Planning authority celebrates its Golden Jubilee |14 November 2022
- Terry Biscornet retires after 42 years of service
The Seychelles Planning Authority celebrated its Golden Jubilee last Friday and during the last 50 years, the organisation mandated under the Town and Country Planning Act Cap 237 have helped Seychellois make their dream come true.
A celebration was organised to commemorate this milestone where long-serving staff and also students who took part in the art competition ‘Evolution of Seychelles Architecture’ were rewarded.
Two staff members – Terry Biscornet and Maryse Morel – are retiring from the organization. Mr Biscornet worked for 42 years whereas Maryse Morel clocked 39 years of work.
Mr Biscornet retired as the deputy chief executive of planning and he is still a consultant for the organisation. Asking about his best memories, Mr Biscornet shared that “I am leaving behind a team which will keep flourishing under the guidance of the CEO, Angela Servina. I mentored almost all staff in the organisation and recently I helped the staff in the comprehension of the new law that will be guiding the authority. Next year I will come back to the Seychelles Planning Authority as a consultant to see where I can help mainly regarding the regulations and the new law for the contractors.”
Mr Biscornet shared among his best souvenirs are the mentoring of three CEOs – Gerard Hoareau, Joseph François and Angela Servina.
“At some point the current Minister Rangasamy was one of the directors. At that moment we had expatriates working, and now we have accomplished a major milestone as SPA has mostly a Seychellois team including engineers and architects. What next for me? I will continue to nurture SPA as it’s my baby and I am also planning to have my own consultancy to help people.”
The other awardees were:
Long-service Award 10 years +: Arno Cassime, Julie Low, Terry Biscornet, Sheryl Valentin, Andy Philoe, Jilly Rose.
Long-service Award 15 years +: Bernard Belle.
Long-service Award 20 years: Philina Lablache and Barbara Jean Baptiste.
Long-service Award 25 years: Gilberte Serret and Ronny Jean.
The Long-serving board member Award went to Patrick Lablache and Wilson Nancy and the long-service award – Institutional memory was awarded to Terry Biscornet.
Competition ‘Evolution of Seychelles Architecture’
In line with the celebrations, a competition was organised for students of primary and secondary schools to show their ideas of what would be the ‘Evolution of Seychelles Architecture’.
The winners for the primary level are Maria Pillay (1st prize), Lizzie Lablache (2nd prize) and Ellie Payet (3rd prize). The best effort went to Kurtrisha Albert.
The winners for the secondary level are: Emeline Lozaique (1st prize), Danitha Joseph (2nd prize) and Roselda Pierre (3rd prize). The best effort went to Anelka Songoire.
The event was graced by Vice-President Ahmed Afif, the Designated Minister Jean François Ferrari and the Minister for Lands and Housing Billy Rangasamy, the CEO of SPA Angela Servina, the board members and the staff of the organisation.
VP Afif commended the staff of SPA for such an achievement and also for moving their services online during the pandemic to facilitate the queries of their clients.
“You changed your system and the staff embraced it without hesitation. I know it is not easy to serve the public immediately but I know you are doing your best to guide your clients. You are the ones that give people hope and update them on their projects, which is much appreciated. Please keep working as you are and I congratulate you all for such a big milestone,” said Mr Afif.
Minister Rangasamy also addressed the staff and noted “I am very impressed with your work and how the private sector is collaborating with you all. The reality at the SPA is to find solutions for our clients and help them fulfill their dreams! With the new law, now the minister does not have anything to say in the approval of documents. Things are now being done according to merit and justice for a more sustainable development.”
CEO Servina stated that their focus will remain on creating an enabling environment for sustainable physical development in Seychelles.
“We have to find an ideal balance and we have to work towards a sustainable future. Despite criticisms, we reply to our clients and we will stay strong and determined about a better future. We call on the young generation to consider a job at the SPA,” stated Ms Servina.
In the absence of the chairman of the Seychelles Planning Authority, Cyril Bonnelame, Nanette Laure conveyed his message to the staff. “We could not have made this journey without the support of the policy makers – the government, the agents, supporting agencies as well the applicants who expect the best from us. Going forward the challenges we face will be very demanding on our resources – human and the tools at our disposal to do our job. I have full confidence that if we continue working as a team and with the support of the government, our parent ministry, we will be able to surmount these challenges.”
After the official ceremony, the staff were treated to a small party at the Harbour Cafe Bar and Restaurant at the Espace Building.
Photos: Louis Toussaint