A bust of Charles Eugene de la Croix, Marquis de Castries, that was relocated from the Constitution Park in 2014 to make way for the Sir John Compton Monument was unveiled in George V Park, Castries, on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.
During the unveiling ceremony t-he French Ambassador to the OECS, H.E. Eric de La Moussaye expressed his pleasure at the choice of placement and the long-lasting relationship between the Government and people of France and Saint Lucia.“The choice of this spot is very symbolic: France, by choosing this spot and Saint Lucia by agreeing to it, shows once again that our friendship is alive and well. The historical monuments and statues of great men of history, such as the one we celebrate today, exist as testament to this friendship,” Moussaye said.The Ambassador also spoke of the significance of the bust and the involvement of the Marquis of Castries in shaping the friendship between France and Saint Lucia.
“When Charles Eugene de La Croix arrived in the Caribbean for the first time in 1756, he was part of the expeditionary corps which the French had sent into the region to contest control of the Antilles by the English. As admiral and commander, he very quickly understood Saint Lucia, with its central position, its rich land and its exceptionally safe and deep habour was of significant importance. From then on, he did everything to ensure it remained a French territory,” he said.
In his remarks at the unveiling ceremony, Prime Minister, Hon. Dr. Kenny D. Anthony spoke of the “long-knitted relationship” between France and Saint Lucia and the significance of the bust. According to Dr. Anthony, “Today’s ceremony is representative of another one of many threads in the long-knitted relationship between Saint Lucia and France.
“Undeniably, France has been the nation most heavily involved in the early settlement and formation of Saint Lucia; for while the British were about capitalising Saint Lucia’s military value for their eighteenth and nineteenth century stratagems, the French were keen on establishing settlements and estates, building roads and raising families and constructing a society in their colonial image.
“And thus, the names of most of our settlements are influenced by the notions of these early French settlers and inhabitants.”
The ceremony, which was jointly hosted by the Government of Saint Lucia and the Embassy of France to the OECS, was attended by Her Excellency, the Governor General of Saint Lucia and other dignitaries.