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Petite Martinique

Petite Martinique

Petite Martinique is one of the islands of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, which is a dependency of Grenada.It is 2½ miles away from Carriacou. With its 586 acres (2.37 km2) and population of 900, it is smaller than Carriacou. Petite Martinique is much smaller, comprising about 9.8% of the total area and 30% of the entire population which is estimated at 10,000. The residents of this island live by boat-building, fishing and seafaring.

  • 10+
    Locations
  • 900 
    Population
  • 0.91 sq mi (2.37 km2)
    Area

The first European founder of the island of Petite Martinique was a French fisherman called Mr. Pierre from Martinique. In the early 1700s, Mr. Pierre, left his home island of Martinique in search for new fertile lands to plant his crops. The island was owned by him and his wife ('Madame Pierre'), their children and their slaves. Hence, the largest village was named Madame Pierre after the wife of the French owner. It is thought that he figured that the isle was shaped roughly like Martinique so he named it Petite (little) Martinique.

Colonial History

On 27th Sep 1650, Jacques du Parquet bought Grenada from the Compagnie des Iles de l'Amerique, which was dissolved, for the equivalent of £1160. In 1657, Jacques du Parquet sold Grenada to the Comte de Cerrillac for the equivalent of £1890. In 1664, King Louis XIV bought out the independent island owners and established the French West India Company. In 1674 the French West India Company was dissolved. Proprietary rule ended in Grenada, which became a French crown colony.

Petite Martinique was part of the French colony in 1762. It was part of the British Grenada colony from 1763-1779 and 1783-1974. It was part of French Grenada colony from 1779-1783. It has been a dependency of Grenada since 1974.

Recent History

The majority of the inhabitants today are of Indian, Scottish, Portuguese, French and African descent. There still is a British influence on the island as it was colonised by the British Empire and it is part of Grenada, a Commonwealth state. There is still a French influence which is demonstrated in village names, such as L'Esterre, La Resource, Beausejour, and others. However, the local French creole is only spoken by older islanders.

The Sacred Heart Church was the first Roman Catholic church on Petite Martinique and the first wooden building. It was destroyed by a hurricane in the 1940s and the Church standing today was built in 1947.

Though Hurricane Ivan in 2004 dealt a devastating blow to the island of Grenada, remarkably, Carriacou and Petite Martinique suffered significantly less damage. However, in 2005, Hurricane Emily hit Carriacou, damaging and forcing evacuation of its only hospital and destroying or damaging hundreds of homes.

Education

Petite Martinique RC School is the only school on the island, so other schoolchildren travel by boat to schools in nearby Carriacou.

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Parishes

Petite Martinique

St George

Saint George

Saint George is one of the seven parishes of Grenada located on the south-western end of the island. The capital of the island of Grenada, St. George's, is located in this parish, and as of 2001, it has a population of 35,559, making it the most populous parish of Grenada. It is also the second largest, with an area of 26 sq mi (67 km2).

Often regarded all as the most picturesque capital in the Caribbean due to its majestic horseshoe-shaped harbour and steeply rising hillside. The harbour is ringed by the pastel coloured of warehouses and it is not uncommon to see red-tiled roofs on traditional shops and homes. Saint George is also the home of the world famous Grand Anse Beach and many of the island's holiday resorts.

The peninsula at the south-western tip of Saint George is called, after its original French name, Point Salines, and where is now Grenada's only active airport, originally Point Salines International Airport, now renamed Maurice Bishop International Airport. The parish is also home to famed St. George's University.

The parish was called Basse Terre or lowland by its original French inhabitants of 1649 and only after it was ceded to the British by the Treaty of Paris in 1763 was it renamed Saint George.

The island of Grenada, even to this day, is often ravaged by natural disasters as well as man made catastrophes. As early as 1770 the parish of Saint George suffered to "ruinous effects" of the Sugar Ant which destroyed every sugar plantation between this and its neighbouring parish of Saint John.

In its early history the town of Saint George's, with its narrow streets and close buildings originally constructed of wood, was frequently plagued by fires. In the night of the 17th December 1772 a fire broke out in the town and "before morning was reduced to ashes". Another occurred on the 1st of November 1775 and at that time was so famed that islands as far as Barbados were telling visitors "Oh Grenada all gone, no Grenada now," the town was entirely destroyed by fire. Then once again on the 15th June 1792 "a dreadful fire happened ... which consumed every house in the Carenage except three and loss is estimated at £100,000 sterling".

Then there are the terrible hurricanes, of which we to this day we are fully aware (Janet of 195, Ivan of 2004, etc). Though records early as the middle of October 1780 tell of "a truly severe hurricane ... houses and everything were levelled with the ground". And again on the 12th of October 1789 "a dreadful hurricane was felt at Grenada ... which has sustained very considerable damage".