New State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops will be paying a two-day introductory visit to St. Eustatius today, Wednesday and Thursday. His visit partly coincides with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima who will also be in Statia on Thursday afternoon. “together with the King and Queen, Knops will also be in Saba on Friday to take part in the Saba Day celebrations.
Prior to his visit to Statia, State Secretary Knops visited Saba on Tuesday for introductory meetings with Island Governor Jonathan Johnson and the Executive and Island Councils.
During an island tour he visited Dutch Government Service Caribbean Netherlands in The Bottom, the solar energy plant, Fort Bay harbour, social housing and met with hurricane victims.
After visiting A.M. Edwards Medical Center and the Honourable Henry Carlyle Home for the Aged this morning, State Secretary Knops will be leaving for Statia. He will be welcomed at F.D. Roosevelt Airport by Acting Island Governor Julian Woodley between 11:40am and 12:00pm.
On Statia, Knops will be meeting with Woodley, support team member Jenny Thunnissen and with Mel Raboen de Sanchez Pacheco of the Recovery team. Later during the afternoon, State Secretary Knops will also be meeting with the Executive and Island Councils.
He will also be visiting Dutch Government Service Caribbean Netherlands RCN. While on his way to the Recovery team’s storage and distribution facility at Zagen en Schaven, Knops will be visiting several properties that were damaged by the hurricanes.
In the evening, Knops will be having dinner at Old Gin House with Recovery team members Edriss Bennett, Austin van Heijningen, Esmond Hook, Wim de Jong, Woodley and Raboen.
On Thursday, the State Secretary will be touring the island while making stops at the harbour, Fort Oranje, White Wall and Zeelandia/ NuStar Statia Therminal.
At 2:30pm, Knops will be among the party welcoming King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima for their brief visit to Statia. Together with the royal couple, he will be visiting the solar park and one of the homes that is currently being repaired with support from the Netherlands.
At Gertrude Judson Public Library meetings are scheduled with representatives of organisations, among which are St. Eustatius Care Center, Sports Association, Mega D. Foundation and The New Green House.
At 4:50pm the delegation will be departing for Saba. On Friday, December 1, the King and Queen and the State Secretary will be attending the Saba Day celebrations, starting at 8:30am with the traditional ecumenical service in The Bottom. A party will be held at the Island Governor’s residence from 10:00am to 11:25am, preceded by the hoisting of the flags and the singing of the flag songs at 9:45am.
The State Secretary will be presented with an afternoon programme by former Commissioner of Saba and current Dutch Representative in St. Maarten Chris Johnson. The visiting royals and the State Secretary will be having dinner at “Tropics Café in Windwardside on Friday evening. They will be leaving for St. Maarten on Saturday.
The Daily Herald.