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  • Rev. Dr Alfred Harold Wood OBE was a 20th-century Australian Christian minister, educator, writer, hymnologist and advocate of church union. Wood was born in Geelong as the son of Salvation Army officers. He was educated in Sydney and initially qualified as a barrister in Victoria. Converting to Methodism, Wood was ordained a Methodist minister in 1924 and left immediately to a missionary appointment in the Kingdom of Tonga, where he was Principal of Free Wesleyan boys' boarding school Tupou College. Under his leadership, the school moved from Nuku'alofa to Nafualu and grew from 30 students to almost 400, becoming the biggest school in the country. At Wood's instigation, scholarships were offered by the Tongan government to able students to further their education in Australia, or go to Fiji for medical training. Wood learned the Tongan language fluently and wrote books on Tongan history and geography which, in the 2000s, are still used as secondary school textbooks. Wood was also responsible for the training in Tonga of candidates for church ministry. In their 13 years in the Pacific nation, Haloti 'Uti and his wife, 'Olife, developed a special fondness and love for the people and the country. Early on, he supported Queen Salote with legal advice in her work to reconcile two Methodist factions and became well acquainted with and respected by the Royal Family and others. Wikipedia

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