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CBCS releases commemorative coin on the 150th Anniversary of Dutch Red Cross.

dutchredcross150yearscoin22112017WILLEMSTAD, Curacao:--- On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Dutch Red Cross, the Central Bank of Curacao and Sint Maarten has minted a silver commemorative coin of 5 guilders. In 1859, a battle between the French army under Napoleon III and the Austrian army was fought at the Italian town of Solferino. The Swiss banker Henry Dunant was witness to the fight and 40,000 people were killed. He went to help the wounded. On his own, however, this was impossible work. That was why he called for the help of the women in the village. He set up aid stations with them for the wounded of both parties. Back in Geneva, the battle involved him. He writes a book about what he has seen: 'A memory of Solferino'. In the book, he makes 3 proposals:

  1. Each country must establish volunteer aid associations that are equipped and trained to take care of wounded people on the battlefield.
  2. Wounds on the battlefield, medical personnel, and their equipment must be considered neutral and must be protected by a license plate.
  3. These proposals must be ratified by an international treaty, and the protection of the wounded and medical staff who take care of them must be guaranteed.

At a meeting in 1863 of 16 European states, representatives approved Dunant's proposal to set up voluntary volunteer associations. They agree to use a red cross on a white surface as an emblem. The birth of the International Red Cross is a fact. The agreements are recorded in 1864 in the first Geneva Convention. This laid the foundation for Humanitarian War Law. Jean Henry Dunant received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901. In the following years, National Red Cross societies are established in many countries. The Dutch Red Cross was founded in 1867.
The Curaçao and St. Maarten countries also have a section of the Red Cross. The Department on Curaçao was founded in 1931 and that of Sint Maarten in 1976. Both departments fall under the Dutch Red Cross. The Red Cross is central in the design. The text DUTCH RED CROSS and 150 YEAR is placed above and below the logo. On the reflection (represented by the lines around the logo) of the cross are the 7 basic principles of the organization, namely Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary, Unity, and Generalness.
Other specifications: Metal: silver 925/1000 Weight: 11.9 gr Diameter: 29 mm Quality: proof Nominal value: 5 guilders Number of beaten specimens: 400
The silver coins are available at the cash department of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten and cost NAf 107.50. For more information about previously minted commemorative coins, please consult our website:

Translated Press Release from the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten

Chief of Police and VKS Commander met to discuss cooperation.

vksandkpsmreps22112017PHILIPSBURG:--- The Chief of Police Carl John and the Commander of the VKS Antonio Rogers met on Wednesday, November 22nd for talks regarding the safety of the community of Sint Maarten and the working cooperation between both entities. The VKS has been working under the supervision of the police department for quite a number of years with positive results.

Both the Chief of Police and the Commander of the VKS are doing their utmost to improve this working cooperation. The main topic of discussion was the upcoming tourist and Christmas season where the decision was taken that KPSM, the VKS and the officers of the National Police Force of the Netherlands who will jointly provide safety and security to the business community and the community at large during this season as together we focus on getting the economy back on track.
The Commander of the VKS promised to support this effort with no less than 10 VKS- members on a daily basis. The police chief gladly accepted this offer.

During the meeting, the Police Chief stated that he is very proud of the local police officers who have been working prior, during and in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria and continue to do so up to today to guarantee the safety and security of the community.

KPSM Police Report

70-95% of Some Coral Species on Sint Maarten Reefs Suffered Extreme Hurricane Damage.

acroporapalmata22112017COLE BAY:--- The St. Maarten Nature Foundation has been continuously monitoring coral reefs both inside and outside of the Man of War Shoal Marine Protected Area in order to determine the impact of Hurricane Irma. Intense impacts have been recorded on certain coral species and on the reef, however, also some reef recovering has already been recorded.

Acropora coral (Elkhorn and Staghorn) were hit the hardest by Hurricane Irma: this particular group of species is very prone to intensive water movement and has caused large pieces to break off. Besides the major break-off of coral fragments, also large die-offs have been recorded in those particular coral colonies. Many parts of especially Elkhorn coral colonies (A. palmata) died, due to direct impacts of the swell or sediment cover, light reduction or water quality reduction.

About 80% of Elkhorn (A. palmata) coral colonies are affected by and have died off, directly and indirectly, due to Hurricane Irma on St Maarten Reefs. Staghorn (A. cervicornis) coral colonies have shown even more damage due to the storm surge; hardly any coral fragment have been found back and entire colonies have been wiped out. 95% of the Staghorn coral colonies have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma. No colonies have been found or only small fragments remain.

The loss of these Acropora species will have large negative impacts on our reefs due to their importance as reef builders. Acropora corals decreased tremendously in the 1980’s and are currently already listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and Species. Until the 1980’s Acropora coral species dominated the nearshore zone of many Caribbean islands, including Sint Maarten. Even before Hurricane Irma, these coral reef zones have almost disappeared from most islands in the region due to diseases, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction. The increased loss of these Acropora corals due to Hurricane Irma will have even larger negative effects on biodiversity, biomass of fishes, coastal protection, and tourism.
Also, Pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus) colonies have been significantly affected by Hurricane Irma. Pillar colonies have been reduced by about 70% due to Irma. Colonies at the dive sites Mikes Maze and Hen and Chicks which were known to reach up to five feet are now reduced to not much more than a foot.

