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Bust of Marquis de Castries to be unveiled at constitution park

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Contact: Darnley Lebourne


Thursday, November 12, 2009 – The long and close historic ties between the people of the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Lucia, will come into focus on Sunday, November 15, 2009, during a ceremony to be held at Constitution Park in the city of Castries. The official ceremony will be dedicated to the unveiling of a symbolic Bust of Charles Eugene Gabriel de la Croix – Marquis de Castries, who served as Minister of Marine Affairs and Colonies from 1780 to 1787.


The Marquis de Castries had quite an illustrious military career and was able to distinguish himself through seventeen battles which he fought. As a result of his exploits he was given charge of the King’s (Louis XIV) Cavalry and went on to occupy several important public posts. In 1780 he was appointed Minister of Marine Affairs and Colonies, which gave him jurisdiction over Saint Lucia.


Charles Eugene Gabriel de la Croix, otherwise known as Marquis de Castries played a key role during discussions which preceded the Treaty of Versailles in 1783, in ensuring that Saint Lucia remained a French colony. His advice was upheld by the French Courts in 1785, which ruled that the island remain under French control. His efforts were greatly appreciated by the French Colonist at the time who tabled a resolution asking for their capital, which was named La Carenage at the time, to be renamed in honor of the Marquis de Castries.


The ceremony will be attended by a number of dignitaries including Parliamentarians local and visiting French officials including Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Pearlette Louisy, French Ambassador for Saint Lucia and the OECS Member States, Her Excellency Michele Sauteraud, and Prime Minister Hon. Stephenson King. The Castries City Council will be represented by its Chairman Mr. Irvin John and other senior officials of the Council.

A major feature of the programme for the unveiling ceremony, will be a biography on the life of Charles Eugene Gabriel de la Croix – Marquis de Castries. Addresses will be delivered by Hon. Richard Frederick, Minister for Physical Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Local Government and the Environment and Parliamentary Representative for Castries Central, and Prime Minister Hon. Stephenson King. The unveiling of the bust will be undertaken by Prime Minister Stephenson King and the French Ambassador.


During the presence of French officials on the island for the unveiling ceremony, there will be talks geared at strengthening ties between the three islands and implementation of development projects within the municipality of Castries. This will especially involve discussions between the Mayors of the Martiniquan towns of Vauclin and Francois and Chairman of the Castries City Council.


The unveiling of the bust of the Marquis de Castries will serve as a reminder of the close historic and cultural ties, which have defined the relationship between the people of Saint Lucia and the French neighbouring islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

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