To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums

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The Germans in Samoa 117

Hufnagel’s operation at Vailele employed 130 labourers in 1906, virtually all of them imported Melanesian workers. The Captain had a firm resistance to employing Chinese labourers, possibly because they were less pliable than the young men from the “Bismark Islands.” (Chinese plantation workers began to be brought into Samoa in 1903). The Vailele property had houses, dormitories, and workshops.

The workers were under the control of four overseers. The photo above, which was taken at Vailele around the turn of the century, appears to show the overseers, Hufnagel and the visiting DH & PG plantation inspector, Peter Rasmussen. The identities of the overseers are known for the early 1900’s and the men appear to be as follows (left-to-right): W.Meyer, Hans Keil (?), P.Schyle, Rasmussen, Kurt Hufnagel and possibly Montgomery Betham Jnr.

Credit: Hufnagel-Betham Family Collection, restored T.Brunt 2013.


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