Conversations with Swiss Missionaries in Barotseland 1940-1972 (with photographs and watercolours by Claire Bornand)
A new publication of the RSC by member Ian Menzies (who resides in Geneva and farms cattle in Zimbabwe). This is a much smaller publication than recent Memoirs; it is about a rather intimate encounter with one of those brave women who journeyed to Central Africa as missionaries in the middle of the 20th Century and is entitled: Conversations with Swiss Missionaries in Barotseland 1940-1972.
Conversations with Swiss missionaries’ is the story of a young nurse – Claire Bornand – from Geneva who sets out for Barotseland in 1940. She travels through Vichy France, through post Civil War Spain and eventually to her station on the Upper Zambezi. Many of her veteran colleagues are ill or exhausted and she soon finds herself taking responsibility for a clinic and treating thousands of patients. In her diary, she records Lozi customs, she photographs scenes on the Zambezi and botanical observations in her delightful series of watercolours. The 40 page book is based on interviews, documents bequeathed to the Geneva Ethnographic Museum and Paris DEFAP missionary archives.
Title:Conversations with Swiss Missionaries in Barotseland 1940-1972
Author: Ian Menzies
Available from late July, 2020.
PDF – N/A
Print Copy (Members Only) – UK £8 including P&H; Europe £10 including P&H; International £12 including P&H
In 1966, the Malawi government passed Act 51 of Parliament establishing the Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) as a voluntary society, allowing it the right to use the protected Red Cross and Red Crescent emblems in conformity with Geneva Conventions. It became a member of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in 1971.
MRCS has 141 staff members and a total of 30,000 volunteers with 33 Divisions in all the 3 regions of Malawi. Its Headquarters is in Area 14, in Lilongwe.
It is unknown who Will Renton actually was as there seems to be no details about a photographic business in this area by the name of Renton. However, there were Renton’s in the area in the first half of the 19th Century. Robert William Renton (1896-1950) worked on the Kraal Mine, Que Que, and Robert William Renton (1863-1934) who worked on the Cactus Mine, Gwelo.