Tupua Fred Wetzell’s life

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Born: 13th May 1933

Place of Birth: Moto’otua

Married: Fuatino Frances Freda Cynthia (nee: Godinet)

Religion: Roman Catholic

Children: Frederick Junior, Charlene, Angela, Vernon, Masoe Norman 

Grandchildren: Carlos, Charlene, Andre, Maverick, Jacy, Jonina, Morgan, Imogen, Ada- Fanua

Great grandchildren: Michael Frederick Hsu, Vernon Richard Hsu, Jade Nate Hsu, Daniel Frederick Eti Slater, Andre Jr Wetzell, Katelyn Wetzell, Isabella Sina Wetzell, Carlos Clements Wetzell

1933 – 1945 Raised as a young boy on the Wetzell Family Siusega Cocoa Plantation 

Education: 

1938 – 1945: Apia Primary, Leiifiifi

1946 – 1948: Porongahao Secondary School, Hawkes Bay

1949 – 1951: Napier Boys High School

1951 – 1954: Awarded, an apprenticeship as a Motor Mechanic at, John Andrew Ford Motor Co., Symonds Street, Auckland. New Zealand. Qualified Motor Mechanic 

Hiked/Walked: 

• to the top of Mount Silisili – tallest mountain in Samoa. 

• Pu’apu’a to Fagamalo, Vaisala to Safune, Mali’oli’o River (considered to be one of the most dangerous for flash floods). 

• Lake Lanoto’o numerous times. 

WORKING/BUSINESS LIFE 

• 1955 – 1958: Worked on Family Cattle Farm & Cocoa Plantation, Leaisa, Ologogo, Big Island of Savaii. 

• 1958: Shipped more than 600 tonnes of scrap metal to Japan on MV King Kai Maru. This included four army war tanks found at Satupuala. Would have been more but New Zealand turned down an application to cut up and remove the Adler Warship as they said it would remain as a monument. The area, now known as, Eleelefou. WSTEC also declined the removal of another estimated 600tonnes of scrap metal on all their plantations. 

• 1964: Established Wetzell Bros. Engineering Service Station, Park Road, Auckland. New Zealand 

• 1964 – 1971: Traveled back and forth between New Zealand and Samoa when his mother asked him why don’t you go somewhere else? To which he replied; “Mum, I left my Heart in SAMOA.” 

• 1972: Like General MacArthur “I shall return!” returned, permanently to SAMOA. Constructed the Lake Lanoto’o Road, Afiamalu (without compensation) to establish Lake Lanoto’o Resort, but was not to be for various reasons perhaps political and or environmental. 

• 1973: Established Apia Concrete Products and opened 22nd June 1973. Blessed by Patele Tovio and commissioned by the Late Honorable Prime Minister, Mata’afa Mulinu’u II. 

Member of Samoa Chamber of Commerce & Industry 

• 1986: Lata Plantation Development, Lata, Savaii. A Multi Crop, Cattle Farm and bottled Artesian Water, Vai Lata. 

• 1993 – 1994: 20,000m3 Historical concrete poured to one single project – 

Apia Wharf Break Water Tetra pods and Apia Foreshore Seawall Matautu to 

Mulinu’u. 

• 1996: Appointed Board Director of Tropic Resorts (Sinalei Reef Resort) 

• 1997 – 2013: Appointed Honorary Consul- General of Japan to Samoa.

• 2001 – 2006: Appointed Chairman Samoa Polytechnic

• 2007 – 2011:Appointed to National University of Samoa Council 

• 2013: Conferral of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by the Ambassador of Japan to Samoa, H.E. Yasuaki Nogawa on behalf of the Emperor, Government and People of Japan in recognition of his significant contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding and friendly relations between Japan and Samoa. (June 19th) 

COMMUNITY 

• Member of Apia Lions Club 

• Patron and Major Sponsor – Samoa International Game Fishing Association (since 1997) 

• Patron and Major Sponsor – Samoa Squash Rackets Association (since 1980) 

• Major Sponsor – Samoa High Commissioner’s to New Zealand Golf Tournament & The Wellington Samoa Golf Academy Inc. 

• Supporter of Rotary and Rotaract Clubs 

• Supporter of Samoa Rugby Union 

• Member of Apia Turf Club 

• Major Sponsor Annual Samoa Soccer Federation Business House Tournament 

• Contributor to Little Sisters’ of the Poor, Mapuifagalele 

• Contributor to Carmelite Sisters’ Monasteries of Samoa, Wallis & Futuna and Tonga 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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