It is with great sadness that the Government of Sint Maarten learned of the passing of culture icon and former senior civil servant Jocelyn Arndell on Friday, October 29. Arndell was a member of the famous string band ‘Tanny & The Boys.’ He was a long standing, well respected civil servant who served in various government departments during his tenure contributions to the people of St. Maarten.
Fifty-one years (51) ago, the late Lt. Governor Reinier O. van Delden of the Windward Islands, attentive to the sentiments of the population of St. Maarten, recognized and saw the hunger in the people wanting to express themselves and display their culture to the world. Van Delden came up with a plan of action and commissioned Arndell to see how Carnival was organized in St. Thomas and he got a firsthand and bird’s-eye view of how St. Thomas Carnival was organized in a setting comparable to that of a village with temporary makeshift booths erected. Arndell thought on how something similar to what he witnessed in St. Thomas could work in St. Maarten and that was the genesis of our Carnival Village. Jocelyn brought the idea back to St. Maarten in April of 1970 and refined it to suit St. Maarten’s context and seven months later on November 11, 1970, the Carnival Village was born prematurely.
“On behalf of the Council of Ministers, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the late Jocelyn Arndell. St. Maarten has truly lost a hero whose legacy will remain for years to come. May he rest in eternal peace," stated Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs.
A condolence-memorial book will be opened at the Government Administration Building on Pond Island for one day to the public in connection with the passing of former senior civil servant Jocelyn Arndell tomorrow, Friday, November 5, 2021, from 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Civil servants can sign the condolence book at any time throughout the day. The funeral will be held on Monday, November 8, at the Royal Funeral Home with a viewing from 9:00 – 10:00 AM. and service from 10:00 – 11:00 AM.