

The week’s events culminated with the Council of Governors Ball on Friday evening at the Harbor where delegates dined and danced to the sizzling rhythms of the popular Control Band.

Council Chairperson of Multiple District 60, Lion Claudio A. Buncamper, PMJF remarked: “It was exciting for us to finally have this opportunity to gather again in-person, to reconnect and recharge. The strong feeling of camaraderie among our Lions and Leos was very evident.

As Lions and Leos, service is who we are and what we do. Based on the very positive feedback that was received, I am sure that everyone has left the Convention feeling rejuvenated in our common objective of true, humanitarian service to our communities.”

The Multiple District 60 Convention Chairlady, Lion Carmen Lake MJF expresses her thanks and appreciation to the Sint Maarten Lions and Leo Clubs, Council Chairperson Lion Claudio A. Buncamper, PMJF, the Convention Organizing Committee and Sub Committees, the sponsors, delegates, and all who contributed in one way or the other to make the Convention a huge success.






Large Fire Destroys Four Homes in Dutch Quarter

SINT MAARTEN (DUTCH QUARTER) - Personnel of the Sint Maarten Police Force and Fire Department responded swiftly to multiple reports of a significant fire at the top of Madrid Road in Dutch Quarter earlier Sunday evening.

The incident, which occurred at approximately 6:30 PM, resulted in the destruction of about four neighboring homes. Efforts to combat the blaze are ongoing, with firefighting personnel still actively engaged at the scene past 8:00 PM.

Upon receiving several distress calls, the Police Central Dispatch promptly dispatched multiple police patrols and Fire Department units to the affected location. Firefighters arrived promptly and began tackling the flames, but the intensity of the fire made containment challenging.

Authorities are currently investigating the cause of the fire, and all necessary measures are being taken to ensure the safety of residents in the affected area.

The police of Sint Maarten urges residents to remain vigilant and follow the instructions provided by emergency services personnel on the scene.


The SMYC is preparing for the Budget Marine Sint Maarten National Dinghy Championship

SINT MAARTEN (SIMPSON BAY) - On June 3 and 4, 2023, Simpson Bay will be filled with dinghy sailors, competing for the title of Sint Maarten National Dinghy Champion. Hosted by the Sint Maarten Yacht Club (SMYC) on behalf of the Sint Maarten Sailing Foundation, this event was part of the Dinghy Season Championship in the past 2 years. The decision was made to turn it into a two-day – standalone event, sponsored by Budget Marine.

Registrations are coming in from St. Maarten, Saint Martin and St. Barts, making for strong competitive classes. Prizes are awarded in seven classes: Optimist, RS Quest, RS Zest, ILCA 4, ILCA 6, ILCA 7 and Sun Fast 20s. The title of St. Maarten Dinghy National Champion can only be won by a St. Maarten resident.

“Budget Marine hopes that promoting and ensuring that local sailing events are run will help develop and expose local sailors. We are lucky enough to have year-round ideal conditions for these sorts of competitions that help our local athletes grow. We are happy to see our neighboring islands also able to compete with Sint Maarten as we can all help each other raise the standard of sailing in the Caribbean.” Stated Jolyon Ferron, Sales Manager Budget Marine St. Maarten. 

In 2022 Emma Lennox, Justin Pieterse and Frits Bus became the St. Maarten National Dinghy Champions in respectively the Laser 4.7, Radial and Standard Class. The race committee is expecting Lennox and Bus to be back on the starting line next weekend to defend their title.

Joris van den Eynde won the title in the RS Quest last year, sailing with his son Axel. Van den Eynde is now registered to sail with his daughter Louisa in the RS Quest. Axel has made great progress this past season racing in an Optimist and will compete in the Optimist class.

Three boats are expected to participate in the Sun Fast 20 Class, where Robbie Ferron took home the win last year.

The St. Maarten National Dinghy Champion in the Optimist class will be decided during the St. Maarten Optimist Championship, hosted by the SMYC in October 2023. This does not stop the Optimists from registering for this event and the Race Committee is expecting to see great competition in this class.

