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Family donates personal possessions of late Sir James Mancham to museum |05 July 2022

Family donates personal possessions of late Sir James Mancham to museum

Mr Mancham (right) symbolically hands over the donation to Mr Andre

  • The legacy of Sir James Mancham will live on …


An assortment of personal possessions of the late founding President of Seychelles, Sir James Mancham, have been donated to the National Museum of History by the deceased’s family.

Alexander Mancham, son of the late Sir James, officially handed over the items to the museum in a ceremony on Saturday July 2 in the presence of the Minister for Home Affairs, Errol Fonseka.

Sir James Mancham was the president of Seychelles from 1976 to 1977 and he passed away on January 8, 2017.

Mr Mancham (Jr) described how the donation of memorabilia, awards and possessions will help illustrate how decorated his father was and that this is an important contribution to an already impressive museum.

Mr Mancham officially handed over the donation to the secretary general of the Seychelles National Institute for Culture, Heritage and the Arts, David Andre.

“As a country we have evolved on multi-faceted levels and I feel it is important to recognise the immense contribution that someone like my father has made to the history of Seychelles and have this accessible to the public,” Mr Mancham said.

The two items that stood out the most was Sir Jame’s desk that endured countless of hours and possibly thousands of meetings that revolved around politics, business and life itself.

“A desk where my father wrote articles of a political persuasion, books that have been published and passionately recited poetry,” Mr Mancham added.

The other item(s) that stood out was an array of passports heavily stamped due to the constant travels of the late president as a global ambassador for peace and reconciliation.

Mr Mancham noted that his father was “always involved with numerous international commitments and obligations. He was constantly on the move, country to country”.

The donation was spearheaded by Mr Mancham’s mother and the wife of the late Sir James, Kate Mancham. Every item handed over is unique and symbolic as it illustrates the profound impact the late Sir James made throughout his lifetime.

Mr Andre, upon accepting the donation, noted that the principal role of the museums is to preserve history and that museums are guardians of artefacts and documents of significant cultural, religious, scientific and historical importance.

“As we celebrate the 46th anniversayr of our independence, we fondly remember Sir James Mancham, the first president of Seychelles, a fond father and true patriot of the Seychellois Nation. We remember and honour him for his contributions to our small island nation,” Mr Adnre said.

He further added that when the family decided to donate a personal collection of memorabilia and documents it was a moment of wonder and emotion to discover the wealth of treasures depicting the life of Sir James.

The items are on display at the National Museum of History and comprises the late Sir James’ desk, passports, coin collection, pictures, awards and his published works.

Mr Andre noted that the generous gift will mean that the legacy of Sir James Mancham as the founding president of Seychelles will live on for generations to come and that the museum will provide proper care, conservation and storage and security.


Marla Simeon

Photos by Louis Toussaint

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