RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/42
TitleFr Gerard Wilson-Browne SJ (1911-1975)
DateMid twentieth century-late twentieth century
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionPatamona dictionary and phrasebook, relating to Fr Wilson-Browne's time in the Pakairama Mountains between 1956 and 1972.
Admin_HistoryGerard 'Bunny' Wilson-Browne was born at Erdington in Birmingham on 22 November 1911. He was educated at Mount St Mary's College and entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1930 joining the novitiate at Roehampton. He studied Philosophy at Pullach in Germany and at Heythrop in Oxfordshire. Following this, Wilson-Browne taught at St Michael's College in Leeds between 1937 and 1939, and at Mount St Mary's College between 1939 and 1942.
Wilson-Browne returned to Heythrop to study Theology and was ordained as a Catholic priest on 15 September 1945.

Wilson-Browne was a keen botanist. After his ordination, he taught Biology at Heythrop and spent the following two years studying botany at Kew Gardens in London and in Georgetown. In 1948, Wilson-Browne was instrumental in the organisation of a botanical expedition to the Kanuku mountains in the Guyanese interior. During this expedition, several new species were identified; of which a creeper ('Abuta wilson-brownei Cowan') and a tree ('Licancia wilson-brownei Maguire') were named after him.

Fr Wilson-Browne completed his tertianship at Auriesville, New York, and at New Orleanas. In 1950 he returned to the Guiana Mission and was appointed to the Berbice district, where he had responsibility for Port Mourant and Springlands. During this time, Wilson-Browne developed the mission at Siparuta. In 1956, he was transferred away from the coast to the Pakaraima mountains where he was to spend much of the rest of his life.

Wilson-Browne was the first resident priest in the Pakaraimas. Based at Kurkikabaru, he worked among the Patamona Indians. He built the first presbytery there along with a number of churches, schools and houses in the wider area. In 1972, Fr Wilson-Browne was sent to Lethem in the Rupununi before finally serving on the staff at the Cathedral in Georgetown.

Fr Wilson-Browne died in hospital in Georgetown on 19 August 1975. His Requiem Mass was held at the Georgetown Cathedral on 21 August 1975 followed by interment at the Le Repentir cemetery.

A full obituary can be found in Letters and Notices 81 (1976), pp. 115-122.
Related Material - Guyana
- For photographs: see SJ/PH/1321
- For Guyana dictionaries: see papers of Fr Cuthbert Cary-Elwes (SJ/1); papers of Fr Wilfrid Banham (SJ/39); papers of Fr William Keary (SJ/40), papers of Fr Frederick Rigby (SJ/41) and papers of Fr Bernard Brown (SJ/43).
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
DS/UK/982Wilson-Browne; Gerard (1911-1975); Jesuit Priest1911-1975

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