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Soualiga News 4 (2024)

Cholera: PAHO urges Member States to remain vigilant. CPS advises travellers to Haiti and Dominican Republic to take preventative measures

GREAT BAY (DCOMM) – Collective Prevention Services (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (Ministry VSA), is advising travellers from Sint Maarten to especially Haiti, and secondly to the Dominican Republic, to take preventive measures while visiting friends or family in both countries.

Since the beginning of 2015 up to epidemiological week 38, a total of 22,950 cholera cases have been recorded in three countries in the Region of the Americas: Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Haiti alone registered 98 per cent of the cases (22,511) of the total cases.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if left untreated. The infection is ingested by food or water contaminated.  It has a short incubation period of two hours to five days.  Up to 80 per cent of cases can be successfully treated with oral rehydration salts.

While in the Dominican Republic or Haiti, ensure that you take precautions such as hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water. Carry with you at all times hand sanitizer.

Symptoms can occur within 24 to 48 hours of being infected with the cholera causing bacteria.  Cholera symptoms are generally mild; they include diarrhoea, vomiting, and muscle cramps.  About one infected person out of 20 has severe signs and symptoms, such as increased heart rate, dehydration, and shock. If not treated, death can occur within hours.

Cholera is diagnosed by means of a stool sample or rectal swab and sent to the laboratory where the lab confirms the presence of cholera bacterium.

To minimize the number of people infected, frequent hand washing, personal hygiene, safe water use and food preparation are a necessity.  Maintain these basic hygienic habits as you travel.

By taking a few basic precautions, cholera as well as most other food and water-borne diseases can easily be prevented.  The main rule is, always be aware of the quality of what you eat and drink. Also be observant of sick persons in your close proximity and maintain strict hygiene practices.

Enjoy and keep safe as you travel and help us keep Sint Maarten Cholera Free!

Upon your return, if you experience any of the abovementioned symptoms, please contact your family physician immediately and CPS.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported in a recent epidemiological update on cholera that since the beginning of the cholera outbreak in October 2010, to epidemiological week 38 of 2015, there were 747,166 cholera cases in Haiti, of which 428,778 were hospitalized, and 8,840 deaths; and since November 2010, to epidemiological week 36 of 2015, the Dominican Republic had a total of 33,180 suspected cholera cases, including 491 deaths.

PAHO points out that it is emphasized that cholera is an event of public health that can be predicted, prevented, and treated. 

For more information call CPS at 542-2078, 542-3003 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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NA Party Board comments on issues

PHILIPSBURG – The National Alliance (NA) Party Board issued the following press release on Wednesday. “As a Board, we are very disappointed with the constant misrepresentations and falsehoods that are coming from especially the Leader and Deputy Leader of the UP Party. Since the valid vote of non-confidence the leadership of the UP has been doing whatever they can to make an unconstitutional call for new elections.

“From our point of view, we agree with MP Sarah Wescott Williams in stating that Article 59 should only be used when either there is unwillingness in Parliament to form a coalition of 8 or if the Parliament is making a mockery of our institution by jumping back and forth. Neither of these situations are presently valid and the UP leadership should do the honorable thing and take up their positions in the opposition benches.

“It is the highest form of hypocrisy for Deputy Leader of the UP, Franklyn Meyers to be calling for electoral reform now that they are in the opposition when after the election in August 2014 the very same method of ‘ship jumping’ is what had them in Government in the first place. The arrogance of the UP leadership is astounding in insinuating that we only need electoral reform when someone ‘jumps ship’ from the UP but all is well when someone jumps ship to the UP.

“The people of St. Maarten have sat through a year of inaction, corruption and nepotism that seems to be the modus operandi of the UP. We, as the board of the NA, would like to ask the UP to state just one thing that was done for the people of St. Maarten. We do however hear of countless deals that are established to enrich the leader of the UP, his family and friends. The UP leader should explain to the people of St. Maarten why he is hell bent on forcing GEBE to take a 700 Million Guilder loan for a Waste to Energy plant and other upgrades, when under former Minister William Marlin a more advanced and environmentally safe Waste to Energy plant was costing GEBE and the people of St. Maarten nothing to construct. The conversion of the GEBE generators to LPG gas also included friends of the UP yet again.

“Under this UP led Government, a private company was simply given 10 Million dollars as a payoff to drop a court case. What kind of responsible governing is that? Instructing the harbor to settle a lawsuit, caused by administrative errors of the UP Leader Theo Heyliger. Now the Harbor Group of Companies owes SZV 10 Million dollars. If this continues, SZV will eventually join the Harbor Group of Companies in financial difficulties.

