Brief about J.B. Fonoti (Fonoti Ioane Brown) of Lotofaga

The Paramount Title: Fonoti of Lotofaga

Prepared by: J.B. Fonoti Family

Published by the following:
– Samoa Times News in Samoa
– NZTEC. (On Political History)
– Book Samoa Mo Samoa by professor J.W. Davidson

He Was Hon Fonoti Mata’utia Ioane Brown of Lotofaga and Lalovaea. Born 17 Feb 1901 and died 9 Oct 1974. He was educated at Marist Brothers School from 1908 to 1913. He worked with Westbrook and Burns Philip as a Salesman, and he became an entrepreneur himself and was the first Samoan successful businessman to distinguish himself in this field. He owned many successful companies, and was also became the most successful planters and cattlemen.

He owned a Bakery in Matatufu, A trading vessel called ‘Star Of The Sea’ and was engaged in Agricultural Development in Lotofaga. (In time he became The Most Successful of Planters and Cattlemen). He Established the First Primary School at Lotofaga which taught Agricultural Subjects. J.B. Fonoti Set up: The Samoa Traders Ltd.; The Mulifanua Trading Ltd.; and JB Fonoti Ltd. He also opened a Supermarket including a Bakery with delivery for Aleipata district and Lotofaga district Atua from his property in Lotofaga. He also operates a petrol station on that premises as well.

The Petition By Leader Faipule Hon J.B. Fonoti In 1944 And The United Nations Approval on the 13th December 1946

The Petition for Self-Government in 1944 by the Fono of Faipule leader Hon Fonoti that presented directly to New Zealand Governor-General Sir Cyral Newall in June, and much more directly to the Prime Minister Rt. Hon Peter Fraser on the 20-26th of December the same year.

While engaged to all Business Activities, J.B. Fonoti was also a Successful Politician. He was the leader of ‘The Fono a Faipule’ of Samoa from 1939 to 1947. And was also a ‘Member of the Legislative Assembly’ from 1948 to 1952 and 1955 to 1957. And a member of the ‘Working Committee of the Constitutional Convention of the Government of Samoa 1954 to 1957. He was the leader of the MAU for Atua also in 1935 to his last year for the MAU Vaimoso 1942. He was the founder and leader of The Samoa Democratic Party in 1951/1953. When the New Zealand Governor-General Sir. Cyril Newall visited Samoa in June 1944, and New Zealand Prime Minister Hon Mr. Peter Fraser on a special fono in December the same year 1944. Leader Hon J.B. Fonoti presented directly the Petition for Self-Government in Samoa to them. While welcoming, leader Faipule Hon J.B. Fonoti and on behalf of the Fono of Faipule, expressed solid criticism of New Zealand policy.

Demands were made in direct by leader Hon J.B. Fonoti with a firm request for Self-Government in Samoa, included: 1. The association with the administration of Samoa representatives to deliberate with Fonoti on ‘All Government Matters, 2. The appointment of Samoans as head of the Native Affairs Department, 3. For a Department of Agriculture to be established, 4. Promotions of Samoans through out the Public Service to more senior posts, 5. For the training overseas of the Ablest Samoan Youths for further Education, 6. And For Limiting the Term of Expatriates to Three Years and No more than Six years.

Several important, though uncomplicated, decisions were made by New Zealand straight away. In particular: 1. A Scholarship Scheme to inaugurated to enable some of the Ablest Samoa Children to go to New Zealand for further Education, 2. A new appointment was made to the Office Of Administration. “This was not an easy position for the New Zealand Government to fill”.

NOTE: The Trusteeship Agreement for Western Samoa was submitted and approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation on the 13 December 1946!” Its details belong to the history of self-government in Samoa.

“Samoa’s Freedom From New Zealand Was Issued And Confirmed!”

At the beginning of June two major events gave further evidence of the growing reality of the new political era. On 1st of June 1948 the newly authorized flags of Samoa-the Samoan flag (which had just been adopted) and the New Zealand flag, flown conjointly, were raised ceremonially for the first time. An official anthem, ‘The Banner of Freedom’, had been composed for the occasion. In the wave of sympathetic emotion which the occasion generated the country gained a national flag, a national anthem and a national day, all of which established a hold on the people’s minds and survived as part of the ceremonial superstructure of the nation state that they were engaged in creating. The next day 2nd of June, the High Commissioner opened the first session of the Legislative Assembly.

