To Walk Under Palm Trees

The Germans in Samoa: Snapshots from Albums

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The Germans in Samoa 122

With the tragic deaths of sons Gottlieb and Franz in 1918, the Hufnagel lineage contracted. Remaining son, Kurt Hufnagel-Betham (left above), trained as a surveyor in Auckland, married a New Zealander, Kathleen Cooper, and returned to Samoa where he became Chief Surveyor. Kurt and Kathleen retired to New Zealand, where most of their descendants now live. They brought with them a treasure trove of photo albums and Hufnagel heirlooms, including the Captain’s retirement card, of which they are deservedly proud. In the diversity and breadth of its distinguished signatories, the card is a unique historical memento from Samoa’s German era.

Clementine (above right) returned to Germany in 1924 where she married Mr Franz Pfeil (also pictured), who had been a teacher in Samoa during the German years. Most of her descendants live in Germany.

Kurt and Clementine’s mother, Katherina Betham Hufnagel, the Mistress of Vailele, spent her latter years in Auckland and died there in December 1948. As with those of her husband, her ashes were returned to Samoa, where they are interred beneath a Hufnagel Family headstone at Magiagi Cemetery.

Credit: Kurt Hufnagel-Betham photo per McKay Family Collection; Clementine wedding photo per Hufnagel-Betham Family Collection.


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