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Marthe Joseph winner of competition to name new passenger terminal on Praslin |11 February 2023

Marthe Joseph winner of competition to name new passenger terminal on Praslin

Ms Joseph receiving her prize from the chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Sonny Payet (Photo: Romano Laurence)

Marthe Joseph, a senior technician at the National Information Services Agency (NISA), is the winner of a competition to come up with a name for the new passenger terminal on Praslin.

Baptised ‘ERO Passenger Terminal’ by Ms Joseph, the facility situated at Baie St Anne was inaugurated yesterday morning by President Wavel Ramkalawan and the Minister for Transport, Antony Derjacques, who had the honour of cutting the ribbon and to unveil the commemorative plaque to officially open the terminal (see lead story).

After the unveiling of the commemorative plaque, Ms Joseph had the opportunity along with William Rose, the owner of the Inter Island Ferry Pty Ltd, Cat Rose, to unveil the name printed in big bold letters on the top of the passenger terminal.

ERO was a schooner that was built on La Digue in the late 1960s by Ernest Romain and Robert Morgan. The boat had several owners before it was bought by Japhet Grandcourt, the father well known skipper, Captain Luc Grancourt from Grand Anse Praslin.

After several trips between Mahé and Praslin and other islands, the two-masted schooner that transported passengers and merchandise met with an accident during one of her voyages from Port Victoria to Praslin on August 12, 1975 and sunk. All of the passengers onboard, among whom was Anglican Bishop French Chang-Him, were rescued by its skipper Luc Grandcourt.

Speaking to Seychelles NATION, Ms Joseph said that she was proud to have given the name to such an iconic structure on Praslin and to unveil its name.

She said it all started when she came across an advert in October 2022, while working, that was asking for people to participate in a competition to find a suitable name for the terminal.

She added that she discussed the issue with her daughter, Steffy, later that night and on November 11 while she was waiting to be attended to at the Oncology Unit at the Seychelles Hospital, by coincidence SBC television was airing a programme featuring Captain Luc Grandcourt talking about the boat ERO.

“I heard him say that it would be nice if one day the name ERO would be given to a building, a road or even another boat on Praslin, given its historical ties to the island. It was at that moment that the idea to name the terminal ERO came into my mind and speaking to myself, I said, Mr Grancourt this will be your chance to get what you’ve always wanted,” said Ms Joseph.

Ms Joseph said that a member of the organising committee for the competition called her in early January 2023 to assure her that they have received her entry and later in early February, this year( 2023), she was informed that she was the winner.

“I was not shocked when I was told that I was the winner because I was convinced that there were no other names that could be more fitting than ERO. I am very proud to have given the famous name to one such big terminal for the country, especially to the Praslinois,” said Ms Joseph, who noted that it was the first time she participated in a naming competition.

As her reward for coming up with the winning name, Ms Jospeh pocketed R10,000.

It is to be noted that Mr Grandcourt was also present yesterday to witness such an auspicious occasion alongside his brother Robert and other family members.


Patrick Joubert     

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