Hon J.B. Fonoti included 5 members of ‘Fono of Faipule’ had a trip to New Zealand 1955 to pick up the Mace for the Parliament house of Samoa (a potent symbol in the United Kingdom of the British partnership of the Queen in Parliament). In 1954 J.B. Fonoti become Minister of Health and Agriculture until health forced his Retirement in year 1957. Hon J.B. Fonoti was the founder of ‘The Democratic Party’ after the year 1951 elections; During its first year the party claimed a membership of about three hundred and the support of a substantial proportion of the untitled people; after that it gradually declined. But the election of Hon Fonoti to the Fono of Faipule late in 1951 and his return to the Legislative Assembly in 1954 gave it a place in the formal political life of the country; and others who were associated with it have since served in Public Office. Though it was never able to function effectively as a pressure group, it’s more important policy proposals were brought clearly before the public; even thou the Party died, its Ideals have lived on in the form of demand for Universal Surfrage with Matai Candidacy, the replacement of ‘The Fono a Faipule’ and ‘The Legislative Assembly’ by ‘One Body’ and Personal Tax Services.

Hon J.B. Fonoti was always fought for the rights of modern Samoans for their right to dissent and to hold peaceful rallies. Of him, Professor Davidson describes him in his book ‘Samoa mo Samoa’, “Hes a man of drive and considerable shrewdness”. In 1935, Hon J. B. Fonoti became the representative leader for the ‘MAU’ for Lotofaga district, Lepa and Falealili. Until he was made the representative leader of Lotofaga district for the ‘MAU Committee’ of Vaimoso, Faleata in 1942. J.B. Fonoti was one of the ‘first appointed joint directors’ of the ‘Bank of Samoa’ from year 1959 to 1963. J.B. Fonoti was also one of the foundation members of ‘The Copra Board’ of the Government of Samoa from 1957 to 1972. He was a well known part-European Business-man. Hi main office was in Apia with about eighteen out-stationsstores herein Upolu and the big island of Savaii. Three times Hon J.B. Fonoti was a member of Parliamentary delegations to New Zealand. Hon J.B. Fonoti started a scholarship fund raising and donated funds of his own towards it for sending The First Group of Samoan Scholarship Students to New Zealand. Prime Minister Mr. Fraser recognized it and Fraser then with approval to profits made from ‘The New Zealand Reparation Estates in Samoa’ to be used and funded also on other things for improvement like, the local hospitals, roads etc.

Hon J.B. Fonoti achieved many goals in his lifetime. Believed to be the most generous and respectful person in Samoa in his days. J.B. Fonoti was very generous in every way in numerous of things for his District of Lotofaga, the community, the church, the Government, and his country of Samoa. The helder to the Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga Atua, a privately owner of his 8,000 acres land called “Oliula” in Lotofaga. J.B. Fonoti was married to Luisa the daughter of Ieremia Manulesa Mata’utia Tuala in 1923 and have 12 Children. Hon J.B. Fonoti died on the 9th October1974. The funeral mass was held at the Catholic Church Mulivai in Apia by His Eminence Cardinal Bishop Pio. Fonoti was laid to rest and buried at his land of “Oliula” in Lotofaga Atua.
Hon J.B. Fonoti is a descendant of King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa.

From Book: The Evolution of International Human Rights; Visions Seen; by Regents Professor Paul Gordon Lauren. Edition 2.

A Major Global Recognition for Fonoti of Western Samoa and rated the same level as Gandhi in India and three others on International World Peace And Freedom 1945.

Peace And A Charter With Human Rights: (Page 176: Chapter 6)
Thus, the Atlantic Charter, the Declaration of the United Nations, the many speeches by Allied leaders, and even the Declaration on Liberated Europe emerging as late as February 1945 from the Yalta Conference between the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union all fostered this belief. But there was something more as well. The war produced millions of new European victims of aggression at the hands of the Axis powers. As a result, their own first-hand experience made them much more sympathetic than ever to the sufferings of others forced to live under conquest and subjugation, including those indigenous people within their colonial empires, who vowed that there could never be lasting peace as long as they were denied their freedom. Thus, many victims in the west began to join with many others like Gandhi in India, Ho Chi Minh of Indochina, Nkrumah and Kenyatta of Africa, Carlos Romulo of the Philippines, and Fonoti of Western Samoa in regarding the right of self-determination as absolutely necessary for international peace.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (Page 207)
Considerable pressure had been bought to bear by the majority of states to write provisions into the Charter concerning the Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories, recognizing the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these lands were paramount and pledging to work toward self-government and to authorize the creation of an International Trusteeship system within the United Nations. But this represented only a tenuous compromise. The majority within the General Assembly, who themselves had once been victims of imperialism, still were not satisfied, and decided to push further. Instead of having only imperial powers serve on the Trusteeship Council, for example, they elected such well-known vocal opponents of colonialism as China, Iraq, Mexico, and the Soviet Union. They battled over the text of each and every trusteeship agreement, trying to drive the specific conditions toward a greater emphasis on the rights of the peoples of these territories. In this regard, they strongly criticized a number of the early draft proposals from the colonial powers, but praised the commitment from the New Zealand that its agreement with Western Samoa would be in effect a self-contained Bill of Rights for the inhabitants.


