Samoa High Commissioner Presentation at Wellington Girls College

26th March 2021
Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali'i Scanlan pictured with Pasifika students and teachers at Wellington Girls College
On Friday 26th March 2021, the Wellington Girls College invited the Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan, to speak on the Samoan Custom, Culture and Values to the Samoan/Pasifika students and a group of Teachers. A Samoan student (Justice Firestone) opened the event with a prayer followed by a Samoan hymn. The High Commissioner was then introduced by Ms Sally Beccard (the Head of the Department for Social Sciences).

Leasi’s Presentation focussed on the ‘Fa’a-Samoa’ and the importance of Family (Aiga) and Christianity in the early development of a Samoan child. He emphasised the importance of respect (fa’aaloalo) and obedience (usita’i) in the Samoan Culture. Other values like love, forgiveness and humility are all equally important in the ‘Fa’a-Samoa’. The High Commissioner highlighted the power of the two magic words Fa’afetai (Thank you) and Fa’amolemole (Please) in the Samoan language. His Excellency then referred to the main reason why Samoans are very competitive, a question often asked of him? This is because when Samoans compete they do not only compete for themselves but for their immediate and extended families, their churches, villages as well as for their country. He urged the students to work hard and respect their Parents, Teachers and other Students. When they succeed, they make their Parents and extended Family happy and proud. But, when they do not do so well and misbehave at school, then that will be very sad for everyone! The High Commissioner concluded by reminding the Students to never forget their roots and the struggles that their parents and grandparents went through to try and ensure that they all get a good education and enjoy the many blessings that life has in store for them. Utilise the opportunities well and do not ever forget the power of the two magic words - Please and Thank You! He wished them well with their schoolwork.

The Wellington Girls College has over 1,600 students with at least 50 students with Pasifika heritage. After his Presentation, Ms. Sally Beccard invited a student to present a gift basket on behalf of Wellington Girls College to the High Commissioner. Later there was morning tea, followed by a group photo with the students and teachers. The High Commissioner was accompanied by the Counsellor, Mr. Robert Niko Aiono and Ms Toni Neels.