Aline Hanson passes away

MARIGOT–Former Territorial Council President Aline Hanson passed away at home Thursday evening, surrounded by family, after succumbing to a long illness. She was 68.

She was President of the Territorial Council from 2013 to 2017 and despite her illness continued to perform her duties with great dignity and courage until the March 2017 Territorial Elections when she read out the final results.

Hanson’s fortitude surprised many when she decided to run for re-election, but her party “Let’s Continue for St. Martin” did not make it to the second round.

Hanson was raised in Cripple Gate by her mother, a baker, and her carpenter father. Much of her early schooling was in Guadeloupe. She began her teaching career in 1974 before becoming Director of the Sandy Ground Elementary School from 1991 to 2014, now called the Aline Hanson School, which became affiliated to UNESCO in 2010 under her direction.

She was very involved in community life, culture and the youth. From 1984 to 2014 she was President of the Sandy Ground Cultural Centre. She spent several years in politics under former Mayor Albert Fleming and in the Opposition during Louis-Constant Fleming’s mandate in 2007. In 2003 she was part of the team preparing for the new status for St. Martin.

She was elected First Vice-President in 2012 in the Triple R party before taking over from Alain Richardson, who had to step down after being sanctioned by the State for campaign irregularities.

She has been decorated twice with distinguished awards: Palmes du Benevolat in 2011 and Chevalier de L’Ordre Nationale du Merit in 2014.

Triple R party former President René-Jean Duret, said she was hugely respected by the local population and very close to the people.

“She was a good-hearted woman who managed the Collectivité with firmness to carry out her mandate despite the constraints,” he said last night. “May her soul rest in peace; with thoughts of love, respect and gratitude from the people of St. Martin.”

Source: The Daily Herald