Speech by Mayor Peterson at the observance of the 70th anniversary of the Castries fire

Speech by Mayor Peterson at the observance of the 70th anniversary of the Castries fire
City Mayor Petterson Francis
City Mayor Petterson Francis


Monsignor – Patrick Anthony – Founding Director of the FRC

Miss Alison King – Chairperson of the St. Lucia National Trust

Dr. Gregor Williams – Historian

Witnesses to the Castries Fire

Specially Invited Guests

Members of the media


Today we remember the loss and grief experienced during the Castries fire 70 years ago.

Today we remember friends, and families affected by those flames 70 years ago.

Today we remember the devastation.

It is not that to only reflect on the journey that has occurred since, but to support each other now more than ever as we share our memories of that dreadful era.

We all have a story about that day.

Etched into our memories forever – one of those moments in life when we will always remember what we were doing, how we were feeling, how abnormal, almost unreal the day was.

Anyone in Castries on that day will remember.

Many remember the stink in the air, the darkness that descended on our town, the sounds that came with the fire and the silence that followed.

While we recall easily those terrifying remembrances, we also remember the incredible stories of bravery, extraordinary acts of kindness and the genuine togetherness of a community that cared deeply about each other.

If we could have come together 70 years ago, today should be no different.

The desire to help our friends, our neighbors and strangers, to help our community and to help our city heal and rebuild.

The overwhelming community response will be the lasting legacy of that time in our city’s history.

And as we come together to commemorate this day, today is only the beginning of our recovery.

For it is not just a recovery from the Castries Fire, but from underdevelopment that continue to burn and threaten this city.

These past few months have undoubtedly been difficult dealing with many fires, not just from 1948.

Many fires, may I add.

Fires which currently exists are that of misinformation, lack of vision, obstruction of development and growth further to littering, urinating, criminal activities, loitering and a lot more.

All these are fires burning and threatening this city, Castries.

However, our drive is to build a better city and we need you to join hands with us on this journey. To deliver accelerated and sustainable development, no matter what.

The plan and vision to change this city continues with much vigor in order to serve you best.

As in everything that we have – our strength and resilience as a city, a proud city, which is home to many communities. Let’s come together and always remember this day as a defining date in the ongoing story of Castries.

As the mayor of the City of Castries, I take this opportunity to thank all for supporting us.

I take note that in our attempt to improve our city; sometimes our operations will inconvenience you.

I’m remain forever grateful for your patience, support and respect.

Let’s continue leading a community of people who yearn for the best.

So today, gather and remember, share stories and memories.

We pay our deepest respect to those who lost many things and for the lives and families that were changed forever.

Castries then 1948, Castries now into the future.



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