Beau Bassin – Rose Hill : A combination of French and English words respectively, reflects the occupation of the country successively by the French, from 1722 – 1810, and by the British between 1810 and 1968 when Mauritius obtained its independence.
The appellation of Beau Bassin is thought to be derived from a pond situated in the north of the town, whereas that of Rose Hill is suggestive of the colour of the sunrays on Corps de Garde, the hill which overlooks the town.
The name is derived from a pond on estate of Jean Nicolas Bouchet of the East India Company. Originally, Beau Bassin-Rose Hill was part of a rural area, which was conceded, on 30th April 1759, by the ‘Conseil Superieur’ of the ‘Compagnie des Indes’ which administered the Island from 1722 – 1765, to Mr. Jean Baptiste Bourceret de St Jean, who was ‘Conseiller Commissaire de la Marine’ of the Company.
The Beau-Bassin Sugar Factory, which was built in 1788, was closed in 1868 and the land was parcelled out. The residential area of Beau-Bassin attracted businessmen, traders and professionals. Their residences were known as The Oaks, Harewood Park or Llewllyn Castle. The then village of Beau-Bassin was created on the 1st November 1877.
In 1797, Gabriel Laverdant, owner of the Roche Bonne Sugar Factory had constituted a 501 acre estate. In 1843, the heirs Loumeau and Blondeau sold 312 acres of Bourceret land to the proprietors of Belle Vue (now Stanley).
In 1852, Blondeau, who was then the sole proprietor sold the factory (the site of which is now occupied by the Police Station) to the Government. The road leading to Moka was then opened.
On the 189 acres left from the estate, Blondeau created the village of Blondeauville, with beautiful houses on the right and the hamlet with the ‘camp’ for sugar factory workers on the left of the road leading to Port-Louis. The hamlet, covering 2 ½ acres of land was donated to Government for the construction of the market and administrative offices. The name of Blondeauville was abandoned for that of Rose-Hill.
The then village of Rose-Hill was created on 14th April 1868 upon a motion by the General Board of Health.
In 1896, by virtue of Ordinance 31 of 1895, the villages of Beau-Bassin and Rose-Hill became a twin-town administered by a Board of Commissioners comprising 8 members. Both the members and the Chairman were annually nominated by the Governor.
The first Chairman was Hon. Povah Ambrose.
The Board of Commissioners administered the town for 54 years i.e. until 1950. The Commissioner also levied a small property tax to finance provision of basic services (road works, street cleaning and refuse collection). In 1950 a Town Council was established to replace the Board of Commissioners. The first Town Council Chairman was Dr Emile Duvivier. Councillors were elected and 4 nominated.
The Town Council with 12 elected members, established in 1951, was replaced by a Municipal Council with 24 members on the 12 March 1968. Beau Bassin-Rose Hill was therefore upgraded to the status of a Municipality with a Mayor at the head of its affairs. Between 1974 and 1977 and between 1979 and 1982, there were no elected Council. Instead, the Council, during those two periods, was administered by an Administrative Commission appointed by the Central Government.
Elected Council was ultimately re-established in 1982.
The Council is twinned with the township of St Pierre (Reunion Island) since 1985 and with the village of Quartier Militaire since 1986.