In Memoriam: Jean Roland Fayolle


Roland Fayolle passed away recently after a short illness. We last met, along with his wife Margaret, when they attended the launch of my book ‘My Most Memorable Patients’ at the Nouvelle Clinique Ferriere in November last.

He was one of the very few college friends with whom I had kept in touch: the fact that he also lived in Curepipe was certainly a factor in this. Joining Royal College Curepipe in Form I A in 1957, we moved up till the last year in UVIA in 1964. As these things go, I always found myself sitting in the last row, and Roland was in the first row seated next to HKC Fan Lun. Uday Fulena was also in the first row, and the three of them formed a trio who continued their friendship in the UK where they went for studies.

At RCC in those days, early on it was almost intuitively known who would be in the laureate category: Roland and HKC were the clear favourites almost from the word go, and were always the first ones ready to answer the abstruse and abstract queries in maths that were raised by our legendary teacher Robert d’Unienville. I was hopeless in that subject but gradually lost my inferiority complex vis-à-vis their brilliance in it as in due course I found myself plunging into biology with enthusiasm.

Unlike me, Roland shone in sports as well. Once we had a verbal spat during a basketball match, when I teased him by imitating our history teacher Mr Low. He was Scottish, and had a stammer, and when calling out Roland to read he would say ‘F..F..F.. Fayolle.’ That was long forgotten whenever we met much later after our paths had diverged on leaving RCC and afterwards had returned to Mauritius as professionals.

While I went on to do medicine Roland proceeded to Loughborough University in UK to do a BTech(Hons) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and when we met many years later he was working at Dynamotors. He went on to obtain diplomas in Contract Law and Business Administration, and after leaving Dynamotors in 1999 he moved to Robert Le Maire as Executive Manager. Among others he was a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (FCIET UK), member of the UK Engineering Council and member of local professional engineering body. Before he fell ill he was Managing Director of Predictive Maintenance Ltd and of Energy Management Ltd, besides being board member of CEB. Renewable energy was his forte, and he wrote an article on this topic which was published in this paper.

I was honoured to interact with him and his family in my professional capacity, but also socially. I thus got know that he was already a great-great grandfather when I was not even grandfather yet! In fact, last year I had the pleasure of meeting one of his great grandsons who had accompanied his dad and great-grandma to my consultation. But I had occasion to enjoy the company of Roland and Margaret with their other friends at their house in Curepipe, and feast on delightful food and traditional English cake and custard.

Roland had kept contact with Fan Lun and Fulena – the former a physician in Canada and the latter a consultant to IATA in Geneva (where I would meet him when attending the World Health Assembly). In fact, a couple of times when one of them had come visiting, Roland gathered a few of us former classmates for a meal at Gymkhana Club. Inevitably nostalgia about our RCC days and our legendary teachers figured high during our conversation.

With the passing of Roland a vital link thus snaps. This, alas, is the way of life…

My deepest condolences to Margaret and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. RIP dear Roland.

RN Gopee

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 31 March 2023

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