Royal visit to St. Maarten, The Daily Herald Saterday 19 october 2013
THE HAGUE--A welcome ceremony on the Clem Labega Square, a festive event at Carnival Village, a visit to Milton Peters College and Raoul Illidge Sports Complex and a walk through Front Street – there will be plenty of opportunities for the people of St. Maarten to greet King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima during their visit in November.
As was previously announced, the King and Queen will start their visit to the Dutch Caribbean on November 12. The Dutch Government Information Service RVD on Friday released the programme on all six islands.
The official programme in St. Maarten starts on Wednesday, November 13, with a welcome ceremony on the Clem Labega Square, followed by a meeting with the Governor, a welcome by the President and the Members of the Parliament of St. Maarten, a session with Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams and a gathering with the Council of Ministers.
After this official part, the Royal couple will subsequently visit Milton Peters College and Raoul Illidge Sports Complex where they will meet with, among others, the winners of the Kingdom Games.
The King and Queen will walk through Front Street in the afternoon, where there will be special attention for the monument. The day will be closed off with a festive evening in Festival Village.
On Thursday, November 14, the King and Queen will travel to Saba where they will be welcomed at the airport by authorities and a number of children, who will perform a short play in connection with the 50th anniversary of the airport.
The Royal couple will then visit Spring Bay Heritage trail where they will receive an explanation of the recent uncovering of old sugar mills and infrastructure of sugar plantations. Next on the programme is a visit to Organoponics Farm, a biological farm and social work place which was in the finals of the Crown Apples of the Orange Fund.
The King and Queen will visit Juliana Sports Field where there will be performances with special attention for Saba's history. The Royal couple will have lunch with members of the Executive Council and Island Council before visiting The Bottom, where a flag parade will be held to celebrate the 40 nationalities living on the island.
The social partners from nine sectors will host a reception, after which the King and Queen will visit the social housing project. The Royal couple will fly back to St. Maarten in the late afternoon for a reception hosted by St. Maarten Governor Eugene Holiday.
On Friday, November 15, the King and Queen will be in St. Eustatius. After the official reception at the airport, the couple will visit the Science Fair with presentations by children of five schools, followed by a visit to Buzzy Bees day care centre and lunch with members of the Executive Council and Island Council.
After lunch, the King and Queen will visit Hazel's Plantation which aims to stimulate the local growth of vegetables and fruits, followed by a visit to Historical Foundation Museum in connection with the opening of the exhibition 150 years abolition of slavery. The day will be closed off with a festival in Wilhelmina Park.
On Saturday, the Royal couple travels to Bonaire. One of the highlights there are the sports demonstrations, the start of the campaign to stimulate drinking of water by young people and presentations by various local organisations at Wilhelmina Square.
The King and Queen will visit Foundation for Addict Care and Psychiatrics, the centre for elderly Cocari in Rincón and the centre of the youth organisation Jong Bonaire for the opening of the photo exhibition "Dare to Share" of young photographers from the Caribbean Netherlands. There will also be a reception hosted by Island Governor Lydia Emerencia.
Sunday, November 17, the King and Queen will take a day off before the start of their two-day visit to Curaçao the following day. In Curaçao there will be a welcoming ceremony on the Government's Square, meetings with Acting Governor Adèle van der Pluijm-Vrede and the Council of Ministers, followed by a visit to two sections of Marnix School and Techno Future School for school drop outs.
The Royal couple will walk through Otrobanda, visit University of Curaçao and Caribbean Marine Research Institute Carmabi, attend a festive evening at Brion Square. On Tuesday, November 19, they will visit the West side of the island, Banda Abou as well as the East side Banda Ariba. Before the reception hosted by the Governor, they will visit an exhibition at Fortkerk.
Aruba is the last island they will visit on the Dutch Caribbean tour. On Wednesday, November 20, the welcoming ceremony will take place at L.G. Smith Boulevard, followed by meetings with Governor Fredis Refunjol and the Council of Ministers. The Royal couple will be present at a youth debate as well as a festive event at Bushiribana, the gold-smelting oven ruins.
The following day, the King and Queen will attend a sports event for children of primary schools, as well as a lunch for young talents and the kick-off of a youth project of the Orange Fund. On November 22, the Royal couple visits Colombia and on November 23 Venezuela.
The King and Queen have been on the islands several times before, but this is their first visit since the inauguration on April 30 this year. Point of departure is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to see and meet the King and Queen.
Dutch Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk will accompany the Royal couple during the entire visit. The Governors are the hosts in Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten, while the Island Governors will be the hosts in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. The Royal visit is expected to draw a large group of media representatives from the Netherlands.