Known as the "father of the Aruban nation", Gilberto Francois, "Betico", Croes is a very influential figure to the history of the island. Born on January 25, 1938, Croes was raised on Aruban ground. At the beginning of his career, he was a school teacher, and would take that knowledge to later become a major political activist and leader. His biggest accomplishment was taking the crucial role in obtaining the "Status Aparte" (separate status) for Aruba within the Dutch Kingdom. After that was passed in 1986, Aruba could then become self governed and free. Unfortunately, in December of 1985, Croes would fall into a coma due to a tragic accident and die the following year on November 26, 1986, meaning he never physically got to see his great victory for the country. However, the Aruban people are grateful for the work he did, and his birthday would eventually become a holiday across the island. This is why on Thursday January 25th, there will be no school for students. We will all pay tribute to the amazing, determined man that Betico Croes was. There are many events on the island that celebrate this day, such as food festivals, sporting events and games, and folkloric shows. As he once said, "Si mi cai na caminda, gara e bandera y sigui cu e lucha" (If I die in the field, grab the flag and continue the battle).