Queen Birthday & Royal Decoration Celebration 2011

On April 29th 2011, His Excellency Governor drs. Eugene Holiday hosted the annual Queen Birthday Celebration and the Royal Decorations at Westin Hotel and Resort.

The event featured the honoring of 7 Royal Decorees in the Order of Oranje Nassau: Patricia Flanders, Donovan Froston, Maisie Richardson, Bernadine Stephen, Ria Helen Uiterloo, Anastacia Larmonie and Clara Reyes. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix Birthday was celebrated with a Cultural Aubade of Storytelling Song and Dance produced and presented by Anastacia Larmonie, Clara Reyes, Ruby Bute and a cross section of St. Maarten’s Youth.  

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APRIL 29, 2011

Esteemed Guests,

Good evening and Welcome to the first Queens Birthday celebration in honor of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix on St. Maarten as a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The theme of this evening’s celebration is "A Cultural Aubade to Her Majesty Queen Beatrix".

The celebration of Queen’s Birthday, KONINGINNEDAG, in the Kingdom of the Netherlands dates back to 1890 when it was first celebrated on Augustus 31st the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina. Since the succession of the Throne by Queen Juliana in 1948 Queen’s birthday has been celebrated on her birthday on April 30th. Queen Beatrix, born on January 31st following her coronation in 1980, decided in honor of her mother the late Princes Juliana, to maintain April 30th as the day to Celebrate Queen’s Birthday.

The initiative to celebrate Queen’s Birthday in 1890 was taken to emphasize national unity. Promoting unity just over six months since obtaining the status of country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands is just as important now for Sint Maarten and for the Kingdom, as it was in 1890.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tonight’s celebration of Queen’s Birthday on the eve of April 30th in St. Maarten as part of the Kingdom, has a long tradition. As a symbol of our ties with the Royal Family, Queen’s Birthday celebration in St. Maarten has in past years been characterized by cultural manifestations of song, dance and games; For what better way to demonstrate notable ties than through customs and culture. This evening’s celebration under the theme "A Cultural Aubade to Her Majesty" seeks to revive and continue that tradition. In carrying on that tradition it is important that we stand still and reflect on the things Her Majesty Queen Beatrix stands for and which we as the Friendly Island, are known for.

Fine and noble human virtues such as friendliness, fairness, respect and love for our fellowmen are important for Her Majesty and are the driving forces behind her thoughts and deeds; Thoughts and deeds which accentuate Her Majesty’s status as the symbol and personification of unity within the Kingdom. This evening’s cultural tribute of storytelling, song and dance is an expression of our appreciation for Her Majesty Queen Beatrix. It is intended to highlight some features of our community and the historic ties with the royal family.

Let us in keeping with our standing of the Friendly Island embrace mentioned principles by living in solidarity with each other and within the Kingdom as we pursue our goals of building a stronger and better St. Maarten. In appreciation of persons who display these fine human qualities Her Majesty in recognition of their kind, valuable and selfless deeds for the community places persons in the spotlight every year. It is my view that such selflessness is critical for the development of St. Maarten. Persons who selflessly volunteer their time and contribute to our community and in particular to the cultural and educational development of St. Maarten are important because they help to form a stronger, more principled people and community. Such voluntarism helps to form a people grounded in common norms and values which are critical to the promotion of the overall governance of and unity within our newly founded country, Sint Maarten.

As Governor of Sint Maarten I am therefore pleased, on behalf of Her Majesty, to recognize a number of persons later this evening, as is the custom; Persons who, in various ways have dedicated a significant part of their lives to serving, to helping and to forming others, without seeking something in return.

Esteemed guests,

At this Queen’s birthday let us celebrate these fine human values and move forward selflessly to serve and build a united St. Maarten community within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Let us do so based on shared values, united in good human principles. Lets us do so mindful of the saying: Unity is Strength.

In closing, let us use this moment and every occasion to unite, to be kinder, gentler persons and to rally for and to respect each other as a Sint Maarten people and as Citizens of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In the fall of this year Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, our symbol of unity in the Kingdom, will be visiting St. Maarten; A visit I am looking forward to and based on your presence this evening, I am sure you are too. Thus as we prepare to celebrate Queen’s birthday this evening and anticipate her upcoming visit I conclude by wishing you an enjoyable Celebration of Queens Birthday this wonderful spring evening and continuing into tomorrow.

Thank you and May God Bless You.






Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Evening once again. The performances of the respective artists, singers and children this evening was entertaining, wonderful; Yes simply delightful. I am sure that a number of the children in the group will, as they sharpen and develop their talents, one day be recipients of Royal Decorations.

