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Ian Hunneybell sent in these Top quality pics, & writes:

Here are a few photographs taken in the aftermath of cyclone Gervaise in February 1975. My dad, FCREA Hunneybell, was at the receiver station at Tombeau Bay at the time, and alhough I can't positively identify these photographs, they were quite possibly taken in that part of the island, or around Port Louis. However, this is just guesswork, so they may be from elsewhere - perhaps someone could identify the large building that lost its roof?

I also attach a telex message we have kept all these years which tracks the progress of Gervaise, which was about 1,500 miles North-East of Mauritius at the time. It was still the best part of a week away at the time, but everyone knew it was on its way!

It remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life. For four days we were battered by the elements, two days from one direction and two from the other as the cyclone passed over the island. For the four or so hours that the eye was over the island we wandered outside to a scene of devastation, in terms of trees and branches strewn everywhere, and to this day I can recall that there were none of the tropical sounds of birds and insects. It was silent. Not a sound, which, after days of howling winds and rain was quite uncanny.

We were lucky, living in a concrete house. The locals, many of whom lived in corrugates iron shacks, were not so lucky but human resilience being what it is, they would have rebuilt once the storm had passed.

Thank you for giving me a chance to rekindle some of these memories! We say - Visit Ian Hunneybells site :

All the photos can be seen at best quality by clicking on them .

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I've dug out a couple of school photos from our time in Mauritius.

We arrived in May 1974 and left at the end of March 1976 when the Navy pulled out. I'm afraid I can't date these photos any better than that, but I'm sure somewhere out there we'll find other people who know more than I do!

I seem to recall my teacher's name was Tim Janman, but that may just be my memory playing tricks with me. Perhaps someone else can confirm. What I do know is that I was the most po-faced kid in the class! Funny, I don't remember being unhappy at school so perhaps this was just my "serious face"!

Well done for setting up the website, and I hope it attracts many more people. It would be great to fill in some of the missing names in those class photos.

I seem to recall the headmaster was Crosby/Crosbie, and one of the teachers was a chap with a beard called Haig/Hague (in a geography class he asked us the capital of Holland, and after we'd all guessed Amsterdam he gave us a clue - saying it was the same as his name, i.e. The Hague. It has stuck in my mind ever since!).


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