In our interview this month, Helena meets Mr D. Purmarssur, Team Leader at MRA Customs.
Tell us about your career path at the MRA, when you joined and where you worked.
I was interested by the post of customs officer since young and as soon as I finished school, I started applying for all vacancies. My first job was as a nursing officer and then, when I saw the advertisement for Customs, I applied and was happy to be selected for an interview. Luckily, I was selected and I started work in July 1975.
In Customs, I started my career in the Preventive Branch like most guys and it has been very helpful. Through all these years, I have worked in various sections of the Customs Department and I have so many memorable days. I worked in Excise Section and Distilleries, Bond Section, Valuation, Risk Management, Port Surveillance Enforcement only to mention a few.
How was the work atmosphere and how did you get along with your colleagues?
There was a good work atmosphere and a willingness to learn. At that time, everything was done manually and there were no containers as such on the port. My colleagues and I acquired the skills by performing the tasks and we were united. There was solidarity among the custom officers and we lived like a family. There was an exchange program with the custom officers of Reunion Island and this improved the cooperation between the two islands. I had the opportunity to participate in a training in Japan and attended various workshops in Africa. I also participated in sports activities organized by our employer, namely athletics, table tennis and carom.
What is your feeling to work for an organization like the MRA?
I have spent 46 years at the MRA Customs and it has been a rich experience and career path. It was an adventure, full of surprises and challenges. I had opportunity to travel and work at odd hours. I worked on the famous and luxurious cruise ‘Oriana’ and everything was so splendid and classy. My mind is full of memories and I have acquired much knowledge and experience through this journey. Apart from work, I had the opportunity to participate in the activities of the MRA Staff Welfare Association and really enjoyed such moments. I still recall my first participation in the Team Challenge 2013…simply enjoyed the fun and happiness of being out with friends and colleagues. I also attended the End of Year parties and I cherish those moments.
Your best moment at work?
My best souvenir at work was during my time in the R.M.S (Risk Management Section). Though we were a small team, there was such a team spirit and collaboration. They celebrated my birthday and I was really surprised. It was the last thing I expected that day. I was sitting in my office and suddenly saw the cake and candles in front of me (my 56th birthday). They offered me plants as they know I love these and they ordered the food that I like. The work was challenging but the team was very special.
What are your hobbies?
My dream when I was a child was to become a professional football player and then I realized it would never happen. But still I like to play football. I enjoy gardening – flowers, plants and vegetables. I have an aquarium at home…and I love my fish!!!! During my free time, I do lots of reading and I always want to know more. Reading is my passion.
Tell us about your favorite movies…..
Recently I did not watch any movie but one of my favorites is “Gone with the wind” and I really admire the role of Scarlett O’Hara. I also enjoy movies of Bruce Lee.
What is your favorite food?
Hmmm…..curry de poulet, crevettes et oeufs. I just love it and my wife prepares it so well !!!!!
One of your greatest fears?
You know I believe in spirituality and I have learnt to overcome my fears. I can say I am fearless now….(laugh).
What is happiness for you?
Happiness for me lies in simplicity. I lead a simple life. I am fascinated by nature, birds chirping and hear the sound of the flow of a river. As I enjoy gardening, I could wake up and just to see a flower bloom can make my day. Having a book by my side makes me happy. I read a lot of best sellers but some titles that I can mention right now: ‘Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman’, ’The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman.
And what's the dreams you cherish most?
Like every father, I dream of holding my grand children, see them grow and play with them. However, as I am retiring in couple of days, I will use my free time to learn and play a musical instrument. It will be my next achievement.
The final word…
If I have to start all over again, I would re-apply for a job at MRA and do another career…(laugh).
Thank you Mr. Purmassur for sharing moments of your life with us. The MRASWA wishes you a good retirement and plenty of happiness ahead!!!!