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This year, June 17th is Fathers’ Day, my way of celebrating it will be a tribute to my Dad…

When in life, some decisions have to be sorted out, one is very often orientated towards someone who will for sure, indicate the best way to drive through a new road… For me this person is my Dad. Even if he passed away 22 years ago, I am more than certain that he is with the stars over there, looking at me with his blue eyes. So, my words will be about him. This will allow you, dear readers of “Drops of Everything”, to be more acquainted with my “Hero”, I will tell you who was Raymond Mamet, my beloved Dad…

Born in 1912, in Mauritius, he was from a family where literature, arts and sciences were part of the day-to-day life. Very young he showed interest in natural science. He had also in mind to become a medical doctor… But, for different reasons, after high school he studied at the Agricultural College of Mauritius, worked in the Entomology laboratory, within a short while, he was promoted to the head of this department. Even so, he fairly quickly took the opportunity to take advantage of his knowledge in a more medical way, when he joined the Ministry of Heath. His main target was to get rid of malaria on the island and he achieved his goal…

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After many years of research, after being a lecturer in Colleges and Universities of several countries round the world, he retired and was not that type of person to stay at home without a target in terms of scientific research. Therefore, he joined the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute where he became technical consultant. At the time the main industry on the island, was sugar cane but the quotas having been reduced, an alternative had to be found, food-producing, so he worked quite a lot to promote this project. At the same time, he was technical adviser to anthurium flower producers, which often brought him to the Netherlands.

During all his life, he invested himself and did a huge job studying entomological faunas of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion Island. His “favorite insect” was mealybugs… He spent hours and hours working on these 3 to 7mm (0.12″ to 0.28″) insects. I still can see him looking through his microscope, an Indian ink pen in his hand, gathering all the patience he had, drawing every single details. He spent hours, if not days. As I child, I thought this would never end.

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My Dad’s microscope

Here is one of his drawings ..

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During his life, travelling had no secret for him, he visited almost all the islands of the Indian Ocean, he visited and gave many conferences in Africa, Europe. He had colleagues in several countries of the world, some of whom became friends…

His work is “celebrated” worldwide… Very much respect was shown to him by many eminent scientists

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I spoke of the man of science, but just a few words on the man himself.

My Dad was smart, reserved, simple, but he knew how to show his disagreement, in a very elegant way, but even so, it was said. He was one of these men whose noble-heartedness and professional skills were measured progressively by people who got to know him, and these qualities proved to be deep and strong. He had a special sense of humor with a slight British taste in it.

France was his home nation, home from where his ancestors came from, he had this strongly in his heart. The fact that he left all his insects collections, his library to the French Natural History Museum proved his attachment to the “mother land”… France rewarded him as well as other nations, but I know that when France promoted him “Commandeur des Palmes Académiques” he was so happy…and somewhat proud of being recognized for all his work and for the exceptional man he was.

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Some years ago, the Republic of Mauritius, paid tribute to him, His name was added on the Colonne Liénard of the Botanical Gardens of Pamplemousses. I had the opportunity to attend this moving ceremony. On this monument, all the names of eminent benefactor scientists are mentioned, as Pierre Poivre, Sir Wiliam Newton, Mahé de Labourdonnais…

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Colonne Liénard

I am so thankful, Dad for all you did for me, thankful for all I have learned from you, you were caring and loving, you have always helped me and I know you are and will guide me…

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