Tribute to Senator James R. Hassell


This story is from Mr Dave Levenstone Saba

In politics there is a time to come and a time to go and Senator Ray Hassell found it fitting at his own free will not to postulate himself at the last Parliamentary elections reasons well known to each and everyone.

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In 1998 when outgoing Senator Hassell ran for the parliamentary seat for the island of Saba I was one of those that opposed him politically on the basis of mutual respect, we did not share the same ideas, vision and philosophy but nevertheless we remained political opponents until 2002 when together with him we ran on the same ticket and we was victorious. During the negotiations to form a new Central Government I formed part of the negotiating team that traveled to Curacao on more than none occasion and I must say that outgoing Senator Hassel went through the negotiations very cool and collective. After the collapse of that government in 2003 I was called upon by outgoing Senator Hassell to travel to Curacao once again to be part of the negotiating team, this time to negotiate with the FOL party and some others. I can recall that at the table when the various working groups were formed it was myself and outgoing senator Hassell alone form Saba and at the time I was charged to form part of some of the heavy portfolio’s and with some heavy weights from the other political parties that were at the table negotiating. It was not an easy formation but together we were able to do what was best for the island of Saba and secured our rightful place within the coalition which was headed by the late Ben Komproe at the time. In 2006 I broke ranks once again with the party and supported the Saba Labor Party.

Despite being a very hard opponent of outgoing Senator Hassel we still remained political friends and we shared many ideas etc. together at times.

There are those that would say what has Senator Hassell done for Saba during the past 12 years? It can be summoned up very easy and simple he was able to help keep several governments together with his calm and collective attitude. As he steps down I am most sure that all of his colleagues would admit that they had a true partner in Senator Ray Hassell.