Seychelles' first Defence Minister, Ogilvy Berlouis, passes away
After the return of the multi-party system in 1993, Berlouis had his own political party called Seychelles Liberal Party. (Dan Lari Bazar, Facebook)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The first Minister responsible for Seychelles’ defence forces – Ogilvy Berlouis - has passed away. Berlouis died on Tuesday following a long illness. He was 68.
Berlouis first served in President France Albert René’s government after the 1977 coup d’etat against the late James Mancham. Berlouis was appointed as Minister of State for Internal Affairs. His portfolio changed to that of Minister of Defence in 1979.
Berlouis’ portfolio at that time included immigration, prisons, and probation. He was also the Minister for Youth. As the Minister for Defence Berlouis was also the Chief of Defence Forces, a position he held until 1986. Berlouis was credited with building up the Seychelles armed forces.
President Danny Faure expressed his “profound sympathy to the wife, children, and family of the former minister.” In his message, Faure said that “Berlouis had contributed enormously to the development of Seychelles People's Defence Forces, as well as in other spheres during his service in Government, and also as a private citizen.”
Former President James Michel – a longtime colleague of Berlouis -- said in a message on social media that “Ogilvy was a colleague and friend of mine. Together, we shared many moments of tribulation, but also of joy and a deep sense of accomplishment for all that we managed to do together for our Seychelles.”
“Berlouis was a true patriot who always had the interests of our country at heart. His intelligence, his infectious sense of humour, his devotion to duty but also the discipline he imposed upon himself and on his subordinates never failed to impress us,” said Michel.
After the return of the multi-party system in 1993, Berlouis had his own political party called Seychelles Liberal Party formed in 1992. Seychelles – a group of islands in the western Indian Ocean – was run as a one-party state since 1977. Seychelles became a one-party state until 1993.