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Christmas Scramble at Mullet Bay Golf Course

SINT MAARTEN (MULLET BAY) - Santa Claus came early this year and with a big crowd of helpers. In total 76 golfers scattered over Mullet Bay Golf Course over the weekend in decorated carts, wearing Santa hats and dressed in colorful Santa outfits.

The annual Santa Scramble organized by the St. Maarten Golf Association was again a tremendous success. This charity event was enjoyed by a good amount of 19 teams of four members each.

After a fierce battle and lots of fun the winner of this year’s Santa Scramble was the team of

Tony Lake, Sam Bashir, Safir Bashir and Mary Chantal who ended the 18 holes stroke play event with a total score of 59 low net.

Second prize was won by the team of Stanley Samuel, Simon McCauley, Steff Rumeser and Steven de Windt with a total score of 59 but with a higher handicap. Third prize was taken by Nicolas Leobold, Jonathan Haillant, Gill Leblanc Moriniere and Louis Assir Pompignan with a score of 60 low net.

After the tournament, all players gathered at Barcode in Cupecoy where the award ceremony and after party took place. During the festivities the Winner and Runner Up of the Thomas Smith Challenge Cup was honored as well. This yearly club challenge was won by Jesus Rivera, Kenny Patterson was Runner Up.

The St. Maarten Golf Association is a non-profit organization that welcomes all beginning and experienced golfers, tourists and St. Maarten / St. Martin residents alike to become members. Every month the association organizes Scramble matches, Medal Play tournaments as well as the annual St. Maarten Open in April. If you like to become a member for as little as USD 85 per year, please contact the Golf Shop at the Mullet Bay Golf Course or sign up online at www.stmaartengolf.com.

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Christmas is coming to WPS on Saturday. You’re invited to the Annual Lighting of the Tree

PORT ST. MAARTEN – Christmas is coming to Philipsburg and especially at the Walter Plantz Square (WPS) at Down Street on Saturday afternoon, December 14. 

Come out and join the Lighting of the Annual Christmas tree at WPS at 7.00pm. End your week by kicking-off the holiday season celebration at WPS.

This is the fourth time that WPS will be lighting the Christmas tree at the Walter Plantz Square with the aim is to bring life and Christmas cheer to WPS during the season and have the public come out and join the lighting of the tree and enjoy WPS to its fullest.

Make WPS a place to visit this holiday season and beyond into 2020.  It is a great location for visitors, family and friends to hang out through the week or weekends.

Since its establishment, the Walter Plantz Square at Down Street has generated a new spirit of life into the area for locals and visitors alike.

The square is strategically located next to the Walter Plantz Tender Jetty which connects to the boardwalk/beach promenade, Down Street and Front Street, and allows for a broader distribution flow of passengers.  

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BIP SXM attends IPCA’s 5th Annual Meeting

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - In November 2019 the Director, Mrs. Vincentia Rosen-Sandiford, as well as the Deputy Director, Mrs. Aarti Jusia-Ramdihal of the Bureau for Intellectual Property Sint Maarten (BIP SXM) attended the 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA) in Trinidad. BIP SXM has been a member of IPCA since 2017.

The theme for this year’s AGM was “Anti-counterfeiting in the Caribbean”. Insightful keynotes were given by IP lawyers from Trinidad & Tobago, Belize and Jamaica. They discussed several topics such as: the stakeholders and victims of counterfeit products, their global economic impact as well as the challenges in enforcement actions taken against counterfeit.

The association has installed four unique committees whom are tasked with topics ranging from education and training, legislation and registry liaison, enforcement and anti-counterfeiting, as well as marketing. All committees work both individually and collectively to meet the objectives of IPCA. BIP SXM is an active member of the ‘Dolphin Team’. The Dolphin’s mission is to aid in the education and training of current and future practitioners in the Caribbean. During the year the Director has attended digital team meetings with the committee members to streamline plans and ideas.

During the committee meeting at the AGM, the Director of BIP SXM contributed as well by presenting an internet-based project management tool that BIP SXM uses, as a solution to increase the collaboration between committee members and optimize the project management for the IPCA network which is spread out in the Caribbean.

IPCA currently has members in 35 Caribbean countries. The association is still young and just like BIP SXM, is working on increasing awareness of Intellectual Property rights in the region. More information and membership forms are available on www.ipca.website.  

