State Secretary Knops visits Saba and Statia

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.

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