Jacques Caroopen


Jacques Caroopen, a former President of the Anglo-Mauritius Association in London died peacefully on Tuesday 27 December 2022. He was 81. He was admitted to St Helier Hospital in Sutton, Surrey four weeks ago with a serious ailment.

Jacques left Mauritius in the early sixties after completing his HSC at the Trinity College in Port Louis where he was the very first student to qualify at the school recently opened by the late Claude Obeegadoo, a distant relative of Jacques. The school then offered Jacques the opportunity to study for a degree in London, where he qualified as a Tax Inspector at the Inland Revenue. He soon saw many opportunities in the private sector, particularly in the life insurance business where he excelled over many years through sheer hard work, often taking second administrative jobs in the hospitality sector in the evenings in order to secure a network of customer base.

Jacques Caroopen (far left to R) with Feroze Bundhun and Prakash Ramgulam, visiting the Roman ruins in Gocek, southern Turkey in 2019

He built a comfortable life for himself and his family in high-end neighbourhoods in the suburbs of London; he frequently travelled abroad thanks, not least, to his success in dabbling in real estate investments in addition to his day job. It is fair to say that, as a result, he must have seen the world many times over.

In his sixties, when progressively winding down on his professional activities, he returned to his studies by reading for a degree in the History of Art, specialising in the Renaissance. This enabled him to spend a considerable amount of time in Italy, particularly in Venice in which he became an expert, often encouraging and guiding his friends throughout the city. When in America, he would often invite his friends to share his experience of Tampa in Florida where he regularly holidayed during the winter months in Europe.

Jacques was a man of great culture, well immersed in the arts and became a keen attendee of the Proms at the Albert Hall in London, which annually organised the greatest festival of classical music in Europe, often inviting many friends to share his musical interest as his guests. During the intervals Jacques ensured that there was a proper picnic in the boot of his car to accompany the well chilled bubbly. The Montreux Jazz Festival was also of particular interest to him.

Even in sports he would secure many tickets for his friends, in advance for the Wimbledon Championships through his membership of local tennis clubs. I remember on one occasion it rained nonstop throughout the day so that no play could take place at all. The day was spent just as splendidly at the bar over champagne and strawberries filled with laughter. He had an eclectic taste in food as well, often sharing his interests with friends and recommending many exclusive restaurants where he enjoyed many connections.

Jacques was a widely read and cultured man happy to share his experiences of life with many people. He was a man comfortable with himself and at ease in any situation. He enjoyed life to the full and displayed his generosity liberally; although well anchored in the UK throughout his life, he nonetheless returned to his homeland regularly if only to remain in touch with his many friends and relatives. He would willingly travel abroad to visit his friends who will miss him greatly.

His wife Jane and two daughters Tracie and Melanie with a grandson Raphael survive him.

Feroze Bundhun

Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 30 December 2022

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