Name: DILLENSEGER, Alois 'Brother Blanchard' (Brother)
Birth Date: 23.10.1858 Breitenbach, Alsace
Death Date: 3.8.1904 Bagamoyo
First Date: 1888
Last Date: 1904
Area: Mombasa, Nairobi, Zanzibar, Pemba
Book Reference: North, Josephine O'Hare, Baur
ln 1891 he went to the new mission of Kilema, where he laid out fruit and vegetable gardens as well as a coffee plantation. ln 1896 he did the same at Mhonda. Never a man to rest, when he was supposed to enjoy a brief vacation in Zanzibar, he helped in the construction of its new cathedral, then went off to Mombasa to nurse victims of a smallpox epidemic. Next, we find him at the new mission of St. Austin in what is now Nairobi, laying out gardens and a coffee plantation. As in Tanganyika, these plantations became a great boon to the economy of Kenya; the entire coffee industry of that country is derived from the work of this man.Even today it still accounts for more than 25% of its total exports. In 1902 he was transferred to Pemba, then a new mission, where everything had to be built up from scratch. Of course, he laid out plantations here. Two years later we find him in Zanzibar, where he looked after the fruit and vegetable gardens and occupied himself also with the care of the lepers for whom no separate facilities, staffed by nurses, had yet been built. He did not hesitate to sleep with them in the miserable huts that were their abode. He caught pneumonia there and some lung disease for which there was no cure. But he declined being returned to Europe and preferred to die in his beloved Africa. Transported to Bagamoyo he died there soon after. He was one of those splendid Brothers who rendered the greatest services to the Congregation's mission and the people in East Africa, while being at the same time holy religious men of boundless charity and love for all human beings they came into contact with.