About Giacomo (Jaxques) Weitzecker
James Weitzecker (June 16, 1845 - March 23, 1911) Waldensian pastor, missionary in southern Africa for the Société des Missions of Paris and correspondent of the Italian Geographical Society, awarded the title of knight and officer of the Crown of Italy.
Born in Torre Pellice was the son of Jean François, merchant of German origin at the time resident in Genoa, and Marie Mathilde Magdelaine Charbonnier Tower. He married Louise, daughter of the pastor and moderator Bartholomew Malan , sister of Pastor Theophilus Malan and physician Charles Malan : the couple had no children but adopted a little girl from England, May.
After a classical education at the College Valdese Torre Pellice, he attended the Waldensian Faculty of Theology in Florence. The year prior to his consecration in November 1868, started the business as a pastoral assistant in Turin from 1867 to 1870 and making visits in the Diaspora (Cirie, San Mauro Torinese Settimo Torinese), near Ivrea to administer the sacraments and to the Valley of Susa. Later he was pastor in the community of Pisa from 1870 to 1873 (with a brief interval in Livorno in 1871 to quell a crisis that erupted in the community and some preaching in Lucca in 1872), then in Naples in 1873-1874. Sent to a year in Torre Pellice (1874-1875), where he tried a popular work of evangelization by opening a large room in the center of the town without the desired success, he served simultaneously as Vice Moderator of the Waldensian Church and editor of "The Evangelical Christian "along with John Ribetti in 1875-1876.
fter the resignation due to health problems, he was sent as assistant to Matthew Prochet in Rome in 1875-1876 and later was pastor in Nice until 1882 when, after several contacts with the pastor and missionary François Coillard, he asked the Synod held in Valdese September of that year the authorization to leave with his wife for Africa at the service of the Société des Missions of Paris.
The choice of destination Batusoland fell on the region, an area for which there was very little knowledge at the time, but that became crucial in the following decade because of tensions between the British and the Boers. The writer Edmondo De Amicis wrote a famous description of Weitzecker and his wife at the time of their departure from Torre Pellice in a chapter of his book At the gates of Italy.
In May 1883 Weitzecker Cesare Correnti was presented by the Italian Geographic Society, where he became a corresponding member since 1886, while starting to write articles on his "Bulletin" almost immediately after his arrival at the mission station Leribe, in 1887, undertaken on behalf SGI's a trip to Kimberley in the company of Waldensian pastor and missionary Louis Jalla in order to document the conditions of life and work of a group of Italian immigrants employed in the diamond mines, the mission on which he wrote six reports published under the overall title at the search of the Italian Southern Africa, and for which he received a medal from the Geographical Society of silver. After a long period of convalescence taken trips to other locations in South Africa, in Orange, Durban, until his return to Europe in 1890 because of poor health.
From the following year until 1894 he was traveling agent of the Société des Missions, of which he was appointed honorary missionary, under the general supervision of the Waldensian Church since 1893, and in 1890 became pastor in Pomaretto, where he remained until all'emeritazione in 1910, when he retired in Torre Pellice, and where he died March 23, 1911.
In addition to articles of geographical and ethnological interest, published some sermons and an essay on annexation of Rome. During the years spent in Africa, sent numerous items and exhibits interest in ethnographic museums of Rome (now the Museum Pigorini), Parma (University Museum of Natural History), Torre Pellice (Waldensian Museum) and Turin; also one of his collection was displayed in the exhibition organized by the National Geographic Congress of Genoa in 1892 and the National Exhibition in Turin in 1898 (with objects provided by colleague Louis Jalla).
He was awarded the title of Knight of the Crown of Italy in 1886 and officer of the same order in 1898. Archival sources
Archive Tavola Valdese (ATV), Series IX, folder 51, Weitzecker Jean Jacques. Historical Archives of the Italian Geographical Society.
G. Weitzecker, Peace to the conscience troubled by reason of the annexation of Rome to the Kingdom of Italy, Turin, Union Letterpress Printing-Publishing, 1870. G. Weitzecker Process, a Waldensian year 1451, in "Christian Magazine," 1881, p. 363-367. G. Weitzecker, Les Vaudois et les missions parmi les païens in Cinquante ans de liberté 1848-1898, Torre Pellice, Imprimerie Alpine, 1898. G. Weitzecker, The Waldensians in southern Africa, Turin, Union Tipografico-Editrice, 1906.
S. Simon and Schuster, Italian Explorers in Africa, London, The Religious Tract Society, 1891, p. 126-138. R. Prochet, James Weitzecker, in "The Light", no. 14, April 6, 1911. E. Modigliani, Commemoration of the socio G. Weitzecker, in «Archive for Anthropology and Ethnology", Florence, 1911. T. Gay, Jean Jacques Weitzecker, in "Bulletin de la Société d'Histoire Vaudoise", no. 28, 1911 p. 33. B. Pons, James Weitzecker. Biographical notes, in "Bulletin of the Italian Geographical Society," 1912. C. Cerreti The many missions of James Weitzecker, Waldensian pastor in the "land of Basuti," the Italian Geographical Society, Rome, 1993.
Giacomo (Jaxques) Weitzecker's Timeline
June 16, 1845
March 23, 1911