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Welcome to the Marius Foundation

We support the conservation of the Swedish legacy in St Barths.


The upbringing

The young days

The upbringing

The upbringing of a poor, black man.

On the fifth June 1923 Marius was born in a world that seems to be full of problems and setbacks. His parents were not married, they did not even live together, but still, they had two children together. Father Adrien Stakelborough wanted to give his last name to both the children but the mother Yvonne Sibilly had only Marius bear the last name, a decision which has had a significant impact on the island. His Brother Philibert was therefore named Sibilly. When Marius was five and Philibert two years old, they moved with their mother to Guadeloupe, the children were raised by his grandmother. Their grandmother had a very hard time earning any money so the children were always helping her sell fruit that the farmers had not gotten sold to the ships. In addition, they helped her do the various households that where necessary. They were so poor that it was not often that they were served both lunch and dinner and shoes were a luxury that were used when you went to church. When the end of the months was coming to an end, there was usually zero dollars in the cashbox, then got to rely on letters filled with money from relatives in neighbouring islands so that they could pay the rent.
1929 as Marius began to study, it was a cousin of his father named Vicky who single-handedly started a school for the young children in Gustavia. Vicky was not only a teacher to the children but helped by providing the students who lived too far away from school shelter during school periods. 1932 as Marius took his first communion with black and white students mixed, Marius got his first experiences of racism. Most of the nine year old boys had no experience with people of a different skin colour as they lived on different sides of the island. The controversy was not so strange as it was only 70 years ago slavery ended and the black population was released. When Marius was ten years old his father Adrien had enough of the teaching that his sons received and he he moved Marius and Philibert to a Catholic school that was named Colombia. The school was on the western part of the island, a long hike in other words – without shoes. Three years he stayed at the school until that Marius had achieved all the training that was needed to have on the island. After having helped his grandmother with selling bread for a while, Marius parents decided that he would learn a profession. They sent him to the island where the mother worked in Guadeloupe, where he would begin work as an apprentice carpenter which produced furniture. Something that not at all suited Marius, he wanted out to sea and earn their money as a sailor, and after much nagging his parents agreed to let him work on a boat.

Marius passed away the 18:th of June 2020. We all miss you!