Warm tributes paid to Préfète Anne Laubies on her departure | THE DAILY HERALD

MARIGOT–The three-year tenure of Anne Laubies as Préfète Déléguée of St. Martin and St. Barths officially came to an end Thursday evening with a farewell cocktail party in her honour at the site of the new Préfecture building in Concordia.

The evening was filled with warm tributes, often punctuated with a more informal “Dear Anne or Chère Anne” from dignitaries on both sides of the island, and an abundance of parting gifts presented to her. Throughout the evening, the outgoing Préfète was relaxed, in good humour, and occasionally emotional.

Representatives of the main institutions of the Collectivité, Senator Guillaume Arnell, Vice-Presidents and Territorial Councillors, were present. The Dutch side was well represented by Governor Eugene Holiday, Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams, Minister of Tourism Cornelius de Weever, and former Dutch-side Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs.

President Daniel Gibbs in his remarks said her departure will be “painful for all St. Martiners, and especially me after what we have been through together in the last three years, and the experience of working together through the trauma of Irma.” He praised her calm demeanour and pragmatic approach to problem solving.

Among the gifts presented to her by Gibbs on behalf of the Collectivité was an enlarged version of her private license plate in St. Martin “978-PRF”. Laubies joked she would add it to her scooter license plate she had kept when she was younger.
Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin said she had made “a big impact on the meaning of cooperation.

“I truly believe, as the President said, that you are a Saint Martinoise; you came from the French State, but you embraced St. Martin as your home. The people believe you are a St. Martiner at heart. Thank you for all you have done for St. Martin.”

Romeo-Marlin presented her with a goody bag of mementos of her stay, including a book Rebuilding a Nation, a miniature bottle of Guavaberry and a St. Maarten flag.
Tributes also came from President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams and Governor Eugene Holiday.

“I can truly say, dear Anne, after working with you that we will miss you,” said Wescot-Williams. “We have endured some stressful times but the relationship between St. Martin and St. Maarten is ever evolving, I believe in a good direction. You have been part of that evolution. Your input, your leadership, your commitment means that that evolvement of the cooperation between the two sides has grown in your presence. We will all miss you, miss your input, your strength but also your calmness.”
Governor Holiday in his remarks said Laubies had had a “very eventful” tenure in St. Martin.

“We have discussed several dossiers, ranging from law enforcement, immigration, environmental issues to disaster management, issues critical to our dual nation island. I remember talking to you about the fact that we are really one island and you understood that. I believe the experience of Irma will forever be etched in your memory. Things were not easy. Through your leadership and pragmatism, we succeeded in building bridges to mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Holiday presented her with a Ruby Bute market scene painting embodying the” connectedness, culture and colour” of the island as a reminder of her stay.
Anne Laubies said her stay in St. Martin has been very rewarding. During her three years she had worked with two governing administrations, two different Députés, one senator, and two Presidents of the Chamber of Commerce. She had a particularly kind word for the late former President of the Collectivité, Aline Hanson, from whom she said she had learnt a lot about the island and relations with Guadeloupe.

Other tributes came from Préfet Philippe Gustin and Senator Guillaume Arnell. Arnell and Marcel Gumbs jointly presented her with a bracelet depicting a map of St. Martin. She also received the medal from the French Senate.

New Préfète Sylvie Danielo-Feucher starts work on Monday, July 9.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/78357-warm-tributes-paid-to-prefete-anne-laubies-on-her-departure