Thursday, Aug 13th

LATEST:
You are here: Islands Islands News Abolition of slavery celebrated with speeches, song and dance

Abolition of slavery celebrated with speeches, song and dance

page5a010MARIGOT--The 167th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery was commemorated Wednesday at the Agrément roundabout with Lady Liberty looking on approvingly as the scourge of slavery was re-enacted in dance, music and the spoken word by various performers.

Despite an overcast sky threatening rain, only a little came down from time to time but umbrellas were ready.

The audience comprising the entire Territorial Council, Préfet Philippe Chopin, MP Daniel Gibbs, former Mayor Albert Fleming, Economic and Cultural Council President Georges Gumbs, and representatives from the district councils were all seated under a tent to watch the activities.

The ceremony was opened by Malaïka Maxwell singing the song "when you believe" by Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston before Percussionist Hélier Coquillas called out the freedom fighters with a conch shell and remained to provide the drumming for the different segments.

President of the Territorial Council Aline Hanson said in her address the commemoration is an opportunity to remember the big sacrifices made by the ancestors for freedom.

"Today we celebrate this freedom and all the people who fought body and soul to liberate our islands and get this precious freedom. But slavery still exists today in other forms and it is essential to continue to denounce and fight against it. Knowing the history of our country is an essential foundation for a successful future. So, I invite all the persons who are here today to teach it to their children in terms of respect, tolerance and unity of people."

She pointed out that France was the first country to recognise slavery as a crime against humanity, adding she was privileged to be in Guadeloupe on May 10 with President François Hollande for the inauguration of the slavery monument Memorial ACTe.

Touching on racism, she quoted former President of the French Republic Jacques Chirac as saying: "Racism, wherever it comes from, is a crime against the heart and against hope."

"With 90 nationalities St. Martin is an example of a mix of people and cultures and I hope we can remain a model where humanity is placed above all else, regardless of people's origins," she said.

Hanson acknowledged the work of the Territorial Archives in preserving St. Martin's rich heritage and announced three sites, Fort Louis, Mont Vernon Plantation, and the Moho rock in French Quarter will be the subject of restoration projects. She also indicated the Territorial Council will vote on changing the date of the commemoration to the true date of May 28, and not May 27.

Other speeches were given by Préfet Philippe Chopin who was appearing at his last public function before he leaves for France for a new posting next week. He was thanked by Aline Hanson for his good work on behalf of St. Martin.

MP Daniel Gibbs credited the tenacious work of the abolitionists of the period such as Victor Schoëlcher and August Francois Perrignon who succeeded in abolishing slavery in the French Antilles. He also quoted lyrics from Bob Marley's "Redemption Song."

There were dances on the theme of slavery by a group of young people from district four and a performance by the Grain D'Or dancers. Young children from the after school classes of two schools also gave readings and sang both the Marseillaise and St. Martin Song.

Wreaths were laid at the foot of the Lady Liberty statue by Préfet Chopin, President Hanson, and MP Daniel Gibbs.

Assistant Director General of the Human Development Department Thierry Gombs symbolically broke the chain strung across the pathway leading to the statue, permitting the wreaths to be laid.

Image
St. Maarten midday Weather Forecast for Saturday
Saturday, 17 October 2015
DATE ISSUED: Saturday, October 17, 2015 @ 12:00 LST (16:00 UTC) VALID UNTIL: Sunday midday (12:00... Read more...
Image
SHTA poll: Businesses want anti-ship-jumping legislation
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Click here for SHTA graph pdf PHILIPSBURG--The St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association... Read more...
Image
Dominica’s tourism sector ready to welcome visitors after TS Erika
Friday, 16 October 2015
ROSEAU, Dominica--“Dominica is open for business and ready to welcome visitors to its shores.”... Read more...
Image
Reparations Committee: Withdraw Queens’ names from Suriname’s highest mountains
Thursday, 15 October 2015
PARAMARIBO--Suriname’s National Reparations Committee NRCS has filed a request with President... Read more...
Image
Ex-US House Speaker Hastert to plead guilty in hush-money case
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHICAGO--Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty in a hush-money case... Read more...
Image
Hillary Clinton to 'look hard' at Julian Castro as possible VP pick
Friday, 16 October 2015
WASHINGTON--Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton won the backing of Housing and Urban... Read more...
Image
Half a million Yemen children face severe malnutrition
Friday, 16 October 2015
GENEVA--More than half a million children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition as a risk of... Read more...
Image
Modi to open 70-year-old files in challenge to Gandhi dynasty
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW DELHI--Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will seek to unravel one of India's most enduring... Read more...
Image
Cuba in cash crunch due to low commodity prices, Venezuela woes
Friday, 16 October 2015
HAVANA--Low commodity prices, a drought at home and Venezuela's economic crisis have created a cash... Read more...
Image
Apple's newest courtroom foe is patent-savvy university
Friday, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK--As a veteran of the global smart phone wars, Apple is used to courtroom battles with... Read more...
Image
Focus needs to be on fighting crime & helping unemployed
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Editor, With all of the political situation on the island, we can't lose focus on some of the... Read more...
Image
Had enough
Friday, 16 October 2015
Dear Queenie, My brother died years ago but his widow stayed close to our family. Eventually she... Read more...
Image
RBC St. Maarten Little League School Tournament
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Sister Marie Laurence defeated Leonald Conner in the RBC St. Maarten Little League School... Read more...
Image
Nadal trounces Wawrinka, Djokovic tames Tomic
Friday, 16 October 2015
CHINA-- Former world number one Rafa Nadal displayed more signs of a return to top form with a... Read more...
Image
Junk shop photo spurs quest to confirm Billy the Kid image
Friday, 16 October 2015
DENVER--For the $2 he spent to buy three old photographs, Randy Guijarro may have hit the mother... Read more...
Image
Few signs of improvement for NBA star Odom after collapse
Friday, 16 October 2015
LAS VEGAS--Pro basketball and reality TV star Lamar Odom spent a third day hospitalized on... Read more...
Image
Bruney cruises into retirement
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ After three decade in cruise industry ~   By Alita Singh   Frank Bruney has seen tiny... Read more...
Image
ALL HANDS ON DECK, WE MADE IT!
Friday, 16 October 2015
~ Fair Transport Sailing Vessel Nordlys is launched ~   St. Maarten has been graced by the... Read more...
Editorial - Anybody’s guess
Saturday, 17 October 2015
Governor Eugene Holiday has decided to seek legal clarity on the current constitutional impasse.... Read more...
Editorial - Time is up
Friday, 16 October 2015
With so much ongoing constitutional turmoil, the fact that more than 100 people attended the... Read more...
Image
Saturday Oct. 17, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Image
Friday Oct. 16, 2015
Friday, 16 October 2015
Notices October 16
Friday, 16 October 2015
General Meeting St. Maarten Professional Softball Association (SMPSA) general meeting for the... Read more...
Notices October 15
Thursday, 15 October 2015
General Meeting S.M.P.S.A. general meeting for the softball season 2016 will be held at Sundial... Read more...