The new Seychelles Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr. Alain St.Ange, took office on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 and on the same day he met with the Culture Department Management so as to familiarize himself with his new entourage.
The following day, March 15, a ceremony was held at the National Cultural Centre to bid farewell to the outgoing Minister, Mr. Bernard Shamlaye, and to also officially welcome Minister St. Ange and his Principal Secretary and advisor, Ms. Benjamine Rose and Ms. Raymonde Onezime, respectively.
Minister St. Ange greeted all staff members saying he is happy to have been given the portfolio of Tourism and Culture as the two areas are closely linked. “We cannot have a tourism industry without bringing forward our culture. We now all need to work together to unlock our cultural potentials,” Minister St.Ange said.
He also said, on a personal level, that he works with an open-door policy and that he was counting on every member of the staff to join together to bring the Department of Culture to new heights. “With Ms. Benjamine Rose, the new Principle Secretary, we are ready for the challenge to continue on the base set by the outgoing Minister Shamlaye, and we count on everyone involved to work with us to achieve the needed consolidation work to unlock our cultural potentials,” Minister Alain St.Ange said.
During the ceremony, Ms. Raymonde Onezime, the Special Advisor to Minister St.Ange, thanked the outgoing Minister Shamlaye for his valuable contribution towards the Department of Culture and in the development of cultural projects and activities. In a very emotional speech, Mr. Shamlaye in turn expressed his warm thanks to each section for their passion and devotion towards their work while he was holding the ministerial position and also conveying his wish for continuity. Although he said it is always sad and difficult to say goodbye, he leaves happy knowing that the Department is in Minister St.Ange’s capable hands.
Mr. Bernard Shamlaye was presented with a small gift as a token of appreciation for his contribution towards the progression of the Culture Department. Three outgoing staff from his secretariat were also presented with a small gift each.
Minister Shamlaye held the portfolio of the Minister of Social Development and Culture for seventeen months. He has now been appointed in the position of Ambassador effective March 14, 2012.