Joseph H. Lake, Jr. receives press freedom award on St. Martin Day 2012

Nine persons honored by Collectivity of St. Martin

Senior media man and political scientist, Joseph H. Lake, Jr., was honored here during the St. Martin Day ceremonies on November 11, said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).


Lake, Jr., received the ‘St. Martin Culture and Heritage Award’ for his ‘Outstanding Dedication to Mass Media Development, Press Freedom and Significant Contribution to Political Thought,’ according to the award text.

"HNP would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to Joseph H. Lake, Jr.," said Sample. "Junior has been a strong and tireless advocate for advancing media independence. He has been deeply involved with the St. Martin media as a redoubtable journalist, editor, publisher, and political commentator for 39 years," said Sample.

Lake is the author of two books published by HNP, Friendly Anger – The Rise of the Labor Movement in St. Martin and The Republic of St. Martin. His essay "Slavery and Independence" appeared in The Independence Papers – Readings on a New Political Status for St. Maarten/St. Martin, Vol. 1.

Nine people received St. Martin Day awards from the Collectivity of St. Martin (COM), for their dedication and service specifically to their village or to the island nation as a whole, said Minerva Dormory, head of the COM Department of Culture.

"We are happy for all of the awardees," said Sample. Chester York and Clara Reyes, both previously profiled in HNP publications, also received a St. Martin Culture and Heritage Award on November 11 – for their respective roles in developing pan music and dance in St. Martin, said Sample.

York is the subject of the junior scholastic booklet, Chester York – Making of A Panman, and Reyes is featured as one of the nation’s top 20 artists in St. Martin Massive! A Snapshot of Popular Artists.

The St. Martin Culture and Heritage Award honorees included Evelyne Fleming, choreographer/teacher, Josette Plaisant, teacher, and Cindy Choisy, painter. The French Quarter recipients of the St. Martin Day community awards were Georgina Rohan, Mildred Carty, and Laurent Flanders, said Dormoy.

"The Department of Culture is very thankful for the confidence shown by Commissioner Rollande Questel and President Alain Richardson in the part played by the department and all of the people and departments that made the awards presentation and the whole St. Martin Day program a success," said Dormoy.

"As far as our culture and heritage go, what we do on St. Martin Day is also what the people of St. Martin inspire us to do," said Dormoy.