IPCA was formed to establish a forum for better communication and collaboration amongst Intellectual Property (IP) practitioners in the Caribbean. Besides that, IPCA aids in the exchange of ideas and provides more networking opportunities for its members. The association aims through its existence to promote the awareness of IP rights in the Caribbean. Incorporated in the Cayman Islands, IPCA is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee without any share capital.

The Bureau registers trademarks and provides information about other areas of intellectual property, such as patents and copyright, to the public which can be found on www.bip.sx and on social media (Facebook and LinkedIn).

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BEYOND Kultura closes off STORY READING FOR CHILDREN Program with a Certificates Ceremony

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Beyond Kultura Events Foundation (BKE) has closed off its STORY READING part of the Storytelling & Reading-EXPRESSIONS Program, with a Certificates Ceremony last Sunday at Café Axum in Philipsburg.

We started with the Story reading training of 9 participants, mainly mothers, aunts, to get the basics about Reading for Children. Aim was to bring fun in reading, since reading is FUNdamental for children.

This serves to enhance the listening skills, which is fundamental to comprehend and understand stories. 10 Entities have participated, and 8 participants have accomplished this Beyond Kultura Story Reading program. After a weekend training, the readers went to schools, community centers, afternoon activity programs to read for children. Readers have been reading stories mainly in English, but 1 of them read stories in Dutch, to reach as much as possible children throughout our community with this story reading program. Beyond Kultura has reached more or less 2,000 children with this story reading program for the last 2 months.

Story reading for children certificates

The 8 certificated Story readers are equipped with the Basic techniques of Story reading for Children after a weekend training ‘Story reading for children’ and the visiting of entities like Community Centers or Afternoon School Programs, schools and a Children home, where each of them have been reading their own created stories to children in more or less 10 sessions.

The story readers were evaluated and coached during their assignments. Those coaches were Fraenseen Fowler, Vernon Illidge, Joycelynn Hanley. Ingrid Holaman served as the project leader and Loekie Morales as an overseer. Teacher-Instructors were Greta Marlin and Myrna Richardson.

‘We are most happy to present to Sint Maarten our first certificated story readers, who can serve our community with reading stories on events. They can also serve our Library and the schools during for example a Children book week or Story telling week,’ Loekie Morales stated.

Claudia Connor has handed over the certificates to the story readers on behalf of the Minister of Education Culture Youth and Sports.

Marjan de Visser (representative of Nederlandse Taal Unie) was present at the Certificate ceremony, where the readers have shared their experiences they had during their assignments.

The teachers-instructors, the representatives of our Sponsors and the chairlady of Beyond Kultura Events Foundation, Loekie Morales have been saying words of encouragement to the story readers for their future performances.

Loekie Morales says ‘I am very happy with the success of this ‘Story Reading for Children’ project. 100% of the participated candidates got their certificates. They have reached so many children with happy faces and adults,’ that all gives lots of satisfaction.

Rita Aikman, the treasurer of BKE says ‘We congratulate all our story readers for their dedication. We thank the primary schools, the afternoon activity school programs, the Community center of Sint Peters, sponsors, for getting on board and facilitate our process’.

‘We could not get so far without the financial support of the funding agencies like the Cooperative Funds Caribbean (Samenwerkende Fondsen Cariben), The Prins Bernhard Cultural Fund Caribbean and the Dutch Literacy Funding Agency (De Nederlandse Taal Unie). We thank them wholeheartedly for believing in the aim of this project and for putting moneys, guidance and efforts in such an important project for Sint Maarten,’ Morales says.

‘Finally, If you need storytellers or story readers, you can reach out to Beyond Kultura Events Foundation and we can provide you of dedicated storytellers and readers,’ Morales concluded.

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TelEm Group Prepay Nation Partner to allow customers to TopUp Anytime and Anywhere

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND/BERWYN, PA)/USA TelEm Group, the sole full-service Telecom provider for St. Maarten, in the Dutch Caribbean, with mobile services to neighboring islands of Saba and St. Eustatius, has partnered with Prepay Nation to distribute its brand new TelCell prepaid mobile airtime product. TelEm Group currently operates its mobile service under the TelCell brand.

The new partnership makes it possible for TelCell customers to recharge or top-up their mobile phone accounts digitally via either the web or mobile app and provides access to TelCell airtime worldwide.

