Committee plans activities for Obama inauguration

The St. Martin Awareness Committee has organised a week of activities on Marigot Waterfront, starting this Saturday, January 17, through January 24 to coincide with the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth and President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration.

The activities are being held under the theme "Yes You Can" and are designed to bring about change in St. Martin by using the aforementioned historical figures as role models for change.

"What is important is how we embrace this message and place it in its rightful context by translating words into action," the committee stated. "Considering this, we would like to use the opportunity of the Presidential inauguration on Tuesday January 20 to convey the message that there is hope for the people of St. Martin."  

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A public debate chaired by Shujah Reiph will be held in the Chamber of Commerce in Concordia from 7:30pm until 9:30pm on Saturday, January 17. The debate will discuss the legacy of Martin Luther King as well as the implications of America’s first ever black president. Education, economy, youth and the church will be discussed, as well as the roles they play in developing our society.

The debate will be broadcast live on radio and television and members of the public can also send in their questions by e-mail to The public is encouraged to come out and support the debate.

There will also be a number of radio and television shows on both sides of the island.

On Tuesday, January 20, a car rally will be organised, starting from Caribbean Auto Sales in Cole Bay at 6:30pm. The public should begin gathering for the rally at 5:45pm for a prompt 6:30pm start. The motorcade will proceed to Bellevue, Rue de Hollande, Agrément, Galis Bay and finish on the waterfront, where a programme of activities will take place. There will also be a viewing of the Obama inauguration.

On Saturday, January 24, there will be a public rally on Marigot Waterfront, starting at 7:30pm. The activities will include some speeches from elected officials from both sides of the island and representatives from the church.

"We have contacted all the different communities to come together," said committee member Paul Whit. "With well over 100 nationalities the island is too divided. We want to use the Obama slogan and victory to open doors to greater unity and understanding of developing our own communities. And what we have started will continue."

Emile Powell said it was important to emphasise the Obama event is a springboard to focus on St. Martin, and secondly to realise education is an essential foundation.

"Education is not only about the scholastic part, but it is the parental education that is so important and which needs to be put into perspective," he said. "It is the foundation that provides our values. People can be well educated, but if they do not maintain that foundation that has made St. Martin what it is, the keeping of our foundation values, which are also biblical values, it tells us that something is very wrong."

More information about the activities from Paul Whit (0690) 88.46.80 or Emile Powell 523-8396.