The Governor’s NEW YEAR’s reception, set the tone for a sober and serious leadership style

Last week, the Governor’s traditional cocktail reception in honor of the new year was modest in size and in culinary offerings.  Unfolding at the Hyatt Regency ballroom, the elegant room was nicely lit but understatedly decorated, no dramatic laser beams, no state of the art audio-visuals; it looked like a friendly gathering of people, with enough illumination so they could see each other and with barely-there background music so they could hear each other, and just talk.

It was unusual in the age of electronic innovations: A cocktail reception supporting and encouraging conversations.

Having been personally greeted at the door by the Governor and his gracious wife, I did the rounds, and met a ton of interesting people!

The Governor of Aruba, His Excellency Alfonso Boekhoudtin office since the beginning of 2017, reviewed some of the events of the year as he addressed his guests, and asked them, and the people of this island to go back to basics, help their neighbors, be available for charity organizations, find happiness in people, not things, and return to the ancestral values which made Aruba such a great island.

His Excellency asked every single person in the room to become a role model, starting with his own office, staging a restrained New Year’s reception with some wine and beer, no hard liquor, in solidarity with GOA’s financial challenges.

When reviewing the events of the year His Excellency lingered longer on the unfortunate fate met by two young brothers recently, and called for social reforms and immediate action in cases of suspected child neglect or abuse.

The main point of his address, I thought, was an anti-materialistic pitch in favor of spiritual and emotional growth, and in pursuit of intellectual and cultural values.

I noticed 3 or 4 press members, no social media, no crazy photographers. On my way out the door, the ever courteous and cultured Director of Cabinet suggested snapping a picture with his phone, we even posed for a selfie, the pictures are tremendous, and a nice souvenir from a genuinely-enjoyed event, without an ounce of hoopla or hype.

I greeted four lovely young ladies, who graced the reception with their presence, the Governor’s daughters. We can be very proud of our First Family!


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January 11, 2018
Rona Coster