“After purchasing the Vorst property for 5.5 Million Guilders, the UP led Government is prepared to lease the land to Algemene Pension St. Maarten (APS) for a symbolic price of one guilder for 60 years. Not one guilder a year for 60 years mind you but just one guilder. Indications are that APS would then contract a construction firm with close ties to the UP leader to construct “social homes”. Another UP plan with self-interest dripping all over it. This land could be leased to young professionals to build their own homes, which would lead to more economic activity for all and not the selected few.

“The above are only a small part of what has transpired over the past year. Yet not one project to assist with job creation for the young people. Where is the new hospital the UP promised? Once elected the hospital was put on the back burner for a number of projects with questionable prices, ulterior motives and self-interest.

“Additionally, Justice is a mess, safety and security, due to the rise in crime, is a concern to our population. There is a serious lack of proper training and equipment for our police corps. The education system is suffering due to lack of schools, increasing challenges in meeting the needs of learners in a highly technological world, and a lack of qualified teachers while the present government can’t ensure proper continuing vocational education. There is also a lack of promotion of cultural and sports development, coordination with other stakeholders in meeting the needs of our youth, protection of our vulnerable groups, while the UP supports a health ordinance which robs the seniors of basic health care instead of assisting them.

“For the UP leader to claim that the new coalition was formed for self-interest is simply not valid. It is a gross attempt to once again fool the people of St. Maarten. It is clear that the year of inaction, negligence, incompetence, secrecy and greed on the part of the UP leadership is what ultimately led to the vote of non-confidence. The ‘ship jumpers’ have taken the first step in taking St. Maarten back from the few and giving it back to the people. They are to be commended for taking such a bold step. We as the board of the NA would like to ask the people of St. Maarten to give this coalition a chance to work in the best interest of the island. This is not an oligarchy controlled by the few wealthy families but a democracy controlled by the people,” the NA Board press release said.

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WINAIR’s 2015/2016 Winter schedule

SIMPSON BAY, SXM Airport - WINAIR is excited to announce that we will further enhance and increase our winter 2015/2016 schedule. WINAIR will increase frequency of flights to St. Kitts, Nevis and Tortola, and add new destinations San Juan and Antigua to our route network!
In our winter 2015/2016 schedule WINAIR has ensured optimal connection times to all our code-share and interline partners Air France,KLM, Air Caraibes, Cors Air, United, Liat,  Copa, Pawa, Caribbean Airlines, Insel Air, Etc.

And as part of our commitment to provide scheduled and charter services WINAIR is pleased to have acquired a 5th DHC 6-300 aircraft, which will expand our fleet and charter business within the north-eastern Caribbean. With this WINAIR is ensuring safety, comfort and increased availability for charters.

Tortola, BVI.

Commencing October 25, 2015 WINAIR will resume its daily operation to Tortola and effective December 15, 2015 increase flights to Tortola, by adding a midday flight, 6 frequencies per week, which are timed to connect to our partners, ensuring connectivity for our customers.

St. Kitts / Nevis.

Commencing November 30, 2015 to increase seat capacity WINAIR will split the combined flights to St. Kitts and Nevis to direct flights. These flights will operate 5 times weekly and for the remaining 2 days will be combined flights. In conjunction with this commencing December 11, 2015, WINAIR will add a daily midday frequency from St. Maarten to St. Kitts and Nevis to enhance connections to Air France and our other interline partners.

San Juan, Puerto Rico.

November 28, 2015 WINAIR and our partner Air Antilles will commence service to San Juan, Puerto Rico utilizing ATR 500 aircraft. The flights will depart St. Maarten to San Juan at 11.30am and San Juan to St. Maarten at 2.30pm. This offers convenient connections to WINAIR’s route network.

Antigua.

December 15, 2015 WINAIR will add Antigua to our destinations with a daily service, 7 days a week. Flights will depart St. Maarten to Antigua at 7.30am and Antigua to St. Maarten at 9.45am, offering convenient connections to WINAIR’s route network.

Dominica.

This hurricane season Dominica suffered from Tropical Storm/ Hurricane Erika. Douglas Charles Airport sustained serious facility damage. In a successful effort to help accommodate and support the people of Dominica WINAIR was able to offer service to Dominica’s Canefield Airport with our DHC 6-300 Twin otter aircraft. This service is scheduled until October 25, 2015.

