Activities surrounding the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 started at 9.30am, Tuesday, September 13 when guests started to arrive at the House of Parliament.
Between 9.30am and 9.55am, His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and entourage arrived. The Governor inspected the uniform troops comprising of the St. Maarten Police, the St. Maarten Voluntary Corps and the Marines.
At 9.55am President of Parliament Hon. Gracita Arrindell entered the House of Parliament followed by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers.
At 10.00am the President of Parliament opened the ceremonial meeting and welcome everybody in attendance. After observing a moment of silence, the President appointed a Reception and Departure Committee. Thereafter the meeting was adjourned.
Members of the Reception/Departure Committee proceeded to the entrance of the House of Parliament and awaited for the arrival of His Excellency Governor Eugene Holiday and his entourage.
After the Governor and his entourage enter the House of Parliament’s General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament welcomed His Excellency.
Governor Eugene Holiday then proceeded to deliver the annual state of the nation address which is the Governments Governing Program for the new parliamentary year.
After a national address of approximately 30 minutes, the President thanked His Excellency the Governor and declared the new parliamentary year 2011-2012 officially open.
The Governor and his entourage left the General Assembly Chamber under the escort of the Reception/Departure Committee.
Upon the return of the Reception/Departure Committee to the General Assembly Chamber, the President of Parliament formally closed the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.
The President of Parliament and the Prime Minister joined the Governor and his entourage and proceed to the Wilhelmina Straat to view the military parade along with Members of Parliament, the Council of Ministers and invited guests.
After the parade, the invitees proceeded to Sheer Restaurant for a reception party hosted by the President of Parliament on the occasion of the ceremonial opening of the new parliamentary year.