John Thoburn Williamson
John Thoburn Williamson, geologist, diamond-mine owner (b at Montfort, Qué 10 Feb 1907; d at Mwadui, Tanganyika, E Africa 7 Jan 1958). After receiving a doctorate in geology from McGill in 1933, he began mining exploration in Northern Rhodesia [Zambia] but soon switched to Tanganyika [Tanzania]. Williamson was one of many N American geologists in SE Africa whose role in the development of mining was fundamental. Six years of prospecting, much of it as an impoverished independent geologist, were finally rewarded by a diamond strike in 1940 near Lk Victoria. Retaining ownership himself, Williamson became a significant force in the world diamond market. A lifelong bachelor, he lived simply at the mine and developed it as a model property, noted for humane labour practices. He became a benefactor of Makerere University, Uganda.