The year this image (for sale on Ebay) was taken by NASA’s TIROS VII Satellite.

To put things in perspective, 1963 was the year of the “referendum” in Irian Jaya and Sukarno’s “confrontation” with Malaysia. It was of course the year of JFK’s assassination. Beatlemania started in earnest in ’63. Both Cold War superpowers were busy in the space race.

Portugal was already fighting three anti-colonial insurgencies in Africa. Algeria adopted its constitution in 1963.

In Timor, it was Filipe Themudo Barata’s last year in office, a term which he began as the repression of the Rebellion of 1959 was wrapping up. Many of those 68 deported in connection with the Rebellion – none ever having due judicial process – were still in exile in Angola. One VIP Timorese prisoner, Francisco de Araújo, and the four Indonesian prisoners, would be home by 1963.

Themudo Barata was an army man with more vision than most, and in his Timor Contemporâneo (tragically out of print, probably the best resource on post WWII Portuguese Timor), explains how bad infrastructure was on his arrival. The limited but ground-breaking work to build schools that Governor Fontoura launched in the 1930s was destroyed by Allied bombing. Themudo Barata did make strides in widening access to primary and middle school education.

Future FALINTIL leaders were already entering primary school. Tuar Matan Ruak entered in 1963, according to his official biography which is quite worthwhile.

In 1963, Constâncio Pinto and Fernando “La Sama” de Araújo were born: the beginning of a generation which would more likely enter the urban resistance than become FALINTIL.


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