Fung Kuoi Kee Ah Kuoi

 

Fung Kuoi Kee Ah Kuoi was born around 1884 in South China, possibly Canton. He travelled to Samoa in 1908, according to Field's Mau Samoa's Struggle for Freedom. Many Chinese were brought to Samoa by the German Administration between 1903-1914 tor work on the plantations under 3 year contracts. The indentured labourers were given their passage, food, lodgings and medical attention. They were paid 15 shillings a month and worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week.

After the 3 year contract term expired, Fung Kuoi was allowed to remain on in Samoa as a tailor. He settled with Mele Brown from Lona Fagaloa around 1917 and they were married in 1920 during a brief period when Chinese-Samoan marriages were legal.

New Zealand invaded Samoa within the first month of the First World War on the 29th of August, 1914. Samoa was of some strategic importance, a radio transmitter had been established in the hills above Apia that was capable of long range morse code to Berlin. The British who were keen to maintain their South Seas domination wanted the German radio net round up as quickly as possible. The British Secretary of State sent word to New Zealand indicating that it would be 'a great and urgent imperial service' if New Zealand were to seize the station. The quickly established 'Advanced Force of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force' was formed commanded by Colonel Robert Logan.

One of Logan's responsibilities as the new administrator was the Chinese in Samoa. They were to find New Zealander's no more humane than Germans. Logan saw them as a 'menace to the European population unless very carefully handled. Logan was grimly fascinated with the small number of Chinese-Samoan children but did nothing about white-Samoan relationships although the ties were frowned upon......to be continued

 

Field, Michael, Mau: Samoa's struggle against New Zealand oppression, Reed Publishing, Wellington, 1984

Field, Michael, Black Saturday: New Zealand's Tragic Blunders in Samoa, Reed Publishing, Wellington, 2006