Aline Hanson was described as a woman who dedicated her life to serving her community.
Marigot:— The community of St. Martin including dignitaries from St. Maarten and other neighboring islands came out in large numbers to bid farewell to former President Aline Hanson who was laid to rest on Wednesday, July 5th. Also known as Madame la Directrice or Madame La President passed away on June 29th, 2017 in her Pic Paradis home.
The former President whose mandate ended on April 2nd, 2017 was known in the St. Martin community as a quiet and simple woman thus she chose not to have a National (Honorary) funeral but instead a private home going ceremony that was organized by her only daughter Leela Hanson Connor and extended relatives. While the ceremony was private the staff of the Collectivity, elected officials from the neighboring islands made their way to the Marigot Catholic Church to pay their last respects.
The former President started out her career as an Elementary School Teacher and climbed the ladder and became the directress of the Aline Hanson Elementary School in Sandy Ground. She entered politics under the leadership of Mayor Albert Fleming some 33 years ago and served with dignity to the very end in March 2017 although she was ailing.
At the service on Wednesday, several persons paid tribute to their former teacher and President in song and poems. Those that paid tributes were Minister of Education Silveria Jacobs from St. Maarten, the Inspector of Education who represented the Rectorat, Fabi Gumbs, Senator Guillaume Arnel, President Daniel Gibbes and others.
Those that had direct contact with the former school teacher, Principal and President all described her as a dedicated and hard worker. A woman whose life was dedicated to instilling proper education and values in the youths of St. Martin.
President Daniel Gibbes was moved to tears while giving his speech as the late Aline Hanson was not only a politician in his eyes but she was also his teacher.
President Gibbes told the gathering that the former President did not want a National funeral but the people including all those that worked with her felt the loss and they are also mourning with the Hanson and Gumbs families. He said that Aline Hanson was the only female that held the position as President in the French Overseas Territories and one thing that was sure she did everything to move her island forward. She was dedicated and despite her medical condition held the forth until her mandate ended.
The body of the late Aline Hanson was carried on the shoulders of members of the Territorial Police in a white casket. As the body reached the Marigot Catholic Church the building filled up within moments while several persons who went to pay their last respects sat under tents outside of the church while others stood up in the parking area.
It was clear that the foundations, associations and several other services were grateful for the services the former President gave to her island, as they all sent wreaths to show their gratitude.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Community and neighboring Island bid farewell to former President Aline Hanson.