“Swearing-in Ceremony of the Acting Governor, Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake”
HABROUR VIEW, PHILIPSBURG —
- Prime Minister, Ms. Jacobs,
- President of Parliament, Mr. Bijlani,
- Acting Vice Chair of the Council of Advice, Ms. Philips,
- Chairman of the Audit Chamber, Mr. Gumbs,
- Council of Ministers,
- Secretary General of the Council of Ministers,
- Griffier of Parliament,
- Head of the Dutch representation in Philipsburg,
- Acting Commander of the Marine Detachment of St. Maarten,
- Family and friends of the Acting Governor,
- Members of my Cabinet and
- Last but not least Acting Governor Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake,
I bid you on behalf of my wife Janique and I, a good afternoon.
Welcome to the oath taking ceremony of the Acting Governor of Sint Maarten.
This will be the second Acting Governor of Sint Maarten. The first being the late Meester Reynold Groeneveldt, may his gentle soul continue to rest in peace. Mrs. Groeneveldt/His wife is with us this afternoon. Thank you for being here.
The Governor is representative of the King in his capacity as head of the Government of Sint Maarten. Together with the ministers the Governor forms the Government of St. Maarten.
The Governor is also representative of the Government of the Kingdom.
The Acting Governor acts as Governor in the Governor’s absence. This means that when doing so, in this case Her Excellency is fully authorized to exercise the office.
In the quest for an acting Governor, Government sought to find someone with amongst others, the following characteristics:
- An academic;
- Good standing in the community;
- Thorough knowledge of and relatable across all levels of our society;
- A well-grounded person;
- A person of integrity.
These characteristics were sought after because in the role of Governor one has to be able to carefully and consistently stand objectively independent of political- and all parties.
Safeguard the general interest of the Country and the Kingdom. Warn, advise, be consulted and if need be and hopefully on rare occasions, admonish. All of this while being available 24 hours a day 365 days a year. With all of this in mind the St. Maarten Government selected, the Kingdom Government nominated and His Royal Highness King Willem-Alexander, by Royal Decree appointed Dr. Emiko Bird-Lake as Acting Governor of St. Maarten.
So Dr. Bird-Lake though the task ahead may seem daunting, rest assured it is all for a good cause, namely the people of St. Maarten. And once that is at the forefront of all your decisions the path forward shall be clear.
For you see the dual role of head of Government and representative of the Kingdom Government may seem to some to be a quagmire, but it is not, for the simple fact that at the core of both roles lies the responsibility and duty to serve in the best interest of the people of St. Maarten by promoting its well-being.
This duty and responsibility is literally worded in the oath I will now administer to you Dr. Bird-Lake.