Mauritius has a rich past not just recorded history but the one related to the building and development of a nation. There are facets of the growth of the nation which are fascinating. Examples are inauguration of the very first undersea cable allowing telephone communication or the first radio entertainment service.
Objects of the past have their role in the memoirs of a nation. Unfortunately there is not much official interest in saving objects that represent past generations and their lifestyles.
However, some people take up collecting artifacts as a hobby. One such person in Mauritius is Mr Goorooduth Chuttoo from Rose-Belle. He calls it “The small collection” but in fact it is a huge private collection of objects which cover just about all aspects of society from communications, transportation to the smallest utensils. Mr Chuttoo is very enthusiastic about his collection, in fact, he can spend much time explaining and chatting about the original use and history of the items displayed. Any school student or a nostalgic elderly person would enjoy the viewing of the objects and listening to Mr Chuttoo’s exuberant explanation.
I recently visited a Chuttoo exposition which coincided with the World Telecommunications Day. On that occasion old telephones, radios and even railway signalling equipment was on display. There was also a large collection of old photos dating back from the 1930’s to 1980’s. These are particularly interesting and have a historical value. An example is photos of HM The Queen Elizabeth II on an official visit to the island in 1972.
The taking of photos in the exhibition was prohibited but I managed to receive permission to take a couple for my blog. My long chat with Mr Chuttoo ended with an invitation to visit his full collection at his home which I intend to take up. Meanwhile, a sample of the collection can now be viewed on this Facebook link.