OUR HISTORY 2018-07-20T13:27:01+00:00

OUR HISTORY

Originary from the little town of Saint Laurent les Batons in Dordognem the Deldevert family gave birth to Jacques on April 10th, 1926 close to Versailles in Fontenay le Fleury.

At the end of World War 2, Jacques Deldevert is accepted at the building school of Bagnolet, which afterwards he accepted a job offer in Guadeloupe. The mission was a short term contract, he would also have to take care of the roadworks and he’ll sell charcoal too, to survive.

Fortunatly, he’ll meet Mister Petrelluzzi, who will offer him to do some works for him. Jaques Deldevert built the first modern buildings of the Frebault Street in Pointe-a-Pitre and after his mentor recommandations, he decided to start his own building company.

NO EXISITING ROAD

Worker and really determinate, Jacques Deldevert came with four of his employees to Philipsburg in 1949, where he finds out most of the construction are made from woods and plus the non existence of the roads. Obviously, there are no construction companies. At that point, Elie Fleming, the mayor of Saint Martin, made the first order of two public constructions from Jacques Deldevert. At only 23 years old, the businessman lead the project of the presbytery of the Catholic Church and the breakwater, located on the beach of Marigot waterfront.

He’ll realize several public projects under the mandate of Elie Fleming, then under Hubert Petit, plus getting some directions from the dutch side government, and from the islands of Saba, Saint-Eustache and Saint-Barth. We owe to Jacques Deldevert and his team the Saint-Barthelemy weather station (1952), while his company serves as a training center.

Many of his employees will follow his path and will start their own building company (Popo Questel, Emilio de Polo, Jose Brooks,etc). But since the end of the war, the times are hard because there is no economy in place yet. The materials needed for construction are imported from all over. A bunch of companies are able to feed Jacques Deldevert and all concrete constructions are handmade. It’s not rare that they all work until the night under the vehicles lights.

 

STILL VISIBLE CONSTRUCTIONS

In our days, many of Jacques Deldevert’s construction are still visible. Schools, houses, Saba’s hospital, even French Quarter’s catholic church and the Calvary at the bottom of Fort Louis, to name just a few. But the businessman, doesn't just build buildings, he participates in major works that will help to break the isolation of Saint Martin, as the modernization of the communication axes, by paving the road from Cole Bay to Philipsburg, and also the one connecting Marigot to Grand Case.

From 1957, the first Americans tourists came along and gave a new breath to the economy of Saint-Martin. Jacques Deldevert even received many orders from the « Miami billionaires club », to build private villas in Low Lands. In 1964 he built, with the help of new employees, the hotel Le Pirate on the Marigot beach, as well as the building housing the sub-prefecture. We also owe to Mister Deldevert a shelter for the first telephone links from Saint Martin. Between 1961 and 1964, he will also install the first electric and telephone poles.

OUTSTANDING LANDING RUNWAY

Claude Watney, the represent of the North Dutch islands, will also orders several public orders. In the middle of the 60s, Jacques Deldevert and his men will build the fishing base of the Japonese in Pointe Blanche, as well as the stone dear in the former Princess Juliana airport. On all of his constructions, everybody still talk about the outstanding landing runway in Saba, built for his friend Rémy de Haenen, one of the pioneers of the Caribbean aviation. The ingenuity of the two men to achieve their ends will be part of the annals of this beautiful area. Emblematic character of the French West Indies, Jacques Deldevert will be appointed deputy judge, after the judge of peace Pierre Estoup has left his position. Even if in 1965, Mister Deldevert went back to France for family reasons, he came back to Saint Martin with his wife and his children, in 1980. The visionary and prolific businessman passed away on February 20th 1993, not without leaving a whole community in grieving and an incredible legacy that the Deldevert group today proudly bears at arm’s length.