‘Fond memories never grow old’


(Yesterday) morning I had the great pleasure of attending the commemoration of the International Women’s Day at the International Conference Centre in Victoria.

I am glad there are so many associations in Seychelles which have galvanised themselves in the promotion of women’s right and in putting under focus the very important role which women are playing in the world today. Indeed I fully support the objectives of these organisations and will myself render all support, moral and otherwise, to the advancement of their causes.

However, at the end of (yesterday’s) celebration, I was presented by Mrs Jeanne Simeon, principal secretary in the Office of the Vice-President in her capacity as chairperson of the Seychelles Women’s Day Association (SWDA), with Volume One of a book just launched entitled ‘Seychelles Women’s Hall of Fame’. The persons included in this volume are Marie-Madeleine Jorre de St Jorre, Hazel De Silva, Flavie Jackson, Gertrude Marina Vel, Hilda Stevenson Delhomme, Thérèse Josephine Cafrine, Kathleen Eva Fonseka, Marie-Thérèse Desaubin, Martha Beatrice René, Marthe Manes, Mary Ramona Brigilia, Marie Angèle Morel, Rita Sinon, Rodolphine Young, Sonia Grandcourt and Susan Chang-Him born Talma.

Of course most of these people have been personally known to me and deserve the accolade vested on them.
In her address (yesterday) morning Mrs Simeon went out of the way to suggest that all these famous ladies had been selected on a non-political basis. I was particularly upset that my late mother Evelyne Mancham Tirant had not made the list. However, duty bound to her memory please allow me, Mr Editor, to point out that this lady was (1) the mother of the Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles, (2) the mother of Mickey Mancham, whose memory never grows old in the history of our country.

She was a lady very involved in the social affairs of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, being chairperson of the committee which raised financing for the La Salle D’Oeuvres; she was a leading member of the choir of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; President of the Isola Bella Youth Club of La Rosière and a volunteered teacher at Ecole Ste Claire next to the Happy Youth Club. She was chairperson of the Seychelles Port Welfare Committee for which she was decorated by the Colonial Government and was awarded the distinction of a member of the most excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of her charitable, benevolent and welfare activities. She was also the consort of Richard Mancham, who was for many years the acting chairman of the Victoria District Council. She also happens to have authored the first book on Creole cooking styled “La Cuisine Seychelloise”.

For whatever it is worth, in my heart at least she is a lady who fully qualifies to be remembered, especially if we are to look at the future in a non-political way.

James R. Mancham
Founding President of the Republic of Seychelles

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