My Hero



My first blog post of 2013 will be a tribute to my Dad… 

When in life, some decisions have to be taken, one is very often orientated towards someone who will for sure, indicate the best way to drive through a new road… For me this person is my Dad. Even if he passed away nearly 17 years ago, I am more than certain that he is with the stars over there, looking at me with his blue eyes. So, my words will be about him. To make you, dear readers of “Kindred Eyes across the Sea”, more acquainted with my “Hero”, I will tell you who was Raymond Mamet, my beloved Dad…

Born in 1912, in Mauritius, he was from a family where literature, arts and sciences were part of the day to day life. Very young he showed interest in natural science. He had also in mind to become an medical doctor… But, for different reasons, after high school he studied at the Agricultural College of Mauritius, worked in the Entomology laboratory, he soon was promoted to the head of this department. Even so, he fairly quickly took the opportunity to use his knowledge in a more medical way, when he joined the Ministry of Heath. His main task was to get rid of malaria on the island and he succeeded… 

ImageAfter many years of research, lecturer in Colleges and University, he retired and was not the type of person to stay at home without a target in terms of scientific research. Therefore, he joined the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute where he became technical consultant. At the time the main industry on the island, was sugar cane but the quotas having been reduced, an alternative had to be found, food producing, so he worked quite a lot to promote this project. At the same time, he was technical adviser to anthurium flower producers.

During all his life, he invested himself and did a huge job studying entomological faunas of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island. His “favorite insect” were mealybugs… He spent hours and hours working on these 3 to 7 mm insects. I still can see him looking through his microscope, an Indian ink pen in his hand, gathering all the patience he had, drawing every single details. He spent hours, if not days. As I child, I thought this would never end.


My Dad’s microscope

Here is one of his drawings …

ImageDuring his life, travelling had no secret for him, not only nearly all the islands of the Indian Ocean, he visited and gave many conferences in Africa, Europe. He had colleagues in many countries of the world, some of whom became friends… I still have contact with them.

His work is “celebrated” worldwide… Very much respect was shown to him by many eminent scientists… 

I spoke of the man of science, but just a few words on the man himself.


Brought up in a French way, my Dad was reserved, simple, but he knew how to show his disagreement, in a very elegant way, but even so, it was said. He was one of these men whose noble-heartedness and professional skills were measured  progressively by people who got to know him, and these qualities proved to be deep and strong. He had a special sense of humor, even brought up as a French man, one could feel a slight English taste in it.

France was his home nation, home from where his ancestors came from, he had this strongly in his heart. The fact that he left all his insects collections, his library to the French Natural History Museum proved his attachment to the “mother nation”… France rewarded him as well as other nations, but I know that when France promoted him “Commandeur des Palmes Académiques” he was so happy…and somewhat proud of being recognized for all his work and for the exceptional man he was.


Dad with Julie and Pierre-Albin, my kids…

Recently, the Republic of Mauritius, paid tribute to him,  his name was added on the Colonne Liénard of the Botanical Gardens of Pamplemousses. I had the opportunity to attend this moving ceremony. On this monument, all the names of eminent scientists are mentioned, as Pierre Poivre, Sir Wiliam Newton, Mahé de Labourdonnais…


Colonne Liénard

I am so thankful, Dad for all you did for me, thankful for all I have learned from you, you have always helped me and I know you are and will guide me…



28 comments on “My Hero

  1. mestien says:

    Bravo Louisie ! c’est un très bel hommage à ton Papa. J’ai la chance de me souvenir de lui et il était absolument charmant.

    A très bientôt,



  2. This is a very beautiful and moving tribute to your father. He was a very important man but seems to have had the time to spend with you and his grandchildren. You must be so proud of him and the recognition he deserves.

  3. Yvette says:

    Quel bel hommage rendu à ton père. Cela m’a touchée.
    amicalement Yvette

  4. Julie says:

    Mume, Such a beautiful post and tribute to your Dad,my grand-father. I
    could add that he was a loving grand-dad,who really cared of my
    brother Pierre and I.When he left us 17 years ago,we went through one
    of the hardest moment of our lives,we loved him so much.I was too
    young to fully understand the man he was and the accomplishment he made,now as
    a adult, I can and realize how lucky we were to have had such a
    wonderful grand-dad…Even if we miss him every day,I’m sure he’s above
    in the stars,looking at us and sending us all his love.

    • Louise says:

      Sweetie, All my heartfelt thanks for your wonderful words, I am deeply moved by them. He will always be in our hearts, yours, Pierre and mine. Love you my Julie.

