Jules Joseph Adolphe Jalla (1864 - 1946)

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Occupation: Waldesian pastor and missionary in Barotseland and Zambia
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About Jules Joseph Adolphe Jalla

  • Adolfo (Jules Joseph Adolphe) Jalla (September 24, 1864 - January 17, 1946) Waldensian pastor and missionary in Zambia at the Malozi, wrote a grammar for Lozi - the language of the Malozi. President of the General Missionary Conference of Northern Rhodesia and the Conference room of the Société des Missions évangeliques of Paris, director of the school for evangelists to Sefula, he was awarded the title of Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent of the British Empire.

On 29 October 1890 he married in Torre Pellice Emma Pons (1869-1902), daughter of the moderator of the Waldensian Church John Peter Pons, with whom he had sons Jules (1896-1897), Graziella (1898-1988), who became missionary as parents, and Letizia (1902-1981). His wife was his assistant in the missionary work and in the writing of the volume Pioneers parmi les Ma-Rotse.

Adolfo Jalla remarried in 1919 with Elisabeth Burger, Swiss teacher already present as a missionary in the Zambezi since 1917.

Biography

Born to Chiotti of Villasecca (Perranporth), was the son of Pastor Louis Auguste Jalla and his second wife Aline Biolley, brother of the shepherds Edward Jalla , director of the publishing Claudiana, Louis Jalla , missionary, John Jalla , a professor and historian and brother of the Pastor Julius Jalla , born of the father's first marriage.

After a classical education at the College Valdese Torre Pellice undertook theological studies at the Waldensian Faculty of Theology of Florence and later prepared for missionary work at the Société des Missions évangeliques of Paris and Edinburgh, and was ordained pastor in Torre Pellice in 1888.

Party for Africa in February of 1889, he stayed for a few weeks at fellow missionaries in Lesotho, including the Waldensian pastor James Weitzecker , visiting their stations, and then to the seat allotted in Barotseland, (current western region of Zambia) . The following year, together with his brother Louis Jalla, who already worked there since 1887, founded the first school in the station of Kazungula, a few months later reached a Sefula the missionary François Coillard, founder of the mission of the Zambezi, remaining in that location until 1894 , when he moved to Lealui, another mission station founded by Coillard, where he did most of his ministry.

On 29 October 1890 he married in Torre Pellice Emma Pons (1869-1902), daughter of the moderator of the Waldensian Church John Peter Pons , with whom he had sons Jules (1896-1897), Graziella (1898-1988), who became missionary as parents, and Letizia (1902-1981). His wife was his assistant in the missionary work and in the writing of the volume Pioneers parmi les Ma-Rotse.

Adolfo Jalla remarried in 1919 with Elisabeth Burger, Swiss teacher already present as a missionary in the Zambezi since 1917.

The proximity to the residence of the head of the tribe Malozi led him to become counselor and friend of the king Lewanika I - who had led the Zambia under British control of the British South Africa Company - succeeded by his influence to put an end to raids (1897 ), to be recognized punishable human sacrifices (1905) and mitigating the atrocities of the government.

Jalla accompanied Lewanika in London for the signing of the agreement which placed Zambia under the protection of Queen Victoria, and again in January 1901 for the coronation of Edward VII, also attended the coronation of George V in 1910 with the new ruler Yeta III, a former pupil at the school in Sefula.

In 1905 Adolfo Jalla and François Coillard played a fundamental role in the arbitration exercised by the King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele III between Great Britain and Portugal, providing the documentation necessary to define the border between Angola and Northern Rhodesia.

He was president of the General Missionary Conference of Northern Rhodesia from 1919 to 1922, president of the local conference of the Evangelical Mission in Paris and directed the school for evangelists to Sefula 1899-1908 and 1925-1930.

In 1930 he decided to ask the emeritazione and return to Torre Pellice, but his work was still required by the Malozi Sociétées évangeliques des Missions of Paris, who begged him to return to duty for another fourteen years, during which he devoted himself to writing . One of the creators of writing Lozi, the indigenous language of the area, Jalla wrote a grammar, an English - silozi, the history of the tribe of Malozi derived from the testimony of the chief of the tribe, a biography of the king Lewanika, translated Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress , the New Testament and, shortly before his death, even the Old, as well as prepare various reading books for schools and compose several songs for the indigenous Church.

In 1935, on the occasion of the Jubilee of the Mission in Paris, he was awarded by King George V of the title of Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent of the British Empire (CBE), and rarely granted to a non-British citizen.

He died in Mubumbu, where the daughter Graziella was director of the school for girls, January 17, 1946 and was buried in Sefula.

Archival sources

Archive of the Waldensian Studies Society (ATV), Fund Family Cards Jalla.

Key publications

A. Jalla, Pioneers seems to me the Ma-Rotse, Florence, Imprimerie Claudienne, 1903.

Bibliography

A. Coïsson, The missionaire Adolphe Jalla, in "The Témoin", no. 5, February 1, 1896. G. Weitzecker, The Waldensians in southern Africa, published by the Committee "The Waldensians Abroad" for the World Exposition 1906 in Milan, Turin, Union Tipografico-publishing, 1906. R. Coïsson, the people of the river. A Brief History of the Evangelical Mission in Barotseland, Torre Pellice, Claudiana, 1956. R. Coïsson, The Waldensians and the missionary work, Torre Pellice, Waldensian Studies Society, 1963. G. Jalla, Adolphe Jalla, in Hommes et Destins. Biographique Dictionnaire d'Outre-Mer, Paris, Académie des Sciences d'Outre-Mer, T. IV, 1981. J.-F. Zorn, Le grand siècle d'une Mission Protestant. The Mission de Paris de 1822 à 1914, Paris, Karthala-Les Bergers et les Mages, 1993. R. Coïsson, The first Waldensian missionaries in southern Africa 1883-1897, in "The Beidana," 70, February 2011, pp.18-25.

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Jules Joseph Adolphe Jalla's Timeline

1864
September 24, 1864
1946
January 17, 1946
Age 81