Steffany Family Maritime Scholarship
The Steffany Family Maritime Foundation is an IRS 501 C-3 non-profit organization.
(Oct, 2011) A family which played a vital role in providing a passenger and cargo service for the two Samoa in the early 1960’s up to the early 80’s has established a foundation aimed at getting local graduates thinking about a career in the maritime industry.
The Steffany Family Maritime Scholarship Foundation is offering two scholarships, each worth $10,000 to one high school graduate and one graduate from the American Samoa Community College to attend the California Maritime Academy.
The scholarships can be renewed based on the student’s continuing enrollment and academic success.
The Steffany family hosted a fundraising dinner Saturday at the Lee Auditorium for the foundation and the event was packed with government, business and community leaders.
Guests were treated to power point presentation telling the interesting history of the Steffany family of Fagasa.
The Steffany’s shipping company was started by Captain Josef Hubert Steffany of Holland and Germany, who was a naturalized and was continued after his death by three of his sons Joe Steffany Jr., William Suesuemanogi Steffany and Anton Steffany.
The Steffany boats transported copra, which was the backbone of the economy, from Manu’a and later Swains. It also provided inter island passenger service during the naval era.
Captain Steffany married Faamauina Alo Taisi of Fagasa in 1905 and they had nine children. Because the captain could not pronounce his wife’s first name, he called her baby or pepe, which she became known as while her husband was known as Sitafane.
Except for a brief period when he was in Apia to do work for the German government, Captain Steffany stayed in Fagasa all his life until his death in 1935.
SAMOA NEWS Press Release: Saturday, October 22, 2011 was an historic day for the Steffany family of Fagasa, as they gathered to celebrate the life of their ancestor, Captain Joseph Steffany, who married Alo Fa’amauina Taisi of Fagasa, and established the Steffany family in the islands that would come to be American Samoa. (American Samoa became a U.S. Territory in April, 1900.)
It was also the day the family launched a scholarship program.
The day was chosen because it was the birthday of Captain Joseph’s son, Alo Su’esu’emanogi William Steffany, who would have been 100 years old on that day. Many of Alo’s 25 children, along with the children of his brothers, Antonio and Joseph, were on hand to celebrate the evening.
In honor of the day, and Captain Joseph’s seafaring skills, the Steffany family has elected to establish a scholarship for those students who wish to follow in the maritime arts, and revive the seafaring skills for which the Polynesians have long been known.
Pictured is taupo Evelyn Laufafaofenunuivao Hudson, daughter of Isabel and Dean Hudson, and the great granddaughter of Captain Steffany and Alo, performing the taualuga at the launch of the scholarship, officially called the Steffany Family Maritime Scholarship. It was the first fundraising event for the scholarship, held on Saturday evening at the Fale Laumei. U.S. Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, whose Alo aiga connects him to the Steffany family, was there to celebrate the event, and is seen here dancing with Evelyn.
For donations contact Isabel Hudson: Isabel@newsbyrd.com