“We are thrilled to be involved in this historic initiative” said Colin Benjamin, Director of Digital Channels at Prepay Nation. “TelCell customers who are travelling abroad can now add credit to their phones from virtually any retailer that currently sells mobile top-up in any part of the globe. In addition, customers have the option of directly recharging online via the www.telcelltopup.com website or the TelCell Top-Up App, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.

“This partnership with Prepay Nation demonstrates our commitment to increase accessibility and ease of use and improve the overall customer experience” said Estalita Gumbs, Business Development Officer at TelEm Group. “We are particularly pleased that the St Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius Diaspora communities in Holland, the USA and elsewhere, can also easily top-up the phone of a friend or relative back home. We are

delighted to be the first operator in these islands to launch such a service. Our customers can continue to look forward to similar convenient services in 2020,” said Ms. Gumbs.

The Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations, (CANTO), played an instrumental role in bringing Prepay Nation and TelEm together. “We are extremely delighted that this service has been launched. We look forward to other members of CANTO, seizing the opportunity to introduce digital topup in their markets, without capital outlay.” remarked Teresa Wankin Secretary General of CANTO.

Worldwide, mobile operators have seen the need to utilize digital channels to expand their market base and in so doing realize true incremental revenues. Prepay Nation has been the partner of choice for a large number of carriers in The Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa.

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Grisha: Van Raak Should Stop Meddling in our Elections

SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - “If Antonius Adrianus Gerardus Maria "Ronald" van Raak so loves St. Maarten people, he should be on a political slate contesting the January 9, 2020 elections. Otherwise, he should mind his own business!” That was how Grisha Heyliger-Marten, UP candidate #4 and wife of suspended MP Theodore Heyliger reacted to recent statements made by the member of the Dutch Second Chamber for the Socialist Party. Van Raak had stated that “electing Grisha Heyliger Marten is the same as voting for criminal Theo Heyliger.”

“If that’s not a blatant meddling in our elections, I don’t know what is,” Grisha Heyliger-Marten said. “Can you imagine a St. Maarten politician telling the Dutch electorate in their own election that a vote for a particular Dutch politician or party is a vote for racism?”

She continued: “How can Van Raak call Theo Heyliger, who has just been acquitted of all charges in one case and who is yet to face trial in another a “criminal”? So, Van Raak is now judge and jury? What more proof do we need to show that my husband is being persecuted for political reasons?”

According to Grisha Heyliger-Marten, “these are the same people who preach to us about integrity; how about the integrity of the judicial system? Isn’t an accused innocent until proven guilty? How about the integrity of our electoral process?

“We’ve heard about Russian intervention, but nothing is as blatant as this Dutch intervention in our elections. No wonder they are angry that our government turned down their offer of “international observers”. We’ve had Dutch observers before; where are their reports? What did they conclude about our elections? If the elections were “fraudulent” why were they not annulled? And by the way, if the Dutch so believe in international observers, why don’t they allow the Germans to come and observe their elections, after all, what do they have to hide?”

The UP #4 candidate concluded that indeed, “a vote for Grisha is a vote for Theo is a vote for St. Maarten! Van Raak does not speak for the people of St. Maarten!”

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Short Film on Domestic Violence Premiers on International Human Rights Day

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The Department of Culture within the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport (MECYS) enthusiastically supports art initiatives that not only serve to entertain, but also aid to educate and bring about awareness.

On Tuesday, December 10th, 2019 at the National Institute of Arts (NIA) at the John Larmonie Centre, in Studio 1, the Department of Culture cordially invites the St. Maarten general public to the premier of “The Challenge”, a short film about domestic violence.

The film is directed by Mr. Joel Ayuk of CaniTV, a service he executed upon the request of the Safe Haven Foundation to mark November, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The film stars only local actors such as Ms. Rita Gumbs and Mr. Earl Duzong. According to Department Head, Ms. Clara Reyes, “the film is a testament and confirmation that there are impeccably talented artists among us on the island and this should be celebrated.”

Mr Ayuk also directed two separate music videos for the occasion that also features local talent; 2017 Calypso Queen Empress Z with her single “Enough is Enough” and R&B singer Kevin Lyrics with his song “Revealing”, both addressing the issue of domestic violence. These two videos will be premiered as well on December 10th.

After the film, there will be a short discussion about art and social impact facilitated by anti-violence activist, and former Executive Director of Safe Haven, Cassandra Richardson, which will include feedback from artists involved in working together to address a social cause.

