ABVO President Sharlon Cathalina with Doran-York, Lake and board members of the union.
PHILIPSBURG–The Algemene Bond van Overheidspersoneel (ABVO) union recognized its female members in celebration of International Women’s Day during an event held at Princess Port de Plaisance recently.
ABVO President Sharlon Cathalina acknowledges the important role that many women on Sint Maarten play in the workplace, as well as in the community. ABVO has members at the Immigration Department, Tax Office, Pointe Blanche prison, Police Force, Kooyman, Port Sint Maarten, Social and Health Insurances SZV, Mental Health Foundation, Princes Juliana International Airport and Winair. The ABVO board presented appreciation gifts to women who attended the event for their “hard work and contribution” to the workplace and society.
Guest speakers for the event were Henrietta Doran-York and Daisiray Lake. Doran-York, who was asked to share about herself as a hardworking woman, spoke about growing up in a large family, about her parents, neighbours and others who stood out during her childhood and after. She spoke about the past when women assisted each other and stuck together when times were rough. These women would feed and care for neighbourhood children as if they were one family.
She also gave a synopsis of her work experiences over the years from being the first female prison official in Sint Maarten, the first female prison supervisor in the former Netherlands Antilles, Member of Parliament in the former Netherlands Antilles, Deputy Prison Director, Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary, President of Windward Islands Civil Servants Union/Private Sector Union (WICSU/PSU) and Minister Plenipotentiary.
She encouraged women to use their strength, resilience and uniqueness to band together and continue to aim high, while standing up for what they perceive to be right and just.
She also reminded attendees that the women back in the day thrived on the fact that real strength can only to be found in unity. “Therefore, only through genuine togetherness, and with the help of the Almighty, can what may seem to be impossible, become possible.”
In remarks at the event, Lake summarized her definition of success, with the intention of creating a level of awareness to each attendee. She encouraged all to note areas in their life that they would like to be more successful. She spoke about her growth in certain areas of her life was due to her membership in Toastmasters International. “I didn’t know how much I would grow and how much fun I’d have while doing it.”
She remained a toastmaster because of improved confidence, networking and the ability to travel and discover other cultures. She challenged attendees to think about which misgivings are holding them back from achieving success, and also reminded them to stand up, despite failures, cheer up, despite sorrow and succeed, despite the pain. “Ladies the universe is filled with stars, my wish for you is just be sure to shoot for you very own star.”
Emcee for the event comedian Fernando Clark entertained and amused the attendees, almost bringing them to tears of laughter with his jokes. Attendees were treated to lunch, socialised and bonded with their union leaders and colleagues.
Cathalina thanked members of the ABVO board and everyone else who worked tirelessly to make the event a success and said events like this will continue.