Brief History
Goa was one of Portugal's oldest colonies, being established in 1510. The British connection came during the Napoleonic War. Britain and Portugal were actually allies during this war, but the Portugese were concerned at being unable to defend their empire from predatory French or her allied navies. The British were happy to defend the colony and despatched a Royal Naval squadron there to help defend it. This amicable agreement was terminated in 1813 thanks largely to the massive defeat of the French and Spanish fleets at Trafalgar in 1805. For the next century, no country was capable of challenging the power of the Royal Navy. Goa could benefit from Pax Britannica. The British, controlling the vast majority of India by this time were more than happy to leave Goa to its oldest ally.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many Goans would cross the Indian Ocean to look for work in British East Africa. They often had ties to the Portuguese colony of Mozambique and their Christianity made them ideal recruits for British companies and increasingly the British government which over time came to rely on Goan administrators to conduct much of their day to day business.

goa Map
Map of West India
Colonial Goa Images
Articles about Goa
Goan Contribution to the Civil Service

Rosendo P. Abreo gives a brief overview to how the Portuguese colony of Goa ended up contributing so much to the British Empire in East Africa in particular up until 1963.

The Life And Times Of An Indomitable Goan Lady Mrs. Mascarenhas Of Kisii
Mervyn Maciel gives a fascinating biographical overview of a resourceful East Asian lady who showed remarkable entrepreneurial flair in Kenya. In many ways, Mrs. Mascarenhas' story shines a light on how new opportunities were granted and seized in the British Empire and how determined, thrifty and hard working people could carve out a successful business for themselves in even the most unlikely of locations.

To Lodwar I'm posted
Mervyn Maciel explains what it was like as a Goan to be posted to the 'Closed District' of Lodwar in the North West of Kenya and about his admiration for the Turkana tribesmen of the region.

Memoirs of a Frontier Man
Mervyn Maciel gives a fascinating insight into the contributions of the Goan community in the Administration of Kenya through his own experiences.

Books about Goa
A Railway Runs Through: Goans of British East Africa 1865 - 1980
by Selma Carvalho

Yesterday in Paradise
by Cyprian Fernandes

Beneath the African Sun
by Maria Lynch

Goan Cookery Book
by Elsie Maciel

Bwana Karani
by Mervyn Maciel

Mtoto to Mzee: Story of My Life's Safari
by Mervyn Maciel

Beyond the Cape: Sin, Saints, Slaves, and Settlers (The Matata Trilogy: Volume 1)
by Braz Menezes More Matata: Love After the Mau Mau (The Matata Trilogy: Volume 2)
by Braz Menezes

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe