Mark Hutchinson, a historian, wrote to me after he came across the name of Benjamin Barrow Lousada #77 in a magazine from 1929, reprinted from 'the Morwell newspaper'.


By Rev. B. B. Lousada, Th.L., formerly of Boolarra

Here I am travelling the old historic caravan route from the coast to the interior of Africa. If you look at the map you can follow it from Bagamoyo through Mamboyo and Mpwapwa to Tabora, where the three roads from the three great lakes and the Congo converge. I am travelling from Mywapwa to Dodoma with a motor lorry laden with boxes and natives. We pass the grave of Farquharson, one of Stanley's companions, left sick at Mpwapwa. At the old mission house established in 1876 Bishop Hannington and the valiant Pilkington often stayed. In those days this was the shortest route to Uganda.

One's mind conjures up the slave gangs and Livingstone, the man who destroyed them with his prayers and his pen. Now there is a peaceful countryside, with only mobs of cattle travelling the roads in search of water. Game and wild animals abound, and, because seldom or never shot at, they are quite at ease with a motor waggon. Guinea fowl and wild turkey stalk across the road. Big and little monkeys hop across into the bush. Baboons hide behind the scrub. A wild pig and a leopard are seen in the distance. Suddenly the lorry stops, a sight too good to drive past, there, within two chains of the road, stands a beautiful giraffe lazily gazing at the new monster that has come into view. Some beautiful antelopes (Impalla) are next seen. The smallest kind (Dik Dik) are as plentiful as rabbits, Jackals, and hyaenas, unlike children, are heard and not seen, mostly at night. The tribes along the route are the Wakigura, the Wagogo, and the Wanyamezi. The first build a round stone house with a grass roof; the second a wattle and daub house with a flat mud roof; the third I have not yet seen. The use of the land is communal; it is allotted to anyone who wants a plot to work; the tribe alone has the freehold.

A black shiny skin in a land of sunshine needs only one garment to look decent. One is very regretful to see the way they imitate European dress. The problem of "What shall we wear and wherewithal shall we be clothed" at once leaps to the front. On some mission stations shoes and socks are forbidden.

There are not many whites, in the Territory, and among thousands of Africans I have seen only one half caste. What a contrast to our aboriginal mission stations! The Sultan here is a man named Menzengo. The Germans decided to hang him during the war; he went on a journey and it was reported to the authorities that a lion had killed him; a blood-stained robe was produced at the Boma (fort) in Dodoma as evidence by his followers; some German Askari (soldiers) were told off to inspect the grave and view the body. When the grave was half opened the overpowering-smell of the buried goat drove them away, and they duly reported at headquarters. A young German official then pointed out to the tribesmen that when he did wrong their chief might escape them, but he could not escape the vengeance of God, and justice had prevailed.

Menzengo is very favorable to the mission, and was present at Bishop Chamber's enthronement. He is unable to declare himself a Christian as he has two or three wives. His position, till things alter, seems, to demand this. As the women do most of the work, extra wives are simply a way of obtaining extra labor, and it is sometimes demanded by the wife when she has too much to do. They gathered in thousands to meet the Prince of Wales at Dodoma on November 24. The chiefs all had tents on the Baraza (show) grounds. With their flags in front of each set of tents they made a good background to the meeting with the Prince.

All the whites, about 40, including us missionaries, stood on the pavilion behind the Governor and the Prince. The chiefs, about 40, from all over Tanganyika, were then presented after the Prince had addressed them. As he shook hands some of them kissed his hand, others clapped theirs, all of them bowed low. The grace, dignity, and charm with which these heathen men greeted the son of George (as some of them put it) was a revelation to a newcomer like myself. The band of the King's African Rifles played splendidly. The crowd of decorated natives, with their ancient weapons, the Mission children, the sprinkling of uniformed officials and officers made a pageant of Empire that is not easily forgotten.

My job at present is learning Chigogo and driving the Bishop about; also carting stone, sand, and water for the new Girls' School here at Myumi. The missionary in charge, Archdeacon Briggs, leaves on furlough shortly, when I am to take charge until he returns, as he has been here 34 years, and will be visiting Australia next year.


Later, in 1940, Benjamin Barrow Lousada appears in correspondence from General Sir George de Symons Barrow #302 as Ben Lousada. The correspondence was brought about by the death in 1939 of Blanche Skipper #1013, a cousin of Sir George, and a first cousin once-removed of Benjamin Barrow Lousada. In 2012, Winton Harmon Lousada #494 ged 94 still remembered visiting 'distant relatives' ie the Skippers. He was a first cousin once removed of Benjamin Barrow Lousada.