Burgemeester Ontvangst gasten Sint Maartensberaad

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, Stadskantoor, 20 september 2018

Distinguished guests from all over Europe, zuster Versteegh (Augustinessen), Maarten van Deventer, Kasper Driehuijs,

Dear guests, welcome to the Netherlands, welcome to the heart of the Netherlands, the very heart, the City of Utrecht.

A beautiful Saint Martin city... During your stay - walking or biking - you will definitely come across Saint Martin. Saint Martin is an important figure and symbol for Utrecht's history, present (and future). In the week before November 11th, more than fifty activities will be organised all over Utrecht. Many organizations are involved. Thousands of people join the Saint Martin's procession - really a highlight for Utrecht. And for its Mayor as well.

To Utrecht it is a real honour to be part of the European network of Saint Martin cities and to host the annual meeting and conference. This year's theme, Shared Citizenship, fits my city like a glove. Utrecht is a city where everyone is welcome and should feel at home. A city that leaves no one behind. Utrecht is a city we share together. During your stay, you will experience that. For instance I understand you will have dinner at Utrecht families. I can assure you: there will be enough to share at the table.

And there is something I want to share with you. I'll introduce you to Maarten van Deventer. Indeed: Maarten (Martin in English). Maarten is son of Chris van Deventer. You probably knew Chris. Chris was known in Utrecht as the Martinusman. For a reason: with a group of volunteers, he brought the Saint Martin tradition and celebration in Utrecht back to life. Thanks to him, Utrecht joined the network of European Saint Martin cities. Chris truly was 'the apostle of Saint Martin'.

Chris passed away two years ago. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to complete the restoration of a tapestry of Saint Martin. A beautiful tapestry, from the monastery of the Zusters Augustinessen in Hilversum. Maarten continued and completed the restoration job of his father. In a moment I'll assist to unveil this tapestry - a quite emotional thing to do - and Maarten will inform us about the restoration of the tapestry.

But for now, thanks again for coming, and have a good and pleasant stay in Utrecht. Be blessed and consider yourself a shared guest and citizen of Utrecht.

Uw mening