Victoria 250 years | 17 September 2019
On the 1st September of 1908, a society called ‘La Charité’ was established for the purpose of raising by subscriptions and voluntary contributions, a fund for the relief and maintenance of the old, sick and infirm. Its creator was William Marshal Vaudin (1857-1919) the superintendent of public works.
On the 2nd September of 1893, Bishop William Walsh (1837-1918) of Mauritius arrived in Seychelles, and on the 7th September he consecrated the St. Saviour’s Church at Anse Royale.
On the 3rd September of 1954, at a meeting of the producers and shippers of cinnamon leaf oil, a motion calling for the termination of a contract by which oil was sold to a single agent was unanimously accepted. The 61 persons present called for a free market system.
On the 4th September of 1801, thirty-eight deportees from France arrived on ‘La Flèche’. They were the second batch of Jacobin terrorists that had planned to assassinate Napoleon Bonaparte on 24th December of 1800. The first batch arrived on the 12th of July, of the same year.
On the 5th September of 1973, five fishermen of La Digue drowned after their pirogue capsized at around 5p.m. They were Freddy Constance, Raymond Crispin, Gabby Lesperance, Lambert Ernesta and another named Michael. They left La Digue for a fishing trip to Felicite. Their pirogue was found floating upside down to the north of Curieuse with Freddy Constance, clinging to it. The bodies of the four fishermen were never found.
On the 6th September of 1935, the first issue of L’ActionCatholique, the organ of the Catholic Church came out. Printed by the Clarion Press, the paper’s proprietor and editor was Marcel Lemarchand (1886-1959). It cost 5cents. In 1957, the name of the paper was changed to L’echo des Iles. 3,000 copies of this first issue were printed.
On the 7th September of 1953, the prison of Union Vale was established. There was one block for first offenders and other for recidivists. Prisoners were forwarded daily to the PWD or Botanical Gardens to work. At the prison, the main tasks of the prisoners were breaking stones, beating coconut fibre and mattress making.
On the 8th September of 1965, Mgr. Olivier Maradan (1899-1975) blessed the Ste.Thérèse Church of Plaisance. It was a relatively modern structure designed by the Government architect, Tomlin. The parish of Plaisance was established in 1949.
On the 9th September of 1793, Jean Baptiste Queau de Quincy (1748-1827) arrived in Seychelles aboard L’Aimée to assume the administration of Seychelles as Governor. In 1812, he was appointed Juge de Paix, a post he held until his death in 1827.
On the 11th September of 1881, the British General Charles Gordon (1833-1885) arrived at Mahé aboard Godavéry, to assess the defensive measures of the Seychelles Islands in the event of an enemy attack. He promulgated a facetious theory that the Vallée de Mai on Praslin & the Coco de Mer palm is the Garden of Eden and The Tree of Knowledge mention in Genesis 2:9, 17; 3:6!
On the 12th September of 1943, the Ste Elisabeth convent was blessed by Mgr. Olivier Maradan (1899-1975).
On the 13th September of 1971, the first patisserie to be established in Seychelles was opened by the Hon. James Mancham. It was located at the junction of Harrison Street & Royal Street.
On the 15th September of 1894, the Stone of Possession was removed from its site in the grounds of Hotel Equateur by a French General and placed aboard the S.S. Austalien bound for the Museum of Fleury at Paris. Upon discovering the theft, the administrator, T.RiselyGriffifth ordered it back. The stone returned on the 16th of November.
On the 15th September of 1965, Radio Seychelles made its first ever live broadcast of a cross country cycle race. For sport cycle and standard cycle Joseph Moses won in the sport cycle category taking 56 minutes to complete the 14 mile course. The standard cycle category was won by Joseph Azémia in 51 minutes.
On the 16th September of 1971, a public procession took place in Victoria. Organised by the SPUP, it involved the participation of about 2,600 pepole who demonstrated against the National Provident Fund and clamoured for Britain to give Seychelles immediate independence.
On the 17th September of 1953, the church of St. Francois D’Assize, at BaieLazare was consecrated by Mgr. Olivier Maradan (1899-1975). After extensive renovation work on the building, the church was‘re-consecrated’ on the 24th September of 2006 by Mgr. Denis Weich.
On the 18th September of 1969, Lord Shepherd (1918-2001), the Minister of State in the Commonwealth office and the Deputy Leader in the House of Lords arrived in Seychelles. His visit was to assess the Social, political and economic problems in the Colony.
On the 19th September of 1867, the Mariste Brothers, arrived in Seychelles and took up the administration of the St. Louis College in Victoria.
On the 20th September of 1853, Father Jeremie de Paglieta (1820-1870) and Theoplhile de Chateauneuf (1826-1889) arrived in Seychelles to establish the Catholic Mission.
On the 23rd September of 1864, L’Emryne, the first ship of the Messageries Maritimes arrived in Seychelles. It was the start of a shipping service that lasted until 1918. Steamers of the Messageries Maritimes left Marseille on the 25th of each month calling at Aden, Diego Suarez, Tamatave, Seychelles & Mauritius.
On the 24th September of 1804, the second capitulation of Seychelles to the British took place. The capitulation treaty was signed by Commandant Jean-Baptiste Queau de Quincy and Captain M. Wood aboard the “Concorde”. The terms of the capitulation were favourable to the Colony. All conditions proposed were agreed upon except that the British took possession of a brig “Zephyr” which had arrived at Mahé, the day before.
