He also spoke of the unity that was embedded in the people back then, and how this helped to shape the lives of many.
The full speech of the Governor can be read below.
Fellow Sint Maarteners, Happy Sint Maarten's Day. It is my hope that you are enjoying our national holiday with family and friends savoring our sweet Sint Maarten land from north to south and from east to west.
Today November 11, 2013, we join together as brothers from Marigot and Philipsburg to celebrate Sint Maarten's Day, our National Day. A celebration where we embrace our traditions and culture and project our potential as a people. Our theme: Back in the Day, for this Sint Maarten's day is therefore fitting because it accentuates the foundation of yesteryear, built for our Sint Maarten of the now and here.
When we hear the words Sint Maarten back in the day, we tend to get nostalgic and reminisce of the way things used to be. We poetically reminisce about:
the time when we knew most everyone by name
the time when we could sleep with our doors and windows open
the time when parents disciplined their children with the belt and the family was the cornerstone of our community
the time when good morning, good afternoon and good night were common
the time when your word was as good as gold
the time when our lagoons and ponds were rich sources of sea food
the time when our great salt pond banked on backstreet
the time when during dry weather we played baseball in the fresh pond
the time when wells and cisterns were key to our water usage
the time when we could sit and count the cars pass by
the time when the old Simpson bridge only allowed for one vehicle to pass at a time
the time when boys and girls scouts and boys and girls brigades were THE youth organizations
the time when children made their own toys such as rollers and tree houses
the time when Sunday school was mandatory and held by miss Glorine under the tamond tree at Emilio's estate
the time when Sunday Matinée at Vava Flanders was the big outing;
the time when Seaview Hotel and Pasangrahan Hotel were the top hotel properties;
the time when we got our hamburgers and milkshakes at Risdon's;
the time when groceries were synonymous to Food Center and beverages to Vance James & Sons
the time when we had various mom and pops shops for a pound of this or that;
the time when we tanked our cars bought from L.C Fleming Ford and Vlaun and Sons at Scott's ESSO station;
the time when we shopped at L.C. Fleming Materials, Caribe Lumber and Philipsburg Utilities, Yankees Department Store, Beach Islander and Paul White and Brothers, as well as at Ms. Matteau, Caribbean palm and Bata
the time when we got our melee from the neighbor and our news from the Windward Islands Opinion
In summary Sint Maarten Back in the Day.
My fellow Sint Maarteners, my brothers and sisters,
This is a but brief reflection of Sint Maarten Back in the day as I experienced, read about and remember it. There is so much more that I can share but time does not permit.
The Sint Maarten/Saint Martin I described has changed and transformed. And while change is inevitable as the wields of time rolls on, it is important that we not do lose sight of the strengths, characteristics and values of the people of Sint Maarten that made today possible.
Looking at the picture I described I would therefore like to draw your attention to the values of the people of Sint Maarten Back in the Day. The picture reveals a Sint Maarten people who at the core are:
family centered, community oriented and friendly,
hard working and self-reliant,
has respect for self and for others,
live in harmony with our Sweet Sint Maarten land; and
in cooperation, solidarity and unity
These my fellow Sint Maarteners, my brothers and sisters have been key factors in the realization of the aspirations of our people. It is therefore imperative that we all pause for a moment and assess where we stand relative to these values. And whatever your assessment it is my hope that each of us, at the end of the pause, will embrace these values and characteristics. On this Sint Maarten Day let us thus cease the moment and commit to these values and characteristics and do all in our power to pass them on to the next generation. Core values which makes the interest and further development of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin paramount in all we do. For it is only by doing that that we can expect to achieve the continued and balanced growth and aspirations of the people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin.
My fellow Sint Maarteners, my brothers and sisters
Anchored in my embrace and commitment to these values for a stronger Sint Maarten/Saint Martin I hereby, on behalf of my wife Marie-Louise and myself, wish the people of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin a pleasant, happy and safe Day.
May God bless you and may God Bless Sint Maarten.