Treaty of Concordia 370th anniversary celebrated

The sculpture of two hands intertwined was unveiled during the morning in the grounds of Collège Mont des Accords.


MARIGOT–The Collectivité’s Youth Territorial Council in collaboration with Collège Mont des Accords organised a celebration of the 370th anniversary of the signing of the historic Treaty of Concordia, in the Collège campus on Thursday, March 23.

The event was attended by dignitaries including First Vice-President of the Collectivité Valerie Damaseau, the Préfecture’s Secretary-General Régine Pam, the Head of Education in St. Martin and St. Barths Michel Sanz, and invited guests from the Dutch side Principal and General Director of Milton Peters College Wim de Visser and Sundial School Principal Mireille Regales.

The day began at 6:30am with the traditional walk up to the summit of Mont des Accords where members of the Youth Territorial Council and the Dutch side’s Youth Parliament read out extracts from the Treaty in French, English and Dutch.

Later, activities included songs, recitals of poems, dances and theatrical skits on the theme of the Treaty of Concordia performed in front of the audience.

A highlight of the morning was the unveiling of a sculpture of two hands clasped tightly together, symbolising cooperation, togetherness and unity. The sculpture was made from hurricane debris from the Collège, which was badly damaged. “Even though we are broken, we are united and strong,” read a banner close to the sculpture.

“Today more than ever we must attach ourselves to values of unity and sharing,” said Vice-President Damaseau in her opening remarks. “The ordeal you’ve been through has brought us back to the essential: the quality of human relations, mutual aid and solidarity. The Treaty of Concordia, which unites the two parts of the island, reminds us in this respect how important it is on commemoration day to preserve these achievements that make up our St. Martin identity, our attachment to each other and to the world.

“This historic document is still our strength today and carries the specificities of our binational territory. It seals in a way the cooperation that is at the heart of President Gibbs’ policies. We will do everything in our power to further strengthen the ties that we share and unite with our compatriots from the south of the island. I would like to thank the Territorial Youth Council for their involvement in this beautiful event, as well as the students of the Collège Mont des Accords and the entire school community and Principals.”

Secretary-General Pam said in her speech: “It is cooperation that makes progress for safety, for the protection of populations and risk management, and for a sustainable development of the whole island.”

Attendees sang the St. Martin Song and the national anthems of the Netherlands and of the French Republic.

Source: The Daily Herald