Sunday , November 27 2022

In case you missed it: Saba provided a warm welcome for our King and Queen

A’mya M.O. Wilson and Liam J. Johnson welcome the King and Queen at the airport.
A’mya M.O. Wilson and Liam J. Johnson welcome the King and Queen at the airport.

Outside the airport, the royals were greeted by the primary school choir, led by Camille Blackman. The children wore specially designed T-shirts marking the occasion. They sang the Saba Anthem. The King and Queen went over to the kids and expressed their appreciation to the performers.

The King and Queen thanking the primary school choir.
The King and Queen thanking the primary school choir.

Kiana Hassell gave a short presentation on the history of the airport. One cute boy played the role of Freddy Johnson, a central character in the drive to create the airport and establish air service. The celebration marked the airport’s 50th anniversary, a special symbol in the island’s connectivity with its motherland and the world.

Kiana Hassell and  "Freddy Johnson".
Kiana Hassell and “Freddy Johnson”.

The official procession first went to the Spring Bay Heritage Trail observation deck where the royal couple could see with binoculars some of the archaeological highlights unearthed recently and integrated into the island’s protected heritage. Jay Haviser, founder and promoter of archaeological research on the Windward Islands, presented the work of Saba Archaeological Centre Sabarc and the Youth and Science Stimulation Programme, which started fieldwork in 2011.

Ryan Espersen supervises the unveiling of the Saba Heritage Trail sign
Archaeologist Ryan Espersen supervises the unveiling of the Saba Heritage Trail  sign

The next stop was at The Organoponics Farm on  the Level. Project director La-Toya Charles and foreman Otto Manuel Anderez provided the explanations. The royals had a chance to talk with one of the young garden workers who is being retrained.

Otto Manuel Anderez explains.
Otto Manuel Anderez explains.

Next we all rushed to the Juliana Sports Field where a large, orange-clad crowd awaited their beloved King and Queen. The youths presented an impressive cultural manifestation there, with various performances about the resilience of Saba inhabitants, their creativity, determination and pride in their achievements. Talented young Sabans depicted the lives and challenges of their most renowned ancestors, while speaking in the colourful dialect of past generations. There were performances on Saba lace, the simple signalling tools used to communicate the estimated arrival schedules of approaching ships, a skit about making Saba Spice and one about the making of “the road that could not have been built.” Saba Danza group put together a dance performance and the young children danced around the maypole.

How the making of Saba Lace was started.
How the making of Saba Lace was started.
The secret recipe of Saba Spice unveiled to the King and Queen.
The secret recipe of Saba Spice unveiled to the King and Queen.
It took 20 years to build the Road that "could not be build".
It took 20 years to build the Road that “could not be build”.
So many goods had to be transported via The Ladder.
So many goods had to be transported via The Ladder.
Signals used on St. John's to communicate boat schedules.
Signals used on St. John’s to communicate boat schedules.
Maypole dance
Maypole dance

 

The Saba Danza Group demonstrated the cha-cha-cha.
The Saba Danza Group demonstrated the cha-cha-cha.

After lunch The King and Queen moved to the Government Building in The Bottom. They greeted the community from the balcony.

King and Queen on their way to the Government Building.
King and Queen on their way to the Government Building.

 

The Balcony scene.
The Balcony scene.
The drum band introduced the Flag parade
The drum band introduced the Flag parade

 

Then the  royal couple were greeted by the Parade of the Nations involving 45 people of the sixty-six nationalities residing on Saba. Each person was dressed in national costumes of their country, proudly displaying their native flags. They greeted the majesties in their own language and stating where they hail from. The celebration of cultural diversity was in acknowledgement of the Caribbean Netherlands’ as the Netherlands’ transatlantic foothold and natural connection with Central, North and South America. Saba Danza Group also performed during this event.

Parade of the Nations lead by the representatives of Saba and The Netherlands
Parade of the Nations lead by the representatives of Saba and The Netherlands

The final event in the Bottom was the handing over of the keys to the first renters in the Social Housing Project.

Rolando Wilson introduces the Social Housing Project
Rolando Wilson introduces the Social Housing Project

Back at the airport the Occasionals sang the royals good bye.

The Occasionals
The Occasionals
Thank you Saba.
Thank you Saba.

 

Voting rights for non-Dutch residents still a dilemma
King and Queen greeted by Parade of Nations

One comment

  1. Nice, only one addendum of import.

    The T-shirt mentioned was a combination of ideas created by the students of Saba and design for print by a local graphic artist.