  5. Gerard Langlois says:

    Thanks Louise for copying me your tribute to your Dad. May I congratulate you for doing so, one can read your strong feelings you have for him. It’s important to write all what we know about our parents and what they have been for us. Very often those memories are lost after their death, and their story stops there. For me, we and our children and grand children should continue keeping writing our family’s story. Have you copied it to “La Societe de l’Histoire de l’Ile Maurice” ? It could be published in the “Dictionnaires des biographies Mauriciennes”. Do you know Alain Mathieu, the actual president ? I can give you his address. Just let me know. Best regards.

    Gerard. Tel.+61.4.03640127 Sent from my iPad from Perth, Australia. Where we are actually.

    • Louise says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, Gerard. Family is the root of life. I actually have Alain Mathieu’s address I will send him the link and see how things go. Enjoy your stay in Australia.

  6. Nanette says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to your Dad, Louise. You must be so proud of all his accomplishments. I love all the photos of him as a younger man and as he grew older. And especially love the photo of his microscope and drawing..very special! Thank you for sharing this very special part of your family with us! xo

  7. Gervais Mamet says:

    Quel magnifique éloge! Je me souviens de ton père, attablé à son bureau, quand nous passions à pied devant ta maison.
    J’ai été très heureux que tu m’aies invité au jardin de Pamplemousses lors de la cérémonie. J’ai toujours eu beaucoup d’admiration pour ton papa. Malheureusement, je ne l’ai pas bien connu personnellement…et pour cause…!
    Merci pour ta correspondance.
    N.B. J’ai toujours sa photo que j’ai glissée dans la page de généalogie le concernant.
    A bientôt,

  8. Mary McGillicuddy says:

    Beautiful tribute Louise, both by you and your daughter. He sounds like he was an impressive man intellectually, but more importantly, as a father.

  9. maryse from Mauritius says:

    Louisie, tu te souviens que nous vous avons rendu visite, Pierrot et moi,a Minissy, en France?
    Ton pere vivait chez toi en famille. Pierrot avait une grande admiration pour lui, et je l’estimais beaucoup. Je sais aussi les liens affectueux tres forts qui t’unissaient a ton pere.
    Je te felicite pour ce bel hommage.
    Ta cousine, Maryse

    • Louise says:

      Bien sûr, Maryse, le temps passe mais les souvenirs restent… Merci,il y a des moments où il faut faire revivre par des mots certains moments de sa vie… Je t’embrasse.

  10. Pierre says:

    Un vibrant et doux hommage à ce grand père formidable. Surement est il là haut en train de regarder grandir ses petits enfants. Ses petits enfants qui pensent à lui et qui gardent en mémoire ces moments passés ensemble à Minissy ou au museum. De ces chasses aux papillons mémorables à ses pâtes au lait que l’on dévorait ensemble autour de la table. Que de souvenirs, de bons souvenirs. Des moments inscrits en nous.
    Merci mum.


    • Louise says:

      Merci mon Pépère, de tes mots si affectueux pour celui qui nous aimait tant… Garde toujours ces moments et partage les avec Gabriel… Ils sont précieux et font partie de nos richesses. Je t’aime mon fiston…

  11. marie-jose roch says:

    Louisie c’est tres émouvant!!!!c’est tellement dommage que mami ne soit plus là pour lire ton merveilleux hommage à tonton Raymond!!!!!Merci de tout coeur Josette

  12. nicolas-goux says:

    merci d’avoir pense à nous .Mon frere et moi nous nous souvenons d’avoir souvent entendu parle de votre pere mais c’est tout car à cette epoque dans notre famille les enfants etaient tenus à l’ecart et de plus notre pere se preocupait plus de ses cochenilles ;Bien à vous

  13. Arnaud Le Maire says:

    J’ai eu la bonne surprise de découvrir ce vibrant hommage à tonton Raymond.
    Outre ses qualités scientifiques, ce sont ses qualités humaines que je n’ai pas oubliées, un homme tendre et plein d’affection.
    J’espère que tu vas bien,
    Grosses bises de ton filleul,
    Arnaud Le Maire

  14. Gerard de Fontenay says:

    En cherchant des renseignements sur la colonne Liénard , je suis tombé sur ce site. Cela m’a rammené a de bons souvenirs de Raymond avec qui j’ai longtemps travaillé dans la diversification agricole d’abord et ensuite dans l’industrie de l’anthurium ensuite . Je me souviendrais toujours de son desarroi apres le vol de son “Lap-top”.Toutes ses notes envolés. Shame!!
    Il a été pour moi un Gourou grace a ses grandes conaissances . Merci Raymond

    • Louise says:

      Merci Gérard de vos commentaires qui me touchent beaucoup… Oui, Papa était une valeur tout en restant simple et discret. Je suis fière tout comme mes enfants de l’avoir eu pour Père et Grand-Père… Amicalement, Louise Berthereau-Mamet

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