Jewelry Studio of Hans Meevis       

Jewelry Designer of fine custom
art jewelry


 Celebration Time

Many milestones to celebrate and CELEBRATE we did! Actually the last two weeks, with public Holidays thrown in, have been phenomenal. We celebrated being together for twenty magical years. And we celebrated our 5th year in our Studio in Simpson Bay. An amazing place, that channels our love and creative energy into our jewelry creations. There was a Birthday to celebrate. And finally a big event, that has been in process for nearly three years.  Yes, Anne became a Dutch National.

And so was or trip to the States. We had loads of fun and interesting experiences. What bliss to be travelling on an open road…..3800 miles. Swallowing up those miles, as if they didn’t exist. And our overall mission was successful too. We loved Delray Beach in Florida, very quaint and somehow a reminder of the Simpson Bay village feel. Now we have to tackle the mountain of paperwork and visa applications in the next 6 months.

Part of the celebrations was this gorgeous pendant doing double duty as a hairclip

Hans letting more artistic juices flow in these new creations.


A notable mention is this show stopper collier made on commission

A fittings toast to acquiring the Dutch Nationality took place at Holland House Hotel. Philipsburg is a charming place for having sundowner cocktails. The boardwalk made a big difference and added to the enjoyment for all. We had memorable celebration meals at Mario’s Bistro and also Three Palms Restaurant.

On the political front it seems like 10 October 2010, or the nice ringing 10-10-10 will be the date for the dismantling of the Netherlands Antilles. A lot of work still lies ahead, especially making changes to the regulating laws. Basically, what this means for St Maarten is that it will operate semi-autonomous with some supervision from The Netherlands. Pre-set goals and conditions are set out for the next five years. Thereafter the situation will be re-assessed based on performance. A very important aspect is that all the taxes generated in St Maarten will remain in St Maarten. The uneven distribution of taxes collected has been a thorn in St Maarten’s side for decades. The flip side is that St Maarten will be responsible for the cost of their own ministries and other government services like police and health care etc. This is proving to be rather difficult, as the 2010 budget has still not been balanced nor approved.

Being a small island, any political “change” brings new challenges to the delicate balance between the French and Dutch side. The other day muscles were flexed about the “correct” border division at Oyster Pond. Two interesting articles appeared in The Daily Herald, which in essence has the French side claiming border rights in the pond placing Captain Oliver’s Restaurant and Marina on the French side. Yet the restaurant has legally been operating as a Dutch Entity on Dutch Territory for many years.

Strange, how we’ve had a similar issue in Kasane, Botswana, whilst living there.  The Botswana / Namibia dispute took several years to resolve. Sedudu is an island about 5 square kilometer situated in the flood plains of the Chobe River. It’s covered by water for part of the year and can only be used as grazing for cattle.  Eventually the International Court for Justice in The Hague ruled in favour of Botswana.

Photo from Flickr ( in the foreground and buffalo in the back on Sedudu Island. The southern part of the Chobe channel is situated in front of the ridge. The northern part of the Chobe channel (from where this photo was taken) was deemed by the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be the main channel, thereby awarding Sedudu Island to Botswana.  Botswana and Namibia reached a gentleman’s agreement of free passage on the waterways surrounding Sedudu Island. Follow the link for the full history

It will be interesting to see how both the French and Dutch side will find an agreeable solution. Many properties in St Maarten / St Martin suffer from outdated Kadaster planning / zoning / deeds. Seemingly that is exactly what is holding up re-investment and development of old La Belle Creole Property (before Sandy Ground).  According to reports in the Daily Herald the French Administration made changes to an incorrectly issued deed, which enables the new investors to go ahead with the development. The project is slated to start in January 2011. This is the first major investment into the French side in many years. 

Another ruling which might be of interest to American Nationals, owning property in St Maarten, is that the Court of First Instance ruled that American are entitled to equal treatment as is afforded to Dutch Nationals citing the Dutch-American Friendship Treaty. That should make it a lot easier to stay for extended periods although residence permits will still be a requirement / formality.

On a lighter side of the law. This article appeared in The Daily Herald.

Moving on to the cultural events. Dance Theatre of St Maarten produced a captivating musical – The Wizard of Oz.  The Director and Choreographer Susha Hien and her team, had four short months since forming the new dance school, to put this musical together. Every one danced with such joy and enthusiasm. The set design was spectacular.  You should’ve seen the costumes and head-dress designs. The audience was enthralled. Don’t you think these Munchkins are too adorable?

                       The Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz: Photo by Pete’s Photo

Landscaping the studio garden is moving forward at a rapid pace. We spoke to the contractors, who indicated that the lengthening of the runway has to be completed by November this year. The road will be re-routed sooner but utilities have to be moved first. It will cause quite a disturbance in front of our studio. We do apologize for the inconvenience in advance. Once the road is in place the second phase of working on the runway will kick in. Work will be done at night. Plans to change the beginning of the runway and “access restriction” at the world famous landing strip are on the cards. So, for those aircraft enthusiasts and fence thrill-seekers it is a must stop on your next trip. These pictures were taken today showing the progress on the runway extension.

New road approach to our Studio
The Airport Boulevard should be renamed the Simpson Bay Scenic Route
View over our landscaped garden

All in all things are pretty groovy in St Maarten. Weather is hot, hot. We can’t wait for the 5 turtle nests on Simpson Bay beach to hatch.   

Until next time.
Best wishes from

Hans and Anne

Other News Links:

Newsletter : Compliments of the Season
Newsletter : Holidays are here


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Airport Boulevard #65, Simpson Bay, Sint Maarten,  Netherlands Antilles
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