On the 25th September of 1859, Louis Poiret, a 70 year-old planter of French origin died on Mahé. When he arrived in Seychelles in 1804, he claimed to be the Dauphin, the son of the ill-fated Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie-Antoinette. He first stayed on Ile Poivre and later moved to Cap Ternay.
On the 26th September of 1915, Mgr. Bishop Bernadin Thomas Edward Clarke, the Catholic Bishop of Victoria passed away in the Victoria hospital. He was 60 years old. He was the only English Catholic Bishop to be appointed to the Diocese of Victoria. He first arrived in Seychelles in 1883 as a priest.
On the 27th September of 1994, the National Assembly passed a bill which allowed the Islamic society of Seychelles to be constituted into a corporate body. There were about 700 followers of the Muslim Faith in Seychelles. A mosque was opened in 1982.
On the 28th September of 1931, the Governor De Symons Montagu George Honey (1872-1945) was informed by an inhabitant named Morel, of an outbreak of dysentery of a severe nature at Anse Aux Pins. Two dozen cases were reported. During that year 89 people were hospitalized and 15 died of dysentery.
On the 30th September of 1882, the Legislative powers of the Seychelles became independent, as well as the Justice Department. It was the first step towards the separation of Seychelles from Mauritius.
On the 1st October of 1975, Seychelles became a self-governing Colony. The occasion was marked by a parade in the stadium at Victoria at which Mr. James Mancham (1939- ) was sworn in as the country’s first prime minister by H.E. the Governor Colin H. Allan (1921-1993), watched by a crowd of between 5,000 and 6,000.
On the 2nd October of 1972, the stadium (StadPopiler) in Victoria was officially opened by Princess Margaret. During the one-week celebrations to mark the bicentenary anniversary of the first arrival of settlers on Mahé (1772). The Princess was accompanied on her visit to Seychelles by her husband, Lord Snowdon. The stadium was built on reclaimed land.
On the 3rd October 1963, Mr. AfifDidi, leader of the Addu Atoll Group who opposed the Central Maldivian Government arrived in Seychelles abordHMS Lock Lommond. He was accompanied by his family. Her Majesty’s Government had granted him permission to reside in the Colony.
On the morning of 4th October of 1950, Mgr Olivier Maradan (1899- 1975) blessed the first stone of the new church BaieLazare. In the afternoon, a funfair was held as well as the drawing of a lottery, to obtain funds for the construction.
On the 5th October of 1963, the first issue of the Seychelles Weekly came out. It was the organ of the Seychelles Democratic Party. It cost 25cents.
On the 6th October of 1969, Mother Angèle Morel passed away. She was the first mother superior, co-founder (with Father Maurice Roh 1896-1963) of the Ste. Elizabeth Convent. She was 89 years old. She was buried in the Beauvoir Cemetery at La Misère.
On the 7th October of 1896, a law was passed that allowed corporeal punishment for prisoners who commit certain offences such as escaping from custody. The corporeal punishment was flogging. This was 15 strokes in the case of adults and 10 strokes in the case of juvenile offenders not beyond sixteen years of age.
On the 8th October of 1918, Sir Eustace Edward Twistleton Wykeham Fiennes (1864-1943) arrived in Seychelles to take up the post of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Colony. His salary was Rs.18, 000 per annum. He left in 1922. During his tenure, he initiated various Social Welfare Schemes and built the Fiennes Institute at Plaisance and the Fiennes Esplannade.
On the 9th October of 1935, the firm Adam Moosa signed a memorandum of survey, giving the Government of Seychelles, the site where the Pierre de Possession was originally placed on the 1st November of 1756. The site which is on the property of the firm is accessible to the public.
On the 11th October of 1979, school children in Victoria demonstrated against the proposed National Youth Service. The protests continued the following day when hooligans who infiltrated the children’s ranks committed acts of sabotage, looting and arson. The National Youth Service opened in 1981 and closed in 1998.
On the 12th of October of 1862, an avalanche occurred after torrential downpours during two days caused extreme devastation in Victoria. Masses of earth and rock from the Trois Frères Mountains collapsed on the town of Victoria, filling up a body of water to create a large playing field which became the Gordon Square (the actual Freedom Square). Eighty people perished in the calamity.
On the 13th October of 1883, Marianne North (1830-1890) the famous English painter and globe trotter arrived in Seychelles. During her three months sojourn, she visited many places on Mahé as well as on Praslin where she made paintings of forest and coastal sceneries. She visited the Christian Missionary Society Institution (Venn’s Town) for children of liberated slaves at Sans Soucis where she made a magnificent painting of the establishment. One of the endemic timber trees that grew there, Kapisen, was named after her- NortheaSeychellarum. Fourty-Three of her paintings are on display at the Natural History Museum in Victoria. A gallery of her paintings is at the Kew Gardens in London.
On the 14th October of 1944, the Seychelles Seventh-Day Adventist Mission was constituted into a corporate body with the right to purchase, hold and possesses immovable for charitable, religious and educational purposes. And to receive and accept donations and legacies. The Seventh - day Adventist mission was established in 1933.