“The racing season is almost coming to an end, but we are looking forward to close off the dinghy racing season with a bang, said Sam Peeks, racing coach at the Sint Maarten Yacht Club. The St. Maarten Yacht Club sailors have shown great progress throughout the year, training and racing in Sint Maarten, as well as in Antigua, Curacao and Saint Barths. What better way to end the season then to decide who will be called ‘St. Maarten’s National Dinghy Champion’!”


Condolence Book Opened for STAT Employee Gemma Felix

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Council of Ministers (COM) set aside time on Thursday to sign the condolence-memorial book that has been opened in memory of Gemma Felix.

Felix was an employee of the Department of Statistics (STAT) with the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) at the time of her passing, where she was primarily responsible for the calculation of the Consumer Price Index and Inflation.

Before the official signing, the Secretary General of the Ministry TEATT, Miguel de Weever, spoke warmly about Felix and her work ethics.

The Ministry of TEATT's Management Team and the employees of the Department of Statistics witnessed the signing by members of COM, which was followed by their personal signing of the book.

The general public and civil servants are invited to sign the condolence-memorial book, which is located at the entrance to the Government Administration Building.

Signing is possible from Friday, May 26 through Friday, June 9.

Gemma Felix.CoM signing 2




SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - A group of Sixth Form students of St. Maarten Academy made a clean sweep at this year's Peace and Conflict Resolution video contest.

The competition, the initiative of the Rotary Club of St. Martin Sunrise, attracted nine entries, four of which were from the Academy scholars and five from Seniors and Juniors of Learning Unlimited Preparatory School (LU). The contest is in observance of Rotary’s “Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention” monthly theme and aims to promote social consciousness among teens, which is valuable to them as individuals and to our society as a whole. It is crucial that youngsters be cognizant of social issues as this will lead to dialogue and subsequent solutions.

Amid a break assembly on Monday, Rotary Sunrise President Marcellia Henry and several board members presented certificates to all participants before announcing the winners.

The video focusing on the theme of depression emerged as the overall winner, as well as the most popular video on social media. The overall winner was selected by a panel of judges who critiqued the videos based on creativity, concept, script, and overall performance, while the most popular video was determined by the “likes” the video amassed on YouTube.

The winning group comprised CAPE students Gabrielle Brooks Ellis, Ty Farquharson, Sherenn Leblanc, Vershawn Nelson, and Miguel York.

First runner-up was awarded to the video focusing on the theme of drug abuse. The group consisted of Anika Emmanuel, Kianna Greene, Fiona Hussein, Rudesh Ramraj, and Aryan Sampat.

The second runner-up went to a LU entry focused on the theme of substance abuse. The group consisted of Nahema Gautrot, Tiffany Ramnauth, Natalie Johnson, Madison Solomon and Princess Ozkan.

Rotary Sunrise President, Ms. Marcellia Henry, thanked the students and schools for participating in the video contest. She applauded the quality of the videos, the messages, and the solutions to conflicts presented. She looks forward to the school’s continued support and even more student entrees in next year’s video contest. President Henry also congratulated Rotarian Valda Hazel and the committee members who coordinated this successful video competition.

St. Maarten Academy Acting Principal Mrs. Kim Lucas-Felix congratulated all the students and the CAPE Coordinator Ms. Kester Small, who guided the process, for a job well done.

"The fact that our students brought home all the prizes - Best Video, Most Popular Video, and overall winner of the competition is testament to the excellence we hone at St. Maarten Academy. We are so proud of what they have done, " stated the acting principal.

Lucas-Felix thanked Rotary Club of St. Maarten Sunrise for the great initiative, as well as Boolchands for the gift vouchers all students of the winning video received.

Vice principal, Ms. Joanna Trim also acknowledged the commitment of the Rotary Club of StMaarten Sunrise to the youth of St. Maarten and the stellar efforts of the teams and their mentor. “Since the commencement of this initiative by the Rotary Club, Academy students continue to respond with stimulating pieces that speak to social issues affecting the youth within our local communities. Collectively, they also represent the growth mindset of our students and the array of technical skills they continue to develop through initiatives such as this one. Kudos - we are proud of you all!”

