The Cable & Wireless Seychelles (CWS) telecommunication company launched a month-long exhibition on Wednesday as part of activities to mark its 130th anniversary in the island nation.
A group gathered at Kenwyn House in the capital Victoria for an exhibition to view artefacts that document the company’s presence in Seychelles and the evolution of telecommunication technology.
Cable & Wireless was set up in 1893 linking Seychelles to Zanzibar when for the first time the island nation joined the world telecommunication network.
In his virtual address, the chief executive of CWS, Georges D’Offay, said that the venue was chosen because this is where the company’s history in Seychelles started.
“Our founder Eastern and South African Telegraph Company bought this property in 1880. An interesting fact is that this historical establishment, which has been declared a national monument in Seychelles, was used by our engineering directors. This is when the first cable to connect Seychelles to Zanzibar was being installed, a remarkable event in our history,” he said.
The first cable to connect Seychelles to Zanzibar was installed in 1893. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY
Other activities being organised to mark the company’s anniversary include a grand lottery with a BMW lX3 as a star prize, a mega concert, and a family fun day.
Another activity to celebrate the 130th is the special session for CWS employees’ children, who will be given a tour of the exhibition as part of a family fun day.
For the younger generation this exhibition is a chance to see a dial phone, the company’s phone cards that were used on its payphones located all over the country a few years ago.
CWS is also displaying its quad-play services – where it is combining the triple-play service of broadband Internet access, television and telephone with wireless service provisions – through short videos at the exhibition.
Marc Denousse, who worked on the exhibition, explained that while his team has been able to gather “as many artefacts as possible, we were unable to get all of them since the company found some to be obsolete and did not need to keep them.”
The secretary general of the Seychelles Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts (SICHA), David Andre, who is a former CWS employee, officially opened the exhibition.
“I remember applying for a position in the company when I completed my studies in 1976, receiving an answer the next day informing me that I could start work immediately. It is during my short time with the company that I also learned Morse code,” said Andre.
He congratulated the company for the work it has done in Seychelles and the services it has provided to the country in its 130 years here.
Since November 2019, the company has been entirely owned by a group of Seychellois entrepreneurs who purchased Cable and Wireless Seychelles under the group CWS Investment for a price of $130 million from Liberty Global, one of the world’s largest television and broadband companies.
On September 26, Cable and Wireless Seychelles was listed on the MERJ Exchange based in the country, where 120,000 shares were made available for sale to increase its shareholder base and raise approximately $4.3 million.