The Presentation of Credentials by His Excellency Jeroen W. De Graaf, Ambassador-designate for the Kingdom of the Netherlands to The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago was held on October 17, 2014 at the Office of His Excellency the President.
His Excellency Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, O.R.T.T., S.C. the President of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago hosted His Excellency Jeroen W. De Graaf, Ambassador for the Kingdom of the Netherlands to The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. At the start of this meeting the Ambassador presented his letters of Credence to the President. Accompanying the Ambassador was his wife Mrs Saskla J. Zwartjes, his son Mr. Lennard Frederick De Graff and his daughter Ms. Mirthe Madeleine De Graaf.
As is customary since his assumption to office, His Excellency invited fifteen (15) students from various secondary schools in The Republic Trinidad and Tobago to witness and participate in the process. This initiative allowed for interaction among the students, their Excellencies, the President and the Ambassador. The occasion also afforded their Excellencies the opportunity to give encouraging words of advice to the students.
His Excellency, The President explained to Ambassador De Graaf that the presence of the students was to demonstrate that life is filled with infinite possibilities and he once sat where the students are with no idea that he would be sitting where he is today. All that is necessary to accomplish the goals one sets for oneself is hard work and the burning of the proverbial “midnight oil”.
The President further stated that The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago has enjoyed a warm relationship with the Kingdom of the Netherlands for many years. He then offered the students the opportunity to ask questions to him or the Ambassador.
Students asked a range of questions. Questions range from strategies regarding the control of the Ebola virus implemented in Holland that can be adopted in Trinidad and Tobago to opportunities to study in Holland and the existence of financial aid. Her Excellency Mrs Saskla J. Zwartjes also address the students on life in Holland and the ease with which one can travel to the neighbouring countries and they were all connected by trains or buses.
Through their exposure to Diplomatic Ceremonies His Excellency, the President hopes to form a connection with the youth of the Republic. It is his belief that they will gain an appreciation for the mechanics of International Relations, Protocol and Diplomacy thereby encouraging them to realize their fullest potential.
His Excellency Ambassador Jeroen W. De Graaf commended The President on his initiative and stated that it was unprecedented internationally and that he had never experienced such an earnest interest in demonstrating to young people the opportunities available to them.
The students and schools in attendance were:
|Aaron Ali-Khan||Hillview College|
|Amrita Dass||St Joseph Convent – St Joseph|
|K’Areece Rogers||St Joseph Convent – St Joseph|
|Raven Long||Holy Faith Convent – Penal|
|Cheyenne Lee||Holy Faith Convent – Penal|
|Kiara Carrbry||Holy Faith Convent – Penal|
|Anthony Parris||Bon Air High School|
|Andrew Parris||Bon Air High School|
|Nyeil Ali||Trinity College – Moka|
|Phillip Joseph||Trinity College – Moka|
|Kyle London||Trinity College – Moka|
|Collin Dillon||Mason Hall Secondary|
|Crystal Sandy||Mason Hall Secondary|
|Nekerlon Nedd||Harmon School of Seventh Day Adventist|
|Uwani Fletcher||Harmon School of Seventh Day Adventist|