(23 September 1949-13 July 1995)
This issue of 13th July 2020 falls on the commemoration of the passing of our dear Royce Dias.Well, today Royce is no more and together, we can only echo the famous words of James R. Mancham:
“J’irai la voir un jour!
C’est le cri d’esperance
Qui guerit ma souffrance.
Au terrestre sejour!”
FORTY -FOUR years old was too young for Royce to have left us -although it is understood that for the last two months, he had been enduring severe physical pains in the abdomen.
If this was his last crucifixion, he did it with a great sense of stoicism, always mindful not to cause too much anxiety to third parties and especially to those close to him. Royce will be remembered for what Amnesty International described as a “prisoner of conscience”.
Apparently, he became a victim of political vindictiveness -and found himself arrested “in possession of drugs” which he never really possessed. According to Amnesty International he was targeted and the drug was planted on him to justify arrest and subsequently imprisonment. Royce has cried his innocence to his dying day. Life in exile was not particularly colourful and exciting as imprisonment had resulted in the breakup of his marriage and exile had meant separation from a daughter he so much loved.However, he was always resourceful and full of zest and ideas besides having a special professional flair for accountancy. In fact, after college, he was a junior accountant with the Harbour, Customs, and Excise Department.
Upon his return to Seychelles, he became extremely useful alongside some local entrepreneurs and showed considerable potential in a future supposedly veered towards openness and the free enterprise economy. He spoke to me often on the telephone always supportive of my reconciliation policy. He thought that one day, I could convince the authorities to see him as the victim which he was. His encouragement was the source of great comfort especially when Statesmanship was being deliberately portrayed as political weakness.