Poem to Vance
Flippers Blog
Poem to Vance
Poem to Vance
Poem to Vance
Island Council pays glowing tributes to Vance
~ ‘He was an outspoken fighter and advocate for the people’ ~

PHILIPSBURG--Former Island Council Member, Commissioner and Member of Parliament Vance James Jr. did things differently. He broke barriers and he was a standard-bearer and an outspoken fighter and advocate for the people. That was how the chairman and members of the St. Maarten Island Council remembered James when they paid tribute to him during an extraordinary meeting of the council on Thursday in the presence of his family. James, a politician, a broadcaster, a member of the clergy, an educator, a businessman and “a man of the people,” as he was referred to, died on January 1. Former Lt. Governors, Members of Parliament, commissioners and Island Council members also were present during the solemn meeting of the Island Council which was broadcast live on both radio and television. After the meeting the public in general paid tribute at Royal Funeral Home where James laid in state. He was honoured with a honour guard of police and St. Maarten Voluntary Corps VKS officers who will stand watch at the funeral home. All eight Island Council members who were present in the meeting Thursday reflected on James’ life, contributions and legacy. So too did Island Council members Theo Heyliger and Leroy de Weever, who were unavoidably absent but whose messages were read by Commissioners Louie Laveist and Roy Marlin, respectively, after they had delivered their own tributes. Also unavoidably absent was National Alliance (NA) Island Councilman George Pantophlet. Chairman of the council Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards was the first to pay tribute to the late lading statesman who made his debut as an Island Councilman in 1979. He said James’ “tireless service, even after leaving active politics, will resonate in the minds of the people of this island and elsewhere, for a long time to come.” He continued: “Vance, who served his people with distinction and commitment, has placed a permanent mark on the history of St. Maarten.” He said Vance had never found it necessary “to disrespect, ridicule or belittle anyone, (for) he was a man of the high road.” National Alliance leader William Marlin, who together with James was a co-founder of St. Maarten Patriotic Movement (SPM) in 1978, remembered how James had done things his way for others to follow. “He was the first to appoint an Executive Assistant and the first to appoint a Deputy Minister Plenipotentiary to represent St. Maarten in The Hague. Vance did things differently. He gave all his life to St. Maarten,” Marlin said. Democratic Party (DP) Commissioner Sarah Wescot-Williams reflected on James’ legacy through his commitment to St. Maarten’s pursuit of separate status. It was beyond a shadow of a doubt after the people of this island spoke in the referendum of 2000, she said. “How he marvelled at things that were achieved for St. Maarten. How proud he was of the breakthrough with the November 2, 2006, accord. Why? Because he understood the strides we made to get to that point. He understood the work that was accomplished to reach that far,” she said. “Vance preached togetherness and love,” said NA Island Council member Frans Richardson. “He was my mentor. I had the opportunity to be guided and to be taught by him,” Richardson said proudly. NA Councilman Rodolphe Samuel, who ran on the National People’s Party (NPP) list with James in 1999, said, “Vance happened to St. Maarten.” Samuel: “He helped everybody on both sides of the fence, no matter what political stream they came from. I asked him why and he told me because he could not allow the island to hit the bottom.” NA Councilman Hyacinth Richardson, whose remarks were interrupted by a power outage that affected St. Maarten Cable TV, suggested that consideration be given to observing James’ birthday as a holiday. DP Commissioner Maria Buncamper-Molanus said her fondest memories of James were “the moments he took time to seek me out and offer advice – sound, intelligent advice. I wonder if he ever realised that most people had such a high sense of respect for him, he could have offered that advice without asking. But, such were the mannerisms of the man. He was a true patriot, a nationalist to the core, and without doubt a statesman,” she stated. Shortly before the meeting was closed, the Lt. Governor and members of the council signed the Book of Condolence for the late Parliamentarian, Commissioner and Island Councilman. James’ body will lie in state at the Philipsburg Methodist Church today, Friday, from 11:00am. Tributes will be paid to him by a number of dignitaries at noon in the presence of his family.

Taken from The Daily Herald Jan 11th 2008


Full honours for Vance James,
body will lie in state at Royal

~ Businesses asked to close their doors for procession ~

PHILIPSBURG--The Executive Council confirmed Monday that it would be bestowing “full honours” on the late former veteran politician Vance James, Jr. who died of a heart attack early New Year’s Day and who will be buried on Friday. “Given the public service accomplishments of Mr. James, the Island Government deems it appropriate to confer on him the honours applicable to a person of his stature,” the Executive Council announced in a Government Information Services (GIS) press release. In keeping with the arrangements, an honour guard will be posted to watch over James’ body as it lies in state for public viewing at Royal Funeral Home, Sucker Garden Road, from 11:00am to 3:00pm on Thursday. The Council said it was making the necessary preparations in cooperation with James’ family for “the final honorary farewell” for the son of the soil who had served St. Maarten as an Executive Council member, a Parliamentarian, an Island Council member and in several other capacities for over 20 years. As part of the bestowing of full honours on James who, in addition to his service as one of St. Maarten’s best known politicians, was also well known as a broadcaster, religious leader and education administrator, the Executive Council has also scheduled an extraordinary meeting of the Island Council for Thursday morning during which members of the Council will pay tribute to the late leading statesman. That special Island Council meeting will start at 9:00am and will be broadcast live on both radio and St. Maarten Cable TV. To accommodate the large gathering expected to attend the meeting, a large tent will be erected outside the Government Administration Building where persons can sit and view the proceedings on an outside television. The body will be moved to the Methodist Church on Front Street on Friday for the funeral. Viewing of the body starts at 11:00am Friday and will be followed by additional tributes from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm. The Thanksgiving Service celebrating James Jr.’s life will be held from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. The body will be laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Methodist Cemetery after the service. The hearse and funeral procession will be accompanied by police and the Voluntary Corps of St. Maarten VKS. They will travel down Front Street in three rows, following the casket to the Methodist Cemetery. Businesses are asked by government to close their doors as a sign of respect for James Jr. and his family as the procession passes. The Condolence Book in the foyer of the Government Administration Building will be available to the public from 8:00am to 5:00pm daily until Thursday morning. A digital version of the Condolence Book is also available on line at www.sintmaartengov.org .
Taken from The Daily Herald Jan 8th 2008


