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Matoury (Municipality, French Guiana, France)

Last modified: 2021-07-10 by ivan sache
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Flag of Matoury - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 15 May 2021

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Presentation of Matoury

The municipality of Matoury (32,942 inhabitants in 2018; 13,719 ha) is a southern suburb of Cayenne. The municipality was established by a Decree issued on 25 February 1891, succeeding the borough of Tour de l'Isle founded in 1656.

Olivier Touzeau, 15 May 2021

Flag of Matoury

The flag of Matoury (photo, photo) is white with the municipal coat of arms, and three green-white-red lines on the falg"s upper and lower edges.
The arms features in the center a bacaba palm tree (Oenocarpus bacaba Mart.), in the upper left quarter an agouti, in the upper right quarter, Fort Trio supported by a turtle, in the lower left quarter, a shrimp and a fish, and in the lower right quarter, the Cayenne-Félix-Éboué international airport.
[J. Barret (Ed.). Atlas illustré de la Guyane, 2001]

Fort Trio protected Cayenne Island, together with Fort Cépérou (Cayenne) and Fort Diamant (emire-Montjoly). Built in the 17th century, the fort was destroyed in 1817 and rebuilt in 1841.
Port Larivot, specialized in shrimp fishing, was in 2001 France's 9th biggest fishing port, but has declined since then.

The Cayenne-Félix-Éboué international Airport (website) originates in the airfield inaugurated on 2 April 1943 by the US Air Force to serve West and North Africa. The airfield was named for Jean-Baptiste de Rochambeau (1725-1807), commander of the French expeditionary force during the American Revolution, named Marshal of France in 1791.
In 1949, a Liberator inaugurated the Paris-Dakar-Cayenne line. The pilot Maurice Dumesnil, a friend of Jean Mermoz, landed the same year in Cayenne on a small aircraft owned by the Société Africaine de Transports Aériens (SATA); he established a local branch called Société Aérienne de Transports Guyane Antilles (SATGA) to serve the villages of the hinterland.
A Boeing 707 first landed in Cayenne in 1968, followed in 1971 by a Concorde. On 20 April 1971, a Decree transferred the management of the airport to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Guyane. A brand new terminal was inaugurated in May 1976, which would be replaced by a much bigger one in 1998.

The airport's namesake stirred controversy, because Rochambeau's son, Donatien-Marie de Rochambeau (1755-1813) led the expeditionary force that brutally repressed the Haitian Revolution. On 4 January 2012, the airport was renamed to Félix Éboué (1884-1944), a Cayenne-born colonial administrator; then Governor of Chad, Éboué officially rallied General de Gaulle on 26 August 1940, offering its first territory to the Free France. Appointed on 12 November 1940 Governor of French Equatorial Africa, Éboué organized there the first Free French Forces commanded by Generals Koenig, Larminat and Leclerc.

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 16 May 2021