September 10, 2008 - #94
Neighborhood Fairs and SB JAM Musik Festival
In St. Barth, summer is traditionally a time for local festivities. Every neighborhood has one, from Anse des Cayes to Flamands/Colombier, Lorient, Gustavia, and Corossol—in a celebration of Saint Louis.
Held on weekend in July and August, these fêtes often begin with a mass and benediction of the village or the sea, followed by tournaments of dominos and cards, plus games on the beach, fishing, and traditional wooden boat races, to conclude in the evening with dancing to live music. Lunch and dinner feature local specialties, with a bar to quench your thirst under the hot sun. For the third year running, the non-profit organization, SB Jam, organized a Caribbean music festival on the dock in Gustavia. The volunteer organizers of the event, led by Jackson Questel, president of SB Jam, succeeded in presenting a high-quality roster of bands, many of international renown. There were three evening of free concerts, thanks to support from the Collectivity of Saint Barth, and other partners who made the event possible. The first night, August 14 was rained out, but Kali, a leading musician from Martinique, moved to the shelter of the Select, so his fans were not disappointed. The next evening the weather was more cooperative and the crowd danced to the music of Marce and Toum Pack followed by Panik with Jeff Joseph, Panol, and Thierry Cham. The closing concert on Saturday evening features the zouk group, Flam, with special guests Paola, Luc Leandry, and Franky Vincent, followed by the triumphal arrival on stage by Tabou Combo, the kings of kompas from Haiti. The event closed on Sunday with a musical interlude and cocktail at noon, with a steel band from St. Martin.
Fête de St. Barthélemy: Brigitte Girardin Honorary Citizen
On August 24, the feast day for St. Barthélemy, activities began by placing a wreath at the war memorial. Then the island’s elected officials and guests moved on to the “hôtel de la collectivité” to listen to a speech by Bruno Magras, president of the island council, followed by the presentation of medals to “honorary citizens” Brigitte Girardin, who served as the French Overseas Minister from 2002 through 2005 Brigitte Girardin and Stéphane Diémert, a government jurist. They were honored for their roles in the recent political evolution of Saint Barth. Brigitte Girardin was the minister who worked actively on the project, with the aid of Stéphane Diémert for the editing of the various texts; he also presented the project to the president of the republic and the French parliament. The morning concluded with vice-president Yves Gréaux presenting diplomas to the island students who successfully passed their high school or college exams.
Inauguration Of The Evangelical Church
A new religious facility opened in St Barth on August 29: the Evangelical Church on Rue Schoelcher in Gustavia. Under construction for the past year, the church (also called the Viens et Vois house of prayer) was inaugurated with a 6pm service attended by Bruno Magras, as well as the island’s Anglican Reverend, Charles Vere Nicoll, and guests from the evangelical community in Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and Florida. This church is the fifth on the island, counting the two Catholic churches— Gustavia and Lorient—the chapel in Colombier, and the Anglican Church in Gustavia. After a visit in the early 90s by a French evangelical pastor, the island’s evangelical community was formed in 1994 as a non-profit organization. Entirely financed by its hundred or so members, the building of the church was became a goal in 1997, when Iris Romney was ordained as a pastor. Until the opening of the new building, the group met in the conference room at the St. Barth Beach Hotel, and after it closed, they moved to a room in St. Jean. The inaugural service was followed on the weekend of August 30 & 31 by a conference on the theme “more firepower, more anointing, more glory! ».
More to come