On the 15th October of 1953, quadruplets were born at the Seychelles hospital to Louise Marie. It was a first in the history of Seychelles. Rachel, Therese, William & Jessie were offered a free supply of Cow & Gate milk food by the Cow & Gate Company Ltd of London which also published postcards of the Seychellois Quadroplets.
On the 16th October of 1948, St. Paul’s primary school was opened. It was located at the Freedom Square near the actual site where the ‘Tobruk’ building (1952)stands. The school which provided accommodation for 216 children of primary school age had a staff room, a library and a store.
On the 17th October of 1953, William Addis (1901-1978) arrived in the Seychelles and assumed the administration of the colony as Governor and Commander-in-Chief. The population was around 37,000. He left on the 16th of October of 1957. He was succeeded by Sir John Thorp (1912-1961).
On the 18th October of 1848, Commissioner Charles Mylius (1795-1873) wrote to the Governor of Mauritius, asking that a Catholic clergyman be sent to the Seychelles for the spiritual needs of the old population.
On the 19th October of 1964, the first batch of coir fibre was produced by a privately-owned coir factory on Mahé. In December of the same year, a first shipment of coir fibre from the factory was exported abroad. The factory which was located at Les Mamelles employed about 100 people.
On the 20th October of 1960, the German consul-General in Nairobi, Baron Von Stackelberg arrived on S.S “Kampala”. It was the first time a German consul had visited the Seychelles. He was accompanied by Baroness Von Stackelberg.
On the 21st October of 1920, a law came into force that required the price of a bag of maize of 95 kilos to sell at Rs.20, being 24cts per kilo and 12cts per half kilo.
On the 22nd October of 1936, a Seychelles Agricultural and Industrial Exhibition was held on Gordon Square (Freedom Square) under the distinguished patronage of His Excellency the Governor Arthur Francis Grimble (1888-1956). There were prizes (Rs6) for best decorated rickshaw, and best decorated bicycle (Rs3) as well as a baby show and a pig-race. There was also a lottery, with tickets costing 5cts each.
On the 23rd October of 1969, the island of Silhouette had its first-ever public film show when the Government cinema Unit entertained the inhabitants with a 2 ½ hours show. The schooner Silence carried the projectionist and his assistance, the electricity generator, the film projector, the boxes of film and coils of cable and the screen to Silhouette.
On the 24th October of 1961, a symposium to mark the 16th anniversary of the United Nations was held at the Seychelles College under the distinguished patronage of the officer administering the Government (the Governor, John Thorp having drowned in August) Ian Woodroffe. The subjects by the three speakers were sixteen years of U.N.O-A Retrospect, Our Fight against disease. We and the U.N.O.
On the 26th October of 1969, the American Geophysical Survey Ship “United Geo” arrived in Victoria Harbour. The ship which had been conducting oceanographic surveys round the coast of Africa for the last two years was on its way to the Far East when it encountered engine trouble and had to drop anchor at Mahé to wait for spare parts to be flown from the U.S.
On the 27th October of 1973, British writer Alec Waugh (1898-1981) and his wife, author Virginia Sorensen arrived in Seychelles for two week’s holiday. Alec Waugh had visited the Seychelles in 1950 when he spent 10 weeks at Northolme Hotel. He wrote a book ‘Where the clock chimes twice’ about his experiences here.
On the 28th October of 1992, the Mize Koko at Val de Près, Au Cap was opened by Minister Danielle Jorre de St Jorre (1941-1997) during the 7th Creole Festival. The Mize Koko contains assorted items made from a variety of materials obtained from the Coconut Palm.
On the 29th October of 1972, three young boys died in a horrifying accident. David Lablache 15, Tony Camille 17 and Ralph Green 19, were all killed when a pick-up truck in which they were passengers hurtled off the road and smashed against a tree at Bel Ombre.
On the 30th October of 1979, Father ValèreDousse passed away at Victoria, at 73 years old. He arrived in Seychelles in 1934, where for many years he was the residential priest of Bel Ombre.
On the 31st October of 1935, the decoration of knighthood was conferred for the first time on a Seychelloise lady, Alice Paule Lanier by his Excellency Governor James Lethem (1886-1962) in front of the court houses and before the Legislative council. She was presented with the Insignia and the Grant of Dignity of member of the most excellent order of the British Empire.
On the 1st November of 1756, Captain Nicholas Morphey (1724-1774) took possession of the Seychelles for France and the Pierre de Possession was placed as confirmation of French Sovereignty.
On the 2nd November of 1977, the Soviet Movie Week was launched, at the Stadium in Victoria, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Seychelles, France Albert René and the Russian Ambassador, Alexandre Startsev. Seven movies were shown during the week, including a ballet movie of Spartacus. The Soviet music week was organised to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Great October 1917 Revolution.
On the 3rd of November 1983, the first American Ambassador to be based in Seychelles presented his credentials to President France Albert René. Until then, the United States had been represented in Seychelles, since 1976, by a chargé d’affaires under the US Ambassador in Nairobi.
On the 4th November of 1956, a cross was placed on the summit of the Trios Frères Mountain (2,293 feet) by the youths of Seychelles. They were students of the Seychelles College and scouts of the districts of Victoria who wanted to commemorate the arrival of the Duke of Edinburg, Prince Philip, on the 19th of October of that same year.