Gracita: Vance James was one of St. Maarten’s rare politicians

PHILIPSBURG--People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA) leader Gracita Arrindell Thursday paid tribute to the late Vance James Jr. who died early New Year’s Day, calling him one of St. Maarten’s “rare politicians… who believed the people should be told the truth – no matter how painful or unpleasant the truth could be.” “I, like many others on St. Maarten as well as throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands, was very saddened by the news of the passing of a good friend, political leader and colleague. Vance’s passing was much too soon in many aspects, not in the least, his desire to play a meaningful role in the constitutional change on Sint Maarten,” Arrindell said in her statement issued in her own name and on behalf of the board and members of the PPA. She continued: “I will miss Vance and his wise and courageous advice and love of the people of this island. While he was very likable, and soft spoken, you always knew where he stood on the issues. Vance was one of the rare politicians on the island who believed the people should be told the truth – no matter how painful or unpleasant the truth could be.” She said, “Vance will always be remembered as the politician who would rather choose the high road than the low road, as he once poignantly stated in an Island Council meeting years ago in one of his most critical political moments as leader of the former St. Maarten Patriotic Alliance (SPA).” She extended condolences to James’ grieving widow Terry and their sons, saying, “Your husband and father will undoubtedly leave a deep void for you, as well as in the many lives he has touched here and abroad. He will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace.” Arrindell also extended condolences to James’ “long-time friend and close business partner, Don Hughes and PJD2 radio network staff” and wished them “much strength and wisdom in the days ahead.”
Taken from The Daily Herald Jan 4th 2008


He was truly a Great Mentor to all
rebelwithoutapause | Thu, 2008-01-03 15:27

On Christmas morning we had breakfast together at the Vlaun's Residence (The White House) on Front Street. We talked about many things: His Christmas and New Years Eve sermons, environment, youth, education, politics, constitutional affairs and life in general. Many attended his annual open house luncheon at his home thereafter. Many did not know it would be his last.
He was truly a great mentor

Rest in Peace Comrade Vance,
Terry J. Peterson Letter from Vance James Jr. February 20, 2007

Dear Terry,
Thanks for the invitation extended to stand with you at your political launching and public introduction. It would have been a great opportunity to show my commitment to the youth and the future of our nation. But, unfortunately I will be away in California USA where I will be attending the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Educational Conference and won't be home until March 21. Congratulations on the major step you have taken. It is heartening when young people take what is not an easy step. I can offer advise to you and am pleased to do so. In response to your questions I attached some tips. I wish you every success and if you so desire, would be happy to preview your speech and give comments. Every success. Honored to have been asked.

Vance James


Making the decision to enter politics means you have decided for public service!
Public service means serving the entire public whether they vote for you or not !
Here are SOME TIPS as you enter public service:

1. No one knows you better than you. Is there anything in your background
that could be a source of embarrassment? If it can be it may likely be, so
face it head on. After determining what it is, prepare to answer any
questions that may arise. Be honest with yourself first and always and
the rest is easy. There is nothing like the truth.

2. Determine why you have decided for public service!
Prepare to answer the question if and when asked.
It must never be a cocky answer such as because I think I can do it !
It certainly must never be so that I can get ahead ! Remember it is called
Public service.

3. Avoid when asked questions replying “ I think”. We all do that it would be
Better to say “ My belief is and explain”

4. One of the first lessons to learn when questions are asked.
Always look the person or the camera in the eye. You must have
nothing to be ashamed of! Eye contact is very important.
When asked a question, answer fist explain your answer next !
i.e. do you believe St Maarten an be a country within the Kingdom?
Yes I believe that, it is for us to prove others wrong and to justify our Decision.

5. Read, read, read…….information and news. You do not have to
re-invent the wheel, there is so much information at your fingertips.
You must read and understand and put things in the right context.
Do not sound like a walking encyclopedia.
Remember a planted question will trip you up.

6. Public service does not mean you must know everything, it calls for
you know a little about everything and to be specialized in some things.

7. Establish the principles by which you will function and stick to them
and Live them, even when it appears impossible.

8. Ensure you have the support of your family. Voters will always think
If they don’t trust you enough to support you, Why should I?

9. Economic independence is crucial for political survival.
An economic independent person’s voice stands stronger.
Avoid mixing personal finances with your political finances.
10. Avoid making promises you know you cannot keep.
Offer to look into the matter and above always return calls and
Keep promises made.

11. Once you have announced you are seeking public office, you will
Be sought out by many, each for his/her own reason.

12. Remember from this moment on, whatever you say and even not
say will be looked at, analyzed and judged. The public will see you
as theirs and you will no longer be your own

13. Study up on all about the office you are seeking!
14. Off the record is to be used, when you do not want the press to
quote you as its source, while providing them information.

15. You cannot get into office on your own. Be a team player within

Voice of the oppressed

Taken from The Daily Herald Jan 4th 2008



Taken from The Daily Herald Jan 4th 2008