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Name: POTTER, Bernard Joseph

Birth Date: 1876 Worksop, Notts.

Death Date: 17 Feb 1953 Caterham, Surrey

First Date: 1926

Profession: Hotel manager; 1945 brewery clerk

Area: Nakuru

Married: In Hounslow 5 Apr 1905 Alice Prince Cave b. 1873 Bedfont, Middlesex, d. 1938 Bedfont

Children: Marjorie Alice (1911)

Book Reference: Web

General Information:

Web - John Dias, was a mild-mannered young boy, who in 1929 took up a job at a hotel in Nakuru run by Bernard Joseph Potter.  John and Potter's twenty year old daughter fell in love, a star-crossed match if ever there was one, which ended tragically for all concerned. On the night of September 11, 1929, an enraged Potter learned of his daughter's relationship with Dias. Potter was an ex-soldier, who came to Kenya just two years earlier and after a brief stint working as a store-keeper at the Camberwell Board of Guardians, became the manager of a hotel.
Potter was by some accounts, typical of the very chauvinistic White settler mindset further intensified by being in the army and according to some reports, surrounded by like-minded individuals fuelled by an abundance of beer, who might have goaded him on about his daughter's relationship with a "coloured" man, a definite taboo in segregated Colonial Kenya. The next morning, Potter saw Dias in the market and later, claiming that he was overwhelmed with emotion, shot him dead with the revolver he carried with him at all times. The cold-blooded shooting sent shock-waves across Kenya and its racial implications were not lost on the Goan community who obviously etched it onto their collective consciousness, a cautionary tale relayed from generation to generation becoming almost folklore, its origins lost in the mist of time.
To the credit of the British justice system, Potter was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment, the longest sentence ever meted out to a White in Kenya at the time. In large part this justice was the result of  tireless lobbying of the authorities by his mother Ezalda Clara Albuquerque and step-father Peter Zuzarte, who incidentally was Joseph Murumbi's father.  Murumbi later became Kenya's second Vice-President.

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