Descendants of the late Mana Silivelio Sialafau and his wife Fa’alataina Sialafau of Nofoali’i, Maagiagi, Manu’a and Aua reunited in Samoa this week.
The five generations of the Sialafau children travelled from Japan, Singapore, Russia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia and United States and for most of them, it would be their first time setting foot on their ancestral homeland.
“After three years of planning, we made it happen in 2018 and this is our first reunion and it will certainly not be our last,” said Isapela Logo Mulipola, who is the chairperson of the reunion committee.
“This is one way for us to honour the legacy that ancestors left behind and we have to make sure that it is passed down to our children, grandchildren and so forth.
“Our families are devout Catholics and although some of our family members were born in different denominations, we made clear to them that the Sialafau’s were Catholics.
“In our family we have more than 30 catechists, Priests, and Carmelite nuns, this is the legacy we hope that our children and the younger generations will follow,” said Mulipola.
Mana and Fa’alataina have seven children, Safanua, Pulou, Ta’ateo, Senio, Logo and Aia.
“My grandfather has three older children from a previous marriage.”
Mulipola said there are 46 of the second generation, 275 were born of the third generation and 150 of the fourth generation and 51 born from the fifth generation.
Mulipola indicated the importance of family reunions and to bring their family back to where everything started in Nofoali’i Samoa.
“We attended our family meetings in Nofoali’i and it was very pleasing to see the younger generations see firsthand where our ancestors worked and the sacrifice they made for survival back in the days of scarcity.
“I cannot fathom over the eagerness of the younger generations here to learn about the culture, traditions and the roots of our family.
“I am proud of the end result of the work by the reunion committee,” said Mulipola.
The week-long reunion highlighted activities are the cleaning of graves of the ancestors, a visit to their family lands and their family homes.
Mulipola said their families have agreed to another reunion in Samoa with the date yet to be confirmed.