On the 4th November of 1883, Marianne North (1830-1890) an English Lady painter wrote in her journal that; ‘real distress is beginning on Mahé, for want of provisions, trade being all stopped by this quarantine in Mauritius. The poor cannot afford to buy rice at the present price, and are too weak to face sickness. These lovely Islands are sadly neglected. I am in perfect paradise with most genuine and energetic people...’
On the 5th November of 1849,Commisioner Charles Mylius (1795-1873) sent a petition by the inhabitants of Seychelles to the Governor of Mauritius, asking for a catholic priest to be sent to the colony for the “Religious welfare of the population”.
On the 6th November of 1965, Governor Julian Edward George Asquith (1916-2011) opened the Barclays Bank Building opposite the Carnegie Library on the Independence Avenue.
On the 7th November of 1768, the Marion Dufresne expedition arrived at the Island of Praslin which it named after César-Gabriel de Choiseul-Chevigny, Duc de Praslin, the French Minister of Marine. It was on that same day, that the marvellous Coco-de-mer nuts were discovered.
On the 8th November of 1975, the Mahé Beach Hotel at Port Glaud was opened by the Prime Minister, James Mancham (1939- ). Designed by Graham Mc Cullough, the 352 bedroom tourist establishment represented an investment of Rs.60 million. It had a complex of suites, restaurants, bars and swimming pool.In 1998, The Mahé Beach Hotel was the venue for the Miss World Beauty Pageant.
On the 9th of November of 1903, Ernest Bickham Sweet-Escott (1857-1941) was sworn in as the first Governor of the Colony of the Seychelles. He arrived in Seychelles in 1899 to take up the post of Administrator. In 1901, he initiated the erection of the Victoria clock tower. A road in the south of Mahé bears his name.
On the 10th November of 1965, the Government announced the setting up of the British Indian Ocean Territory which would be composed of the Chagos Archipelago (formerly, part of Mauritius), Aldabra, Farquar and Desroches (formerly, part of Seychelles). The Territory was administered by Governor Julian Edward George Asquith in addition to his duties as Governor of Seychelles.
On the 11th November of 1928, Governor Montagu George de Symons Honey (1872-1945) unveiled a war memorial at the Mt. Fleuri Cemetery. Constructed of coral blocks, it bears the names of the Seychellois men who died in East Africa during the First World War (1914-1918). Every year, on Armistice Day, a ceremony is held at the site. The inscription on the cenotaph reads: “To the glory of God and in memory of these men of the Seychelles carrier corps who risked and lost their lives for King and Country in East Africa in the years of the Great War and whose graves are unknown.”
On the 12th November of 1922, a party of 24 ex-chiefs who had been banished into exile together with King Prempeh in 1900, were repatriated to the Gold Coast in SS Karagola. Among their families was a Seychelloise wife of a deportee.
On the 13th November of 1990, the Duke of Edinburg Prince Philip husband of Queen Elizabeth II, made a stopover in Seychelles and left the next morning. He was welcomed at the airport by the Administration and Manpower, Minister Joseph Belmont and spent the night at the British High Commissioner’s residence. It was strictly an unofficial stopover. It was the third visit of Prince Philip who was the Patron of the Worldwide Wildlife Fund. In 1956, he planted a coco-de-mer tree in the Botanical Garden. In 1972, he accompanied the Queen on an official visit here to inaugurate the International Airport.
On the 14th November of 1966, the Seychelles Supreme Court passed sentence of death on a 50 year-old man. Arthur These who was convicted for the murder of eight-year old Jenny Philomena Isaac at Desroches on July 25th. The trail began on November 2nd with a jury of seven men and a woman.
On the 15th November of 1926, private houses in Victoria were supplied with electricity for the first time. This was available twelve hours daily from 6p.m to 6 a.m, and was generated by a 30 kilowatt belt driven by a steam engine powered by a wood fuel boiler.
On the 16th November of 1893, the first telegraphic message was sent to Seychelles by the secretary of State for the Colonies to the administrator of the Seychelles, Thomas Risely Griffith.
On the 17th November of 1954, during Parliamentary Debate in the House of Commons, when he was asked about the intentions of the Seychelles Government concerning the Island of Aldabra, the Secretary of State for the colonies replied that the government was proposing to lease the Aldabra group of islands to a Mr. H. Savy who intended to develop commercial exploitation of mangrove timber on the island.
On the 18th November of1970, the first meeting of the council of Ministers was held at the Government House. His Excellency Sir Bruce Greatbatch (1917-1989) handed the instruments of appointment to the Ministers and the members of the Council then took the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office. The meeting followed general elections after which James Mancham (1935- ) was appointed Seychelles First Chief Minister.
On the 19th of November 1973, Colin Hamilton Allan (1921-1993) was sworn in as Seychelles new Governor. The ceremony took place in the stadium (the actual StadPopiler) at 5 p.m. He was 51 years old and married 3 children. Before being appointed to Seychelles, Colin Hamilton had been Resident Commissioner in the New Hebrides since 1966. He was the 18th and the last Governor of Seychelles which became an Independent State on the 29th June 1976.
On the 21st November of 1938, the inhabitants are taken aback at the sight of two submarines in the harbour. Le Tonnant and Le Conquérant had come from Diego Gracia heading for France. They left on the 26th of November.
