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Esteban Rolando was the last Colonial Governor of Gemeo, and the first President of the Republic of Gemeo. He was the first non-British Governor of the islands since the British Empire purchased them in 1739; and the only Governor who could be considered 'elected' by the people of Gemeo (he was, in reality, elected to local Government and then chosen as Governor).
Because of his leadership through the difficult World War II period, and his instrumental role in winning independence for the country; he is considered a National Hero of the Republic of Gemeo.
Born at his family's banana plantation on Estoril Island, Rolando grew up as a farmboy, attending the local Catholic school for education. At the age of 21, however, he decided to pursue a career in politics, and proved himself to be an able leader, despite his youth, and was soon elected Mayor of his local town. He continued advancing, and 1927, when the Protectorate of Gemeo held its first 'national' elections, he won a local seat. After 9 years in this Parliament, he was elected Premier - the highest office obtainable at that time. He held this position for four years, alongside Deputy Joao Ruivo (who would go on to be a lifelong political partner), until 1940.
This was because elderly Governor Reginald Walker died of a heart attack in early 1940, and due to the hectic nature of Wartime society, King George VI decided to appoint Rolando, as Premier, to become the new Governor. Rolando then led his country through World War II, overseeing the first 'true' Gemean Army; an influx of immigrants from Europe and North Africa; the policy of rationing; one of the most significant threats to Gemean territory in history; and the actions of the Anjo Runners. After the war, Rolando remained the Governor, and shortly began a political campaign for Gemean Independence.
After almost 30 years of struggle, including several riots; threats by Militant nationalists to start a Civil War; and pressure from British authorities, Rolando was successful, and the independent Republic of Gemeo was founded - with Rolando himself winning a landslide victory in the first Presidential election. He served just a single 2-year term before retiring from politics at the age of 76, his status as a National Hero secure.
Rolando lived out the rest of his years with his wife Maya, in their Villa just outside the town of Anfield, on Shankly Island. He was given a huge state funeral after his death in 1984, which was attended by leaders from across the Globe.