Feb. 6, 2009 — Acting Governor Gregory R. Francis met with French naval officers serving aboard the Francis Garnier, a light ferry vessel some 250 feet in length, which docked at the Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas Friday morning.
Francis had lunch with Lt. Commander Benoit Dubois and the ship's officers after they paid a courtesy call to his office on Government Hill. The officers were escorted to Francis' office by Odile de Lyrot, honorary French consul for the U.S. Virgin Islands.
"It is really my pleasure, on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, to greet this French naval vessel and its crew as it visits our beautiful shores and wish them a pleasant stay," Francis said. He was given a plaque bearing the ship's name, while Dubois was presented with a U.S. Virgin Islands travel bag provided by the Department of Tourism.
"This is a unique opportunity for me, as a former military officer, to warmly welcome you to our Territory and to share the stories and the experiences we both have had serving our countries," Francis told Lt. Commander Dubois. Francis served 27 years in the U.S. Army.
The ship, which is based in Martinique, is expected to leave port on Monday.
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