Tuvalu News


Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i at Manoa


FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (December 1998 - Tuvalu Echoes)---Tuvalu’s first Governor General, Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo, was called to rest on November 25 1998 at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Funafuti.

Sir Fiatau, who was born in Funafuti on July 23, 1911, died at the age of 87. On the day he was called to rest, the Tuvalu flag was raised half-mast in respect of his being the country’s first Governor General.

According to reports received from the Office of the Prime Minister, the practice of having the flag flown nation-wide at half mast is authorized to respect and remember higher ranked persons in government, usually the Governor General or the Prime Minister.

The Governor General, His Excellency Dr. Tomasi Puapua, and the Prime Minister, Right Honorable Bikenibeu Paeniu, represented the whole nation and the government at the state funeral for Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo.

Tuvalu Echoes notes that Sir Fiatau was Tuvalu’s first Governor General, from the year 1978 until his retirement in 1986.

A memorial feast was organized by relatives at the Tausoa Lima Falekaupule, to which government high-ranked officials were invited.

Sir Fiatau is sadly missed by his wife, Mrs. Uimai Teo, sons, daughters, grandchildren and relatives.

(Provided by Seve Paeniu.)

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