There is something different about Samoa this Easter Sunday.
People might be dressed in their Sunday best and heading to different churches throughout the country, but their hearts and minds will be firmly on Lupesoliai Joseph Parker’s mission to defeat Anthony Joshua this morning.
With daylight savings giving people in Samoa an extra hour this morning, most of them used the opportunity to go to church. As this piece was written, many of the churches, especially early morning masses, have finished.
That lot are back at home waiting for the fight. Others whose church services start later will be praying for a short sermon so they can run back to a TV nearby to catch the big fight.
The Parker fight is the talk of town.
At Faleula, they are driven by the United we stand, divided we fall motto.
This Parker Fever caused people to all turn their heads when the line of Taxi Stands and different vehicles from the village of Faleula.
The town of Apia was flooded with white taxis, with their flags and red banners on the hood of their cars.
More than 40 cars showed up in the same spirit; that was to support Parker.
The Faleula Taxi Stand together with the Triple Seven Taxi Stand from Sogi, despite the distance they had to drive they still stuck by what they believed and drove around Mulinuu and Apia.
Even though Parker is not here to witness this, they stated that through technology he will get the message that he is not alone in his fight.
According to one of the members of Triple Seven Taxi Stand, Bill Maiava, it does not matter if Parker does not know them personally or even is from their village, they will support him all the way.
“This is a very emotional time for everyone to support Parker in this upcoming fight. It may be a small country but we want the world to know that in this small country we breed warriors.
“He may not know each one of us personally but the blood of our forefathers flow within in our veins.
“We know that we are spending a lot of Petrol in terms of driving around but we did this on Thursday as well, it does not matter to us. Parker is one of our own,” said the 30-year-old.
Bill explained: “The reason we went for red banner because red is a significant color. In this season that we are in with the suffering of our savior, he spilled his blood for the thousands to be saved. The color of blood is red.
“Even though we don’t come from the same village with Parker but through the blood that was shed for all, we are all one.”
Mayor of Faleula, Tuumaialo Petelo Tupuola says there is no better way to encourage Parker but support him in any way they can.
“We have gathered here today because Parker is a Faleula and he is from. This is our way of cheering from a mile and showing our support.
“To let known to Samoa the people of Faleula are supporting Joseph Parker. This is the biggest fight that he will be undergoing and it is a must for us to do something, to make aware that he is always in our prayer.
“He has made us all proud and the standard that he has made. All these taxi drivers come from all different villages but they have joined for one cause which is to support Joseph Parker,” he said.
He explained: “Even the people from the village came in their own personal cars and drove together with us. We want to show support that the son of Samoa will rise up the champion in this fight.
“We are thankful for the support of the different people and taxi stands that showed up because even though Joseph is from Faleula but he is Samoan and we are all Samoans at heart.”
Tuumaialo adds that today’s service is being dedicated to Parker.