The descendants of a German couple who undertook a three month journey to reach Samoa in the late 1900’s, gathered together in Apia over the last few days
Maximilian George Schmidt and his wife, Marie Denigna Prell, originally from Bamberg, Germany arrived in Samoa on 22nd July 1890.
Their four children were; Gustav Julius Theodor Schmidt, Betty Barbara Justine Schmidt, Ludwig Karl Schmidt and Marie Babette Schmidt.
The couple had owned a Printers Plant in Germany which had been in the family for generations before they decided to sell it in 1876.
In that same year, the family moved to Dortmund for one year before settling in Nuremberg where their youngest daughters were born. The family left Germany on May 14th 1890 for Sydney, and the South Seas on the ‘Salier’. With stopovers at Antwerp, Southampton, Genoa, Port, Suez, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, it wasn’t until July that they reached Samoa.
Apparently, their first choice was to travel to Tahiti but further connections were unavailable. Soon after the family arrived in the country, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson arrived in Apia, according to their diaries.
Many of the details of the Schmidt family were recorded by Mrs. Fanny Stevenson in her book, “Our Samoan Adventure” where the Schmidt family was mentioned many times. The family established a store that sold souvenirs and stamps and the women took in sewing as well.
Max also operated a plantation that raised cocoa and coconuts for copra.
Great-great-great granddaughter of the late Ludwig Karl Schmidt, Ali’itasi Muliagatele Schmidt said that this is the second reunion they have had. “Our first reunion was held in Maui, Hawaii in 2014 and we’ll continue getting together every two years in the future. “Trying to bring together our family was kind of hard but we’re so thankful that we’ve slowly managed to get in touch with many of our relatives in Samoa and overseas.
“After many generations as a family, we need to have reunions and get to know each “We look forward to another gathering in the next two years.” Family member, Lemalu Sola Tiumalu Muliagatele Vaofusi Fa’atau acknowledged God’s faithfulness in bringing their family together.
“We’re forever grateful for everything, God is still in control and in His own timing, nothing is impossible,” Lemalu said.
“It all about belief and sharing good times with all our family members.”
The three-day reunion will end today with a faigalotu at the Methodist Church at Talimatau and a family to’ona’i.