As a follow up to our previous post, “The Legend of Marius Stakelborough,” this article—“Ils racontent leur Marius” (Le Journal de Saint-Barth)—shares personal observations on the late Saint Barthélemy icon Marius Stakelborough, owner of the bar Le Select (which he opened on November 11, 1949). As most of the people who know him observed, the life of this island legend, “served as a link between our island and its history.”
Bruno Magras: “An excellent ambassador for our island”
Marius was a well-known and recognized figure on the island of Saint-Barthélemy. He was a man who knew how to make himself loved and respected by the people. The relationships he built over time, with many personalities from abroad, notably Swedish and American, made him an excellent “ambassador” for our island. With his friends Olle Nyman and Per Tingbrand he was active in reconnecting with our ancient homeland. It is in this capacity that he was awarded on May 3, 1980 the Medal of Knight of the Royal Order of the Polar Star by the King of Sweden, and this also led to his being awarded the Medal of Citizen of Honor of Saint-Barthélemy on August 24, 1998. Unfortunately, it is part of our memory who just died, and this departure is a loss for our island.
Michel Magras: “He has his place in the heart of every Saint-Barth”
Marius has his place in the pantheon of the builders of Saint-Barthélemy and in the heart of every Saint-Barth. He has undoubtedly contributed to the fame of the island with his generous, dignified personality, his pedagogy, and his infallible joie de vivre. I’m sure we can all agree that Le Select is a piece of Saint-Barthélemy’s soul, and we owe it to him.
Marius will also remain for me the link between the United States on the one hand, and Sweden on the other, with which he cemented our relations with unwavering commitment and friendship. I am happy that the Republic has recognized his immense contribution by making him a Knight of the National Order of Merit. We owe him infinite gratitude and our collective affection.
Of his last days, I will remember his great wisdom. He was a part of the memory of Saint-Barthélemy, a part of our history in which he took an active part. I regret not being in Saint-Barthélemy for his funeral, but in thought, I bow to his memory and pay him a heartfelt tribute.
Arlette Magras: “An exceptional encyclopedia”
Marius … I went to speak to Marius many times, he asked me to let him know in advance, so that he had time to prepare “his memo” and whatever he wanted to show me so that he wouldn’t forget anything. I listened to him for hours; he was able to answer all my questions. An exceptional encyclopedia!
No one could disturb us … “We’re discussing serious matters…,” he used to say. It was impossible to leave; he had so much to tell me! Many are the subjects which were approached, his youth, the history of Saint-Barth, his first contacts with the Swedes, and stories about family and friends. [. . .]
Was he able to finish? We never have time to finish everything. Marius, I cannot thank you enough for everything you have given me.
Jimmy Buffett: “Marius, my captain …”
Marius, my captain … teacher, friend, neighbor and sailor … You taught us how to navigate life, with kindness and a smile for everyone … A Cheeseburger and a Ti-Punch at Le Select with an occasional shot at the bee above the bar will always be part of my life in Saint Barth … Bon voyage my dear friend, you will always be in my heart and my memory. [. . .]
Excerpts translated by Ivette Romero. For full article (in French), see https://www.journaldesaintbarth.com/actualites/disparition/ils-racontent-leur-marius-202006241356.html
“La légende Marius Stakelborough”
Le Journal de Saint-Barth, June 16, 2020
“The Legend of Marius Stakelborough”
Saint Barth Weekly, Nr. 430, June 26, 2020, pp. 8, 10-15