The Info List - Guy Rozemont

Guy Rozemont (1915-1956) was a Mauritian
trade unionist and the third leader of the Mauritius
Labour Party. He fought for workers' rights and voiced against the injustice done against them. He played a crucial role in shaping the government, political culture and foreign policy of modern Mauritius.


1 Early life 2 Public life 3 First popular elections 4 The first constitutional conference in London 5 Personal life 6 Memorial 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Early life[edit] Guy Rozemont came from a poor family and was fatherless. He studied at the Royal College of Curepipe
Royal College of Curepipe
and St. Joseph's College, Curepipe before leaving at the age of 16 to work as a labourer. He went on to become a sailor on a fishing boat, just as Emmanuel Anquetil, his mentor, did before becoming the leader of the Mauritius
Labour Party. He had also served as an attendant at the military hospital of Floreal. Public life[edit] Rozemont became active in public life at the age of 23. He spoke for the first time at a meeting of the Labour Party at the theater in Port Louis on August 23, 1942. His fellow-trade unionist and mentor, Emmanuel Anquetil was then the chairman of the Labour Party, having succeeded Dr Maurice Curé, the party's founder. Rozemont was an orator in the Mauritian
Creole language. In 1947, he held public meetings denouncing what he said were the evils of capitalism and condemned what he saw as the indifference of official and unofficial representatives of the people in the Legislative Council. Rozemont fought for workers' rights and called for the nationalisation of certain industries, a housing plan and a pension for all workers, and retirees, health care for all, unemployment benefits, and compulsory education. He also advocated the establishment of cooperatives. First popular elections[edit] In the 1940s, the Labour Party campaigned for the proclamation of a holiday for workers (Labour Day) and for the extension of the franchise. Rozemont called for the abolition of the poll tax, which would give workers the opportunity to elect representatives to the Legislative Council. The colonial government accepted the idea of constitutional reform and on October 29, 1946, the British governor Mackenzie Kennedy submitted to the Council the Government's proposal for a new constitution. Because it kept the census voting and other elements that were understood to be detrimental to the working class, the proposal was completely rejected by the Labour Party during a public meeting in St Pierre on 1 December 1946. On the platform were: Emmanuel Anquetil, S. Salabee, Renganaden Seeneevassen, Guy Rozemont, Edgard Millien and Seewoosagur Ramgoolam. When Emmanuel Anquetil died suddenly on December 25, 1946, Guy Rozemont, then secretary-general, was promoted to president of the party, becoming its third leader. Two days after his appointment, Rozemont demanded the replacement of the Governor Kennedy by the British Labour Party, which was currently in power in the United Kingdom. The struggle for constitutional reform continued and the colonial government ultimately approved a new constitution that increased the number of voters seven-fold.

"Under the old constitution of 1885 the number of electors stood at 11,844 in 1946. Immediately after the approval of the new constitution the registration of electors was completed in 1948 and their number rose to 71,569."[1]

The Following table shows the number of electors in each electoral district.

Electoral district Number of electors

Port Louis 13.389

Pamplemousses & Riviere du Rempart 10,007

Moka & Flacq 10,204

Grand Port Savanne 12,641

Plaines Wilhems & Black River 22.567

The first general elections under the new constitution were held on 9 and 10 August 1948. Guy Rozemont was elected in first place in Port Louis. He and the Labour Party proceeded to legislate constitutional reforms to expand the electoral base significantly. He also introduced a motion on April 29, 1949, to make Labour Day
Labour Day
a public holiday in Mauritius. Though Labour Day
Labour Day
had first been celebrated on May 1, 1938 in Champ de Mars, it was not until 1 May 1950 that it was officially celebrated, after being decreed a public holiday by the Legislative Council. The first constitutional conference in London[edit] Calls for reform by the Labour Party in London
are reviewed by the Constitutional in 1955. Representatives of the Labour Party were Guy Rozemont, Dr. Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Renganaden Seeneevassen and Guy Forget. The deliberations known on the new Constitution of Mauritius were held in London
from 12 to 20 July 1955. The Labour Party's demands for reform were torpedoed by the Conservatives and the Secretary of State by adding proportional representation among the proposals of the reform. "The demands of the Labour Party will be taken into consideration at the first Constitutional Conference in London
(1955) ... However, the main demands of the Labour Party concerning universal adult suffrage and a responsible Government will be torpedoed, the British Secretary of State has accepted at the request of the Conservatives, the voting system in the form of proportional representation. The Labour Party resolutely opposed the proportional Representation - this method of voting is likely to lead ideological divisions and anarchy - will be called to fight this proposal in the 2nd Constitutional Conference in London
(1957). " From this it was clear that Guy Rozemont and the Labour Party were dead against communalism. The President of the Labour Party, Guy Rozemont, did not have the privilege to take part in the second constitutional conference in London. He died March 22, 1956. However, the torch of liberty lit by the latter continued to shine. "Beyond death, Guy Rozemont will see his dream fulfilled for a constitutional Mauritius
when at the 2nd Constitutional Conference in London, the Proportional Representation will be simply shelved. Mauritius
has universal adult suffrage and the ministerial system of government. Thus, Mauritius
already on the path to self-government, will, the next decade, make the decisive step towards becoming an independent state." Personal life[edit] Guy Rozemont married Elsie Cummins in September 1946. They had an adoptive son, Guito Rosemont. In September 1954, his wife died, after which he lived alone with his son. On 22 March 1956, Guy Rozemont died during a meeting with his contemporaries, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Renganaden Seeneevassen, who came to visit him at Victoria Hospital, Quatre Bornes. It was found that he died of his heart condition. His funerals were held at the Sacré-Cœur church in Beau Bassin, where a huge crowd had gathered. Memorial[edit] In memory of Guy Rozemont, a monument was erected in Port Louis
Port Louis
and the place where the monument stands has been named Guy Rozemont Square. The headquarters of the Mauritius Labour Party
Mauritius Labour Party
is found there. In addition, several streets in Mauritius, a primary government school in Port Louis
Port Louis
and a stadium in Quatre Bornes, among others, have been named after this imminent personality. See also[edit]

Biography portal Mauritius

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Guy Rozemont.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam History of Mauritius Emmanuel Anquetil


^ http://www.lemauricien.com/article/histoire-lempreinte-guy-rozemont-lhistoire-constitutionnelle-maurice

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] External links[edit]

http://histoireithier.blogspot.com/2009/08/guy-rozemont.html http://www.defimedia.info/defi-plus/dp-magazine/item/4873-guy-rozemont-l%E2%80%99oubli%C3%A9-du-travaillisme.html

^ http://www.lemauricien.com/article/histoire-lempreinte-guy-rozemont-lhistoire-constitutionnelle-maurice ^ http://www.lemauricien.com/article/guy-rozemont-au-rendez-vous-d-grand-homme ^ Profiles of Great Mauritians : Curé, Anquetil, Rozemont and Seeneevassen (Moonindra Nath Varma) ^ Mauritius
News, April 1998, Issue No. 129 (Article on "Guy Rozemont : Man of the People" by Yatindra Varma) ^ The Story of Mauritius
1900-2000 - Father of the Nation (Anand Mulloo) ^ Histoire de la Colonie Isle de France-Ile Maurice, 1721-1968 (Amédée Nagapen) ^ Emmanuel Anquetil (L. Riva