Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali'i Scanlan delivering his address at the launch of Samoan language week
The Samoa High Commissioner, H.E. Leasi Papali’i Scanlan, was invited by Victoria University of Wellington to Open the Samoa Language Week at the University Library on Monday 30th May. This is the 10th year that the High Commissioner has opened the Samoa Language Week at the Victoria University. Leausalilō Dr Sadat Muaiava opened the programme by welcoming the guests, followed by a prayer and blessing by Rev. Talafou Seiuli (Ekalesia Metotisi- Naenae). An Ava Ceremony was conducted by the Samoan students of Victoria University of Wellington for the invited guests. Assistant Vice-Chancellor Pasifika of the Victoria University of Wellington, Afioga Luamanuvao Dame Winnie Laban, in her address stressed again the importance of the Samoan Language Week for students at the University. She then thanked the High Commissioner for his strong support of the Pasifika Community Activities at Victoria University over the past ten years. The High Commissioner, in his address referred briefly to Samoa’s long and hard enduring journey on becoming the first Pacific Island country to become independent 60 years ago in 1962. He acknowledged with appreciation the hard work and struggles of the Forefathers. His remarks also focused on the theme of the week “Folau i le Va’a o Tautai- Sail with Competent Way Finders of the Ocean” referring to the Forefathers as the competent way finders which guided Samoa’s Sail to independence. Leasi encouraged the Samoan students to utilise properly the rare opportunity available to them to further their education. He encouraged them to learn and understand the Samoan language as this will help them appreciate more the richness of Samoan Custom and Tradition. The Samoan scholarship students performed a Samoan siva “dance” in showcasing their pride in the Samoan Culture. After the official program, the Victoria University of Wellington and FAGASA presented a farewell gift to the High Commissioner and spouse, Mrs. Joyce Scanlan for their efforts in catering for the Samoan scholarship students including the FAGASA in his capacity as the Patron. The High Commissioner was accompanied by his spouse, Mrs. Joyce Scanlan; family and staff from the Samoa High Commission.