A father, grandfather and great-great-grandfather; Sapa’u Lolesio Vitale, rose early yesterday with a smile on his face.
For the 89-year-old, he was looking forward to adding another march to the countless marches he has done for Samoa’s independence day since the nation became independent in 1962.
Sapa’u is a former rugby player for Marist and a Policeman.
“God has blessed Samoa in so many ways,” he said. “We should appreciate it and make the most of it as we only live once.
“We should be proud of our beautiful Samoa.”
He went on to say that he has lot to be grateful for.
“To be honest Samoa is home for me and I am grateful to God for this beautiful country he had given us,” Sapa’u said.
“Looking back over the last 55 years, I am so amazed by God’s faithfulness to this country, there are challenges, pros and cons but he always makes a way for us to go, a path to walk in whatever circumstances.”
Sapa’u said he has the utmost respect for the government.
“I salute our government, each and everyone of us...especially our past ancestors who has contributed so much at the time of the eventual formation of a resistance movement called Mau a Pule on Savai’i.
“We all know that the Mau was led by Lauaki one of the Samoan leaders who was deposed by the German Governor of Samoa, Wilhelm Solf during that time.
“We will remember them and all of their hard work.”
Sapa’u said he was emotional seeing the children yesterday.
“It’s good to see this event is observed by schools, cultural communities, religious groups, sports teams, private and public sectors and all other types of people,” he said.
“There’s no doubt that Samoa’s Independence Day is also observed by the Samoan communities in overseas countries. And so they should. We are a free nation.
Sapa’u also marveled at the advent of technology, saying it has changed so many things.
“As you can see with today’s programme, it flowed really fast because of the fast technology that we have nowadays.
“Changes are not only happening in Samoa it is happening around the world, and that’s a good news for us.
“Back in those days, we don’t have that much, the only media, I mean the radio station we have is the 2.A.P. but nowadays, we have heaps of TV stations and newspapers to read everyday.
Sapa’u will celebrate his 90th birthday next week.
“I want to wish my beautiful Samoa a Happy Independence Day!
A 53-year-old father of six, Tauloto Minoi has been staying in America for the past thirty years.
The Samoa Observer caught up with Mr. Minoi while he was having breakfast at one of the stalls with his friends.
“It’s good to be back again and the truth is, there is no place like Samoa.” Tauloto said.
“Personally, no matter where we go, we will always consider Samoa our home because it is where our hearts belong...it is where I was born...
“And there’s no doubt that a lot of people can agree with me on this, like for example, you can travel around the world, America, Australia...New Zealand and discover all the wonders but you will never find another place like Samoa.
“This is because the people we love and the culture that we are proud of are from here, I love everything about this country.
“I call this home and as I’ve mentioned earlier no matter where I go Samoa is always in my heart.
He said the peacefulness is one reason why he loves Samoa.
“Life is simple and the lifestyle is just amazing and we don’t need much to be happy here on the island...that’s us!
“We all know of what happening to America and other countries, but Samoa is the best ever.”
More photos in tomorrow’s Samoa Observer.