Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali'i Scanlan pictured with the Samoan communities and Samoan foodstalls
On Saturday 27th February, the Members of Diplomatic Corps were invited by the Mayor (His Worship, Mr Grant Smith) to attend the Annual International Festival of Cultures in Palmerston North. Thirty five (35) countries were represented, mainly by their Heads of Mission and Spouses who witnessed the many different, colourful performances as well as the exhibition of rich international arts, culture and music. There were many stalls serving delicious food and drinks from different regions and countries of the world. It was a beautiful day which started off with a breakfast for the Diplomats hosted by the Mayor and the Palmerston North City Council. Members of Parliament Mr Tangi Utikere and Ms Terisa Ngobi as well as many members of the Palmerston North Business Community and Massey University Executive were also present. The Samoa High Commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps (HE Leasi Scanlan) spoke to thank His Worship for the kind invitation and warm hospitality extended to the Diplomatic Corps every year. Leasi also thanked the Mayor and the Council for looking after the Peoples from many different countries who have called Palmerston North home. The Dean took the opportunity to also thank the Vice Chancellor (Professor Jan Thomas) and her Massey University Team for hosting several members of the Diplomatic Corps and Spouses to a ‘Food Science Tour’ throughout the University Campus the day before, Friday 26th February. The Mayor and Mrs Michelle Smith kindly hosted the Diplomatic Corps to a wonderful dinner, following the food science tour on Friday evening. Other than the Waitangi Treaty Commemorations, the Palmerston North International Festival of Cultures is the second most popular activity (outside of Wellington) on the Annual Calendar of the Diplomatic Corps.