‘St. Martin Day for the People by the People’
The St. Martin Day events began with the traditional ecumenical church service at the New Government Administration Building. The church service was filled with praise, worship, dance, poertry and a thought provoking sermon was delivered by Rev. Brissett. The official ceremony began thereafter with speeches from his Excellency Governor E. Holiday, Prefet Anne Laubies, Chairlady of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams, President du Collectivité Daniel Gibbes, Prime Minister William Marlin, 1st Vice President Madame Valerie Damaseau and Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Silveria Jacobs.
Minister Jacobs and 1stVice President Madame Damaseau, addressed the attendees with a joint speech, as a symbol of their collaboration and unity in planning and execution of the St. Martin Day celebrations and representing the unity among the two governments. The intention was to celebrate St. Martin’s day on a cultural level. The wreath laying ceremony, is to be held on March 23, 2018, which represents the date the treaty was signed between both sides. The focus of this year’s St. Martin Day was to focus on the unity among the people, rather than the celebrating the separation. Minister Jacobs intends for the St. Martin Day celebration to continue as a unity celebration between the northern and southern part of the island. A toast was made to signify the ending of the ceremony, and a brunch was held for the dignitaries thereafter.
The tribute to seniors kicked off at noon, with music catered to the elderly. The cultural parade, organized by Mr. Urmain Dormoy, began at 2pm with various groups portraying the folkloric handmade costumes. The cultural parade was displayed throughout the streets of Philipsburg and included the sounds of the Generation New Status and Dow’s Musical Foudation Steel Pan.
The cultural manifestation tribute for cultural icon, Neville York began at 7pm, with music by various cultural and legendary icons in St. Martin’s musical history. The #SXMSTRONG concert began at 8pm with sounds of Control Band, Big Bad XP Band, Sigma Defence and Don Emmanuel, Dj Patrice, King James, King Rumer, Sean Jay, Perci Rankin and 4M Band and the like, which ended after midnight.
The St. Martin Day celebrations were centered around events for the people by the people. A children’s corner was also available with bouncy castles, cotton candy machines, and arts and crafts. The hope is that the St. Martin Day celebrations can be continuously done on a cultural level between both sides of the island.