Thomas Trood

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Thomas Trood (11 February 1833 - 23 March 1916) was an entrepreneur notable for acting as British Vice Consul in Samoa during the period it was annexed by Germany in 1900. [1] Known colloquially as the Grand Old Man of Samoa for his long service in local affairs, he was commemorated in a set of the nation's postage stamps in 1968.

Consul (representative) diplomatic rank

A consul is an official representative of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the people of the two countries.

Samoa country in Oceania

Samoa, officially the Independent State ofSamoa and, until 4 July 1997, known as Western Samoa, is a country consisting of two main islands, Savai'i and Upolu, and four smaller islands. The capital city is Apia. The Lapita people discovered and settled the Samoan Islands around 3,500 years ago. They developed a unique Samoan language and Samoan cultural identity.

German Samoa Colony of the German Empire in Oceania from 1900 to 1920

German Samoa was a German protectorate from 1900 to 1914, consisting of the islands of Upolu, Savai'i, Apolima and Manono, now wholly within the independent state Samoa, formerly Western Samoa. Samoa was the last German colonial acquisition in the Pacific basin, received following the Tripartite Convention signed at Washington on 2 December 1899 with ratifications exchanged on 16 February 1900. It was the only German colony in the Pacific, aside from the Kiautschou concession in China, that was administered separately from German New Guinea.

Thomas Trood was born at Taunton, Somerset but emigrated with his family aged five to Sydney. His father, also called Thomas Trood, became one of the first master printers in Sydney. When Thomas Trood senior died, Thomas Trood junior sailed back to England with his mother in the Thomas Arbuthnot, a ship that also carried the first gold mined in Australia to England on its way to be exhibited at the Great Exhibition.

Taunton Country town of Somerset, England

Taunton is a large town in Somerset, England. The town's population in 2011 was 69,570. Taunton has over 1,000 years of religious and military history, including a 10th century monastery and Taunton Castle, which has origins in the Anglo Saxon period and was later the site of a priory. The Normans then built a stone structured castle, which belonged to the Bishops of Winchester. The current heavily reconstructed buildings are the inner ward, which now houses the Museum of Somerset and the Somerset Military Museum.

Somerset County of England

Somerset is a county in South West England which borders Gloucestershire and Bristol to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east and Devon to the south-west. It is bounded to the north and west by the Severn Estuary and the Bristol Channel, its coastline facing southeastern Wales. Its traditional border with Gloucestershire is the River Avon. Somerset's county town is Taunton.

Sydney State capital of New South Wales and most populous city in Australia and Oceania

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

In 1853 Trood returned to Sydney, later acquiring The Maid of Alicante, a ship with which he went into business trading goods such as pearlshell around the islands of Oceania. Lured by tales of a pearlshell "Treasure Island" he kept searching in vain until, eventually, he had exhausted his savings.

Thomas Trood returned to Samoa in 1860. For the next 18 years he acted as a bookkeeper and later manager for more successful British and German entrepreneurs in Samoa and Tongatabu before finally starting another business of his own. Witnessing, recording and reporting local political developments over many decades, Thomas Trood's diligent and benevolent support for Samoa earned him great respect.

When it was discovered that writer Robert Louis Stevenson was buried on his land by mistake, Thomas Trood presented the land to the Stevenson family in perpetuity.

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  1. Westbrook, G.E.L (29 April 1916). "An Island Gentleman. The late Thomas Trood". The Sydney Morning Herald .