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Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo GCMG ISO MBE (23 July 1911, in Funafuti – 25 November 1998) was a political figure from the Pacific nation of Tuvalu. Teo was appointed Chief in the House of Chiefs of Niutao in 1945 and was reappointed as a Chief on 29 June 1997 after his service as the first Governor General of Tuvalu.[1] Teo was married to Uimai (Tofiga) Teo.[2]

Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo
Governor-General of Tuvalu
In office
1 October 1978 – 1 March 1986
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterToaripi Lauti
Tomasi Puapua
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded bySir Tupua Leupena
Personal details
Born23 July 1911
Died25 November 1998(1998-11-25) (aged 87)

Teo was appointed as an Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1956;[3] awarded the Imperial Service Order (I.S.O.); and appointed as an Ordinary Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (GCMG) in 1979.[4]



When plans for Tuvalu, the former Ellice Islands colony, to become independent of the United Kingdom, the people of Tuvalu decided to retain Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state, and the post of Governor-General was established in 1978.

Governor-General of TuvaluEdit

Teo served as the first Governor-General of Tuvalu, representing HM Queen Elizabeth II, who is head of state in Tuvalu. He served from 1 October 1978 to 1 March 1986.[5] As Governor-General, he oversaw the first change in Tuvalu's post-Independence government in 1981.

After stepping down as Governor-General in 1986, Teo was succeeded in that office by Sir Tupua Leupena.


Sir Fiatau Penitala Teo died on Funafuti in 1998.[6]


His son Samuelu Teo represented Niutao in the parliament from 1998 to 2006.[7] Samuelu Teo was again elected to represent Niutao in the 2015 Tuvaluan general election.[8][9][10]

See alsoEdit

Preceded by
Governor-General of Tuvalu
Succeeded by
Sir Tupua Leupena


  1. ^ Sogivalu, Pulekau A. (1992). A Brief History of Niutao. Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific. ISBN 982-02-0058-X.
  2. ^ Paeniu, Seve (December 1998). "First Tuvalu Governor General Rests In Peace". Tuvalu News. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette" (PDF). UK Government. 2 January 1956. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Supplement to the London Gazette" (PDF). UK Government. 10 July 1979. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  5. ^ Brij V. Lal, Kate Fortune (2000). The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia. University of Hawaii Press. p. 282.
  6. ^ Paeniu, Seve (December 1998). "First Tuvalu Governor General Rests In Peace". Tuvalu Echoes.
  7. ^ "Tuvalu Elects 12 Members of Parliament". East-West Center Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i at Manoa / PACNEWS. 27 March 1998. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  8. ^ Pua Pedro & Semi Malaki (1 April 2015). "One female candidate make it through the National General Election" (PDF). Fenui News. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  9. ^ "Election looks set to return Sopoaga as Tuvalu's PM". Radio New Zealand. 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  10. ^ "Tuvalu National Election 2015 Results (Niutao)". Fenui News. 1 April 2015. Retrieved 1 April 2015.