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Interview Purmessur

Question Time

May 2017

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!!!!