nation building

Nation Building | Book by former St. Maarten Governor Eugene Holiday chronicles island attaining Country Status

Philipsburg With this latest book, “Nation Building, Our Challenges, Resilience and Responsibility”, in short Nation Building, author drs. Eugene B. Holiday delivers a socio-political history publication that covers significant developments of the first two decades of 21st century Sint Maarten and provides building blocks for the nation’s further development.

St. Maarten, formerly one of the islands of the Netherlands Antilles, became a country within the Netherlands as of October 10, 2010. Drs. Holiday, who had been instrumental in the negotiations leading up to the historic date, was appointed the new country's first Governor. A position he held until October 10, 2022.

The book documents and chronicles important historic developments leading up to the attainment and during the formative years of Sint Maarten’s Country Status and highlights some of the author’s actions and decisions. When reading the pages of Nation Building you will learn as stated in the preface that:

….. a lot has happened, constitutionally, politically, economically, socially, culturally, environmentally, and in …. transatlantic relations”. You will read about the screening of candidate ministers, ship jumping, Hurricane Irma, Covid-19, COHO, border disputes as well as the transatlantic political tensions. 

Nation Building, besides its introduction and epilogue, is comprised of 56 chapters, organized in seven parts or sub themes. During the author’s Governorship from 2010-2022 he wrote over 150 speeches. The book contains a selection of fifty of those speeches presented in different chapters. The speeches in each part are preceded with an overview of significant developments intended to provide some background and context to the speeches.

The seven parts or sub themes are:

  • Part 1 – The Pursuit and attainment of country status based on the exercise of our right of self-determination;
  • Part 2 – Promoting Excellence in Governance;
  • Part 3 – Upholding our Constitution as anchor in political developments;
  • Part 4 – Fostering Economic Sustainability;
  • Part 5 – Promoting Social Cohesion;
  • Part 6 – Safety and Security; and
  • Part 7 – Strengthening Partnerships and Cooperation.

These parts or sub themes reflect the author’s view on the required steps towards effective nation  building for current and future generations.

The book concludes with an epilogue titled: “Our country will go as far as we take it”. It is in other words our responsibility, the responsibility of each succeeding generation to build our nation, Sint Maarten.

Drs Holiday on the book:

It is intended to stimulate dialogue and to be a source of information and inspiration for government and business officials, their advisors, community leaders, educators, residents, and particularly our youth for the further building of our nation, Sint Maarten. This based on the author’s belief that “our knowledge based on our recording of our history is the best foundation for the building of our future”.

drs. Eugene B. Holiday autographing a copy of Nation Building for Leroy (Beau Beau) Brooks and Ann Marie Brooks during the book launch on December 13, 2023.
drs. Eugene B. Holiday autographing a copy of Nation Building for Leroy (Beau Beau) Brooks and Ann Marie Brooks during the book launch on December 13, 2023.

The book was officially released on December 13, 2023, during a well-attended book launch at Sky Vogue on Front Street, in Philipsburg. The launch included the presentation of the first official copy of Nation Building by Author Eugene Holiday to Governor Ajamu Baly, a book review by Dennis Richardson, a Nation Building Trivia challenge by Marie Louise Holiday and remarks and signing of the book by the author.

Nation Building is 356 pages and is now available in Sint Maarten as a paperback at Van Dorp Eddine and at Ty Art Gift Shop as well as on-line as an e-book at global digital stores Apple Books, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.