In her capacity as CAPE Coordinator and Digital Media teacher, Ms. Small served as the mentor for the four groups representing the Academy.

“Congratulations to each participant for pooling your collective talents and creativity to highlight these all-too-common social problems! Job well done,” Small said.


Pictured (from left, back): Ms. Valda Hazel, Sherenn Leblanc, Gabrielle Brooks Ellis, Ms. Kester Small, Ms. Dolly Sadarangani, Ms. Marcellia Henry, Mr. Sidarth Bijlani, Mrs. Kim Lucas-Felix. From left (front row): Vershawn Nelson, Ty Farquharson, Miguel York



Requirements Motor Vehicle Practical Driving Test

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – The Inspectorate of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT) hereby reminds all driving instructors and driving schools that the motor vehicle used during the practical driving test must be legally arranged in such a way that the Driving Examiner can at any time intervene sufficiently with the use of the steering wheel, the brakes and clutch (where applicable).

These legal requirements are found in article 14, paragraphs 2 and 3 of the National Decree on the Organization of Driving Tests and guarantees the level of safety of the Driving Examiner, the candidate and other road users during the practical driving test.

To further enhance the overall road safety, all motor vehicles intended for driving tests must fully comply with the abovementioned legal requirements as of December 1, 2023. No exemptions will be made.


Delegation from INTERPOL Visits Sint Maarten

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Honorable Minister of Justice, Anna E. Richardson, warmly welcomed a distinguished delegation from the Headquarters of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to Sint Maarten from May 15 to May 19, 2023, for a highly anticipated Quality Standard Visit. The purpose of the visit was to assess the effectiveness and performance of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB) in Philipsburg, which currently functions as an integral part of the Police Force of Sint Maarten (KPSM).

The INTERPOL Quality Standard Visit commenced with an official opening meeting led by Minister Richardson. Throughout the week-long program, the delegation engaged in a series of key activities, including a visit to the airport, a meeting with the Honorable Prime Minister, Silveria E. Jacobs, and fruitful discussions with stakeholders within the Justice chain. These discussions covered a broad range of critical topics, such as border protection, fugitives, human trafficking, human smuggling, narcotics, firearms, as well as anti-counterfeit and intellectual property issues. INTERPOL provided invaluable insights into the various tools and databases available to Sint Maarten as a proud member state of INTERPOL. Furthermore, awareness was raised regarding the training and networking opportunities that can benefit the law enforcement officers of Sint Maarten.

The visit culminated in a closing meeting between Minister Richardson, the Chief of Police, and the INTERPOL delegation. During this meeting, the preliminary findings of INTERPOL were shared, and a comprehensive report detailing all the findings will be provided to Minister Richardson in the coming weeks.

The visit of INTERPOL marks a significant milestone in the process of strengthening INTERPOL Sint Maarten and intensifying the working relationship between Sint Maarten and INTERPOL. The initiative was initially set in motion by Minister Richardson in November 2022 when she embarked on a courtesy work visit to the INTERPOL Headquarters in Lyon, France, accompanied by Ms. Geertje van Haperen, Senior Legal Policy Advisor of Judicial Affairs.

INTERPOL plays a pivotal role in offering a wide range of expertise and services to its member countries, including forensics, analysis, and assistance in locating fugitives worldwide. This expertise supports national efforts in combating crimes across three global areas: terrorism, cybercrime, and organized crime. Effective coordination among all stakeholders is crucial in maintaining a robust global security architecture.

Minister Richardson expressed her delight with the visit of INTERPOL and the valuable feedback received during their Quality Standard visit to Sint Maarten. “This visit holds great significance as it marks the first inspection since the establishment of the NCB on the beautiful island several years ago. I am proud as we were able to showcase Sint Maarten's unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of law enforcement and international cooperation. The positive feedback received thus far reinforces the dedication of Sint Maarten to ensuring the safety and security of its citizens and visitors.”

The Ministry of Justice remains steadfast in its commitment to enhancing capabilities, fostering stronger partnerships, and embracing the latest advancements in technology and training. By doing so, Sint Maarten aims to elevate the effectiveness of its NCB in addressing global security challenges and making valuable contributions to the broader INTERPOL community.