Dominica has worked relentlessly to repair damage to Douglas Charles Airport as quick as possible and WINAIR is happy to return there utilizing ATR 500 aircraft as of October 3, 2015 2x weekly on Wednesday’s and Saturday’s.

Commencing November 8, 2015 WINAIR will resume the normal schedule (4x weekly; Mo,We,Sa,Su) (WINAIR)

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CBS: Negative inflation in the Caribbean Netherlands

BES Islands (Caribbean Netherlands) - As reported by Statistics Netherlands, inflation according to the consumer price index (CPI) on the three islands of the Caribbean Netherlands was negative in the third quarter of 2015. This was already the case on Bonaire and St Eustatius in the first two quarters of this year. This quarter was the first time that inflation was negative on Saba. The islands of the Caribbean Netherlands are also known as the BES Islands (Bonaire, St. Eustutius, and Saba).

Inflation on Bonaire unchanged

Just as in the second quarter, Bonaire’s inflation rate was -0.9 percent. Food prices were lower in the third quarter than a year ago, pushing down the inflation rate. The increase in regulated fuel prices on the other hand had an upward effect on inflation. As a result, the inflation rate remained unchanged on balance. 

Higher inflation on St Eustatius

On St Eustatius, the inflation rate went up to -0.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015. In the second quarter, local consumer prices were still 1.7 percent lower than the previous year. The inflation rate increased due to soaring regulated electricity prices. Cheaper motor fuels on St Eustatius curbed inflation.

Inflation negative for the first time on Saba

Saba’s inflation rate was down to -0,9 percent. In the second quarter, it was still 0.4 percent. Inflation fell due to price developments in food, motor fuels and cosmetics.

Provisional figures

Figures over the third quarter of 2015 are provisional and will become definite when the figures for the fourth quarter of 2015 are published. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

Bron: StatLine: Caribisch Nederland http://statline.cbs.nl/Statweb/publication/?DM=SLNL&PA=81122NED&D1=0-2&D2=0&D3=a&D4=15-l&HDR=T&STB=G1%2cG2%2cG3&VW=T

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Kolegio Strea Briante reaches highest point

BONAIRE (Caribbean Netherlands) - There was a small party at the building site of the new Kolegio Strea Briante location (formerly the Watapana School). During a brief ceremony those present celebrated the reaching of the highest point. School Director Jubella Balentin and Ronald Haafkes from the firm BonNed threw champagne over the highest point of an aerial work platform.

Among those present were Commissioner Gerald Silberie, responsible for Urban Development, representatives of the public entities Bonaire, Kolegio Strea Briante, BonNed, Jakobs Architekten, RCN/OCW and the Rijksvastgoedbedrijf, which guides the construction in assignment of the Ministry of OCW (Education, Culture and Science) and the public entity.

The new Strea Briante Complex includes two school buildings with in total twelve classrooms and one building with auxiliary spaces like a teachers’ room, a meeting room and an ICT- and office space.

According to plan, the new accommodation of Kolegio Strea Briante will be delivered half December 2015. This construction project is part of the education accommodation plans. The education accommodation plans have been developed for each of the islands of the Caribbean Netherlands by the public entities and the Ministry of OCW. They contain the blueprint for improvement of the education accommodation in the whole of the Caribbean Netherlands, between 2012 and 2017. (RCN Caribbean Netherlands)

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PAHO/WHO helps Bahamas cope with health impact of Hurricane Joaquin. 14,000 residents affected on six islands

THE BAHAMAS – The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has been coordinating with health officials in The Bahamas to assess the impact of Hurricane Joaquin and to strengthen relief efforts.

Hurricane Joaquin struck The Bahamas as a tropical storm on Sept. 29 and over the next two days escalated to a category 4 hurricane, with maximum wind speeds of 130 mph (210 km/h). Joaquin is the tenth named storm and the second major hurricane of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season.

Over 14,000 residents have been affected on the six worst-hit islands—Acklins, Crooked Island, Long Cay, Long Island, Rum Cay and San Salvador—and on Mayguana, Ragged Island, Cat Island, Exuma and Inagua. High winds and high tides combined with flooding from heavy rains have affected access to the islands by air, road and sea, while downed power lines and damaged generators have interrupted electricity supplies. As of Oct. 7, some areas remained inaccessible for damage assessment and delivery of relief supplies.

As part of PAHO/WHO's Regional Disaster Response Team, experts in sanitary and structural engineering have been deployed to support staff from the Ministry of Health and the Department of Public Health in assessing the impact of Joaquin and making recommendations for interventions and resource mobilization to support the affected communities. PAHO/WHO has also deployed a biomedical engineer and two specialists on disaster management and risk reduction to support in-country relief efforts, which are being coordinated with the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA).

