A special mass in honour of all men and women who have served, and those in-service in the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) was held at the Saint Anthony of Padua Church, Anse Etoile yesterday morning.
A large congregation attended the service, organised in commemoration of Defence Forces Day which is celebrated annually on November 25 since 1982.
Present for the service was President Wavel Ramkalawan, the Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Michael Rosette, SDF Chief of Staff Colonel Jean Attala, Commissioner of Police Ted Barbe and chairperson of the Defence and Security Committee of the National Assembly Clifford Andre.
Also in attendance was Member of the National Assembly for Anse Etoile Georges Romain.
Parish priest Father Gabriel Siransy and Deacon Louis Agathine, who is himself a member of the force, presided over the service.
Father Gabriel urged that service men and women, who have an important role to play in protecting the land, and the population, seek God and Jesus in their service.
“You as the military, your primary role is to protect the land, the population and the environment. Through the media we are made aware of your interventions to stop human trafficking, to combat against the plight of drugs which destroys so many lives, to combat against illegal fishing. By doing this job, you are protecting us.”
“Therefore brothers and sisters, we pray for our military personnel. We pray that they be imparted with the courage to defend our heritage and the country, to fight against all the ills that are affecting our society. We also pray that they will never, ever get carried away, or contaminated by violence but that they look to Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and are accompanied by Jesus, the Prince of Peace always,” Father Gabriel stated in his sermon.
During the service, members of the congregation, the Bistoquet family, made a donation of R150,000 to the Church, a donation which was matched by President Wavel Ramkalawan, towards the church itself, and to finance the replacement of old benches.
A number of military officers were present for the service.