On the 22nd November of 1742, LazarePicault (1700-1748) arrived at Mahé, where his two ships Tartane and Charliedropped anchor at Anse Boileau. Ashore, sailors gathered hundreds of coconuts and giant tortoises which they took away. The expedition had been organised by Mahé de Labourdonnais (1699-1753). He was the Governor General of Mauritius.
On the 23rd November of 1968, the first Beauty Pageant to be held in Seychelles was at the Beau- Vallon Beach Hotel. The winner was Marie France Lablache of Hermitage. There were fifteen participants.
On the 23rd November of 1964, a law was brought into force to control the quarrying of sand along the foreshore. This was a measure taken to curb the indiscriminate removal of sand from beaches.
On the 24th November of 1967, the Legislative Council passed an ordinance ‘to provide for the control of development of land in the Colony’. The bill was an urgent reaction to preserve the scenic beaches and the natural beauty of Seychelles for the enjoyment of both residents and visitors.
On the25th November of 1981, a group of 45 South African mercenaries arrived at Seychelles International Airport aboard a civilian flight from Swaziland in the guise of a beer-drinking club called “Ye Ancient Order of Froth blowers”. Their leader was Colonel Mike Hoare (1920- ), the mercenary commander during the Congo uprising in the early 1960’s.
A gun battle with the SPDF ensued after which most of the mercenaries fled back to South Africa aboard a high jacked Air India plane, and a few were left behind where they were caught by the Seychelles forces. In 1986, Mike Hoare wrote a book about the ill-fated mission called “The Seychelles Affair”.
On the 25th November of 1992, the Ministry of Health reported the first AIDS case in Seychelles. The announcement was made on SBC radio and there was an interview with an HIV positive man who had developed AIDS. There were 28 known HIV positive cases then.
On the 26th November of 1967, a “ronde de rats” (rat tail competition) was held on the Gordon Square (Freedom Square). A total 56,275 rat tails collected. The district which caught most rats was Takamaka with 10,216 rat tails.
On the 27th November of 1971, a British Submarine, HMS Finwhale arrived in port Victoria for five day visit. She carried 6 officers and 65 ratings.
On the 28th November of 1975, 500 bibles were handed over by Father Michel Counsel, Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral to the Hoteliers’ Assosciation, with the aim of placing one bible in each of the rooms. The World Home Bible League paid for the bibles which were airmailed through the U.S. Tracking Station.
On the 29th November of 1966, the new bishop of Mauritius and Seychelles, Ernest Edwin Curtis arrived in Seychelles aboard “Kampala” from Bombay. He had been ordained on November 1st in the Cathedral of Southwalk, England. He stayed for one month and left on Christmas day on “Karanja”.
On the 30th November of 1924, the Victoria Hospital was inaugurated by Governor Sir. Joseph Burne (1874-1942). Construction cost amounted to over Rs.200, 000 of which Rs.69, 000 were voluntary subscriptions. Dr. John T. Bradley M.D. (1872-1942) was the chief medical officer of the Colony. Patients admitted for treatment in 1st class paid Rs.5.00 daily and 3rd class patients paid 50cts.
On the 1st December of 1972, the Coral Strand Hotel at Beau-Vallon was officially opened by Governor Sir Bruce Great Batch (1917-1989). It was the second modern tourist establishment to open after the Reef Hotel. In 1972, a total of 15,197 visitors came to Seychelles.
On the 2nd December of 1965, Father EustachesSallin died at Victoria at 77 years old. He arrived in 1924 and over the years, he was the resident priest of many parishes as well as being the chaplain of the St Louis College.
On the 3rd December of 1778, Lieutenant Charles Routier de Romainville embarked on the frigate “Helene” for his voyage to the Seychelles to create the first settlement called L’Etablissement du Roi. He was accompanied by 15 soldiers.
On the 4th December of 1991, an extraordinary congress of the People’s Progressive Front (SPPF) unanimously adopted a proposal of its Secretary General, President France Albert René (1935- ) to transform Seychelles from a single party popular democracy to a pluralistic democratic system.
On the 5th December of 1876, Rev. Charles August Blackburn was ordained priest in the St. Paul’s Church, Victoria. He was the first Mauritian to be ordained priest and the first resident clergyman of Praslin.
On the 6th December of 1977, President France Albert René (1935- ) inaugurated the Seychelles Public Transport Corporation. The first batch of 30 TATA buses from India arrived in 1979. The buses had 112 hp Diesel engine and were all five-geared. The corporation imported the first FIAT buses in 1980 to increase its fleet.
On the 7th December of 1910, the curator of the Botanical Gardens RivalltzDupont,forwarded samples of Para rubber to the Imperial Institute for examination. These samples were biscuits of 6 to 7 inches in diameter, prepared from trees of 5 to 7 years old, compared favourably with those from Ceylon and Malaya, and had the potential to realise satisfactory prices.
On the 8th December of 1966, Father Felix Paul (1935-2001) celebrated his first mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He was ordained priest on the 21st December of 1960 and was consecrated Bishop of Victoria on the 25th July of 1975.