Assessments show that, out of 10 health centers in the five worst affected islands, two were destroyed, two were severely damaged, and one suffered minor damages. Five health centers could not been assessed because of inaccessibility and interrupted communication. Many health workers have suffered psychological trauma or experienced material losses, or both, and others remain off the job due to precarious living conditions or inability to reach their job sites.

In addition, medical and surgical supplies in some areas have been damaged or destroyed by flooding or the collapse of health centers. Loss of electricity has resulted in interruptions of the cold chain in health centers where the generators were destroyed, impacting both pharmaceuticals and vaccines. Where health centers are accessible, replacement of health supplies has been limited by weight restrictions and the availability of airlifts.

The PAHO/WHO Country Office for The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, supported by the Regional Disaster Response Team, has identified other public health concerns, including potable water and sanitation. Well water, which many residents use for bathing and cooking, has suffered salt water intrusion and contamination with fecal material and debris, thus requiring decontamination. The severe weather has also increased mosquito breeding sites, raising the risks of vector-borne diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and malaria. Disrupted rodent habitats pose a risk for leptospirosis, indicating a need for increased rodent control.

PAHO/WHO's Country Office and Regional Disaster Response Team have facilitated relief efforts in coordination with the Ministry of Health, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Health Services to mobilize resources for:

  • Emergency restoration of access to health care
  • Procurement of additional satellite phones/communication support systems
  • Procurement of aquatabs (water purification tablets), jerricans (water storage containers), chlorine tablets (disinfectants) to improve water quality and waste management
  • Procurement of insecticides, insect repellants, bed nets and rodenticides for vector control
  • Support for message dissemination on water and sanitation/health promotion in impacted areas
  • Increased in-country support for local and international humanitarian supply/donation management

PAHO/WHO Bahamas Representation and Regional Disaster Response Team members coordinate resource mobilization
"Whilst The Bahamas is a country with high GDP, inequities are clear in certain areas, particularly in the Family Islands, where many older persons and people of poor socio-economic status reside," said PAHO/WHO Representative Gerry Eijkemans. "The PAHO/WHO Bahamas Representation will continue to support the Government of The Bahamas, as the damage and disruption to both public health and environmental health were significant in many of the islands."

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STOP THE INSANITY!!

COMMENTARY - 5 Governments in 5 years; that is Country St. Maarten's CLAIM TO FAME.....and all because we keep trying to work an electoral system that DOES NOT and WILL NOT function on St. Maarten. As long as there are politicians who enter the political arena on our island, who do not mean what they say, do not keep their "word", do not know how to practice "Country above self" and who will do whatever it takes to get into and stay in one of the 15 coveted Parliamentary seats that come with a handsome salary and a gorgeous benefit package, the insanity will continue.

I speak from experience, having run on the DP slate in 2014 and as such, I feel I can comment with authority about the type of people described above. For instance: MP Van Hugh Cornelius de Weever.

This politician hijacked the second DP parliamentary seat earned through party votes, INCLUDING my 129 and started the new 2014/2018 cycle of "I-am-going-to-throw-down-Government-if-I-do-not-get-what-I-want-notwithstanding-the-fact-that-I-am-not-popular-enough-to-get-elected-on-my-own".

To me it is obvious that our system of government, our very democracy, is rapidly becoming the subject of ridicule within the Kingdom, the region and the world. But forget what the rest of the world thinks of us...WHAT DO WE THINK OF OURSELVES? Why is it that, up to now, WE THE PEOPLE accept that a small group of politicians only pay lip-service to the problems of our electoral system, but do NOTHING to give up their lucrative payday as Members of Parliament and Ministers of Government. I challenge any one to show me one single concrete action that has been taken to stop the insanity where a single politician is elevated to Parliament on the coat-tails of a party leader, or combined party votes, to then promptly BOLT (JUMP) across the aisle with "his/her" seat.

Regardless now of how this latest session of political musical chairs plays out, the result will likely be that the usual suspects return in some form or the other. So WHY HAVE NEW ELECTIONS? Just so that the SAME bunch of politicians will be able to make even more promises, while pledging their loyalty to party and party leader as a convenient way to hop on to THAT particular party train to the promised land of a lucrative Parliamentary seat? Or is it to have Christmas come early for those that collect money and favors in return for their vote?

