Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
Lord Lovat talks about his father's coffee plantation
EXTERNAL ID
GB232_MFRLORDLOVAT_05
PLACENAME
Beauly
DISTRICT
Aird
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kilmorack
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Simon Fraser, 17th Lord Lovat
SOURCE
Moray Firth Radio
ASSET ID
1539
KEYWORDS
Commandos
Commandoes
armed forces
Second World War
agriculture
laird
lairds
colonialism
audio

Get Adobe Flash player

Simon Fraser, commonly known as the 17th Lord Lovat, (1911-1995), was the 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser and a prominent British Commando during World War II. He was seriously wounded during the invasion of Normandy in 1944 but went on to make a full recovery. In the post-war period he devoted much of his time to politics and looking after the family estates in the Beauly district.

In this audio extract, taken from an interview with Sam Marshall for Moray Firth Radio, Lord Lovat recalls his time spent working on his father's coffee plantations in Brazil.

'Well, he had a good team working under him in a land company which was simply 700,000 hectares, which is a pretty big land mass as a hectare's nearly two acres, and that was what they call 'mato' which means jungle in Portuguese but it was very rich land which was going to one day grow into very valuable agricultural land, particularly, with particular reference to growing coffee. And the job that I was put on to was to clear the 'mato' and also help construct a railway line which linked the property up. And then the job was to get plots of land sold for closer settlement.

Unfortunately the time that I was there, there was a glut of coffee in the world, a world glut, and coffee wasn't selling well and it was hard to get settlers to come and buy up the land which had been opened by the railway and cleared of jungle, so that there was a fairly difficult period. And then the war came and unfortunately, by that time we'd built the railway line - nearly 100 kilometres of railway which crossed a couple of big rivers - and a revolution broke out. One part of Brazil fought against the other and that didn't help either. And when the war came the - incidentally there were quite a few Frasers off the estate went out to work on this coffee property as well as myself - and my father died at a very bad moment because there was this depression in Brazil and the land company was running short of money and when the war came, the Brazilian government, who were pretty shrewd on these occasions, they saw that this was going to be valuable one day and the whole thing was expropriated on the ground that we couldn't supply enough rolling stock to keep the railway'

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

Lord Lovat talks about his father's coffee plantation

INVERNESS: Kilmorack

1980s

Commandos; Commandoes; armed forces; Second World War; agriculture; laird; lairds; colonialism; audio

Moray Firth Radio

MFR: Lord Lovat

Simon Fraser, commonly known as the 17th Lord Lovat, (1911-1995), was the 25th Chief of the Clan Fraser and a prominent British Commando during World War II. He was seriously wounded during the invasion of Normandy in 1944 but went on to make a full recovery. In the post-war period he devoted much of his time to politics and looking after the family estates in the Beauly district. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract, taken from an interview with Sam Marshall for Moray Firth Radio, Lord Lovat recalls his time spent working on his father's coffee plantations in Brazil.<br /> <br /> 'Well, he had a good team working under him in a land company which was simply 700,000 hectares, which is a pretty big land mass as a hectare's nearly two acres, and that was what they call 'mato' which means jungle in Portuguese but it was very rich land which was going to one day grow into very valuable agricultural land, particularly, with particular reference to growing coffee. And the job that I was put on to was to clear the 'mato' and also help construct a railway line which linked the property up. And then the job was to get plots of land sold for closer settlement. <br /> <br /> Unfortunately the time that I was there, there was a glut of coffee in the world, a world glut, and coffee wasn't selling well and it was hard to get settlers to come and buy up the land which had been opened by the railway and cleared of jungle, so that there was a fairly difficult period. And then the war came and unfortunately, by that time we'd built the railway line - nearly 100 kilometres of railway which crossed a couple of big rivers - and a revolution broke out. One part of Brazil fought against the other and that didn't help either. And when the war came the - incidentally there were quite a few Frasers off the estate went out to work on this coffee property as well as myself - and my father died at a very bad moment because there was this depression in Brazil and the land company was running short of money and when the war came, the Brazilian government, who were pretty shrewd on these occasions, they saw that this was going to be valuable one day and the whole thing was expropriated on the ground that we couldn't supply enough rolling stock to keep the railway'