St. Maarten/St. Martin

Author pens Lydia – From Heterosexual to Bisexual to Lesbian to God

Lydia, revealing new book by radio DJ Lydia G. Henderson.

GREAT BAY, St. Martin —Radio personality Lydia G. Henderson has joined the ranks of this Caribbean island’s authors with her new book, Lydia – From Heterosexual to Bisexual to Lesbian to God.

Released here this week by House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP), the autobiography tracks open and intimate aspects of Henderson’s life from childhood in the 1970s, to the present.

Along with her 10 brothers and sisters, Lydia was reared by her parents in Guyana and Suriname. “I moved to St. Martin in 1993, and later lived in the USA and the Netherlands, where I had some unbelievable experiences,” said Henderson.

Some of those “experiences” took place in the sexual underbelly of places where the author had lived and are recounted in Lydia. Readers will find “from the shocking, sultry, to what the author believes was her turning point to salvation,” according to HNP.

Lydia is HNP’s second autobiography in little over one year but the one with the most explicit content.

“This is an adult subject book. Adults who buy Lydia or have it in the home should keep it out of the reach of children and generally away from readers under 18 years of age,” according to the publisher.

Ironically, it is exactly as a child that we first find the author in a compromising situation with one of her “mother’s friends” who “had come by from church,” according to the first of the book’s 16 chapters.

“Amazement and disbelief at what happens so close to us and to our children …” is how prominent businessman Neil Henderson characterizes Lydia. He was one of the first readers of the manuscript that eventually became the published book.

Lydia – From Heterosexual to Bisexual to Lesbian to God is available at Van Dorp bookstores and through the publisher

Caption: Lydia, revealing new book by radio DJ Lydia G. Henderson.

Debbie at University of New Orleans, Howard and Lasana at Yale University

Drisana “Debbie” Jack (L) with fellow poet Rene Violenus at the St. Martin Book Fair 2011. (CLF photo)

GREAT BAY, St. Martin —Skin by Drisana Deborah Jack is in the company of Caribbean greats at the University of New Orleans (UNO), said Jacqueline Sample, president of House of Nehesi Publishers (HNP).

The poetry collection by the St. Martin poet/artist is now required reading for “Modern Anglophone Caribbean Poetry.” The Fall 2011 course is taught by Prof. John Gery, an Ezra Pound scholar.

The English Dept. course includes books by Kamau Brathwaite, Lorna Goodison, Claude McKay, and Derek Walcott, all world-acclaimed authors. The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse, edited by Stewart Brown and Mark McWatt is also among the nine main texts that will be studied for the class, said Sample.

“This is another step in having the work of St. Martin writers recognized as part of the canon of Modern Caribbean literature; it’s gratifying to have another collection of poetry recognized this way,” said Jack after learning that Skin will be studied at UNO.

Skin, published here by HNP in 2006, is Jack’s second book used in a US university course.

Sir Howard Fergus

The students enrolled in the UNO course will study Caribbean poetry in English since 1900; look at the history, culture, politics, and languages of the region; interpret specific poems, and recognize significant themes, stated the course description.

“Last Spring another HNP book published in St. Martin was involved with a US university course,” said Sample.

Love Labor Liberation in Lasana Sekou by Howard A. Fergus was a curriculum support text for “Music and Narrative in the Hispanic Caribbean,” a 300-level Spanish course taught by Prof. Anibal Gonzalez-Perez at Yale University.

The selected bibliography that included the critical book about the St. Martin writer’s work was prepared for the Spring 2011 class by Lidia Uziel, Librarian for Western European Languages and Literature. Yale’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese has been ranked #1 in the USA by the National Research Council.

Dr. Fergus, the author of the book of literary criticism, hails from Montserrat.

The Yale University Library has also identified Love Labor Liberation as a book to study topics such as “Language and Literature” and “Criticism and interpretation” in the category of “Caribbean Area Civilization.”

Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams to address COGOP Regional Convention next week

WEYMOUTH HILLS, St. Maarten – Prime Minister of St. Maarten, the Hon. Sarah Wescott-Williams will be one of several high-level dignitaries scheduled to attend and address the Bi-Annual Regional Convention of the Church of God of Prophecy (COGOP) next week from July 21 to 24.

Victory Temple COGOP in Weymouth Hills will be the venue for this the most significant church gathering of the membership from across the Leeward Islands, Dominica, French Antilles, and Suriname.

