Philipsburg – St. Maarten celebrates her Twenty-first Annual Thanksgiving Day. A Thanksgiving born out of our cultural traditions and practice. As far as traditions go, it is a new one, only introduced in 1999. However, it has all the markings of a tradition that will grow to last.
Immediately after the record-breaking winds of hurricane Louis swept across this island nation, followed by hurricanes Lenny, Marilyn, Jose, and Bertha just to list a few, the then Commissioner of Social Affairs Louis Laveist was inspired to create an event that celebrated the fortitude, bravery, and stoicism of the people of St. Maarten. Compelled by the aftermath of destruction, Commissioner Laveist collaborated with the Council of Churches and the Christian Council to pull the community of St. Maarten together by drawing from and reaching into our deep faith for solace, unity prayer, and offer gratitude for having survived a series of life altering weather events.
Driven by his deep faith Louis Laveist, together with the various church organizations, came up with the National Day of Prayer and Day of Thanksgiving.
Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. In that space from 1995 to 1999 surviving the onslaught of continuous hurricane force winds, Commissioner Laveist became the catalyst to have the public Thanksgiving Day become an official part of and a significant addition to the ever-evolving cultural landscape of traditions of the St. Maarten community.
For the past 21 years, the Government of St. Maarten, working collaboratively with the St. Maarten Christian Council, St. Maarten United Ministerial Foundation, and the Seventh Day Adventist Church, has been celebrating Thanksgiving Day with the people of St. Maarten by means of a Thanksgiving Day service.
This non-denominational thanksgiving service is a coming together of people of all faiths culture, religious background to offer gratitude for life in song, dance, and praise worship for the safe passage through and conclusion of the hurricane season.
This year, the thanksgiving ceremony will be a virtual celebration. The virtual twenty-first Annual Thanksgiving Day service, recorded at the Philipsburg Methodist Church, includes praise and worship, remarks by honorable Prime Minister Jacobs, songs, prayers of thanksgiving, and much more.
The public is encouraged to view the service by tuning in live at 4:00 p.m. on the Government of St. Maarten’s Facebook page and YouTube Channel and at 8:00 p.m. St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115. on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
We look forward to hosting a successful virtual event and we thank our collaborators for their invaluable contributions. For further information kindly contact the Department of Culture via firstname.lastname@example.org.