10 outstanding Seychellois recognised in 2nd edition of National Awards

General |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | June 30, 2024, Sunday @ 09:46| 2923 views

A group of the receivers of the awards with Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan. (State House)

(Seychelles News Agency) - Two former Seychellois boxers are among the 10 Seychellois recognised for their outstanding contributions to Seychelles at this year's edition of the National Awards ceremony held on Friday at State House.

Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan presented the awards at the event, which was also attended by prestigious guests and family members of the winners.

Rival Payet and Roland Raforme won the Medals of Merit. Both former boxers, who are now national team coaches, are the first ever sportspersons to receive the award created in 2022, aimed at recognising their extraordinary service to Seychelles in various fields or through their acts of bravery.

Payet came the closest to Seychelles winning an Olympic medal for boxing in the 1996 Games in Atlanta. (State House)  Photo License: CC-BY 

Payet told the press that he felt he deserved the award and was "very happy that I received it while I am still alive to enjoy it and able to collect it without a walking stick. I have done so much for the country over the years, so I definitely think I deserve the award today."

A former light middleweight boxer, Payet came the closest to Seychelles winning an Olympic medal in 1996 when he came out fourth in the Games in Atlanta.

The Medal of Merit was also awarded to Edwina Adrienne, who has worked in career guidance and later set up the Association for the Promotion of Solid Humane Families with a colleague in 1995. 

Edwina Adrienne also received a Medal of Merit. (State House)  Photo License: CC-BY 

Also receiving the Medals of Merit were Edouard Domingue, the first managing director of the Seychelles Savings Bank - now the Seychelles Commercial Bank - and Herman Maria, a local entrepreneur.

"I am happy because it reminds me of the many children I have helped over the years, this makes me realise that there was a mission to accomplish and I have done my part," said Adrienne.

The recipients of the Honour Award are Willy Andre, an environmentalist, Francis Chang-Sam, a former legal expert who also drafted the country's Constitution, Ilette Esther, a former nurse at the main hospital's Blood Bank, the late Tony Mathiot - a local historian, and Soona Oliaji, a local businesswoman who is also a champion for children with special needs.

Willy Andre, an environmentalist, was one of the recipients of the Honour Award. (State House)  Photo License: CC-BY 

Esther told the press after the ceremony that she appreciated the recognition she received although she was not expecting it.

"I have devoted many years working at the Blood Bank, at times alone - I know that I gave it my all, which is why I am satisfied with the work I have done," she said.

Caritas Seychelles, the Seychelles Credit Union, the Seychelles Infrastructure Agency (SIA) and the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs received the Pride of the Republic of Seychelles awards.

This award is given for outstanding and meritorious service of national importance to the country in exceptional circumstances where the person has earned the respect and gratitude of both the government and the people.

This year the organisers took into account their contributions made during the disasters of December 7, 2023.

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, suffered two major disasters on the same day on December 7. After several days of torrential rains, the northern region of the main island of Mahe, suffered rock and landslides, along with flooding due to heavy rain in which three people died.

In a separate incident, in the east region of Mahe, in the Providence industrial estate, a massive explosion that originated from explosives stored at a local quarrying company, flattened large buildings, businesses, and residential houses in the vicinity. 

Chief executive of the Seychelles Infrastructure Agency, Jitesh Shah, said the fact that SIA was awarded "it's like we are receiving it on behalf of all those we have worked with during that time from the emergency brigades to all other bodies who have helped in one way or another. My time has worked tirelessly during this time and have even given their own personal time to ensure we deliver."

This is the second edition of the National Awards ceremony, held during the National Day activities.

Tags: Honour Award, Medals of Merit, National Awards, Pride of the Republic of Seychelles


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