I think it is time to face facts St. Maarten. Our system is broken. Reality is, that we vote for people, not for parties. And only a limited few candidates get the majority of all votes. Their political coat tails are such that other (obscure, little known, or unpopular) political candidates are swept into office. Once in the “seat”, having taken the oath of office, a Member of Parliament, is given a huge amount of authority and power, irrespective of how much PUBLIC SUPPORT they PERSONALLY had. So, where is the democracy in this!?? Why is it that politicians running on a party slate do not actually have to share that party's principles, values and vision? The ease with which members of parties, once elected to office, can switch loyalty is proof that there is no party loyalty or shared party principles or beliefs! It is pretty sad that we have (and keep) a system in which a candidate, who is unable to earn the required PREFERENTIAL votes from the electorate, can hijack an entire government. SUCH A CANDIDATE MUST NOT BE ABLE TO TRADE HIS/HER SEAT.

If a candidate becomes an MP on the popularity of the party, and down the line they cannot, for whatever reason, remain loyal to that party, they should have two options: RESIGN AND VACATE THE SEAT, making it again available to the party, or alternatively, STAY WITH THE PARTY, VOTE THEIR CONSCIENCE and let the chips fall where they may (or as they say in USA Politics: Put on your big-boys' pants!). A Member of Parliament takes an oath of office to represent ALL of the people and not to be obliged to any individual or entity. Not towing the party line is allowed, but it takes GUTS, PRINCIPLES and VALUES. If a politician is sincere in working in the best interest of the people and also wants to stay true to principles of integrity, then he/she should be able to defend his/her view and stand up to his/her party. Trading, or otherwise negotiating deals with a seat in Parliament, for personal gain, is not acceptable. It simply has to stop. Let us eliminate the NOT-EMPOWERED JUMPER!

This means our electoral laws have to change and it will not happen without public pressure. The next government MUST make this change a priority.

For now, just as in 2013, 8 is more than 7 and as long as there is a majority in Parliament (unfortunately, no matter the characters), Ministers (in this case, a majority of whom did not run for office at that) should not be able to cause the dissolution of a Parliament that just gave them (the Ministers) a vote of no confidence (fired them).

Michael J. Ferrier

COMMENTARY – NOTE: The comments here are the sole responsibility of the author.

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CHTA'S 'CHIEF' TO EXPLORE CUBA IMPACT ON CARIBBEAN TOURISM; TAPS INDUSTRY EXPERTS FOR INSIGHT

THE CARIBBEAN - One of the most highly anticipated panels of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association's (CHTA) upcoming Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) is "Cuba: Opportunity or Threat?" which will take place on the closing day of the conference (Sunday, Oct. 4) from 3:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

"Cuba: Opportunity or Threat?" will delve into how the US-Cuba normalization affects Caribbean business and how hotels can minimize any potential downside impact. Additionally, it will explore the positive opportunities Cuba may present to stimulate the region's growth as a whole.

This highly-anticipated session - expected to be standing-room only - will be moderated by Anton Edmunds, Principal, The Edmunds Group International, and will feature the following panelists:

Vincent Vanderpool-Wallace, Principal Partner, BedfordBakerGroup

Marla Dukharan, Group Economist, Caribbean Banking, Royal Bank of Canada

Simon Suarez, President, ASONAHORES

Hugh Riley, CEO and Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization

"The efforts towards the normalization of trade and travel between the United States and Cuba opens the door to a renewed focus on Caribbean tourism," said Edmunds. "Whether this presents an opportunity or a threat depends in large measure upon the region's stakeholders. We've put together an exceptional cross-sectoral group of panelists for an open and interactive discussion on the subject," he added.

The panelists will expand upon points raised in a paper released by CHTA this summer titled: "Cuba: The Great Disruption for the Good of the Caribbean." The paper sparked debate within the region about the impact which the lifting of the US trade and travel embargo would have on the industry. While the general consensus was to embrace full normalization, numerous concerns surfaced. There is a consensus within CHTA and the region's private sector that the Caribbean must do a better job at embracing tourism as its primary economic development and employment generation tool and a means to reduce the mounting debt of many jurisdictions. According to Edmunds, "the session promises to be lively, enlightening and engaging."

CHIEF, taking place Oct. 2-4, 2015 at El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico, offers a variety of educational tracks lead by experts from a variety of travel, tourism and hospitality industry segments featuring panels with one-on-one discussions in Sales & Marketing, Operations and Sustainability.