On the 9th December of 1918, an ordinance was enacted by Governor Eustace Fiennes that made it illegal for shops to open on Sundays. This was to discourage excessive drinking. The only establishment allowed to be open until 10 a.m. were bakeries, barbers, butchers and green grocers. Fines of Rs.100 to Rs.200 were imposed.
On the 10th December of 1968, Capt. Archibald T.W. Webb, historian, archivist and museum curator died. He was 78 years old. In 1964, he wrote ‘The story of Seychelles’ which remains a fundamental source of reference for students and writers of Seychelles history.
On the 11th December of 1861, the post office opened in Victoria. It was later in 1899 that inland postal service was introduced in the Colony by the Administrator, Ernest Bickham Sweet- Escott (1857-1941).
On the 12th December of 1967, the first governing Council general election was held based on universal adult suffrage to elect members on the governing council which performed both legislative and executive functions. The two main contending political parties were SDP which won 5 seats and the SPUP which won 3 seats.
On the 13th December of 1944, John Woodman assumed the administration of Seychelles as Acting Governor in the absence of Governor William Marston Logan who was on leave until the 15th of May of 1945. John woodman was the Chief Justice of Seychelles (1943-1947).
On the 14th December of 1957, in his annual report to the Cardinal Prefect Fumasoni-Biondi, the Bishop of Victoria, Mgr. Olivier Maradan expressed concern to the fact that the teaching of Religious Studies, which was done in French, in the schools of the Colony, was becoming more and more difficult since the Government has established English as the language of learning.
On the 15th December of 1911, the lighthouse on Mamelles Island was lit for the first time. The lighthouse was the old one that had been removed from Denis Island in 1910 when a new iron structure was built there. Made of Capucintimber, the lighthouse showed a fixed white light that was visible at a distance of 17 miles.
On the 15th December of 1949, the Government Preparatory school at the Seychelles College was officially opened by Governor Selwyn Clarke (1893-1976).
On the 16th December of 1935, an ordinance to prohibit the passing of the sentence of death upon expectant mothers and for other purposes connected there with, was passed in the Legislative Assembly.
On the 16th December of 1940, the Legislative Council passed the Compulsory Service Ordinance. Every male British subject to attain the age of eighteen years and was below the age of forty-five and who resided in the Colony of Seychelles were obliged to enrol for service as a member of the Seychelles Defence Force.
On the 17th December of 1828, an American whaler, ASP, wrecked on the Blanchisseuse, close to port Victoria. The 345ton ship which arrived at Mahé in 1825 was the second whaler after Swan, to exploit whales of the Seychelles waters.
On the 18th December of 1897, an ordinance to amend ordinance no.12 of 1896 came into effect. This was an ordinance to provide for the treatment of convict vagrant and pauper lepers, save for the repeal of section 12 which obliterated the possibility of an appeal from judicial order pertaining to removal and re-instatement of a leper to or in a leper settlement.
On the 19th December of 1949, the Seychelles Government Bulletin published a notice calling for a supply of 40,000 corals per month for the Public Works Department. The required corals had to be not less than 9” cube.
On the 19th December of 1916, 706 Seychellois army recruits left Seychelles aboard the S.S. Berwick castle for Kenya, to join East African Forces there. By May of 1917, most of them were suffering from malaria and dysentery. As the death toll among them rose, the surviving 359 men were repatriated back to Mahé on the 17th May, and placed in quarantine during which time 25 died.
On the 20th December of 1960, the British India Steamer Kampala, brought a collection of 100 carabid beetles from Nigeria. These were liberated on the islands of Praslin and La Digue to feed on the rhinoceros beetles that had infested coconut palms.
On the 21st December of 1966, the Legislative Council adopted a bill that abolished the Death Sentence for murder. Since 1948, there had been no execution of the death sentence.
On the 22nd December of 1965, a good crowd braved the seasonal squalls of rain to attend the ceremony of the blessing of the T.B. sanatorium my Mgr. Olivier Maradan (1899-1975). The cost of construction amounted to Rs.261, 626 including the sum of Rs.42, 626 collected from public donations.
On the 23rd December of 1790, the French settlers convened a National Assembly in which they declared that Seychelles should become independent from Ile de France (Mauritius). It seemed they were caught up in the euphoria of the French Revolution!
On the 24th December of 1917, the Legislative Council passed an ordinance for the protection of Breadfruit and other trees. The penalty for violating this ordinance was a fine not exceeding Rs.50 for each tree destroyed, in addition to three times the value of each tree. This law presently covers 23 trees including Santol&Takamaka.
On the 26th December of 1961, an ordinance to provide for the protection of wild animals and birds came into force in the Colony of Seychelles. This law prohibited the taking or destroying of or tempering with any wild bird’s eggs or nest.
On the 27th December of 1920, regulations came into force that required persons landing in the Colony to be possessed of passports and to restrict the landing in the Colony of undesirable immigrants.
On the 28th December of 1912, Lt. Colonel Charles Richard Mackey O’Brien (1859-1935) arrived in the Colony of Seychelles to take up the post of Governor and Commander-in- Chief. His annual salary was Rs.18, 000. The following year in May, he took up residence in the new Government House (State House).
On the 28th December of 1915, a law came into force that required all owners of coconut trees from which toddy is extracted to pay a license of Rs.10 for five trees or under and Rs.500 for over a hundred trees or over. The license was valid for a period of six months.
