'We consider you a St. Martiner'.
Yesterday, Sunday morning, August 28, 2011, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Mr. Dwight BARRAN as guest on 'Breakfast with de Dje Robert' of my friend Stephane de Dje ROBERT.
It was a few years since I had last seen or heard from Dwight, who has left St. Maarten a number of years ago.
Listening to Dwight for me was not only extremely informative as he explained the developments the island had gone through over the last 30 odd years.
It was very emotional as well, considering the lack of interest for his work from those in authority.
Anyone, who knows Dwight and what he has done for this island, can only conclude that he is pioneer and an 'icon' in his own right.
His tireless work in recording, documenting and digitalizing so many historical events, including many St. Martin people, politicians etc, goes way beyond any call of duty.
In fact, that type of work can really never be 'paid' for in cash.
It is a work of total dedication, love, compassion and respect for the people of this island, their history and cultural heritage.
Together with Mr. Franklyn BRISON, Dwight has during many years brought us many really very memorable and captivating documentaries.
Any self-respecting Government, especially any young, Government would be more than happy to pay any amount of money to preserve that type of information in a national archive as a treasure and inspiration to nation building promoting a strong sense of patriotism.
Of course, it comes as no surprise that the Government of the 'Friendly Island' has no interest in preserving such a historical treasure.
Perhaps, because it will show to what extent politicians have sold out the people of the island and have destroyed its natural beauty.
Therefore, we can more than understand the frustration of Dwight, after having done more than his part for the people of this island.
Still I was hurt and shocked to hear him repeatedly state that he was not a St. Martiner Reason why this really touched me is, because wherever he might have been born, or wherever his roots are from, without any hesitation, we consider Dwight a St. Martiner - one of us - no discussion.
Not only, did he grow up here and knows far more about the history, the people and developments of this island, than most native, indigenous St. Martiners, but he has also contributed more to the consciousness of the St. Martin people, than most St. Martiners themselves.
That realization, prompted me to call in the radio-station and invite Dwight to my home after the program. (See picture in attachment)
During our meeting, I made it very clear to Dwight that he can say whatever he wants - we consider him a St. Martiner - one of us. Not only that.
Dwight merits and will receive a St. Martin ID-card from us within short.
It would be totally unfair to Dwight and to the objectives of our movement as well, not to recognize Dwight as a St. Martiner, simply because his roots might be from Guyana.
We have always stated, that our movement, besides fighting for the rights for native, indigenous St. Martiners to come first here on the island, also very strongly promotes inclusion and integration as part of the bigger picture - the St. Martin nation building and unification process.
We thank Dwight on behalf of all St. Martin people for the work he has done and we hope that he will find a way to have all the documentaries he produced over the last 30 odd years, preserved and made available for the people of this island in particular.
We however, advise him that Government might not be the best custodians of this extremely valuable body of work.
In ending we look forward to Dwight accepting our St. Martin ID-card in the near future.