Sir Roland "Roy" Welensky, Knight Commander

Sir Roland

Was a politician from Southern Rhodesia, of Jewish descent, and the second and last Prime Minister of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.


Born as Raphael Welensky in Solusi, then Southern Rhodesia (now Hwange, Zimbabwe), to an African-Dutch mother of Dutch-Reformed descent and a Jewish father of Lithuanian origin. Alongside his parents' heritage, he always referred to himself as "100% British."

He later moved to Northern Rhodesia, established professional connections, and became a member of the colonial legislative council in 1938. He advocated for the merger of Northern and Southern Rhodesia (Southern Rhodesia was then a self-governing entity, while Northern Rhodesia was under British rule).

Despite his initial failures, Welensky succeeded in forming the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, a state within the British Empire, aiming to maintain white minority rule while simultaneously progressing towards greater self-governance, in contrast to South Africa's apartheid system.

Welensky became the Prime Minister of the Federation in 1957. He opposed British actions against the white majority and used military force to suppress political violence in the territories. After the rise of black candidates to power in two out of three territories, the Federation dissolved in 1963.

Welensky resigned from his position and returned to Southern Rhodesia, where he re-entered politics and attempted to prevent Rhodesia (formerly Southern Rhodesia) from unilaterally declaring independence.

With the end of white rule in 1979 and Rhodesia's declaration of independence in 1980 (renaming it Zimbabwe) under the leadership of Robert Mugabe, Welensky moved to England, where he passed away in 1991. He was a passionate admirer of Britain and the British Empire, often describing himself as "half-Jewish, half-Afrikaner, and 100% British."

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