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By Cécile Lucot
    Cécile Lucot has lived in St. Barths for ten years. Originally from Bordeaux, this professional journalist was the editor-in-chief of St. Barth Magazine for six years. She then participated in the daily local mini-newspaper "Today" and writes regularly for regional magazines. Once or twice a month, she presents a recap of local news on St. Barths Online.
  December 19, 2005 - #53
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   Miss Caribbean Hibiscus 2006
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The 15th edition of the Miss Caribbean Hibiscus competition was held on Saturday, December 3, 2005 at the Casino Royale in Sint Maarten. At the end of a great show, the jury awarded the title to Fiorella Flores, the current Miss Peru, who takes the place of Liesel Holler Sotomayor, a former Miss Peru, who was elected Miss Caribbean Hibiscus 2005. Flores was crowned Nathalie Glebova from Canada, who was elected Miss Universe in June 2005 in Bangkok. The 20 contenders for the 2006 title, accompanied by Miss Caribbean Hibiscus 2005, spent the day of Wednesday, November 30 in Saint Barth. They arrived on the Rapid Explorer ferry early in the morning, did some shopping in Gustavia, and visited City Hall where they were awaited by the mayor and assistant mayor, Henri Louis. After a short welcoming speech, the mayor offered each of the young women a gift bag with products from the Ligne de St-Barth. The traditional photograph of the local officials surrounded by the candidates was taken on the terrace after a champagne toast. The young women then went to the Rivage for lunch before taking a tour of the island, then catching the late afternoon boat back to Saint Martin. Patrick Eugène, the event organizer, expressed his disappointment that Saint Barth hasn’t had a candidate since 2002, when the first Miss Saint Barth was elected during a memorable evening on the main dock in Gustavia. Hopefully this will be rectified. According to inside sources, a Miss Saint Barth will compete in 2006.

   Awards ceremony for the Lions Club international Posters for Peace contest and launch of Sight First 2 campaign
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On Friday, December 9, before a standing room crowd, Michel Questel, president of the Lions Club for 2005/2006, kicked off the Lions Club Posters for Peace awards ceremony with a speech in which he reminded everyone the significance of the name of the club: Liberty Intelligence Our Nation Safety. He mentioned that Melvin Jones founded the Lions Club in 1917 with the motto “we serve.” Today this service club has 1,400,000 members and 44,000 clubs on five different continents. Questel introduced Jean-Yves Robert, a former governor of the Antilles Guyane district and coordinator of the Sight First 2 campaign to combat blindness in the Northern Islands. He explained that the goal of International Lions Club Foundation is to the eradication of avoidable blindness. In 1994, an initial Sight First project totaled $143 million distributed in 88 countries, allowing six million people to have cataract operations and for 60 million people in Africa and South America to receive treatments. Faced with growing needs, the Lions decided to launch a second campaign, Sight First 2, that began officially in July 2005 in Hong Kong during the club’s international convention, and will close on June 30, 2008. The goal is to raise a minimum of $150 million. Jean-Yves Robert appealed to the generosity of the population before announcing that certain individuals would be honored for their efforts on behalf of the Lions Club. First, painter Jean-Pierre Ballagny was honored for his work and his commitment. Christian Lédée, principal of the junior high school, and Sully Magras, the second president of the Saint Barth Lions Club, each received a plaque as representatives of the local firemen’s association, for ongoing logistical support that allows the Lions Club to use the fire station for various actions (donating of blood, collecting of clothing, etc). The final plaque was presented to the mayor as the legal representative of the population as a means of thanking the residents of Saint Barth who have been, one way or another, participating in the Lions Club’s activities for the past 24 years. Jean-Pierre Ballagny took the microphone in order to announce the name of the winner of the international poster contest whose theme was Peace Without Borders. Of the 154 designs submitted by local students, 54 were selected to compete in the contest. Catherine Guizot, a student from the class “5-C”, created the pastel gouache that won first prize. It was accompanied by the message: “if everybody got along like in my drawing, there wouldn’t be any more wars or quarrels.” The poster went on to win first prize on the regional level as well and will be part of the international finals held during the Lions Club Day at the United Nations in New York City. The results should be known before February 1, 2006. In 2001, Delphin Tiberge, also a student from Mireille Choisy junior high school in Saint Barth, won first prize in the international competition in New York.

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  More to come
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  Cécile Lucot
  
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