On the 29th December of 1923, a memorandum of an agreement was signed by the Governor of the Colony of Seychelles, Sir Joseph Aloysius Byrne (1814-1942). Mgr Justin Gumy (1869-1941) of the Catholic Mission and Reverend Henry Hope Buswell of the Anglican Church, to transfer two government free schools in Victoria to the two missions who would administer them as grant-in-aid schools.
On the 30th December of 1949, the Governor of the Colony of Seychelles with the consent of the Legislative Council enacted an ordinance to establish a pension fund for widows and orphans of pensionable officers of the Government.
On the 30th December of 1933, it became lawful for the Governor of Seychelles to order the detention at Mahé, or at any other island in the Seychelles archipelago, of any political prisoner or prisoners deported from any part of His Majesty’s Dominions or from any territory under his majesty’s protection.
On the 31st December of 1931, the manufacture and sale of “bacca” became illegal. Various fines were imposed for violating the law, such as one month’s imprisonment and a fine not exceeding Rs.100 for making “bacca” or being in possession of it.
On the 1st January of 1976, the Civil Code of Seychelles became law. It replaced the French Civil Code of 1804.
On the 2nd January of 1918, the sale of cakes made wholly or partly of wheat flour was prohibited in the Colony of Seychelles. This was a drastic measure in the context of Wartime regulations, in order to prolong the limited stock of flour that was available.
On the 3rd January of 1940, the Ste. Elizabeth Orphanage opened. A dozen of children were given sanctuary which was managed by Sister Catherine Dugasse.
On the 4th January of 1872, HMS Columbine arrived at Mahé with 158 liberated Africans. They had been rescued from an Arab dhow.
On the 5th of January 1901,an Agricultural Board was established in the Colony of Seychelles. The Board was composed of not less than 5 persons who were appointed annually by the Governor. The duties of the board was to advise upon on questions and matters concerning agriculture, fishery and forestry.
On the 6th of January 1972, the first direct airline service between Seychelles and the South Africa (Johannesburg) was launched by BOAC (British Overseas Aviation Corporation).
On the 7th January 1962, the Ferry Lady Esmé was launched after being blessed by Mgr Olivier Maradan (1899-1975). For a little more than 30 years, LadyEsmé operated a ferry service between Mahé and La Digue.
On the 8th January of 1863, Seychelles was handed over to the Savoyard Capuchin Priests with FatherAmbroiseTissot (1815-1890) as the Prefect Apostolic who visited the Seychelles in 1874 and 1875. He elevated Seychelles to Vicariate Apostolic. From 1863 to 1922, 55 Savoyard Capuchins would spend time in Seychelles, where many died.
On the 8th of January 1934, Mgr. JustinienGumy (1809-1940) resigned as the catholic bishop of Port Victoria. He arrived in Seychelles as a priest in 1903 and stayed until 1913 during which time he taught religious studies at the St. Louis College and also formed a small orchestra. He returned in 1920 and on the 10th March of 1921, the day of his Episcopal ordination he was named Bishop of Victoria.
On the 9th January of 1960, the Seychelles Government Bulletin announced that for the first time in Seychelles, a bus service timetable had been issued, giving information about regular services from and to Victoria and Anse Royale, Glacis, North East Point, Machabée and Mont Fleuri.
On the 10th of January of 1835, the French Corsair, Jean François Hodoul passed away at Mahé,at the age of 70 years old. He first arrived in Seychelles in 1791, and after spending some years roving the Indian Ocean, attacking British vessels and confiscating their cargoes, apparently with official sanction from Ile de France (Mauritius), he settled down on Mahé, where he cultivated cocoa plantations and established a boat repair business on an islet that was later named after him (Hodoul Island). He owned properties on Desroches and Silhouette. He also served as a magistrate during Quéau de quinssy’s administration. He was buried in the Bel Air cemetery.
On the 10th of January 1963, a group of four American technicians arrived in Seychelles to carry out a preliminary Survey for a possible site for a satellite tracking station. They decided to build the station at La Misère.
On the 10th January 1942, all schools in the colony were closed in view of an epidemic of German measles.
On the 11th January of 1984, the Seychelles Polytechnic at Anse Royale was officially opened by President France Albert René (1935- ). It was a post- secondary educational institution comprising of various departments situated at Anse Royale, Mt. Fleuri and Bel Ombre. The polytechnic accommodated 1,600 full-time students.
On the 12th of January 1938, the Empire Hotel opened in Victoria. It was located on the actual site where the Pirates Arms now stands. The building was not completely finished but the proprietors wanted to capitalize on the arrival of a cruise vessel Atlantis.
On the 13th January of 1908, the letters patent passed under great seal of the United Kingdom, providing for the annexation of the Islands of Coètivy to the colony of Seychelles.Prior to that, the island was part of Mauritius. As far back as the early 1830’s, the island was producing coconut oil for export.
On the 13th January of 1973, the Seychelles Brewery was officially opened by Governor Sir Bruce Greatbatch (1917-1989) in the presence of the chief Minister James Mancham. Other ministers and the Brewery representatives from abroad. The Seychelles Brewery went into production in September of 19772. During the first four months, 100,000 cartoons of Seybrew and more than 10,000 cartons of Guiness were sold. The brewery employed 90 Seychellois and 8 Germans. In 1974, Seybrew was awarded a gold medal at the 13th World Beer Competition in Brussels.