The official Website about Fonoti:

For more about J.B. Fonoti, click on each url link from the 4 Sources below:

1. To access the 17 pages of the book Samoa mo Samoa: by professor J.W. Davidson on Political history of Western Samoa for further in on J.B. Fonoti leadership. – click on url:SamoaMoSamoa

(note: to double click on each page to enlarge size for better reading)

2. To access the Title Court final decision documents of J.B. Fonoti in 1952, Re-Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga for further info. – click on url:FonotiOfLotofaga

(note: to double click on each page to enlarge size for better reading)

3. To access the full information on the petition for Self-Government in Samoa in 1944 by Leader J.B. Fonoti, and also for the United Nations Approval on the 13th Dec. in 1946 from the Source: NZETC (New Zealand Electronic text Centre, New Zealand History) Subject “Trusteeship In Action” from section 336: about the petition by J.B. Fonoti, and section 342: about the United Nations approval for Self-Government in Samoa. – click on url:TrusteeshipNZETC

Read from the top of the article as you scroll down to sections 336 to 342.

4. To access copies of related original documentation on Hon Fonoti click on the following link below:
Link: HonFonotiDocuments

NOTE: Hon Fonoti Mata’utia Ioane Brown of Lotofaga is a direct desendant of King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa.


1. Tuia’ana Tuiatua Faumuina Ma Le Tupufia, son of Tuia’ana Tuiatua Sina and Titoi’aivao, first marriage to Manalelei or Talaleomalie, the daughter of Vaovasamanaia of Gataivai village in Savai’i, they begot Fonoti (boy: eldest as “O Le Ali’i o Aiga”, became King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa: The Four Sided Title Kingship of Samoa: Tuia’ana, Tuiatua, Vaetamasoali’i, Gatoaitele).
2. King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa first marriage to Fuatino, the daughter of high Chief To’alepaiali’i of Satapuala village the Satuala family, they begot Muagututi’a (boy: eldest as “O Le Ali’i O Aiga)
3. Muagututi’a, the eldest son of King Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa and Fuatino, first marriage to Poto, the daughter of high Chief Amituana’i Manaia of Si’ufaitoto’a at Faleata in Upolu, they begot Seutatia (girl: eldest as “Feagaiga A Le Aiga” and remain occupier to the Palace of Mulinu’u in Lufilufi)
4. Seutatia the Feagaiga A Le Aiga and eldest daughter of Muagututi’a and Poto, married to Lilomaiava Nailevai’ili’ili a high Chief of Palauli in Savai’i island, they begot Nofoa-tolu Lilomaiava Vae-ole-nofoa-fia (boy: This was The Very First “Nofoa-tolu” Title that was honoured and bestowed at the Palace of Mulinu’u Lalogafu’afu’a and Sepolata’emo in Lufilufi Tumua Atua. The Nofoatolu title in Lufilufi is the reminding of this marriage of Setatia and with the Lilomaiava family).
5. Nofoatolu Lilomaiava Vaeolenofoafia married to Sinaivaiana, the daughter of high chief Va’afusuaga of Faga village in Savai’i island, they begot Fonoti Nofoatolu Laufeti’iti’i (boy: SA-FONOTI FAMILY OF LOTOFAGA ATUA)
6. Fonoti Nofoatolu Laufeti’iti’i married to Va’asa, the daughter of Fiame Muagututi’a of le Aiga Pa’ia o Sa-Levalasi in Lotofaga Atua, they begot Fonoti Oliovaigafa (boy: eldest as “O Le Ali’i O Aiga”. Fonoti Oliovaigafa was requested by Molio’o and the Ailaoa to be the High Chief in Faleapuna district at his house was called Vainiu. He left and never went back to Lotofaga and his succession to Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga was ended, Fonoti Oliovaigafa also had no children), Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (boy), and Lagouta (girl).
7. Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a, son of Fonoti Nofoatolu Laufeti’iti’i and Va’asa Fiame Muagututi’a, married to Tamasailau, the daughter of high chief Lualemana of Asu village in Tutuila island, they begot Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (ii) (boy).
8. Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (ii) first marriage to Sologaliua, the daughter of high chief Sialega of Nu’uuli in Tutuila island, they begot Fonoti Nofoatolu Fata (boy: eldest as “O Le Ali’i O Aiga), and Taelimu (girl).
8. Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (ii) second marriage to Timaima, the daughter of chief Lolo Salulu of Salani village, Falealili in Upolu, they begot Nofoatolu Tamasipani (boy), and Fualeva (girl)
8. Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (ii) third marriage to Sina, the daughter of chief Gaugau of Sapapali’i village in Savai’I, they begot Nofoatolu Salatielu (boy), and Nofoatolu Fata (boy)
9. Fonoti Nofoatolu Fata, the eldest son of Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (ii) and Sologaliua, married to Teoteo Taufagalupe, the daughter of Seinafolava, of Lotofaga in Upolu, they begot Fonoti Teoteo Tuipu’avai (boy).
10. Fonoti Teoteo Tuipu’avai married to Saumaloto, the daughter of high chief Tuala Tamalelagi of Safa’ato’a at Lefaga in Upolu, they begot Muaimana (girl: eldest as “Feagaiga A Le Aiga”), Fonoti Tuala Sola (boy), Gauifaiva Samuela (boy), Poto (girl), and Fipe (girl).
11. Muaimana as Feagaiga A Le Aiga and eldest daughter of Fonoti Teoteo Tuipu’avai and Saumaloto, first marriage to Teleso of Si’umu at Mulivai village in Upolu, they begot Fonoti Pua’a (boy: eldest), Lasela (girl), Leota Tafilipepe Ioane (boy).
11. Muaimana as Feagaiga A Le Aiga and eldest daughter of Fonoti Teoteo Tuipu’avai and Saumaloto, second marriage to Tafea Maioa Elise, the son of Lupe Tafea Tuai’ipuniu and Fonoti Letaupe Tuipalepale of Mata’tufu at Lotofaga Atua, they begot Tafea Lomano Maioa (boy).
12. Tafea Lomano Maioa, son of Muaimana “Feagaiga A Le Aiga” and Tafea Elise, married to Anne Vaelua Brown, the daughter of Paramount High Chief ‘Tuimanu’a Alexander Brown‘ of Ti’avea at Aleipata Upolu – A Scotishman from Scotland in Great Britain, they begot Ola Mika Brown (boy: eldest), Hon Fonoti Mata’utia John Brown (boy: Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga Atua), Tasala Brown (boy), Bella Brown (girl), and Fiava’ai Brown (girl).
13. Hon Fonoti Mata’utia John Brown married to Luisa, the daughter of L.M.S. Pastor Rev. Ieremia Manulesa FS Mata’utia Tuala of Sataua, Lealatele, Leauva’a and Amoa in Savai’i and Upolu, they begot twelve children: Uatogitau Alosio Fonoti Brown (boy), Fonoti Letaupe Ioane Jr. Brown (boy: 1953: Title Fonoti Letaupe of Matatufu), 14. Fonoti Inu Saufo’i Brown (boy: 1975: Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga Atua), Hon Teoteo Asiasi’au Tiatia Sauso’o Fonoti Brown (boy: Govt. MP x 3-1973 to 1984), 15. Fonoti Tuala Le Sa’oalii Kamilo Brown (boy: 1963: Paramount chief title of Satuala, and 2003: Paramount Title Fonoti of Lotofaga Atua), Falesefulu-o-TualamaSala Judith Fonoti Brown-Gibbs (girl), Lili’i Sae Benedict Fonoti Brown (boy), Lemalu Galusina Lalogafau Lui Paulo Asalemo Fonoti Brown (boy), Sailivao Peter Fonoti Brown (boy), Feiloa’ivao Paulo Fonoti Brown (boy), Tagaloamamana Inu Tulo Fonoti Brown (boy), Samala’ulu Otila Fonoti Brown (girl).