Every year on December 10th Human Rights Day is observed by the international community. It commemorates the day in 1948 when the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Ms. Reyes stated, “Domestic Violence and violence against women is a widespread international human rights violation that many communities around the world experience and many communities also combat.

“The Department of Culture wishes to show its support of equity, equality and social justice through inviting the St. Maarten public for an art experience where we can learn together as a community.” The event is free. It is requested that you please arrive on time as seating is limited.

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National Institute of Arts presents Free Concerts this weekend

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - The National Institute of Arts (NIA) is presenting 2 FREE Concerts featuring the NIA's National Youth Orchestra, a part of "Music Brings People Together" music program partially sponsored by the Dutch Disaster Fund and the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School Concert Band from Anguilla.

These musicians are all dedicated youngsters with a passion for classical music and jazz.

“NIA's Youth Orchestra is proud of their accomplishments at the tender age of 9 months and are happy to be rolling with the pro's in existence for 19 years from our neighboring island Anguilla” said NIA Director Arlene Halley Newhouse.

“Anguilla’s Concert Band is a great role model for our budding musicians, and we are excited for this collaboration” Halley continued.

They will also be exhibiting the Jazz components of both entities, so you will also get a taste of some Jazz Music.

The 2 free concerts will be on Friday December 6, 2019 at the Festival Village from10:30 am - 1:00 pm.

This is a special performance for all the schools on the island. Saturday December 7, 2019 at the Cyrus Wathey Square 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm. Come out and support our motto “Music Brings People Together”.

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Victorious Living Thanks Community for Support in 2019 with a FREE Webinar Featuring: Business Plan Consultant & Pitch Strategy Coach Ashley Cheeks

SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - St. Martin and many of our surrounding islands are facing tough economic times. Hundreds are unemployed, others can hardly make ends meet and many businesses are folding.

Therefore, solutions and possibilities for growth are critical if we are to survive and thrive in our communities. Consequently, hearing the cries of entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs, Victorious Living Foundation, based on St. Martin has teamed up with Ashley Cheeks to help steer entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs in the right direction.

On Saturday December 7th from 1:45-2:45 p.m. AST, anyone desiring to get funds to start their business, develop their business or want to be able to pitch their ideas to investors may register at http://bit.ly/RegisterVLF.

Ashley Cheeks, who recently spoke at VLF’s Leadership Summit, is the Founder and CEO at Written Success, Author of How to Write an Exceptional Business Plan, Speaker, Business Plan Consultant, Pitch & Strategy Coach, and Start-up Mentor. Entrepreneurs hire Ashley when they are ready to take their company or business idea to the next level.           

Asked why a busy business owner as herself would team up with Victorious Living to share an hour of her time for FREE, Ashley Cheeks stated: “Supporting the Victorious Living Foundation is something that I am honoured to do.

After meeting the amazing VLF team during their 2019 Leadership Summit, I was stunned at how dedicated they were to the success of their members and larger community. Everything they do supports entrepreneurs, dreamers, and everyday people to reach their greatest potential.            

“I've seen many organizations that focus on the wrong things, but VLF is different. They continually focus on giving value, delivering quality support, and really meeting the needs of their members. Their integrity is amazing, and anything I can do to contribute, I am eager and willing.”          

Ashley helps entrepreneurs "wow" investors with a great business plan so they can get funded therefore Victorious Living visionary Dr. Erna Mae Francis Cotton encourages as many persons to register at http://bit.ly/RegisterVLF. To learn more about Victorious Living call 1-721-524-8731.

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Ashley Cheeks, MBA, Founder of Written Success

 

 

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EU Ambassador Canto discusses current and future EU-financed projects

SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) - The Ambassador for the European Union (EU), mr. Ponz Canto visited Sint Maarten in relation to the 11th Caribbean Conference on Comprehensive Disaster Management.

The recent appointed Ambassador, situated in Guyana for Suriname has the responsibility for Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius and St. Maarten.

During his first official visit, he took the opportunity to also meet with government officials from the Ministry of General Affairs, in particular the Department of Interior and Kingdom Relations (BAK), to discuss ongoing EU projects and future funding possibilities.

With regards to ongoing EU programs and projects, a close relationship between Sint Maarten and the EU is of paramount importance. The EU continues to support St. Maarten in its developmental efforts by providing not only technical assistance but also financial resources for projects and programs. 

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