Amede Maingard

Last week at the Rogers house there was the launching of the biography of Amede Maingard, Behind enemy line with the SAS. He was the visionary who founded the Tourism industry and Air Mauritius.

I had the privilege to have known the man and worked for him. Before I finished school because of the friendship which bonded my Dad and Amede Maingard, I was asked by my Dad to go and visit Amede Maingard in his office at Rogers which in those days was at Sir W. Newton Street. It was the 13th December 1966; I met him for the first time. He was a man with a smile on his face with an impressive look. Man of only a few words, I was impressed by the way he would look at me. I would sense a lot of sympathy in his glance whilst at the same time I could make out that he was a great strategist with a calculating mind. On that very day, I joined Rogers & company where I spent 38 years of enjoyable service until my retirement.

Amede Maingard commands respect as he would only express his views after having heard all the opinions and done his own thinking. Always calm in his manners, he was a no time waster. He was the authority and would not accept to be contradicted. His war years gave him an aversion to anything German. I recall how he reacted when we spoke of the operation of Lufthansa to Mauritius. He left this world too early and did not see the fruit of his work at Air Mauritius with the operations of B747 SP and the boom of the Tourism industry in the years past the 80’s. He planted the seeds, saw to it that the buds got off the ground but did not live to see the fruit of his determination and vision.


#1 joseph on 12.01.07 at 9:05 pm

Major R. A. L. P. Maingard de la Ville-es-Offrans DSO, Croix de Guerre. Served SOE F Section. Radio Operator to Stationer circuit, later organiser of Shipwright circuit, central France 1943 – 1944.

Survived war, returned to Mauritius and became successful businessman and founder of Air Mauritius. Awarded Legion d’Honneur and CBE. Died 1981, Mauritius, aged 62.

#2 joseph on 12.03.07 at 9:08 pm

Amèdèe Maingard was a young Mauritian studying in London in 1939 who volunteered for the British Army. After a frustrating spell in the infantry, Maingard joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE), He parachuted into occupied France in 1943 to join the ‘Stationer’ circuit, initially as radio operator but soon was second-in-command in the circuit, arranging the delivery of weapons, supplies and personnel to the Rèsistance. After a year’s clandestine work, he narrowly escaped the fate of his organiser who was, captured by the Germans in May 1944. Undeterred, Maingard developed his own ‘Shipwright’ circuit in time to support the Forces Françaises de l’Intèrieure (FFI) and the arrival of fifty-five men of 1st SAS Regiment for the ill-fated Operation BULBASKET shortly after D-Day. Somehow managing to keep the peace among the Gaullists, communists, British and Americans fighting for the French common cause, Maingard continued his vital work until the liberation of central France, earning recognition from both the British and French governments. He went onto play a leading role in Mauritius. Behind Enemy Lines With the SAS is more than a story of great bravery and dedication to duty in wartime. Maingard returned to Mauritius and was instrumental in developing the island’s tourism and hotel industry. Founder and first Chairman of Air Mauritius, he became one of his country’s most successful post-war businessmen before illness cut short his ambition and he died in 1981 at the age of 62. Readers will be grateful to Amèdèe Maingard’s biographer for making this remarkable man’s achievements in peace and war better known.

#3 Paul McCue on 12.09.07 at 3:30 pm

Hello Joseph

Glad to see you approve of due recognition in respect of that great man Amédée Maingard But could I ask if you might be able to correct the spelling of his name. As you will see, the publishers of the biography got it wrong on their web site and I believe even Rogers have it incorrectly on their site.

With best wishes from a cold and rainy England.

Paul McCue

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