POND ISLAND, Sint Maarten – During the recent working visit of District Governor Denise Forrest, the Sint. Maarten Lions Club named Honorable Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs as a honorary member of the club. The official pinning of the special distinction was done when District 60B’s District Governor Lion Denise Forrest visited the Prime Minister’s Office as is customary when a District Governor visits clubs in various countries and islands. The Sint. Maarten Lions Club President Lion Oralie Boirard, 2nd Vice District Governor Lion Claudio Buncamper and Past District Governor Lion Maxime Larmonie also accompanied the Lions District Governor to the Prime Minister’s office.
The Sint. Maarten Lions Club bestowed this honorary membership on Prime Minister Jacobs for the assistance that she had given the club by presenting a law amendment while as member of Parliament as far back as 2015, which ultimately raised the legal drinking age from 16 to 18 years of age and is now in effect since the September 2019.
As Parliament’s Chairperson of the Education Committee of Parliament at the time, Silveria Jacobs took the initiative to meet further with the legal representatives of the Lions and got outside legal advice on changing the Permit Ordinance.
The amendment prohibits businesses in the country from selling or serving alcohol to minors below the age of 18. The amendment was unanimously passed by parliament in November 2018. A similar law already exists in French St. Martin. The amendment to the law was Jacob’s initiative and at the time of its passing was the second initiative law from an MP to be passed in parliament since its existence.
A honorary member is not a member of the Lions Club but may be granted honorary membership by a Lions Club for having performed outstanding service for the community which in this case the Sint. Maarten Lions Club felt Prime Minister Jacobs so rightly deserved for her hard work and dedication towards the safe guarding the youth of Sint. Maarten from alcohol abuse at a young age.