Sunday, September 07, 2008

Eddy Abraham-The Mauritian from Nosy-Bé

Where were you born and what is it that you cherish most about your birthplace?
Answer: I was born in Nosy-Bé, in the then French Colony of Madagascar. I cherish the souvenir of our house in Jhabal-Bé where I grew up, the garage where my father used to work, the “Sadua”, Mansion where the French bosses lived, the Church of St Peter & St Paul in Hell-Ville where I was baptised and the Hell-Ville Cemetery where my godfather Benjamin Abraham and my sister Denise Abraham are buried.

Photo of Eddy Abraham with Governor-General Michael Jeffrey at Government House in Canberra

What is the most precious of your childhood memories?
Answer: Growing up with my sister Maryse, riding our tricycle near the river(full of crocodiles) in our backyard, my father’s vintage car, my Malagasy nanny Mboty Hoahoa, with whom I reconnected after 50 years, my male servant Miser, who put me to bed every night, the Pouce Pouce which took my sister and me to school in Hell-Ville everyday, my caring godmother Cécile Le Gros (deceased), my loving parents Marcel & Suzanne Abraham (deceased) and my dog Noiro, which chased our car, the day we left Jhabal-Bé to catch the boat to Mauritius.

When did you or your parents migrate to Australia?
Answer: My wife Brigitte, my son Jean-Dominique and I, migrated to Australia in November 1971

What is it that you like most about the Australian way of life?
Answer: The easy going way of life, the concept of a fair go for everyone and the opportunities the country offers to anyone who is willing to take them. I admire the sense of punctuality of Australians and the promotion based on merits. I also like the catch phrase, “No worries” and the way Australians always pay tribute to their elders, their heroes, their legends, whether they were on the battlefields, in sports or in any spheres of human activity.

What did you do in your first job or occupation?
Answer: Teacher in Government Primary Schools in Mauritius.

What are / were your career highlights?
Answer: Teaching English as a Second Language in Catholic Primary Schools in Victoria.

Obtaining a one-year scholarship to upgrade my qualifications, sponsored by

The Catholic Education Office of Victoria.

Pioneering a French Language Program for primary school students at St.

Colman’s, Balaclava, where there were a lot of Mauritian students.

Developing a Mauritian Studies Kit that was distributed to Catholic Schools with

a high percentage of Mauritian students.

Writing a Booklet, “Mauritians, who are they”, to introduce the Mauritian

Migrant to Catholic Schools.

Entry at La Trobe University and Melbourne University.

Upgrading my teaching qualifications to: Grad. Dip in Inter-Ethnic Studies &

Education, B.Ed.(Primary) and Post Grad. Dip. In Applied Linguistics.

Teaching English as a Second Language at tertiary level, namely at Kangan/

Batman Institute of TAFE.

What is your favourite book?
Answer: I must mention three:”Histoire de la literature mauricienne de langue francaise”

by Jean-Georges Prosper, “ Beaux Songes”, by Nando Bodha and “ Orchidée”, by

Marc Grégoire.

What do you like most in people?
Answer: Loyalty, fair play, frankness, reciprocating my sincerity, people who are achievers and not opportunists just sitting on others’ sweat, people who show their true colours, people who don’t lose their dignity, people who don’t self appropriate others’ laurels.

Who do you admire most?
Answer: Nelson Mandella

What is your favourite dish?
Answer: Beefsteak aux pommes.

What is your most valuable trait / personal quality?
Answer: I am a perfectionist, a man of my word, punctual, a well-mannered person. I give credit where credit is due. I am sincere, trustworthy and I speak my mind

Tell us about your most worthwhile achievement(s)?
Answer: Receiving the Order of Australia Medal.

Receiving the Inaugural Medal for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs.

Receiving the Order of St .Peter & St. Paul Medal.

Receiving the Etoile de la Créolophonie Award.

Setting up the Mauritian Program on Ethnic Radio 3ZZZ.

Administrator of the Victoria-Mauritian Pastoral Council

Receiving Holy Communion from late Pope John-Paul 2.

Being invited to two receptions at Government House in Canberra,

hosted by Governor-General Michael Jeffrey and Lady Jeffrey.

Winning a Defamation Case against Jean-Claude Antoine & Weekend.

Correspondent for Radio France Internationale.

Covering the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Coolum,in


Putting the Mauritian Community on the Ethnic Map of Australia

Representing Mauritians on the Melbourne Archdiocesan Commission on Migration.

What is the most memorable moment in your life?
Question: My Wedding Day

If you could wave a magic wand and do something that you desire most, what would it be?
Answer: Share my achievements with my deceased parents.

What is most precious to you at this point in your life?
Answer: My wife Brigitte and my son Jean-Dominique

What are your plans for the future?
Answer: Continue to volunteer my teaching services to Australians.