Farewell, Mr. Property!
It is with great sadness that Essential Business has to announce the passing of Joaquim Pereira de Almeida this week.
Joaquim Pereira de Almeida was an instantly recognisable face and a grand, often larger-than-life personality in Portuguese real estate sector circles, and save the real estate consultants and sector insiders, probably, knew more about Portuguese real estate than anyone else.
I know, because I was privileged to work with him for the first four years in the existence of the real estate magazine Magazine Imobiliário which he founded with his wife, photographer Anabela Loureiro in the wake of the economic and sovereign debt crisis.
Joaquim had a great sense of humour and at our work dinners laughed at my innocent and sometimes not so innocent faux pas when using the Portuguese language. I translated the magazine at that time.
But my association with Joaquim goes back much further. I first came across him when working as a photographer for British lawyer and businessman David Sampson who owned a successful property magazine focusing on the Portuguese market, People & Business. Later I worked with Joaquim at Lusosinal which bought People & Business and also produced the property magazine Imobiliária.
Joaquim was born in Mozambique during the colonial era where his father had been working, but moved with the family to Angola when he was a child and witnessed the Portuguese Colonial Wars of Independence from Portugal, the invasion from South Africa in the South African Border War and the early phases of the long, bloody and protracted civil war.
He followed and witnessed all of these extraordinary events as a young man where he was often on the front line as a journalist and TV reporter and touched on some of the horrors he witnessed that affected him for life and which he found difficult to discuss.
Later, disillusioned with the violence, corruption, nepotism and lack of press freedom that Angola was subjected to, he moved to Portugal bringing with him his little daughter Djamila.
In the Portuguese capital he worked for Diário de Lisboa and afterwards Imobiliária where he became editor-in-chief. Joaquim then founded Magazine Imobiliário and organised the annual real estate sector awards “Os Óscars do Imobiliário”. (Portuguese Real Estate Oscars)
I will miss the late night calls to let off steam about the joys and worries of working in the real estate sector, admire his tenacity to fight his corner when things hadn’t always gone so well, and toast his success and victories when things finally did, and just as his professional career were at the top, where he wanted and deserved to be, the lights and curtain went down and far too soon.
To his family, Anabela, Francisco and Djamila I offer my heartfelt condolences and utter respect for one of life’s fighters and a man with an irrepressible sense of humour.