Prime Minister inaugurates Mauritian Ex-Servicemen’s World War I and World War II Tribute Gallery
The webpage of the Gallery and a Souvenir Magazine were also launched on this occasion
He reminded that it is our duty to care for them and ensure that they can live their remaining days with dignity, comfort and peace
The Prime Minister, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, inaugurated, this afternoon, the Mauritian Ex-Servicemen’s World War I and World War II Tribute Gallery, housed on the 1st floor of the Mauritius Natural History Museum in Port Louis. The webpage of the Gallery and a Souvenir Magazine were also launched on this occasion.
The Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Dr Renganaden Padayachy, the Minister of Arts and Cultural Heritage, Mr Avinash Teeluck, the Chairman of the Mauritius Ex-Services Trust Fund, Mr Roy Manfred Mike Mungur, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other personalities were also present at the inauguration ceremony.
In his address, Prime Minister Jugnauth highlighted that this new gallery is the perfect way to pay tribute to countrymen who fought in the World Wars and who served during the post-war period as it is a means to remember them and honour their service as well as sacrifices. This initiative, he pointed out, ensures that they will never be forgotten.
The Prime Minister underscored that the Tribute Gallery will fall under the purview of the Mauritius Museums Council, which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage. Exhibits at the Gallery, he indicated, will help present and future generations to honour the bravery of those 38,000 men and women who left Mauritius in the context of the two World Wars. According to him, they had a meaningful contribution in the worldwide efforts to defend global democracy and protect fundamental freedoms.
Mr Jugnauth underlined that most of the Mauritians who operated in the frontlines enrolled in the British Army, but however, there were a few of them who served in the Free French Forces during World War II. He expressed his gratitude to all foreign institutions and individuals who shared their technical expertise in museology or made available documents, artefacts and digital contents for display at the Gallery. He also commended one of the main sponsors of the Gallery, the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League, to which the Mauritius Ex-Services Trust Fund is affiliated since 2004.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Jugnauth observed that, as the Ex-Service Community being elderly and declining in size each year, Government has decided to dissolve the Trust Fund. The duties and responsibilities of the Trust Fund will then be vested in the Ex-Service Association of Mauritius, a Non-Governmental Organisation which will cater for the general well-being needs of Ex-Servicemen and the widows of Ex-Servicemen.
However, he stated, other arrangements have been made for payment of pensions and other benefits to which the Ex-Servicemen and the widows of Ex-Servicemen are eligible. He recalled that as from January 2021, beneficiaries are being paid by the Ministry of Social Integration, Social Security and National Solidarity. There are at present 561 veterans and 3,222 widows of Ex-Servicemen who are on the register of beneficiaries. He reminded that it is our duty to care for them and ensure that they can live their remaining days with dignity, comfort and peace.
Before concluding, the Prime Minister appealed to the population to get vaccinated, especially those who need to receive their booster dose. He urged every citizen to strictly abide by sanitary protocols in place, especially during the festive season.
For his part, the Chairman of the Mauritius Ex-Services Trust Fund emphasised that the new Gallery aims at paying a particular tribute to the Ex-Servicemen in Mauritius and Rodrigues. He expressed confidence that the Gallery, which can also be accessed on a website and be a platform for documentation, will be highly appreciated and will contribute to remember the sacrifices made by our fellow Ex-Servicemen.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.