Category Archives: Culture & Music

Boys Brigade Christmas Parade huge success

The First Christmas Parade organized by the Boys Brigade on Christmas Day 2012 was a huge success. It started at the FDR Airport and ended in the heart of Town near Charlie’s Place. Most churches (Methodist Seventh Day Adventists, Big Stone Fellowship and baptist Church) participated and the community turned out in great number. This Parade made Christmas Extra special this year. The objective was to bring Christ back into Christmas. It can only get better.

Below pictures of the event. The man on the guitar is Walton Schmidt, better known as Lord Gene. He made a name for himself both on Statia and in the former Netherlands Antilles. He was a visionary; always on the mark with his songs/lyrics. People call him the prophet; He sang out on issues that would/have plagued the Dutch Kingdom before they actually materialized, to mention a few: “Too much Sodom in town”, “Taxes” “The curse” and quite a few more that are relevant for the present situation. He is part of the Killi Killi band, that performed Christmas Carols at the parade.

This group of sign dancers was lead by Mistica Hassell and comprised youth of the Methodist and SDA churches.



Historical beauty touched by Christmas

St. Eustatius is gearing up for Christmas and – as is tradition – the St. Eustatius Historical Museum is contributing to the seasonal atmosphere in a festive way. The lines and curves of the historical beauty are highlighted through the sparkling Christmas decorations, making the 18th century brick building one of the centerpieces of Oranjestad’s historical core and a favorite with photographing visitors. The Museum and museum shop are open throughout December except on the 24th and 31st and on Saturdays. On Sundays it is open till 12:00 noon.


12-12-’12 12:12 A HISTORICAL MOMENT

This Wednesday at twelve minutes past twelve was the last time this century for a moment with a quintuple combination of the same pair of digits to occur. The St. Eustatius Historical Foundation decided to mark this instance by rewarding the visitor to its Museum who entered closest to this moment.

 Caleb Capron from Ohio (USA) was the lucky one. Caleb was visiting St. Eustatius with a group of 33 students on the schooner Harvey Gamage of the Ocean Classroom Foundation which offers “education under sail.” While sailing through theCaribbeanthe students learn about the history of the islands as part of their College program.

 Caleb summed up Statia with the words “really relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, beautiful scenery.” He thought that “The museum was good. Especially the pre-Columbian archaeology section was pretty neat.” He said he found the information he was looking for in addition to finding out about things he did not know.

 Museum staff member Mrs. Theresita van Putten-Duinkerk presented Caleb with the book “St. Eustatius. Echoes of the Past” and the “Historical Walking Tour Guide” which are on sale at the museum shop. Caleb was delighted with the books and said they would be very useful for the classes on board the Harvey Gamage and he would share them with the other students.


Caption:  At 12:12, 12-12-12 Mrs. Theresita van Putten-Duinkerk presented “St. Eustatius. Echoes of the Past” and the “Historical Walking Tour Guide” to Caleb Capron on the steps of the St. Eustatius Historical Museum.

Statia Christmas Cakes


1 pound flour

1/2 pound sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup crisco

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon aniseed

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon yeast

dash baking soda

1 teaspoon essence raisins


Mix sugar and butter together. Add eggs and spice, then milk, essence and raisins. Dissolve yeast and baking soda in milk and water. Add flour and mix. Do not knead, just roll with your hand. Shape the cakes and bake them in the oven on 350°F.


Walter Hellebrand, with thanks to Elsie Thomson

Picture by Walter Hellebrand


Council of State delegation admires historical Oranjestad

While visiting St. Eustatius, Senior Member of the Kingdom Council of State Marten Oosting took the opportunity to learn more about the island’s historical background by taking a walking tour through the historical center of Oranjestad. Monuments Director Walter Hellebrand was asked to guide the delegation through the island’s history and the town’s monuments at the suggestion of accompanying colleague and Council of State Special Advisor Ron van der Veer who was given the tour during an earlier visit.

