Saba: History and Political System
The first residents of the island were the Caribs, who settled there
around 700 AD. They lived in village communities and lived from fishing and
Christopher Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage on
November 13, 1493, but did not land there because of the rocky coast, and took
possession of it for the Spanish Crown.
1632 a group of shipwrecked English landed on Saba. When they were
rescued, they reported that the island was uninhabited. However, some artifacts
have been found that indicate that Caribs or Arawak Indians may have inhabited
the island during this period.
1635 a French claimed Saba for Louis XIII of France and around 1640 the
Dutch governor of the neighboring island of St. Eustatius sent settlers to Saba
to colonize them, but four years later they were expelled by the Englishman
Thomas Morgan. However, over the centuries, ownership of the island changed
frequently between the Netherlands, Spain, Great Britain and France.
From 1816 the Netherlands finally took possession of Saba.
17th and 18th centuries
In the 17th and 18th centuries, sugar, rum and later fishing were the
island's main source of income. In the 17th century England deported
"undesirable persons" to the Caribbean colonies, many of whom became
pirates. One of the island's famous pirates was Hiram Beakes. It is believed
that Saba was the headquarters of the Jamaican pirates during this period.
Later sea trade became an important source of income and many of the men went to
sea, during which time hand-made lace made by the island's women became an
The first paved road was not built until 1938 and in 1947 the first
motor vehicle came to the island
Saba became an island area of the founded autonomous state of the
Netherlands Antilles in 1954
1959, 1960 and 1963
The first aircraft landed in a breakneck maneuver on a makeshift runway
in 1959, pilot Remy de Haenen proved that it was possible to land an aircraft on
the island. As a result, the construction of an airport began in 1960, which was
completed in 1963.
1970, 1972 and 1976 In
1970 the island was fully supplied with electricity for the first time,
the port was expanded in 1972 and a private medical university was founded 14
At the request of the people of Saba, the representatives of the
Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles decided on December 15 to dissolve the
National Association of the Netherlands Antilles with effect from October 10,
2010. Since that day Saba has been a “special municipality” in the
Netherlands. From 2011, the Netherlands Antilles guilder was replaced by the US
dollar as the official currency.
Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten form - since the dissolution of the
Netherlands Antilles on October 10, 2010 - together with the "Netherlands in
Europe" the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The "Netherlands in Europe" also includes the islands of Bonaire, Sint Estatius
and Saba in the Caribbean - as so-called "special
municipalities". Therefore, the Queen or the King of the Netherlands is the head
of state of Sheba.
The hymn of Saba was written and composed by Christina Maria Jeurissen or
Sister Waltruda from the Order of Dominican Nuns in 1960
- Saba, you rise from the ocean,
with mountain and hillside so steep,
How can we reach you to greet you,
Isle of the sea, rough and deep.
Come, let us look at the rowers
with faces so placid and calm,
Guide us now safe through the breakers,
take us ashore without harm.
Saba, Oh Jewel most precious,
In the Caribbean sea.
Mem'ries will stay of thy beauty,
Though we may roam far from thee.
- Saba, oh pearl of the ocean,
Friendly and lovely, though small,
Do not forget to be grateful,
To God the creator of all.
He in his goodness will guide you
and bless you in every part,
Making you always most precious
Saba, so dear to my heart.
Saba, Oh jewel most precious,
In the Caribbean Sea.
Mem'ries will stay of thy beauty,
Though we may roam far from thee