Canon salute in Great Bay Harbor – Millions for inauguration King Willem Alexander

POSTED: 04/10/13 11:50 AM


From left to right:  Organizing Committee Inauguration (OCI) Secretary Emilia Thomas, National Committee Inauguration (NCI) Representative Mavis Albertina, Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister Silveria Jacobs, Liaison Council of Ministers Cassandra Janssen and Liaison Cabinet of the Governor Reinoud Pronk. 

St. Maarten – €4 million ($5 million) will be available for the festivities within the Dutch Caribbean for the inauguration of the Queen and other activities surrounding this event. This was said at a press conference on an update of the activities yesterday afternoon.

The budget will be divided between all islands and has no separate costs. The budget is based on funding’s from the Orange Fund, Prins Bernard Fund and more foundations and companies within the Kingdom, Mavis Albertina, Representative of the National Committee Inauguration (NCI) said.

Albertina said to be honored to participate in this committee, to coordinate the festivities within this Kingdom. She said that the Queen personally had asked to see everyone within her Kingdom well supported and therefor wanted the islands of the Dutch Caribbean involved in her inauguration as well.

The Prime Minister said that “St. Maarten has joined the Kingdom community in making preparations for this memorable event scheduled at April 30.” The prime minister also said that St. Maarten has to come up with creative ways to be part in the program, for example the schools will be out during the events so the students can participate in the upcoming King games and the special King Song, but still have a lot to organize.

The committee has already made preparations for the upcoming inauguration and is making good progress. “The entire community of St. Maarten has been invited to be part of the program in making their wish for our country for the Kingdom,” the prime minister said. “These wishes are part of the wishes the entire Kingdom is making for the upcoming king, a so called ‘Droomwens’.”

The purpose of these whishes is to inspire the future king and guide his vision for the Dutch Kingdom. A local committee will go further into some of the ways and ideas for this particular part.

Anenda Zaandam, Chair lady of the Organizing Committee Inauguration (OCI) explained how people can participate in the ‘Droomwens’ for King Willem-Alexander. “This expression can be done in various ways; via spoken word, video, letters, music, plays etc. The most creative, beautiful, hilarious, moving and ambitious contributions will be selected and placed in a book, which will be presented to the King, Queen and Princess Beatrix. All families in the Kingdom will receive a copy of the book,” Zaandam said.

Another event will be the award ceremony for the ‘Orange Bow’. The OCI has received entries from different organizations in the community and the selections are currently under review. Once chosen, recipients of the awards will receive their ‘Orange Bow’ in a short ceremony at the governor’s cabinet.

The annual event for the Royal Decorations is scheduled to take place on April 26, which will be hosted by Governor Eugene Holiday.

On April 30 the prime minister along with Governor Holiday and President of Parliament Rudolphe Samuel will represent St. Maarten at the inauguration in the Netherlands.

A 101 cannon salute will be fired in the Great Bay harbor and a song will be presented to King Willem-Alexander by a combination choir of different choirs in the Caribbean. This song will be performed for the king on a special chosen moment when some of the activities will be coordinated throughout the Kingdom, as the timing therefor has to be precise. The idea of the song is that the song is sung and broadcasted simultaneously in the whole Kingdom on that same day.

A TV-special, which will show a compilation of all the events up until April the 30, will also be shown; with national addresses, interviews, the Orange Bow, the song etc.

“We are quite excited on how far we have reached, especially for the committee itself and our organizing committee, as well as the many enthusiastic persons who are taking care of the program on the island,” the prime minister added.

Besides the wishes, the song and the Orange Bow’s, Minister Jacobs explained what will happen at the King games which will be held April 26. “As it is a school holiday it is quite challenging to organize these games, and schools are already contacted,” Jacobs stated. “The plans will be ambitious but it will prove to be a fun day for all students participating.”

The King games will be for all primary schools and will be across the Kingdom. The games will be organized by a special committee of the department of sports with the cooperation of several volunteers.

Under the activities a walk and bikeathon are planned where the prime minister is participating in the walkathon and Minister Jacobs in the bikeathon. The day will start at 7.45 a.m. where first the walkers will leave from the Festival Village. The bikers will leave after to meet in the middle of town the young students who will walk or bike along towards the John Cooper Jose Lake Ball Park where a healthy king’s breakfast will be served and speeches will be given by the governor, Minister Jacobs and the prime minister.

The soccer players will also walk from Le Grand Marche on Bush road to the ball park and will continue after breakfast by bus to the soccer field in Belvedere, where they will have soccer matches at the Johan Cruijff Court. The Youth Educational Football Organization will organize these games between several schools. The minister encourages all schools to register for these games and for the walk and bikeathon.

Special made King t-shirts will be handed out to all students to remember this special day.

The minister asked the community to please register to volunteer that day, and to call the department of sports, because “all hands will be needed.”

The deadline for the wishes will be on April 26 at midnight and can be sent to under the header ‘Deel je droom’.

For questions, information for volunteering or registration for the King games or other activities, interested can sent an email to [email protected]

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