Tupua Tamasese Meaʻole
Tupua Tamasese Mea’ole
|Head of State of Samoa|
(O le Ao o le Malo)
1 January 1962 – 5 April 1963
Serving with Malietoa Tanumafili II
|Prime Minister||Fiame Mata'afa Faumuina Mulinu'u II|
|Preceded by||John Bird Wright |
(As High Commissioner)
|Succeeded by||Malietoa Tanumafili II |
(As sole Head of State)
|Preceded by||Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III|
|Succeeded by||Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV|
|Member of the Legislative Assembly|
|Member of the Legislative Council|
|Born||3 June 1905|
Vaimoso, German Samoa
|Died||5 April 1963(aged 57)|
|Children||4 including Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi|
He was born in Vaimoso 1905 as the one of three sons of Tupua Tamasese Lealofi II. He was educated at the Marist school in Apia. In 1929 he became Tupua Tamasese when his elder brother Tupua Tamasese Lealofi III was assassinated by colonial police during a Mau parade in Apia.
He married Noue in 1934, a daughter of Olaf Frederick Nelson. The couple had four children; two daughters and two sons. In 1936 he was appointed to the Legislative Council, and in 1938 he was appointed as one of the Fautua (advisor to the Administrator). In the same year he became president of the Mau. As a Fautua, he continued to serve in the Legislative Council and its successor, the Legislative Assembly until 1957. He was also a member of the Council of State and the Executive Council until 1959.
Away from politics, Tamasese was involved in business, serving as chair of the board of the Western Samoa Trust Estates Corporation, a director of the Bank of Western Samoa and a member of the Copra Board. In the 1957 New Year Honours he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In preparations for independence, Tamasese chaired the constitutional conventions of 1954 and 1960. When Western Samoa attained independence in 1962, the new constitution made Tupua Tamasese and Malietoa Tanumafili II (the two Fautua) joint heads of state.
Upon Tamasese's death in April 1963, Malietoa continued to serve as sole head of state, whilst the title of Tupua Tamasese was passed to his eldest nephew, Tupua Tamasese Lealofi IV, who would go on to become the second Prime Minister of Samoa.