As I said in my welcome address, every year Her Majesty recognizes persons in the community for their selfless and valuable contributions to society. Traditionally this is done on April 29th and it is my honor as Governor of Sint Maarten to represent Her Majesty and present Royal Decorations to a number of persons this evening. But before doing so, I will like to use this opportunity to thank the members of the RODAC committee for their preparatory work in identifying eligible persons for Royal Decorations. My Sincere thanks to each of you for your contributions in helping make this evening possible.

Moreover I will like to use this opportunity to say a few words about the Royal Decorations and about who qualifies for Royal Decorations.

Eligible persons for Royal Decorations can receive a decoration from one of the two civilian orders of the Netherlands.

The first is the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands which can be bestowed on people who have rendered exceptional services to the community, often through achievements or efforts stemming from special talents that are of great public benefit. The Order of the Lion of the Netherlands is divided into three classes of Knighthood, namely: Knight Grand Cross, Commander and Knight

The second is the Order of Orange-Nassau which can be awarded to people who have rendered outstanding services to the community for a considerable period. They are often people who carry out voluntary work for civil society organizations. The Order of Oranje-Nassau which is divided into six classes, namely: Knight Grand Cross, Grand Officer, Commander, Officer, Knight and Member.

The RODAC Committee has in the past year gathered the pertinent information on several eligible persons residing on St. Maarten and prepared an advice for Royal Decorations for the Council of Ministers. For these persons, I as Governor, based on a nomination from the Council of Ministers, made recommendations to the responsible Minister in the Netherlands for a final decision. Having in turn received advice from the Advisory Council of the Civil Orders, the responsible Dutch minister has decided positively, leading to the granting of the Royal Decorations by Royal Decree.

It is my pleasure to inform you that tonight I have 7 signed Royal Decrees awarding Royal Decorations to persons in the Order of Oranje Nassau for outstanding services rendered to the community for a considerable period. I am therefore honored, on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, to in the next few minutes move to pin the respective Royal Decorations on the deserving candidates.

I will therefore like to call on Mr. Havertong to the read the individual profiles based on which it was decided to bestow Royal Decorations to the individual candidates.



Ms. Anastacia Marcia LARMONIE

Art and Music are her world and excellence is her aspiration. St. Martin’s most enduring music educator, composer, pianist, and vocal arranger-of Caribbean Jazz, R&B; and European folk, classical and popular music and song. She strives toward the highest quality in all the music that she produces, all the choirs she conducts, all the students that she touches with her musical chords. She played the piano from the tender age of three where music was a family thing. Both her parents were musically inclined. She made music her profession and attended the conservatorium in the Netherlands where she became a well rounded pianist. For many years her life would be dedicated to teaching music at the various schools on St. Maarten stretching her talent from elementary to secondary to tertiary education.

The Lollipops a very popular youth chorus founded by her in 1980, will always remain a dear part of her career. Many established musicians in St. Maarten and abroad have had their basic musical training as a member of the Lollipops.

She was named the Ambassador of Music in 1989(unpaid) by the government of St.Maarten for the fact that she over the years through her performances with her choirs and as a pianist in St.Maarten and abroad has earned St.Maarten a respectable place on the artistic map of the world.


Clara Eduvigis REYES

A St. Maartener by choice and heredity. Her grandfather born of this soil, has made re-discovering the St. Maarten story an integral part of her foundation mission.

She set out to create a center for the arts that although specialized in dance, used the full spectrum of the arts to create a space that celebrated not only the artistry of the arts, but to also use the arts to inspire, explore and disseminate the personal story of St. Maarten.

She begins her first association with ASA . The After School Program.

During the next 5 years she makes appearances, lecture demonstrations for Black History Month & St. Maarten’s Day celebrations, Creative Movements classes at various Elementary and Secondary Schools both private and public.

Since her Center opened its doors in 1994, under her artistic direction it has become a formidable force in artist training, development and innovative creative productions, using the art as a medium of transformation and empowerment geared toward the uplifting of the self.


Maisie Louise RICHARDSON

Here is a person who has dedicated a great deal of her life to giving humanitarian service to her fellowmen.

She answered this call a very long time ago and throughout the years, with her religious, Methodist background, she has become a great asset to Methodists community and beyond on St. Maarten

Founder of Prayer Warriors 1990 – present

Through a visit to a patient friend at the Hospital in praying for her friend’s speedy recovery, she discovered the power of prayer. From that day onwards she would visit the hospital on a daily basis to pray with the sick.

She first started by herself going from room to room to pray with the sick. Whether she knew then or not it made no difference to her.

The nursing staff at the hospital became so familiar with her dedication to the sick that they would call her whenever a patient was terminal or needed someone to pray with him/her. This became her Special Ministry.

The birth of the "Prayer Warriors"

After some time she decided to involve more women of the church to join her in her Special Ministry. She personally named the group "The Prayer Warriors"

When asked if she has time for her own social life, she smiles and says

"God’s work ALWAYS comes first.



