Next Stop…Angola

Mon. 15 Nov 2010. 9:48 am

November 1915

Angola has been a colony of Portugal since 1655.

Belgium colonized the Congo in 1908 although Léopold II has wanted to be there since before 1865

South Africa has been a dominion of England since 1910.

Germany has been in control of German South West Africa and, as seemed typical, pissing everybody off.

In March of 1915 Portugal declared war against Germany but this is just a formality since German and Portuguese troops had already been fighting along the border of German South West Africa (Namibia) and Portuguese Angola. By August 1915 war with Germany in southern Africa was, by and large, over.

But war isn’t what this story is about. It is about diamonds…and mining.

In 1912 diamonds were found in eastern Portuguese Angola along the border with the Belgian Congo. The Companhia de Pesquisas Mineras de Angola (also known as Pema) was founded to exploit this find. Pema needed investors. Investors needed to know what they were getting for their money. Explorers, consultants and engineers were hired. But because of World War I everybody seemed to be on-hold and once the Germans surrendered South West Africa in 1915, the real war – for diamonds – would begin.

In America the New York mining engineering firm of Rogers, Mayer and Ball sends Glenn H. Newport to Angola as the General Manager of the diamond mines for Pema.

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