Chue Wei Chuen, the father of Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen, arrived in Mauritius as an immigrant. He came from Meizhou, a Hakka village in Guangdong, China. After working with other fellow countrymen, he opened a shop at The Mount Sugar Estate in Pamplemousses and raised his family through hard work and perseverance. Unfortunately, his eldest son died at the age of 25, so he took his second son, Jean Etienne Moi Lin, as his apprentice. Thus, Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen had to cease his studies at the end of primary school. He learned the hard way how to run his father’s grocery shop and, at the same time, took private tuition to study English, French and Chinese.


Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen was born


In 1931, at the age of 20, Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen decided to set up his own retail shop, ABC Store, at 18 Queen Street in Port Louis.



At the age of 31, Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen became the  youngest President of Chinese Chamber of Commerce



His hard work and initiatives were recognized by the British Colonial Government who nominated him to sit as a member of the Legislative Council to represent the Chinese community. Later on, he participated in the parliamentary General Elections and got elected.



After Mauritius became independent, he was appointed Minister of Local Government in the Government of National Unity of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the first Prime Minister of Mauritius, and served for seven years in that capacity.



Through his connections in Hong Kong and Taiwan, he contributed significantly in the successful establishment of the Mauritius Export Processing Zone which has been the textile pillar of the economy, creating over 60,000 jobs.

Honorable Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen was a relentless promoter of Chinese tradition, culture and values. He was one of the founder-members of the World Hakka Federation in Taiwan. He also brought the Hong Kong Nam Wah football team to Mauritius on two occasions.



Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain at Buckingham Palace. It was the pinnacle of his 28 years as a representative of the people on the Mauritius Legislative Assembly.


Pope John Paul II conferred him with the high distinction of “Knight of St Gregory the Great” for his immense contribution to the Chinese Catholic Mission. He passed away on 23rd October 1991. His name has been given to a street situated off De Rosnay Street in the Municipality of Beau Bassin/Rose Hill where he had been a council member for many years.


Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen passed away.



His heirs converted his residence in Rose Hill into a Memorial Centre and Museum as a remembrance of his love for his family and as a legacy for the future generations. He had a collection of over 3,000 photos.

On the same occasion, a book on his life, written by the historian Mrs. Lilian Berthelot, was launched. This book, originally written in French, has also been translated into English and Chinese.


The portrait of Sir Jean Etienne Moilin Ah-Chuen also appears on the Twenty-Five Rupees Mauritian bank note.