BELAIR–The President of the Commonwealth of Dominica Charles Savarin stressed on the importance for St. Maarten and Dominica to continue working together as neighbouring islands. The president was speaking at the Dominica Foundation of St. Maarten’s lecture at the Belair Community Center Friday.
The theme of the evening was “Building Meaningful Partnerships and Fostering Relationships through Culture and Education.”
President Savarin encouraged Dominicans living on the island to take a more active role in the communities of St. Maarten/ St. Martin and Dominica.
Prime Minister William Marlin said, “Dominica and St. Maarten are bound not only by historical ties, but more importantly family and commercial bonds as well. Nationals of Dominica have made significant contributions to the socio-economic progress of this island, and many of them have made St. Maarten their home to the point that not only can a good number of them vote, but they can also run for elective office as some did in our recently held parliamentary elections.”
“Relations between our people have always been cordial, marked by mutual respect, friendliness and cooperation. When a natural disaster hits Dominica, we feel it in our very bones here as we know that the reverse has always been the case too. For example, our people did not have to wait for government to swing into action to assist our brothers and sisters in Dominica in every way they could, when Tropical Storm Erika wreaked havoc in your country just last year.
“WINAIR, our government-owned regional airline could boast that it is virtually Dominica’s national airline as well and has demonstrated a singular dedication to serving the people of Dominica in good and bad times,” said the Prime Minister.
Marlin also mentioned that “produce and fruits from Dominica can be found on the streets and supermarkets in St. Maarten, at all hours of the day. Commerce between our two islands continues to grow, even without much official push.
“Your Excellency, it is with a big smile of satisfaction that I note that this evening has been called one of ‘Building Meaningful Partnerships and Fostering Relationships Through Culture and Education.’”
“At the people to people level, this has already been happening. This brings to mind that now famous quote by the late Jamaican professor of economics, George Beckford, We in the Caribbean are already integrated. It is only the Governments who do not know it,” Marlin noted.
Savarin’s visit will end with a moonlight lagoon cruise on the Explorer today, Saturday. The Dominica Foundation organized the entire stay and thanked Oyster Pond Resort and NAGICO insurances for their contributions.