SSR Memorial Centre for Culture
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Memorial Centre for Culture is situated at 87, Desforges Street, Plaine Verte, discretely nested inside the very heart of the commercial centre in Port Louis. Desforges Street today bears the name of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Memorial Centre for Culture is set up in the old wooden house, where Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam spent thirty years of his life, from 1935 to 1965. The house was acquired by the Government of Mauritius in 1986. The Centre was opened on 18 September 1987, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam’s birthday, by Sir Anerood Jugnauth, then Prime Minister in the presence of Sir Veerasamy Ringadoo, Governor General, Armoogum Parsuramen, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture and Dr. Navinchadra Ramgoolam. It is dedicated to the memory of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the architect of the independence of Mauritius and Father of the Nation.
Rich in history and symbolism, this popular Mauritian dwelling, over 150 years old, is an icon of our architectural and historical heritage. It was also home to Dr. Maurice Curé, the founder of the Mauritius Labour Party from the time of his birth in 1886 to 1916. The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Memorial Centre for Culture was decreed a National Monument on 8 September 1986 and is presently listed as a National Heritage.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was born at Belle Rive Sugar Estate on 18 September 1900. He attended primary school at Bel Air and obtained his secondary education at Royal College, Curepipe. After World War I, he went to England to study medicine at the University College, London. In 1935 Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam returned to Mauritius and joined politics. In 1940, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was elected Councillor to the Municipality of Port Louis where he also served as Mayor in 1958. In 1941 he founded the daily Advance. The same year he was nominated Member of Legislative Council. He also got married to Sushil Ramjoorawon in 1941. Out of this marriage a son, Navinchandra and a daughter, Soonita Kumari, were born. In 1947, he officially joined the Mauritius Labour Party. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became leader of the Labour Party in 1953. He was elected to the Executive Council in 1948, served as Liaison Officer for Education from 1951-1956, became Chief Minister and Minister of Finance in 1961 and Premier in 1965. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam became the first Prime Minister of Mauritius after its independence in 1968. He acceded to the chairmanship of the Organisation of African Unity in 1976. In 1983 he became Governor General and Commander in Chief of Mauritius. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam passed away at Le Réduit in 1985. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam received a national funeral. He was cremated at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic garden where his “Samadhi” has been erected.