Jacques Raoul Rivet, CEO of the press group Le Mauricien, passed away peacefully among his close relatives at his Trou aux Biches residence on Sunday last 10th April 2022 at the age of 81. No sooner had the sad news become known, that tributes from many quarters poured in, for a lifetime of 60 years at the helm of the group he took over upon the demise of his father, Raoul Rivet, had left lasting marks on many both inside the Saint Georges street Group and outside, as the period was quite challenging for a nation in the making and the profession in general.
We wish to place on record here our appreciation of the man’s human qualities, his family values, his integrity, his empathy and generosity of spirit and his undoubted contributions to the wider press for, even if we did not always share the same views over those turbulent periods, debates and exchanges were always genuinely courteous and respectful.
Jacques Rivet joined the St Esprit in the early fifties, where according to his own account, he benefited from the rigorous discipline of the Irish fathers and the lectures of such teachers as de Robillard (history), Clovis Vellin (geography), Maurice Lesage (greek and latin) and Raymond Rivet (chemistry and physics). As was wont in that private secondary college, sports became a large part of his personal development and, when at seventeen, he had to abandon his studies to enter the Mauricien under the stewardship of Jean Delaître, his first article concerned the local football league situation. His sports and athletics interests were constant throughout his life, golfing becoming a cherished one later.
Starting in the Mauricien to help his mother, Jacques Rivet interested himself in all aspects of the newspaper operations including accounts and administration, a passion for photography and was driven by innovation, such as new titles (notably Week-End weekly to accommodate those who could not find space in the daily, Turf mag, Scope…), modern typesetting and the first quality offset press planned for launch in 1978 the month that a destructive fire erupted and raged in the St Georges building. While all the archives were destroyed and much damage done, the new offset press was saved.
Although the Mauricien had an editorial line against independence (the alternative of some association with the UK was neither credible nor fleshed out), Jacques Rivet would contend that, shortly after the decisive elections of 1967, he had argued for reunion of the two factions in the larger interests of the country’s social cohesion and national development. The quest for financial and editorial independence remained a cornerstone of his legacy at the Group.
We extend here our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and all those who have been close to this towering personality in the local press.
Mauritius Times ePaper Friday 15 April 2022
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