In order to qualitatively assess the reefs and the Man of War Shoal Marine Park, the Nature Foundation will start up reef monitoring according to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Protocol (GCRMN) in the coming month. Data from before Hurricane Irma and data from last year will be used to determine the detailed impacts and damages on St. Maarten reefs.

Nature Foundation Press Release

Minister Jacobs expresses gratitude to various entities for aided goods.

sjacobswithimaanddpereps22112017PHILIPSBURG:--- On Wednesday, November 22nd, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, began the distribution of the larger school and office supplies to the public and subsidized schools and organizations. The supplies distributed was part of the requested supplies by the school boards after the assessments were done post-Hurricane Irma. The supplies were sent via the Karel Doorman through the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science in the Netherlands. The supplies are to assist in the recovery and bouncing back of the schools. School board representatives and other representatives of subsidized organizations related to Culture, Youth and Sport, namely SECDA, Philipsburg Jubilee Library, National Sports Institute, Youth Council and the Monument Council were invited to a small press conference for the handing over of HP laptops, which are to aid in the loss of desktops during the storm. The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth, and Sport, Silveria Jacobs, informed the school board representatives of the vision behind receiving the supplies. “We are moving towards a technological world and we need to start digitalizing our documents and archive database. The use of laptops in the offices will assist in creating digital files and allow easier storage of information in the event of a natural disaster, as well as allow remote use of the laptop, wherever situated. The workers at the New Government Building were able to resume work more efficiently with the help of laptops and desktops; we were only in need of electricity to power up the devices and internet access to access other resources and archived files. The school boards also received cleaning materials as well as classroom materials such as filing cabinets, pens, lined paper, glue sticks and much more items that will aid in assisting teachers.”
After the passing of Hurricane Irma, many of the public schools sustained medium to major damages, in particular, the top floors of the buildings. Many of the air-condition units are non-functional, therefore, the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) saw it necessary and vital to donate 157 Lasko standing fans to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, and by extension the Division Public Education. The presentation of the standing fans were made to Minister Jacobs and head of Division Public Education Mrs. Glenderlin Holiday. Minister Jacobs expressed her gratitude to the IMA representatives for the donation to the schools and expressed her wishes to have more businesses and communities adopt a school as part of the Education on the Move campaign. The fans will be distributed on Thursday, November 23rd, to the public schools.
Mr. Rafel Skeete, a local baseball hero, and member of the Piper Davis Group, a baseball group based in the United States, which travelled to St. Maarten and hosted a baseball camp, supplied through the Department of Sport, donated relief goods which will be distributed to specifically single mothers or fathers of student-athletes. The intention is to touch base with various sporting organizations to determine the need within the membership. Once the information has been ascertained, a date and time will be forthcoming for distribution.
The remainder of the school and office supplies, which are being housed at the L.B. Scot Sports Auditorium, will be distributed on Thursday, November 23rd, and Friday, November 24th. All school board representatives have been made aware of all the requirements and time slots for the pick-up of the supplies.
Minister Jacobs thanks all stakeholders, and specifically, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science in the Netherlands, the Piper Davis Group, the Indian Merchants Association and all other critical organizations who have aided the Ministry and by extension the students and teachers of St. Maarten with supplies and emergency goods, which has and will continue to help in the reconstruction of our educational system on St. Maarten. There are a number of additional groups and organizations, which have pledged their support. As the aid becomes available, the Ministry will make the information forthcoming to the public.

Press Release from the Ministry of ECYS

Alumna of St. Dominic High School Defends her PhD thesis at Radboud Universiteit.

ektafosterlachmandas22112017NIJMEGEN, Netherlands:--- Ekta Foster-Lachmandas a graduate of St Dominic High School’s Class of 2008 successfully defended her PhD thesis on November 15, before the Faculty of Medical Sciences of Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. The title of her dissertation was Host response to tuberculosis: impact of diabetes and cellular metabolism of immune cells.
Radboud University Medical Center Media Relations Office issued the following summary of Ekta’s thesis:
She “has examined host responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, integrating immunology and cellular metabolism, in the laboratory of the Experimental Internal Medicine of Radboudumc and the A-star institute in Singapore. Part of her work specifically focused on diabetes, a very important risk factor for tuberculosis, as part of the EU-funded TANDEM consortium which combines clinical-epidemiological and more basic research in Peru, South Africa, Romania and Indonesia to tackle the problem of combined TB [tuberculosis] and diabetes (”
After graduating from St. Dominic High School, Ekta began her tertiary education at HAN University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen majoring in Life Sciences. As part of her studies, she completed an internship at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. While there she began her research and was invited to continue in the Netherlands at Radboud Universiteit.
Ekta Foster-Lachmandas is recently married and currently resides in Zurich, Switzerland.

St. Dominic High School Press Release

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