Moving forward, the Ministry will build upon the recommendations provided by INTERPOL, ensuring that Sint Maarten maintains its reputation as a responsible and proactive partner in the fight against organized crime, terrorism, and emerging threats. The Ministry and INTERPOL share an unwavering resolve to create a safer world, and they eagerly anticipate continued collaboration and knowledge exchange to strengthen collective efforts. Sint Maarten remains steadfast in its commitment to justice, security, international cooperation, and we are honored to have received such positive recognition from INTERPOL.

Thank you once again to the INTERPOL team for their invaluable visit, and to all those who contribute to the safety and well-being of our community. Together, we will continue to strive for excellence in law enforcement and ensure a secure future for Sint Maarten and its residents.” stated Minister Richardson.


Chris calls for removal of all car wrecks from Fort Willem. Hotel development must benefit community

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel on Sunday called for the removal of all car wrecks from the Fort Willem district and for any new development in the area of the former Great Bay Beach hotel to contribute to the upgrading and further development of the neighborhood. “This is not a dump site, it’s a community of hard working people,” MP Emmanuel said.

The MP said it appears as if the area is the new favorite dumping ground for car wrecks, with some that are actually brought into the neighborhood and left there to rot. Many others have been left in the same spot in the aftermath of hurricane Irma and have now become breeding grounds for illicit behavior in that community. Residents of the area contacted the MP recently and want something done about the situation post haste.

The MP said he is aware of government’s exercise to remove car wrecks but questioned why Fort Willem was not tackled. He also called on the owners of the abandoned cars, if they live in the neighborhood, to have them removed. “But it has been long enough. The people in the Fort Willem community do not deserve to live like this,” MP Emmanuel said.

“The already narrow roads in Fort Willem are less accessible for emergency vehicles because of the car wrecks that take up entire stretches of road. The wrecks are not in people’s yards, they are literally on the road. So if a fire breaks out or someone needs urgent medical assistance, fire trucks and the ambulance have a hard time navigating the district because the roads are impassable,” Emmanuel said.

He added that residents are already struggling to deal with safety and security, they do not need to worry about their children walking past wrecks where people with bad intentions simply hang out and which could develop into a breeding ground for activities that will further harm the community. “Residents cannot even park in front of their own homes and have to park someplace else then walk home,” Emmanuel said, adding that concerned residents fear that the environment is predatory for young women.

The MP said the Fort Willem community has been neglected for too long and when he tried to give the community something as simple as a basketball court, it was blocked by government powers connected to the redevelopment of former Great Bay Beach hotel area.

“Today the area designated for the basketball court is basically a dump, while it could have been a place for the young people in that area to stay constructively active. Developers in this country and their protectors in government preferred to prevent the community from obtaining a positive project, and instead chose to leave the area undeveloped for years,” Emmanuel said.

“I would like to see true investment by any developer and the government into the community of Fort Willem sooner rather than later. Put in some more speed bumps, clear the entire area of car wrecks, improve lighting, beautification, just general improvement. If you are going to come into their district, build a hotel and lord knows what other things on their beach, then instead of trying to block our people from their beach, invest in the community that you are part of and show some real corporate social responsibility. This is not you against them. Do the responsible thing and help the community. But let’s start with getting rid of these car wrecks,” the MP concluded.

MP Emm car wrecks ins1




DFS is looking for volunteers. Next Diabetes Testing Activity is on Saturday

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - Last Monday May 15 the Diabetes Foundation of Sint Maarten (DFS) started its monthly testing of Seniors at the John Larmony Center, DFS said on Wednesday in a press statement.

The Diabetes Foundation of St. Maarten hereby would like to invite the general public to their next event, this Saturday May 20, 2023, at the help desk at Hope Estate.

The DFS program for the general public entails testing and providing information about Diabetes (glucose), cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI, testing from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon.

We would like to encourage the general public to continue testing on a regular basis, because you might have Diabetes and don’t know, DFS said on Wednesday.

