A bright end to an upbeat National Day


By 5pm the stadium was already packed, and buzzing with a lively atmosphere. The parade was accompanied by the National Brass Band, with platoons from the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF), the Seychelles Coast Guard, the Special Force Unit, the Seychelles Defence Academy, the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Service Agency and various arms of the police, including representatives from the police academy.

This year, the platoons were boosted by the Seychelles National Youth Council (SNYC), who brought in members from the Youth Council, the Scouts as well as a platoon representing the Young Citizens in yellow berets and shirts.

Visiting naval contingents also took part, with platoons representing Russia, China and India. The Chinese were taking part in another country’s National Day parade for the first time.

The pomp and ceremony was much appreciated by the crowd, who cheered loudly at the arrival of the police commissioner, Ernest Quatre, the commander of the Seychelles Defence Forces, Brigadier Leopold Payet, the Vice-President, Danny Faure, and finally, the grand motorcade of President James Michel.

After the arrival of the dignitaries, the watching crowd were treated to a flyover by three aircrafts involved in the fight against piracy, two belonging to the Seychelles Air Force and one which belonged to the EU-NAVFOR anti-piracy mission, which has assisted in the arrest of more than 90 pirates since the beginning of Operation Atalanta in September 2009.

After the President’s traditional National Day speech (see lead article on front page and full speech in our centre pages), it was time to witness the youth march past, where groups of young dancers came to represent 16 established companies, such as SPTC, Seypec, Cable & Wireless and the Seychelles Pension Fund.

Then came the moment all the children were waiting for – the light show. Scores of young people from the SNYC took part in the show, and were equipped with colour-changing light beacons, similar to the ones used by air traffic controllers on airfields.

As the bright stadium lights were dimmed down, the young light-bearers came on to the field, complemented in their movements by music and dazzling strobe lights. The light-bearers shook their glowing beacons in a coordinated and energetic way, transforming the stadium playing field into a sea of moving lights.

The main concern was that they would bump into one another as they ran around in the dark, frantically waving their lights, but thankfully this did not happen, and the execution was more or less flawless.

They moved together first to spell out the word SESEL, then forming a massive number 20 to represent the 20th anniversary of the Third Republic.

The reception to the parade and light show was very positive, with many people who were exiting the stadium remarking that they felt it had been the best National Day event ever.

Traffic was the great leveller of the evening, with normal citizens and VIPs alike feeling the frustration of traffic gridlock trying to leave the stadium parking lot and surrounding areas.

See our centre pages for pictures of the parade and the other performances that took place yesterday during the National Day event at the Stad Linite.

Tag: National Day 2013

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