ORANJESTAD – Diaranson atardi Minister Maduro tabata presente na e acto di despedida di sra Mary Agatha Simon miho conoci como Sayo pa hiba un discurso den cual ta brinda un ultimo respet y honor na un señora cu tabata un leyenda den Carnaval di Aruba y su Jouvert Morning.
Un persona hopi keri di San Nicolas a bay laga nos
Cu tabata gusta celebra su hacimento di aña den compania di su famia, amigo- y conocinan
Un hende di ‘union.’ Un leyenda di historia di Carnaval di Aruba.
Miss Mary Agatha Simon, better known as ‘Sayo’
The ‘godmother’ of The Village
We are gathered here today to say farewell to Miss Mary Agatha Simon ‘Sayo’. Mary was born in San Nicolas Aruba and as a young girl she worked at the Dutch Store for many years. Later she worked at the Wilhelmina school and then at the Health Department.
Mary gave birth to six children, and she raised many more, as her home was always open to those in need especially for the children. Sayo loved the Christmas period and her birthday. Those were the best times in Mary’s House. Family and friends would come from abroad and her home was a central location for all her friends and their families.
During the earlier years in The Village on Mary’s birthday band members would come to her house and tune up their pans and practice which would lead to an all-night party. It all started with the Trinis, the people of Trinidad who came here to work at the Lago refinery. As the years passed what started as a bram drew bigger crowds and it was Mary who suggested everyone take the music and all the people who were gathering at her gate to march throughout the village, she called it the ‘Jouvert Jam’.
The next year more people came prepared to beat their pots, whistles, and some real steel pans. They even had a trumpet player all in Mary’s yard. Before the light of morning came, they would march with the music throughout the village. Slowly but surely more people joined this celebration, and it became bigger, the people came in their ‘pijamas’ or shorts. The ’Jouvert Jam’ started in The Village and a few years after they got the permission to hit the road. This activity became popular among the locals and also the tourists joined and danced the early morning away. ‘Jouvert Morning’ became a permanent activity in the carnival calendar of Aruba.
Mary also had her own Carnival group, where she even included a ‘tourist section’ so the tourists could join and enjoyed the Aruban carnival. Furthermore Sayo created great opportunities for children to participate with carnival activities. In the year 2020, during Carnival 66, the Carnival organization SMAC, as a token of appreciation, dedicated the Jouvert to Miss Mary and recognized her as the initiator of this big carnival celebration in San Nicolas.
While we mourn the loss of Miss Mary, we pay tribute and celebrate a life that was well lived. Not many leave behind a legacy of such dedication. On behalf of the Government of Aruba, I extend our heartfelt condolences to her children Norman, Bienvenido, Wendell, Dean and Donny, Reneil and Algenis, her grandchildren Dean Simon Jr and Chevin Mikey, all family and friends of Miss Mary. We wish you courage and strength to bear this irreparable loss. May God comfort you in these difficult times. Miss Mary ‘Sayo’ rest in peace in the Kingdom of God.