St Lucia names causeway in honour of Moses Matalon

Sandals Chairman Gordon Butch Stewart stands next to the sign renaming the Pigeon Island Causeway in Saint Lucia.

Sandals Chairman Gordon Butch Stewart stands next to the sign renaming the Pigeon Island Causeway in Saint Lucia.

The St Lucia government has named one of its major infrastructural works in honour of the man who engineered it, the late Jamaican Moses Matalon.

The Pigeon Island causeway, described as an engineering masterpiece that reclaimed acres of land to form a calm and picturesque bay, has been renamed the Moses Matalon Causeway.

It links the mainland of St Lucia to its old colonial fort.

The sign was erected recently with the involvement of Sandals Resorts International.

“The prime minister of St Lucia told me about the plans and asked that Sandals, if possible, do the signage. It was a pleasure,” Sandals Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart said.

“I am indeed proud to see the astounding contribution of a remarkable son of Jamaica on St Lucia’s development. His work has created one of the calmest and most beautiful bays in the country and has transformed the entire area. Moses Matalon was clearly a man of extraordinary vision,” said Stewart, who is also chairman of this newspaper.

He said that the engineering work Matalon did created more than 125 acres, which now houses one of the most successful hotels in the Caribbean, Sandals Grande St Lucia.

In 1970, St Lucia’s premier at the time, Sir John Compton, saw tourism as a viable replacement for agriculture as the island’s economic mainstay. But to encourage more tourists to flock the island, Compton recognised the need for more conveniences to buttress the burgeoning industry.

With Matalon’s help, the swamp lands of the Gros Islet town in the island’s north were drudged to create what is now the Rodney Bay Marina, stamping St Lucia’s authority on the regional yachting stage.

In addition to the marina and the causeway, Matalon’s footprint on St Lucia can also be vividly seen in the heart of its capital, Castries, where he piloted the reclaiming of lands to shore up the country’s main sea ports, which now accommodate cargo and cruise vessels.

“Lady Compton was really excited about the road,” Stewart shared. “It’s something she had wanted to see done for many years.”

-The Jamaica Observer


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3 Responses to St Lucia names causeway in honour of Moses Matalon

  1. Mervyn Lionel says:

    Was that the decision of the SLP…Did Matalon leave an inheritance in his will for Saint Lucia, or has the family donated a large sum to increase the money supply and invigorate the Saint Lucia’s national economic development? The man was paid millions to complete the projects, naming him in national documents is enough as far as conferring great national honour on him. There are lots of bigger projects in Jamaica that were engineered by him…has the Jamaican government invested him with honour that is so highly? I am fed up with my island making itself seem like the tail and a subservient underdog in the international community merely to attract favours from foreigners. There are too many preeminent Saint Lucians dead and alive who deserve to have national infrastructures named after them. I am not talking about Derek Walcott because Saint Lucia is not a Motherland of a single famous person, plus he already has a number of things and places named after him. Maybe we don’t highlight and market our people’s achievements remarkably and ongoingly, why Saint Lucians don’t know them as such and deserving high recognition than they have been given. But there have been and still are many stellar Saint Lucian achievers about.

  2. Lucian To The Bone says:

    Which country ever names an important structure after an Engineer? Only in St-Lucia. Did Matalon, donate the causeway? No. Did Matalon construct the causeway for free? No. Did Matalon hire any St-Lucian to work on this causeway? No. Is the average St-Lucian gaining or have gained anything as a result of this causeway more than they would have if Pigeon Island had remained the enchanting isle that it was? No. I can understand, if Matalon had donated an additional wing to a hospital, donated a school etc. etc. If we really need to name an important structure after a foreigner why not name the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School after the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau who donated the school.

  3. Our greatness is every where. The Panama Canal, The Chunnel, The Retired Space Shuttles, The JFK Airport Mono Rail System, I mean I the list goes on and on

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