KRALENDIJK -At the stroke of midnight last night, all those on Bonaire said farewell to the Netherlands Antilles, and then welcomed Holland, as Bonaire, along with its sister islands, St. Eustatius and Saba, is now part of Holland as a special municipality and the three islands are to be officially called the Dutch Caribbean.
Her Majesty, Queen Beatrix, sent a telegram to all those on Bonaire, welcoming us into Holland. She wrote,
“To the residents of Bonaire: Today you, the residents of Bonaire, will become part of the Dutch polity. I would like to express my deeply felt solidarity with you and wish you all happiness and prosperity. Beatrix”
(View her original telegram in PDF form by clicking here.)
There are a number of festivities throughout the day to herald in our new political status, but one of the more popular ones will be the opening of a new exhibit at Kas di Arte with opportunities to meet and converse with the artists, as well as receive lessons in painting. The exhibit is titled, “The Kingdom of The Netherlands: Union in Diversity,” and it will run through October 31st, 2010.
Artists from Holland, Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire will be showcased and the artwork focuses upon this new day and its significance for all on Bonaire. Participating artists are from outside Bonaire are Gustave Nouel of Aruba/Holland, Johannes Boekhoudt of Costa Rica/Bonaire, Elvis Tromp of Aruba, Edmond Tujeehut of Aruba, Frank Croes of Aruba, Wine Fransen of Holland, Ad Rooymans of Holland, Harald Vlugt of Holland, Yubi Kirindongo of Curacao, Ruben La Cruz of Curacao/Holland, and Karolien Helweg of Holland.
Local artists from Bonaire include Nochi Coffie, Henk Roozendaal, Frans Booi, Renate van der Bijl, Christel Cosijn, Sra. Verhoef, Manuela Winklaar, Jake Richter, and Sedney Marten.
Even KLM is getting in on the festivities by celebrating its long-standing relationship with the Antilles. This past Thursday, KLM celebrated its 91st anniversary, and, as is customary, they introduced a new Delftware house. This 91st house in the KLM collection will be the Dutch Antilles House in The Hague. In replicating the Dutch Antilles House, KLM hopes to reinforce its historically strong ties with the Dutch Caribbean as it was way back on December 15, 1934, when KLM operated its first transatlantic flight to Curaçao with the Fokker F-XVIII “Snip.” KLM has been dishing out Delftware houses on board since the 1950s. The houses are replicas of exceptional buildings in the Netherlands and the number of houses in the collection has corresponded with KLM’s age since 1994. A new house has been added to the collection each year thereafter on October 7th. The houses are presented to passengers traveling in World Business Class on intercontinental flights, and are considered collectibles by many on Bonaire.