Regional Overseer and Pastor of the Victory Temple COGOP, Bishop Michael Greenaway said they are looking forward to having the prime minister address the visiting delegates and also to be able to host such an important event on St. Maarten.


Bishop Michael Greenaway is the pastor of the host church Victory Temple and also the Regional Overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy Leeward Islands, French Antilles, Dominica and Suriname.

“The convention is held on various islands in our region every two years and so we are pleased that we now have a chance to host it here. This event also makes an impact on St. Maarten’s tourism-driven economy as delegates stay in hotels, rent vehicles and certainly shop while on island.”

Also expected to address the convention are the Executive Director of Global Outreach Ministries David Bryan and the incoming Caribbean General Presbyter Bishop Clayton Martin. . Other members of the present government are also expected to speak during the convention.

“It is a tremendous honor to have these officials in our midst so they can witness how the church work is growing locally and around the region,” Bishop Greenaway added. “Our theme this year is ‘pursuing the spirit for renewed vision and growth’ and this convention provides a chance for great fellowship but also to set the direction for the entire organization for the coming two years.”

Highlights of the convention include a ministers and spouses seminar on Friday morning at the Sonesta Great Bay Hotel, the leadership workshop on Saturday morning and the nightly services with power-packed worship and praise.

The convention will also be streamed live from their Facebook fan page at COGOP Leeward.


May-Ling Chun named Interim Dir of SXM Tourism, Labega moves to airport

PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten – St. Maarten Minister of Tourism Franklin Meyers has announced the appointment of May-Ling Chun (pictured) as the interim Director of Tourism, replacing Regina LaBega, who was appointed Managing Director of the Princess Juliana International Airport.

Ms. Chun brings 20 years of marketing and tourism experience to the position of Director of Tourism having served as regional manager for the St. Maarten Tourist Office in New York and director of operations at St. Maarten’s Oyster Bay Beach Resort.  She is currently owner and managing director of Innovative Marketing Creations, N.V. in St. Maarten.  Ms. Chun has been a member of the St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association (SHTA) for 11 years and currently is the association’s second vice president/director of marketing.

“May-Ling Chun brings extensive knowledge of the tourism industry as well as a creative marketing background to her role as interim director of tourism,” said Franklin Meyers, Minister of Tourism for St. Maarten.  “Ms. Chun’s vast experience in both the public and private sector of our tourism industry will be a valuable asset in bridging the gap and implementing a cohesive marketing strategy for St. Maarten.”

As the regional manager of the St. Maarten Tourist Office in New York, Ms. Chun was responsible for increasing market share from the U.S., overseeing sales efforts across the country, developing yearly marketing strategies, maintaining close relationships with tour operators, participating in tradeshows and sales calls, planning FAM trips for trade and media groups, implementing coop marketing programs and developing airlift programs.

Ms. Chun’s additional experience includes marketing and research services, development of business plans, educational and training programs, and hotel and timeshare resort management.

Ms. Chun holds a Master in Business Administration (MBA) degree with a focus on management and marketing from Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.  Ms. Chun earned her Bachelor in Professional Studies degree from New York Institute of Technology in New York where she majored in Hotel/Restaurant Management with a minor in business.

Regina LaBega’s move to Managing Director of Princess Juliana Airport comes after 12 years in the role as Director of Tourism for St. Maarten.  She leaves a department that has a successful track record of achievements under her direction over these years.

“We are very pleased that Ms. LaBega will now be heading up our airport as the aviation arena is key to our continued development and success for tourism to St. Maarten,” Minister Meyers said.

Designer Kaishah Peters shares on turning her grandmother’s crochet lessons into a business at YES Caribbean

Career Development Expert and Author Dr. Anita Davis-DeFoe, Fashion Designer Kaishah Peters, Filmmaker Felicia Bradford, Conference Host and Author Nerissa Golden and Dancer and Life Coach Susan Barnes at YES Caribbean, which was held on Montserrat May 25-28, 2011. (goldenmedia Montserrat photo)

LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Designer Kaishah Peters told up and coming entrepreneurs at YES Caribbean last week that she used to take her great grandmother’s crochet lessons for granted until she realized they were actually the path to her success in fashion. St. Maarten-born Peters was one of several entrepreneurs speaking at the four-day event hosted by goldenmedia Montserrat May 25-28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.

The designer, who specializes in crocheted fashions for both women and men, spoke to conference delegates and an international audience listening via the internet about the challenges of starting her business and how she is able to balance that with a full-time job and caring for her 11-year-old son. Continue reading