Seychelles' former assistant police commissioner Andre Valmont remembered: Disciplined, a man of integrity, a gentleman
Valmont (left) was based at the Central Police station in the capital Victoria until his retirement. (Seychelles Police Force)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles bade farewell to former Assistant Commissioner of the Seychelles Police Force Andre Valmont on Saturday at his funeral service. He passed away on October 8.
Valmont, who was 79, died at the Seychelles Hospital, where he was admitted the day before. He is survived by his wife, Anne Marie, five children, and grandchildren.
The former police officer, who served in the force for 45 years until his retirement sixteen years ago, is being remembered for his discipline, devotion, and integrity as a member of the Seychelles Police Force.
The President of Seychelles, Wavel Ramkalawan, paid tribute to Valmont in a message last week.
"We mourn the passing of Mr Valmont, a well-respected member of the Police Force and member of the Seychelles community. His dedication and passion to see a well-disciplined and professional Police Force for Seychelles remained long after his retirement."
President Ramkalawan added that Valmont continued to contribute whenever he had the opportunity to share his advice.
"In his capacity as a member of the Juvenile Court, he discharged his responsibilities to the highest standard, seeking to help young offenders. His landmark contributions and guidance will be sorely missed. Our sincere condolences to Mr Valmont's family and friends. May God grant them courage during this time of mourning," said the President.
|Valmont is survived by his wife, Anne Marie, five children, and grandchildren. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Valmont, who hails from a family of nine children, grew up in the eastern districts of Cascade, Pointe Larue, and Anse Aux Pins on the main island of Mahe. It was at Anse Aux Pins that he settled with his family and wife, whom he had known for 53 years.
Valmont joined the Seychelles Police Force in the early 1960s. Up until he retired in 2007, he served as a police officer, climbing through different ranks, including that of assistant commissioner, assuming different responsibilities and leaving his legacy not only as a disciplined officer but as a gentleman with full integrity. He was even recalled back to the police force after he retired, where he took up the responsibility as consultant advisor for visible policing.
"He programmed all of us with discipline, which he lived and breathed all through his days as a policeman, and that earned our respect," Superintendent Roy Banane told SNA.
Banane said that Valmont is being remembered for his Sunday or nightly visits and checks, which he made to different police stations. These surprise visits also involved checking the occurrence books to ensure that everything was properly logged.
These visits were something that Valmont's son, Benjamin, shared with SNA on Thursday as part of his memories of his police officer father.
"Sometimes we would all go to these visits, and on one occasion, I remember my dad stopping and reprimanding a police officer who was not wearing his full uniform as he was missing his police hat," said Ben. In fact, Ben added that the whole grooming of the officers was something that Valmont paid particular attention to, down to how shiny their shoes were, as Valmont himself was always smartly dressed.
Ben said one of his fond memories was when his father was posted to Praslin - the second most populated island of Seychelles - where he assumed the responsibility as regional commander.
"It was somehow an adventurous time for us kids, and we were fascinated with tales of what he did, such as searching for suspects who were hiding in the forests, catching them, and bringing them down." The Praslin adventure lasted for five years, and in 1991 the family returned to the main island of Mahe, and settled at Mont Fleuri – in an estate where most police officers lived at that time.
From then on Valmont was based at the Central Police station in the capital Victoria until his retirement.
As a father, Valmont was loving, and the same discipline he instilled in police officers he instilled in his children.
"He instilled in us good values, which have shaped our lives as adults, speaking the truth, being courteous to everyone, including strangers, and focusing on what is important, such as our education," said Ben.
Ben recalled the hardship of the past and how hard his father worked to ensure that they, as his family, had all the basic necessities, adding that sometimes his father worked late into the night, often coming home the next day. At home Valmont was police dad, with the kids being kept in check but with Ben recalling the minute his dad left, mischief would take over. "And if one of us did something wrong, all of us would get the stick!" recalled his son.
Aside from his police duties, Valmont was a good mason, and according to his son, this skill allowed his father, with the help of his brother, who was a carpenter, to build his house. The former police officer also loved gardening and kept some domestic animals, such as chickens. Valmont had a passion for bikes, and at one time, he even owned a Suzuki. Not known to all, back in his younger days, an athletic Valmont took up bodybuilding and even in his seventies, he retained his fit physique.
From his discipline, his integrity, his devotion to the force and the people whom he served Valmont remained a highly respected police officer of the police force and of the community – an inspiration for the younger generation.