Δευτέρα, 18 Ιουλίου 2016

The Greek pioneers in Lourenço Marques of Mozambique



(abstract from ''The Greek community in Mozambique''

The Greek presence in Lourenço Marques dated back to 1878 and is related to the political and economic conditions in the neighbouring Transvaal area of South Africa. During the 1880s, a few Greeks immigrated to South Africa to work in the diamond mines of Kimberley and in the gold mines of Witwatersrand also included Greeks. During the wars between the British and the Boers (1880-1881, 1899-1902) the mines ceased their operation and few workers moved eastwards and settled in Lourenço Marques.
Some of them remained temporarily, until the reopening of the gold mines in Transvaal. However, because of the extremely difficult and unhealthy working conditions in the diamond mines of Kimberley and the gold mines of Johannesburg, many workers resigned. Some of them made a career change and remained in South Africa while others moved to the nearby Lourenço Marques. 




The Greek emigration flow, from South Africa to Lourenço Marques, intensified with the beginning of the works on the railway line, which departed from the port of Lourenço Marques and ended in the heart of the Transvaal, in Pretoria. Some of the Greek immigrants of the late 19th century were John Mihaletos, Dimitris Sideris, Dimitris Spanos,Efstratios Daskalakis, Joseph Liarantonakis, Panayiotis Adrianopoulos and Vasilis Kastritsios.



Δευτέρα, 4 Ιουλίου 2016

The Greek beer of Africa



(abstract from the book "The Greek community in Mozambique")

Μichael Perantonakis, usually known as Cretikos because of his origin from the island of Crete, immigrated to Mozambique in the late 19th century. Although he intended to work in the mines of South Africa, he settled in Lourenço Marques where he started to sell bananas. Then he started a grocery store, and at the end of the first decade of the 20th century, he began to sell drinking water in the neighbourhoods of Lourenço Marques. During this period, the Greek merchant noticed the lack of ice, which was necessary to preserve the fish and decided to get involved in the production field. 


In 1915, he founded the company ‘Vitória’ and in 1916, he erected an ice factory with the name ‘Vitória Cold Storage and Ice Factory, Ltd’. It was located on the west side of the city, in the Praia do Polana, in front of the Avenue of the Republic and opposite the ‘Olympia’ café and fish market. In the following years, Perantonakis expanded his business in the bottling of mineral water and the production of soft drinks. Since he decided to enter also into the brewery field, he travelled to Germany to consult experts on the production method. In 1932, Perantonakis used a European recipe and having followed high standards at all the stages of the production, he produced a beer under the trade name ‘Laurentina’. 


In 1935, ‘Laurentina’ acquired 50% of the domestic market. During the 1950s and the 1960s, the brewery of Perantonakis implemented strategic alliances and a series of investments in the production sector. In 1959, two new units were erected beside the original plant. The cost of this investment exceeded $200 million. 



The quality of ‘Laurentina was improved and for that reason it won six gold medals in the world beer competition held in Brussels. By the independence of Mozambique in 1975 and the economy policy followed, the brewery were nationalised under the body of ‘SOGERE’ (Sociedad General de Cervejas e Refrigerantes de Mocambique SARL). In 1997 the company was acquired by the French BGI-Castel and the Irish Guinness, and in 2001 it was sold to the SABMiller.