1. Samatau’a Siolosega married to Vaimoe, the daughter of Po’alaga in Lepa, they begot Fiame Ufi’avapupu (boy: the first title “Fiame Le Sa’ofa’apito” of the sacred family of Salevalasi at Lotofaga Atua).
2. Fiame Ufi’avapupu married to Levalasi, the daughter of Tapu of Letaupe in Mata’tufu, they begot Tuiatua (boy: eldest as “O le Alii o Aiga”), and Muagututi’a (boy: became the second Fiame after his father Fiame Ufi’avapupu).
3. Fiame Muagututi’a married to Masu, the daughter of Sitagata Timalesa in Lotofaga, they begot Leaegalesolo (boy; eldest), Fuiava’iliili (boy), Va’asa (girl), and Va’aloa (girl).
4. Va’asa married to Fonoti Nofoatolu Laufeti’iti’i from Lufilufi at the Palace of Mulinu’u, they begot Fonoti Oliovaigafa (boy: eldest as “Ole Alii o Aiga”), Nofoatolu Ti’auliva’a (boy), and Lagouta (girl) – [Sa-Fonoti of Lotofaga Atua: The home To-Date of king Fonoti Tupu Tafa’ifa of Samoa Family Genealogy Line].

(”e ufiufi a le tama’imoa i le tanoa, ae ioio lava..”)

Click on track to play: elvis-presley-i-did-it-my-way



~ by Christian Brown on July 19, 2008.

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