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The British Presence in Southern Patagonia
+ + "The Magellan Times", Punta Arenas (1914-1936) + +

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World War I




Expedition reports

The Magellan Times was founded in 1914, during the boom years of the early 20th century, by Charles Arthur Thomas Riesco. Born 1881 in Britain, to a Chilean diplomat and a Scottish mother, Riesco identified strongly with his country of birth, and was an active participant in the British Club of Punta Arenas. A stockbroker, he was well off, with a taste for horse-racing. The Magellan Times, which he owned and edited, was the longest-running English-language newspaper published in the region.
Reflecting the social preferences of its editor, the paper catered to the middle and upper classes of the local expatriate community. By 1920, 1000 copies were being printed weekly. It was circulated throughout the estancias of southern Patagonia, from Tierra del Fuego in the south to the northern reaches of Santa Cruz province, Argentina. In these isolated communities, the paper was reportedly shared among British expatriates at all levels. It must clearly have played a major role in supplying local and international news, as well as shaping opinion in the war years. Riesco died in 1931, but the paper continued in publication until 1936.
The first edition (7 Jan 1914) is representative of the style and level of detail, which were maintained over the years. The persons listed are known to have been British, or had surnames which suggest a possible British connection.


The farthest South, British Newspaper

A weekly paper devoted to the interests of the English-speaking people in the Straits of Magellan, the Southern Argentine and Tierra del Fuego.

Subscription Rates


Town and Camp $ 20.--
Argentine & Foreign $ 25.--

Advertising Rates will be forwarded on application.

Notices of Births, Marriages or Deaths, $ 2.-- per insertion.

Postal Address:
Casilla 180, Punta Arenas.

Calle Pedro Montt,
Punta Arenas

Agent in Santa Cruz,
Thos. E. J. Groves.
Proprietor and Editor

Further reading: "Streams in the Wasteland", Elizabeth Dooley, Punta Arenas, 1993
Editorial material: year 1916
Last updated: 23-III-2004