Press Release : Man-O-War foundation.


Saba, April 14th 2009.

On behalf of the Man-O-War Foundation we would like to highlight the role our foundation has played in acquiring the land on which the new sports field is now being built.

As the construction phase is speeding up to completion it is appropriate that we give an account of what has been accomplished on our watch, and at the same time to thank those who made financial contributions to the realization of the purchase of the property on which the new sports field will be located.

On May 25th 2000, the undersigned Mr. Will Johnson and Mr. Dave Levenstone established a foundation called the Man-O-War foundation. This foundation reflected the name of the property. The origin of this name is unknown, but at one time it included all the land leading from the Public works building to the road leading to Under-the-Hill in The Bottom.

The land measuring 2.974m2 was the only sizeable flat land available for sale on the island which was deemed suitable for a sports field.

On September 12th 2002, an agreement was made with the owner to purchase the land.

A separate agreement was signed in August 2003 with the owner to purchase the driveway leading to the proposed field. The condition was that it had to be purchased for the Government and since the Government had no money the foundation advanced the money to secure right of easement.


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On February 4th 2004 the final payment was made and a bill-of-sale was secured in the name of the foundation for the property.

In going through our file of correspondence several things stand out. We cannot mention all as it would be cause for another war over the Man-O-War lands. We have gone beyond that state of accusation though several things must be mentioned here.

1. If we should mention all of those whom we approached for help, and those who gave a positive response, the reader would notice that those who use Saba for their own selfish purposes, were the ones least interested in doing something positive for the youth of this island. Yet they are the first to complain and demand unrealistic services from a small Island Government. Services which they do not get back in their own countries of origin.

2. Even though our foundation probably raised more money than any other Antillean foundation ever raised for a single project, we received only negatives on our request for funding of a sports field. The negative responses were from Antillean and Dutch funding agencies and large private foundations. One funding agency even suggested that the property would be better suited for a housing project.

3. In order to get the Johan Cruyff Foundation involved our foundation was obliged in October 2006 to transfer the property to the Government of Saba. Seeing how long it has taken since then many times we wondered if we had done the right thing seeing that the donors who gave money to purchase the land were not consulted.

4. One funding agency gave money to make the plans for the sports field. The funds were channeled outside of our foundation, but they demanded that we give account of how the money had been spent. We will not publish here our responses. Let it suffice that it was appropriate to suit the response needed.

The undersigned Chairman only visited the sports field under construction a couple of weeks ago. It was an emotional experience when seeing the results so far amidst hopes that the sports field will be in use within short.

In thanking those who donated to making it possible to purchase the land, we also invite them when visiting Saba in the future to come and see what we think will be one of the best small sports fields in the Eastern Caribbean.

Total paid to the owner of the property:

September 11th 2002 Fls. 40.000,– (on signing purchase agreement)

July 30th 2003 Fls. 14.400,– (purchase of driveway)

February 4th 2004 Fls. 64.800,– (final payment)

July 29th 2004 Fls. 7.704,– (this includes penalty charge of Fls. 4.504,– )

Total paid to the owner of property. Fls. 126.904,–

Notary Charges:

May 25th 2000. (setting up foundation) Fls. 360,–

September 12th 2002 (Purchase agreement) Fls. 1.547,–

December 5th 2002 (Research and other work) Fls. 4.806,–

July 30th 2003 (charges for driveway) Fls. 790,–

February 4th 2004 (Purchase deed). Fls. 4.572,–

Total: Fls. 12.075,–


Paid to owner Fls. 126.904,–

Paid to notary 12.075,–

Total: Fls. 138.979,–

Contributions: Fls. 133.519,36

Negative balance: 5. 459,64 (for the account of the Chairman).

List of donors:

June 5th 2000. Medical School US$ 10.000,– @ Fls. 1,78 equals NAfls. 17.800,–

Chairman W.S. Johnson was then Board member of the

Medical School on behalf of Government. Enough said.

August 28th 2000 Fairplay International Trust N.V. 450,–

December 11th 2000 N.V. G.E.B.E./Wartsilla US$ 10.000,– @ fls. 1,78 17.800,–

Thanks especially to Commissioner Theo Heyliger, State Secretary and Mr. Elmer


October 4th 2002. Brad Willard US$ 1.201,– @ Fls. 1,78 2.137,78

November 27th 2002. Hans de Waal (Dutch Rep.) 10.000,–

March 19th 2003 Shell Antilles & Guianas Ltd. 9.060,41

December 9th 2003 Landslotterij 50.000,–

Windward Islands Bank/ Lionel Caprilles 10.897,–

February 19th 2003 Saba Telephone Company 3.150,–

Dick van den Berg 781,–

June 19th 2004 U.T.S. (under name of W.I. C.C.) 9.000,–

Small donations. (less than Fls. 500,00) plus interest on bank account. 2.022,43

Balance on bank account 420,74

Total: Fls. 133.519,36

Thanks once again to those who shared in our vision to purchase land for the realization of a sports field on Saba for the youth of this our beautiful island.

The press release was signed by the Chairman/treasurer Mr. Will Johnson and the Secretary Mr. Dave Levenstone.nad