Diabetes and other chronic diseases are at epidemic proportions in the Caribbean and continue to be a threat to the economic development of the region. According to WHO’s (World Health Organization) Global report on Diabetes, the number of people living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980, with most living in developing countries.

Factors driving this dramatic rise include overweight and obesity. The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights the need to step up prevention and treatment of the disease.

If we are to make any headway in halting the rise in diabetes, we need to rethink our daily lives: to eat healthy, be physically active and avoid excessive weight gain.

DFS wants to keep warning the general public to keep monitoring your food intake and try to keep checking yourself.

The Foundation aim is to continue giving the necessary support and care to prevent Diabetes and increasing awareness on its consequences to the general public of St. Maarten.

“We will keep informing the general public when our next testing program will be,” DFS pointed out.

DFS is looking for volunteers to help them with their aim with preventing diabetes, give support and care to persons with Diabetes and to increase more awareness of Diabetes and its consequences on St. Maarten.

You can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

DFS tests are free of charge for the public.


WYCCF is organizing the 9th Alzheimer's Support Group meeting for May 20

SINT MAARTEN (ST. JOHN’S ESTATE) - On Saturday, May 20th, 2023, from 4-5:30 PM, the White & Yellow Cross Care Foundation (WYCCF) organizes its ninth Alzheimer’s Support Group meeting at the St. Martin's Home in St. John's.

This meeting is specifically organized to support those who are currently providing care, have provided care, or are going to provide care to someone with Alzheimer's disease or dementia. The WYCCF invites everyone in this situation to come by and share, listen and learn through shared experiences.

This meeting will have a special theme: Selfcare for caregivers, which is why healthcare psychologist and psychotherapist Islaya Streefkerk will attend to answer questions and provide advice. As always, the WYCCF will provide drinks and snacks, and the event is open to everyone.

Alzheimer's disease is a challenging disease to cope with. One can slowly lose certain abilities, which may result in losing the independence one had their whole adult life. This gradually makes one more and more dependent on the care of others, which can be very difficult to accept. In most cases, the family members take on the care.

And what may begin with light help can end up becoming a full-time job. This gradually increasing workload often proves very hard for family members to keep up with. The caregiver might still have a job, and other responsibilities and, on top of that, may not be trained to provide this type and amount of care.

Besides the practical aspects, caring for a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's can be difficult emotionally. Someone's personality can change; they can become angry or frustrated without apparent reason, or they no longer trust the persons that were always the closest to them.

Sometimes this results in strange or even aggressive behavior, which can be difficult to deal with. To see a loved one slowly but steadily changing like this, seemingly without anything you can do about it, can be a heavy burden to carry. 

This event which started in January 2021 started off with a small group, and quickly grew into a steady 20-25 regular attendees. Not only the size but also the mutual trust and respect continue to increase as many personal stories are shared. Because those are the persons that can genuinely understand what they are going through because they are in the same situation.

Attendees especially appreciated the opportunity to ask their questions to professionals. Some people prefer to just sit and listen, and of course, that’s fine too. The WYCCF welcomes back everyone who was there in previous meetings and hopes that more people for whom this meeting is relevant will come out.

Many persons in this situation greatly benefit from some form of support. This can be asking a question to an expert, learning from others who are going through the same situation, or simply getting some things off your chest. It's important to realize that you are not alone and don't have to go through this alone. For persons who have gone through this experience in the past, it can help to talk about it. On the other hand, it can be of great value for those at the start of this journey to hear what they can expect and how others cope with specific situations.

For this reason, the WYCCF started with the Alzheimer support group meetings, of which the ninth edition will be this weekend from 4 to 5:30 PM in the St. Martin's Home at St. John's Estate Road #6, Cul-de-Sac.

The WYCCF stands for quality care, and this meeting signifies what we mean by that. Quality care is not only looking out for the client’s immediate needs. But we also look at how we can improve the client's environment and the people around them.

Because the care for a person with Alzheimer's or dementia doesn't stop when they leave the WYCCF at the end of the day, it is essential to support the people around them. Taking on this type of care can be a heavy responsibility, and it can become hard to provide care if they're not doing well themselves. Therefore, supporting these persons is an essential part of delivering quality care.

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