In Memory of Our Teacher and Mentor, Ismael Randera


The year was 1969, Junior Scholarship class at Labourdonnais Primary School. More than 50 years later, hundreds of us still remember and talk about “Monsieur Randera” – a man who truly shaped our young lives for the best. In our class, names that may still be familiar today: Babooram, Betsy, Boolell, Bundhun, Cheung, Chinapen, Dabeesingh, Gayan, Goraya, Khemraz, Ng Ping Chung, Oree, Ponambalum, Panray, Prosper, Ramlallah, Sakurdeep, Servansingh, Sohun, Toorawa, Tsang Kwai Kew, Woomed… All of us in that class were from Ward IV, and many of us were also there because he had the reputation of being one of the best Junior Scholarship teachers around.

Ismael Randera was totally dedicated to the well-being of all his students, regardless of community, religion, rich or poor – all were equal in his “fatherly” eyes. He was disciplined, strict and driven by his quest to enhance the thinking skills of his young students with a view to getting us, through the then ‘La Petite Bourse’, into as good a high school as his coaching could accomplish.

Mondays, just like every other weekday, started at 7 a.m. sharp in a small room of the Tagore Club, next to Labourdonnais Primary Government School. We would all be there early, waiting for Mr Randera to show up on his Mini Honda. Formal classes followed at 9 a.m. in our regular school classroom and at 5 p.m. we would all be back to the Tagore Club for more coaching till 6.30 p.m. With the Junior Scholarship exam approaching, Mr Randera would spend most of his Saturdays with all of us at the Muslim Girls College next to the St Louis Cathedral, Port Louis. On Friday afternoons, he would leave us with enough homework for a couple of hours before proceeding for his prayers. Strange as it may sound, we quietly went about with the business at hand as if he were still around. Mistakes, if any, would be made once but never repeated!

Mr Randera will be missed by all of us. He will be remembered for his dedication to our well-being and progress. We extend our deepest condolences and share the deep sorrow of his family.

On behalf of so many of his grateful and respectful students.

Satyajit Boolell, Patrice Chinapen, Sunil Dabeesingh, Sunil Panray, Baboo Servansingh, Désiré Tsang Kwai Kew

* Published in print edition on 5 February 2021

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