Church Service to Commemorate 61 Years of Samoa Independence and Opening of Samoan Language Week
29th May 2023
L-R: Dr Anae Neru Leavasa (MP for Takanini); Hon. Barbara Edmonds (Minister of Internal Affairs, Pacific Peoples, and Economic Development); and Mr. Robert Niko Aiono (Acting High Commissioner, Samoa High Commission)
A Church Service, to commemorate the 61st Anniversary of the Independence Day of Samoa and to mark the Opening of the Samoa Language Week, was held at the EFKS Church in Porirua on Sunday 28th May 2023. The Service was organised by the Mafutaga Tu’ufa’atasi a Ekalesia i Ueligitone and was led by Rev Fepai Kolia Sea (Ekalesia Metotisi Samoa Ueiligtone). The beautiful hymns were sung by the EFKS and Methodist Choirs from Porirua. The theme of the Samoan Language Week this year is “Mitamita i lau gagana, Maua'a i lau Fa'asinomaga”, translated in English this means “Be proud of your language and grounded in your identity”. The programme started with the Procession Service of the flags of Samoa and New Zealand, followed by the singing of the Samoa National Anthem. At the end of the Service, the Acting High Commissioner, Mr. Robert Niko Aiono, was given the opportunity to address the large Congregation. In his address, he acknowledged the huge contributions of our forefathers in making Samoa the proud, self-governing country that it is today. He referred to the theme of the Samoa Language week and the importance of raising our children in the proper Samoan culture and tradition so that they take pride in their Gagana Samoa. The New Zealand Minister of the Ministry of Pacific People, Hon. Barbara Edmonds, delivered some remarks on behalf of the New Zealand Government followed by Tauvao Rivo Nalesoni in his capacity as representative of the Fagasa in Wellington. The event was well attended by the Samoan community in Wellington. The Acting High Commissioner was accompanied by his family and staff of the Samoa High Commission.