Dutch Community Marks King’s Day

Ambassador Ron Strikker speaking at the event while Hajia Alima Mahama looks on

THE DUTCH Community in Ghana on Thursday converged at the Netherlands Embassy in Accra to celebrate the 50th King’s Day.

King’s Day is a national holiday in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The ‘orange’ event brought together members of the diplomatic corps, a high powered Ghanaian Government delegation led by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hajia Alima Mahama, and Members of Parliament (MP).

Celebrated on 27 April (26 April if the 27th is a Sunday), the date marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

This year, DAILY GUIDE gathered that the king invited about 150 persons – whose birthdays fall on his birthday – to his palace to celebrate with him.

Up until 2013, when Queen Beatrix abdicated and was succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander, the holiday was known as ‘Koninginnedag’ (Dutch pronunciation).

When her son, Willem-Alexander, ascended the throne (the first king since the observance of the national holiday) the holiday became known as Koningsdag from 2014 on, and the celebration was shifted three days back to 27 April, the King’s birthday.

In a welcome address at the Accra celebration, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Ghana, Ron Strikker, extended a warm birthday greeting to King Willem-Alexander on behalf of the Dutch Community in Ghana and pray that God grants him strength to continue to lead his people.

Ambassador Strikker spoke at length about the beauty and tradition of the King’s Day celebration, noting that this year’s edition is a special one as it marks the golden jubilee of King Willem-Alexander’s existence.

In that regard, he said, the Dutch community in Ghana led by his very self was organizing what he called the ‘Orange Week’ to highlight the importance of the King’s Day celebration.

He noted that the King’s Day was a day of unity, a day on which the Dutch celebrated not just their King but their nation at large.

Turning his attention to the bilateral relationship between Ghana and Netherlands, the Ambassador observed that the Dutch government shall continue to invest in Ghana, saying in 2016, total Dutch investments in the country was 1.6 billion euros.

On behalf of President Akufo-Addo and the people of Ghana, Ms. Mahama extended a warm felicitation to the Dutch King, wishing him well on his birthday.

She thanked the Dutch Government for the many supports it had rendered to Ghana over the years, especially in the area of education in which she herself had been fortunate enough to pursue her Masters Degree in the Netherlands on a scholarship package from the Dutch government.

BY Melvin Tarlue