Mauritius is the playground of the rich and famous – its hotels
are among the best in the world, service is second to none and
discerning gourmets feast on French, Indian, Chinese, Creole
and British cuisine.
Such an eclectic mix is due to the various contributions of
nations over the last 300 years.
No bigger than Surrey, Mauritius was originally
uninhabited. Arabs first discovered it, then the Portuguese –
neither of whom stopped. The first recorded landing was in
1598, when the Dutch named it Mauritius.
They failed to establish a colony and abandoned the island
in 1710 after depleting it of ebony trees and the unfortunate
Dodo. Their only contribution was the introduction of
The French took possession in 1715, renaming it ‘Isle de
France’ and continued cultivating sugar cane with the help of
African slaves. In 1810 the British captured the island, seeing
it as the gateway to India.
The change of power was amicable, and French remained
the principle language. In the 1830s slavery was abolished and
indentured labour was brought in from India.
Mauritius gained its independence in 1968, and became a
republic in 1992. Its economy now relies on clothing manufacture,
offshore enterprises and tourism.
The population stands at 1.3m, a mix of races all adding
their own languages, cultures and religions to a colourful
island, nation and history. Freemasonry had an equally
colourful and diverse evolution.
The Grand Orient de France (GODF) was established in
1773, and within five years they delegated three army and
navy officers to formally constitute Lodge La Triple Espérance
and the installation took place on Christmas Day, 1778.
Summons of Friendship Lodge No 1696