Up Close … with retired teacher and district administrator Céline de Commarmond-‘I feel fulfilled and have no regrets’


Miss CélineApart from the wrinkles, the undeniable signs of her great age, Céline de Commarmond is the same petite, smartly dressed and carefully groomed and jovial person all past pupils and the Cascade community know as their teacher and district administrator.

Céline de Commarmond, born Chetty, or Miss Céline to everyone who knows her, is 74 years old and lives at Cascade where she attended  school before continuing her education at the St Joseph’s Convent  and then moving on to the Teacher Training College to be trained as a teacher.

For many years of her life, more precisely from 1957, she has been teaching at both primary and secondary levels.

She has taught in various schools namely Cascade and Glacis.

The mother of two sons and grandmother of four grandchildren, Miss Céline has great memories of the time she spent in Uganda soon after she married in 1965.

Her husband was working there and she accompanied him to the East African country.
With her teaching qualifications it did not take her long to obtain a job there where the family remained until their return to Seychelles in 1973.

That time she went to live at Beau Vallon until the family house was completed at Cascade.

Early life and career
In 1985 and 1986 she followed a political science training course in Moscow after which she taught  the subject for some eight years at the then National Youth Service (NYS) until she became her district ‘s administrator from 1994 to 2004.

When she started as a teacher she recalled teaching all subjects in primary school but this changed with the possibility to specialise and she chose the languages.

Miss Céline said teaching for her became much easier after she opted for specialisation.
“I had fewer lessons to prepare and this left me a little more time for myself,” Miss Céline told me when I met her before one of her many committee meetings recently.

She recalled that for her to become a district administrator (DA) after so many years as a teacher,  brought very little change because she remained in touch with the youth through various activities the district organised and these included sports and other youth programmes.
She said as a DA she was also in touch with the school all the time.

“In fact I never lost touch with the young people something I have been so use to,” said Miss Céline.

Teaching at the NYS
Miss Céline still reminisces about the time she spent teaching political science at the NYS.

“These were the most exciting years of my teaching career. I met many students from different schools and regions of the country as well as a large number of teachers of different nationalities and the exchanges were extraordinary. I learned a lot from the NYS and I will always cherish the good memories of the time I spent working there,” she said.

With the introduction of careers guidance and counselling in schools in the mid 90s Miss Céline was among a first batch of teachers who followed training to teach, counsel and guide students in choosing the career of their choice.

Looking back Miss Celine said among her greatest pride and joy today is to see her past students succeeding in life.

“I have past students in almost all ministries and departments and occupying very important positions. Seeing them doing well overwhelms me with pride and gives me a great sense of accomplishment,” she said proudly.

Time as a DA
For Miss Celine, the 10 years spent as a DA were very interesting.

“As a teacher I was very close to my community but as a DA I became even closer. There were always new things happening and I met different people every day.   My greatest  joy is the gratitude on people’s faces after I have been of help to them -- either in  finding solutions to their concerns or giving them the advice they need to help them solve a problem,” she said.

Being the district administrator Miss Celine has witnessed the district’s development and growth.

Miss Céline (right facing camera) on an outing with members of the Cascade senior citizens’ club

She has been part of the various projects from conception till they have been completed and these include the main housing projects on reclaimed land opposite the DA’s office, at Brillant, at Petit Paris, several secondary road projects, among others.

Being the DA also took Miss Celine on visits to different parts of the district and today she claims to know Cascade like the back of her hand.

“I am really satisfied of the progress made in the district. It has grown rapidly over the years and as someone who has been there to see it all I am also proud of the district’s achievements,” she noted.

Greatest satisfaction
“I believe I have lived my life to the fullest and today when I look back I am happy I gave satisfaction and the best of myself in the work I did. I have done my best and I have accomplished all I could and I feel fulfilled and have no regrets,” Miss Céline said.

Even though she has retired Miss Céline, who believes age is just a figure, is still very active.

“I am actively involved on different committees both at national and district levels and this is something I enjoy doing. I like to meet people and keep myself busy through activities I enjoy doing,” she said.

Miss Céline, who is also very much involved in the St Andrew’s parish economic committee, said she is always ready to give a helping hand where she can.

“I am happy with my life and I believe I will continue to be this way until God allows me,” she said.

Miss Céline, who also enjoys travelling and visiting her sister in England, regrets that with the continuous increase in airfares she can no longer travel like she used to.

Leisure time
In her spare time, which she has very little, Miss Céline is devoted to her home, ensuring that she does all her chores and keep her home surroundings clean and tidy.

“I enjoy taking good care of my home and keeping it clean,” Miss Céline pointed out.
With her teacher’s flair, Miss Céline still has a great thirst for knowledge ensuring that she is always abreast of current local and international affairs.

She enjoys watching television especially the news and both local and international documentaries.

“I am always curious to know what is happening around me and what is happening to people I know and be informed all the time,” she said on a more serious note.

Miss Céline still enjoys reading even though she admits it is not as much as before and also watching a good movie every now and then.

Among the activities she also enjoys doing with the senior citizens club is keeping fit with the National Sports Council, taking part in nature walks, sight-seeing and visiting other districts and different places  all the time.

“I enjoy and look forward to the outdoor outings with other seniors. We have lots of fun and for me it brings a sense of worth and belonging. Retiring is about living one’s life to the maximum and being happy doing what you like,” Miss Céline said laughing.


by Marie-Anne Lepathy