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Printed in The Daily Herald, Thu 27-Feb-2003

Brookson announces charter from Holland to St. Maarten

THE HAGUE--Deputy Mininister Plenipotentiary Henri Brookson announced a direct charter flight from Holland to St. Maarten as he officially opened the flower exhibition "Tuinexpo Salland" in Luttenberg/Raalte, located in the province of Overijssel in Holland.

This floral show, initiated by Brookson in 1985 and held every two years, is one of the major events on gardening in the eastern part of the Netherlands. At the exhibition gardeners display designs of gardens and the visitors can see the newest trends offered in this area, from garden furniture to fountains, statues, fertilizers and tools.

In his speech Brookson mentioned the fact that in earlier days, ancestors of the Dutch, on their various trips abroad, had brought back many species of exotic flowers and plants to Holland. One example is the tulip. They did everything within their means to make sure that these plants would grow in their cold country.

Today many people from all over the world have chosen the Netherlands as a place to live. "If you give them the same attention and treatment as we give to flowers and plants they will grow in a good manner. When you include people in your society and give them a feeling of belonging, they'll contribute their best to society," Brookson said.

At the end of his speech he presented the organisers of the exhibit two return tickets to St. Maarten with a two-week stay in Flamingo Resort, to be raffled among the visitors attending the event.

He also used the opportunity to promote the Windward Islands as a tourist destination and mentioned the fact that the first direct charter from Amsterdam to the Friendly Island would take place on April 20. A new company named AIRSXM is organizing this for the upcoming Carnival at the end of April.

Tuinexpo Salland was attended by 11,000 visitors this year.

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