Ms. Bernadine STEPHEN

To describe this person one will say without a doubt a persevering, dedicated, hardworking person with a strong faith in God. All this and much more to help her fellowmen.

Her voluntary community and church work spans over thirty (30) years. She has never backed away from any challenge.

Her love for her R. C. Church 1973 – present

For the past more than 30 years she has been the unofficial Sexton of the Church in Philipsburg. She sees to it that the church is cleaned, and all decorations are in place for whatever occasion.

She functions as usher and assures that everyone has a seat at Mass and coordinates the weekly Sunday Mass.

In the beginning years she assisted the nuns with the distribution of communion to the shut-ins and the sick and after the nuns left St. Maarten in 1990 she took over the entire organization of distribution of communion to those parishioners until today.

Her work with the youth 1976

The nuns had taught her much. She received the necessary training from the nuns to prepare the children for First Holy Communion and Confirmation and has ever since been involved in this area until this date.

She assisted the nuns with the Church’s Youth Choir and saw to it that the children faithfully attended choir practice.

Founder of the La Salette Group 1980 – present

In September 1980 she established the La Salette Group. The Feast of Our Lady of La Salette was a celebration which came from her native island Dominica and in 1980 she decided to establish that group here and since then until today they organize the "Annual La Salette Mission Week in the month of September with a Novena to Our Lady of La Salette.


Ms. Ria Helen Georgine UITERLOO

This is a very versatile person who wherever she lived has offered much of her free time to volunteer work.

In December 1988 she came to St. Maarten to join her sister and in search of opportunities to be part of a development.

She found an opportunity at the Voice of St. Maarten, where she joined the newsroom with Eddy Williams and at the same time launched a weekend magazine for PJD2 radio together with host Alida Francis, who had just graduated from the school of Journalism in Holland. The weekend magazine dealt with Caribbean news and issues.

She also was the producer of "Foundation Broadcasting Network"


In 2008 she established the "After School Activities Simpson Bay" as one of the projects of the "Foundation Expertise Centre Education directed by Experience for the children from the Simpson Bay area and beyond.

2006 – present Coordinator/Trainer Girlpower

As such she coordinates facilitation of GirlPower with women of St. Maarten including young women who implement the program in all Secondary schools on St. Maarten in collaboration with Women’s Desk, Sector Public Health. Presently the Girl Power program is one of the most successful prevention programs of the SXM AIDS Foundation run by a great team of enthusiastic female volunteers, including a number of peer educators under her leadership and guidance.

In 1989 she joined the St. Maarten Aids Foundation and found extreme joy in developing prevention activities for the youth of St. Maarten, while being involved in the arts.



Ms. Patricia Alberta FLANDERS

Love for the elderly

She has always shown a special kind of love and affection for elderly people .She has ever since she began her working career made it her business to visit the elderly especially the lonely shut-in in her own neighbourhood, but also in other districts and those in the The St.Maarten Home the home for the elderly.


Culmination of her passion.

She resigned from politics in 1992 and became very instrumental in realizing the completion of the centre for Senior Citizens. Much of her free time was spent in obtaining funds and donations .It was through her tireless efforts and her ability to convince businesses and other donors on St.Maarten that the centre was a need for St.Maarten, that the groundbreaking for the building could take place in 2001.

Her love for the elderly and her passion to do much more for them on a daily base led to her tough decision to leave the centre, which she had helped build up and to open a new Day-care Centre for the elderly where she could cater to those who were not able to visit the existing centre because of lack of space .

Thus the new Foundation Home away from Home ,with subtitle Taking Care of the Golden Age ,was born on October 13,2003.



Mr. Donovan Anthony FROSTON

We have seen him driving his big red pick-up. We enjoy the sweet, mellow music of his golden trumpet. We know him today for his smiling and gentle manner.

Yet, only when we hear where he came from and what he has come out of, do we realize what a miracle God performed in his life.


He was determined to make good on his commitment to God. After his return from the U.S. he decided to use his testimony to reach out to drug addicts, alcoholics and even gangsters. He is often called upon by parents to speak to their youngsters.

He introduced the "Annual Drug Awareness week" to all the elementary schools on the island where he would give counseling and giving his testimony to mostly the 5th and 6th graders.

Due to his involvement with the schools he is often invited by youth organizations on the island to give counseling to the youths.

He uses his experience also to instruct parents on how to detect certain aspects of drug use in their children.

On a regular basis he organizes sessions for church groups and even for the general public whereby he involves the Police. At these sessions the various types of drugs are displayed so that in particular parents can see what the drugs look like and find out about the consequences of the use of them.

He has forever remained straight and continues to be a great asset to bringing young people back on track from drug use.

He was grateful to share this miracle that took place in his life.