April 1st- 1983 — April 1st – 2013
On April 1st 1983 Saba was granted the status of Island Territory. This brought about representation in the Parliament of the Netherlands Antilles, first as a Spokesman and then effective January 1st, 1986 a full fledged Senator and a State Secretary in the Council of Ministers. These positions were hard fought for and brought about a change in our dealings with the Federal Government as well as opened up the possibility to deal directly with the Netherlands for projects.
After the disintegration of the Netherlands Antilles, Saba had no other choice than to remain in the Dutch Kingdom. In another two years a referendum will probably be held to make a definite choice for a new status. I will not burden my party or the Sabans living abroad with my choice. For me it will be a vote for independence. Like the Saba of former times, with Independence you will have to either fish or cut bait, but you will not be going on a cruise to relax. Saba has enough infrastructure now to be independent and for me that is the only way to go. Shake off the unwanted ballast. Who wants to remain and work hard are quite welcome. If the vote for independence does not have enough support then I think the complainers will have to put up and shut up. Anyway I thought to remind people that in the past thirty years that we had a mostly autonomous position in the Netherlands Antilles and in the Kingdom, mostly through neglect by the two aforementioned entities, but as for Saba itself we achieved a lot during those years and established good relationships in the region. We have had to cope with many hurricanes during those thirty years but thank God no loss of life and we were able to pull up our sleeves, go to work and get the island back on her feet after each hurricane. We were able to lay solid foundations for a good economy and employment for all, in all these years. Saba has been greatly blessed and we look with confidence to a more independent future for our people. Amen. Saba’s National Territory will include all that you see in this map, including the Saba Bank. Powerful neighbours as well. In the North Great Britain and France, to the West the United States and in the South Venezuela. Percy will be called on to blow the conch shell to herald in the independence and a call for one and all to either fish or cut bait or to hit the road.CIAO.