 The walk started with a visit to the St. Eustatius Historical Museum which provided the perfect start for the tour along the brick, stone and shingled illustrations of St. Eustatius’ past. The delegation (also including Deputy Director Arnold Weggeman) expressed their appreciation of the potential of the island’s monuments as part of Statia’s tourism product and enjoyed the tour. In return, Hellebrand was given a mini-induction in the revised workings of the Council of State on probably the most unlikely site where Mr. Oosting has ever lectured on the subject: on the top of the roof of the tower of the former Dutch Reformed Church. 


The Council of State delegation (from right: Arnold Weggeman, Ron van der Veer and Marten Oosting) listening to Monuments Director Walter Hellebrand (left)


It’s December, Sorrel time is here!

With Permission of “Statia Hot Topics” on facebook


Boil 2 quarts of water.
Once water is boiling, add sorrel (1 cup dried petals), orange peel and cloves (1 tablespoon).
Boil for 30 minutes.
Cover tightly and steep overnight.
Strain and add sugar syrup (brown sugar boiled in water) and rum (optional) to taste.
Chill and serve.

Another Recipe:

Peel the sorrel, separate the leaves from the seed. Put a pot of water to boil, when boiled turn off the stove. Put the sorrel leaves into the boiling pot along with a cup of rice, cloves,dried orange peel and ginger. Let it steep for 1 day and sweeten to taste. (add rum if needed).















Sorrel flowers are harvested around November and December. For those not in the Caribbean they can be purchased pre-packaged from Caribbean or African stores.

Remains Sugar Cane plantation at Whitewall

St. Eustatius– The St. Eustatius Center for Archeological Research (SECAR) was carrying out an archeological survey at the property in the Whitewall area, that was intended to be developed for hotel and residential purposes. During this survey the research team discovered the ruins of a sugar plantation, of which the presence was unknown until now (by Secar, A., see below) *)The plantation probably dating back to the sixteen hundreds is located on the higher elevation of the Quill, opposite of the Statia Lodges. The research is commissioned by the developer and related to the amendment to Spatial Development Plan, needed for the realization of the project. SECAR will recommend to the developer to maintain the ruins and integrate them in their plans.

 The report of the research will be presented by December.

*) The ruins were described before and are known around the island.

(source: the informer)

Statia Day pictures

Please click on the picture to see the full size:


Statia’s Island Governor Gerald Berkel joined by Kingdom Representative Wilbert Stolte, Saba’s Island Governor Jonathan Johnson, Commissioner Glenn Schmidt and Commissioner Koos Sneek doing the annual inspection of the uniformed groups at the Statia Day celebrations.





Commissioner Koos Sneek was an instant star: he sang Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night” and Chris Rea’s “Every Beat of My Heart”

Head of the Tourist Office Mr. Charles Lindo as pet doctor in a skit about health care


DJ Betty was one of four persons honoured by the Island Government on Statia Day. The other three were Alphonse (Fonse) Bennett, Valerien Timber and Lloyd Nicholson.

Island Languages not in Dutch Constitution

THE HAGUE–The Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament has voted down a motion by Member of Parliament (MP) Wassila Hachchi of the democratic D66 party to secure Papiamentu and English in the Dutch Constitution on behalf of Bonaire, Eustatius and Saba. Only a minority in the Second Chamber supported Hachchi’s idea to give Papiamentu and English in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba the same status in the Dutch Constitution as for example the Frisian language in The Netherlands.

Hachchi submitted the motion in connection with the handling of the law proposal to amend the Dutch Constitution to secure the constitutional status of the public entities Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba earlier this month. The Second Chamber approved the law proposal, but on Tuesday voted down Hachchi’s motion. Initially the Dutch Government had indicated that it wanted to include an article in the law proposal to amend the Constitution about the use of Papiamentu and English on the public entities as the languages to communicate with government, similar to the Frisian language.

In 2010, the Dutch Government indicated that it would include the use of Papiamentu and English in another  amendment to the Constitution to secure the Dutch language in the Constitution. However, the handling of this law proposal has not progressed for over two years, Hachchi noted in her motion. According to Hachchi, the Dutch Government recently did come with a law proposal to secure an exception position for the use of the Frisian language.  The MP is of the opinion that the languages of the islands deserve similar treatment in law proposals and policies concerning the public entities.