"Our aim is to raise awareness about both the challenges and the opportunities to the region following the removal of travel barriers to Cuba," said Emil Lee, president of CHTA. "Now that the issue has had a few months to marinate, we have a clearer vision and look forward to sharing insider insight with attendees," Lee added.

CHIEF offers peer-to-peer exchange sessions in Operations, Sales & Marketing and Sustainability, which are focused on helping businesses generate revenue, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Hoteliers will walk away with practical business tips and best practices for tackling operational and marketing challenges. The educational tracks will be led by experts from a variety of travel, tourism and hospitality industry segments featuring roundtable panels.

As part of the CHIEF program, an awards luncheon will be held where CHTA honors the "Stars of the Caribbean Hotel Industry" including Caribbean Hotelier of the Year, Association Executive of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Employee of the Year and Allied Member of the Year as well as the winners of the new CHIEF Awards.A description of all winning entries can be found at http://chtachiefawards.weebly.com.

CHIEF is organized with the support of hosts Interval International and MasterCard; platinum sponsors Cable and Wireless, JetBlue Getaways, Travelzoo and TripAdvisor, gold sponsors Adara, Aireko, AskMe, Best Doctors, Bonnier Corp, CaribbeanJobs.com, Choice Hotels International, Expedia, JackRabbit Systems Inc., Lutron Electronics, MobiManage, OBMI, Oracle, Sojern, STR, The New York Times, travAlliancemedia and World Media. (CHTA)

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ST. MAARTEN TEAM READY TO COMPETE IN THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN GOLF ASSOCIATION TOURNAMENT OCTOBER 2 – 4

MULLET BAY - The members of the St. Maarten Golf Team that will compete in the upcoming annual Eastern Caribbean Golf Association Tournament are looking forward to represent their country as good as possible while having the benefit of their ‘home field’ advantage at the Mullet Bay Golf Course.

The St. Maarten Golf Team consists of the following 12 players that will compete in 4 categories: Ladies: Sidsel Jacobsen, Gitte Poulsen and Anne-Marie Bouillé; Men: Howard Hobgood, Jesus Rivera, Kit Lee and Stanley Samuel; Seniors: Sam Bashir, Steven Mix and Philippe Thevenet; Super-Seniors: Richard Gibson and Keith Graham.

The St. Maarten team members were selected based on their 5 best scores from a total of 9 monthly Medal Play tournaments that were organized by the SMGA during the period from October 2014 until August 2015. These monthly Medal Play tournaments attract average around 30 golfers, most of which are very competitive and eager to make the St. Maarten team.

The St. Maarten golf team has been practicing on and off island during the last 2 months to prepare the best way possible for this two day 36 hole tournament and to be able to win team and individual prizes when Sunday evening comes.

The Eastern Caribbean Golf Association Tournament is organized each year by a different host-country and consists of the best players from eleven countries that are a member of the Eastern Caribbean Golf Association (ECGA). These countries are: Anguilla, Antigua-Barbuda, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.

This prestigious tournament is made possible due to our year round major contributors namely, Mullet Bay Resort and Golf Course, CC1 / Coca Cola and the St. Maarten Tourist Office. Combined with the tremendous support and sponsorships the SMGA received from Air France – KLM, Bank of Nova Scotia, Canon Business Systems Services, Caribbean Alliance Insurance, Cariburo Office Equipment, Dauphin Telecom, Holland House Beach Hotel, KPMG accountants, Oyster Bay Beach Resort, PricewaterhouseCoopers, RBC Royal Bank, Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Winair Airlines.

Besides these sponsors the SMGA was able to attract other contributors that contributed in different ways through golf materials, hospitality and other services, manpower, vouchers etc.

The SMGA is a non-profit organization of avid golfers that promotes the practice of the game of golf and to foster community sense. The SMGA organizes golf matches and tournaments for its members and non-members and donates most of its proceeds that are made through membership fees, club tournaments and the annual St. Maarten Open, to multiple community organizations on the island.

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Plenary Session of Parliament continues on Tuesday about Settlement Agreement between Port St. Maarten and Zebec

PHILIPSBURG – A public Plenary sitting of the House of Parliament will take place on September 22.  It is the continuation of the House session of September 21    

The plenary session is set for Tuesday, at 2.00pm in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelmina Straat #1 in Philipsburg.

The agenda point is the settlement between the Harbour Group of Companies and Zebec.

This parliamentary meeting was requested by the Democratic Party faction and the National Alliance, Members of Parliament (MP) Hon. Sarah Wescot-Williams, MP William Marlin, and MP Silveria Jacobs. 

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations. 

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

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