On the 14th January of 1953, a Catalina amphibian aircraft operated by the East African Airways arrived at Mahé and left with three bags of mail to Nairobi. It was the first and only airmail service Seychelles had until 1964, when a Grumman Albatross amphibian began a weekly service between Seychelles and Kenya.
On the 15th of January of 1918,Governor O’Brien (1859-1935), enacted an ordinance to provide for the increased cultivation of ground crops. This required every landowner to plant half an acre of land in ground crops, such as maize, bananas and edible roots and beans. This ordinance came about in the light of the shortage of food that the colony of Seychelles was experiencing during the First World War. Any person who did not comply with the terms of the ordinance was fined RS.500.
On the 16th January of 1896, the administrator of the Seychelles Henry Cockburn Stewart (1844-1899) informed the colonial secretary that the Messageries Maritimes’ coal Wharf had been bought by the Imperial Government for £1,030. It was intended that a naval coaling station should be established on Mahé to cater to steam ships that arrived in the Colony. For many years, hundreds of timber trees were cut down and burnt to provide coal to the station.
On the 17th January of 1900, Brother Lucien D’Ecole passed away at Victoria. He was 62 years old. He arrived in 1880 and spent many years at Anse Major where he helped to establish vanilla and clove plantations which brought substantial revenue to the Catholic Mission.
On the 18th January, 1912, a boat La Haineleft port Victoria for the west coast of Mahé. The boat was diverted to Dar-Es-Salam where it was sold in February. The crew was arrested and extradited to Mahé, where on the 1st of June they were convicted for their act of piracy.
On the 19th of January of 1609, the islands of the Seychelles were reached by a British expedition; the mariners spent ten days here. It was the first recorded landing on Mahé. One of the mariners, John Jourdain wrote in his diary that “you cannot discerne that ever any people had been there before us”.
On the 20th January of 1965,Captain Archibald Wilfred Tindall Webb (1889-1968) was appointed as curator of the Seychelles Archives. A retired officer of the Indian Army and Bombay Services, he arrived in Seychelles in 1949. In 1959he was appointed census commissioner.
On the 21st January of 1899, an ordinance came into force that made it lawful for the Governor to authorize cremation of the dead. The law made provisions for the time after the death when cremation could take place, and that the place of cremation should not be within view and not less than three kilometres from the town of Victoria.
On the 22nd January of 1910, the Carnegie Library in Victoria was opened by Governor Walter Edward Davidson (1859-1923). It was built with a donation of £1,750 from the Scottish born American philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1832-1919).
On the 23rd January of 1911, the King’s College was opened in Victoria. It was an undenominational educational Institution with a boarding house for boys. George Mackey was the Principal of the college.
On the 24th January of 1972, it became illegal to fish with spear-guns in the Seychelles. The importation and sale of spear-guns were prohibited. This measure was taken to protect coral fishes which were being killed indiscriminately by divers.
On the 25th January of 1971, the Radio Seychelles announced the dismissal of the Victoria District Council which had been established in 1949 to administrate, regulate and control the districts called “Wards” of Victoria.
On the 26th Januaryof 1962, the Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1916-2011) arrived in Seychelles on R.M.S. Karanja, to assume the post of Governor of the colony of Seychelles. It was during his tenure, in 1966, that the Death Sentence was abolished in the Seychelles. He died on the 22nd April of 2011.
On the 27th January of 1771, the brig L’Ile du Berger under the command of captain du Roslansent the boats, canoe ashore at Silhouette Island to find water. The officers reported that the sea was infested with sharks and the island full of crocodiles.
On the 27th of January of 1949, a notice in the Seychelles Government Bulletin alerted the public about the outbreak infantile paralysis in Mauritius and that the Seychelles Port Health and Quarantine Authorities were taking necessary measures to prevent the importation of infection in the colony.
On the 28th of January of 1969, Sir Hugh Selby Walker (1916-1985) left the Seychelles after serving as Governor for two years. He was involved in contractual negotiations for the construction of the Rochon Dam (1969) and the airport (1971).
On the 29th of January of 1933, eleven dead whales were stranded on Beau Vallon beach. The animals were cut up into portions by the inhabitants. Candles and lubricating oil were made from the blubbers.
On the 30th January of 1968, a notorial deed was drawn up for the establishment of ‘COTE D’OR ESTATE LIMITED, which was located on the island of Praslin. This enterprise dealt mainly with the production of agricultural products and livestock.
On the 30th January of 1956, a branch of the Carnegie library opened at Anse Royal, at the office of the sub-accountant. Membership was 35cents a month, Rs 4 a year.
On the 31st January of 1950, Governor Percy SelwynSelwyne –Clarke(1893-1976) proclaimed the minimum monthly wage for a male labourer who worked 40 hrs a week to be Rs.22.50, and for that of a female labourer who worked 33½ hrs a week to be 9.50cts.
On the 31st January of 1953, the Marie Janewent adrift on passage from Praslin to Mahé with eleven people aboard. After 72 days, only two persons survived. Antoine Vidot (20) and Selby Corgate (15). They were picked up by an Italian steamer,Mantallegro and taken to Kuwait.