The Chinese community in Seychelles will in the near future get a new Pagoda following the laying of the foundation stone for the new edifice on Saturday which formed part of activities for the first Seychelles-China Day Celebrations.
The new Pagoda will replace the existing one along Benezet Street in Victoria which has been there for over 100 years.
It was the Chinese ambassador to Seychelles Shi Zhongjun and the Seychelles Chinese Association President Charlie Ling Ping Chu who had the honour of laying the foundation stone in the presence of Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton, Ambassador Barry Faure, French ambassador to Seychelles Geneviève Iancu, principal secretary for culture Benjamine Rose and that for community development and sports Denis Rose, members of the Seychelles Chinese Association, as well as members of the public.
“The laying of the foundation stone shows the great enthusiasm that the Seychellois of Chinese descent have for their origin and routes,” Ambassador Shi said.
The Chinese Pagoda was used as a place of worship when the first group of Chinese came to Seychelles via Mauritius.
“With this ceremony we hope that we will be celebrating our next new year here,” said Mr Ling Ping Chu.
He said he hopes Benezet Street can become a small China Town as it is the original birth place of the Chinese Pagoda.
He noted that the association has more than half the funds to build the new Pagoda.
Mr Ling Ping Chu took the opportunity to thank the Seychelles government and the all the families who have contributed to make the ceremony a success.
Minister Meriton congratulated the Chinese embassy and the Seychelles Chinese Association for this new year and hope that it brings them luck for the new Pagoda.
“Today’s ceremony demonstrates not only the economical affiliation between China and Seychelles but also the friendship, the cultural and social aspects between the two countries,” Minister Meriton said.
He reminded everyone present that our diversity in culture and race is our strength and together we can soar to greater heights.
After the foundation stone had been laid, guests viewed a photo exhibition on different sites in China while along Benezet Street passers-by could visit a bazaar that was organised for the occasion.