Veteran Member of Parliament, Le Mamea Ropati Mualia, took a trip down memory lane, from the day when he first entered Parliament.
It happened when he delivered his final speech in Parliament on Thursday last week before it was dissolved.
For the M.P. from Lefaga and Falease’ela, it started in March 1979.
“I came without any grey hair,” said Le Mamea. “Today, my hair is nothing but grey.Not only that, my eyesight is not as good, but my mind is still sharp.”
“When I started (as an M.P.) there were no tar sealed roads in my constituency. Even the road to plantations and access roads within each village were just gravel…the same with electricity, there was no power supply.”
Le Mamea recalled that in those days in his constituency many had to use buckets of water to carry water to the school buildings.
But things changed when he decided to join in establishing the Human Rights Protection Party (H.R.P.P).
“It was then that I decided it was time for change,” said Le Mamea.
“I became involved with the party together with Pule Lameko, aiming for change.
“Looking around, we have seen the changes with roads being constructed from Matautu to Matafa’a whereas in those days villagers had to take the boat to get to Matafa’a.”
Le Mamea said his constituency has been blessed with many developments such as clean water supply that never dries out and many new school buildings.
He pointed to the sub village of Savai’a where a new school is under construction and similarly with the negibouring village of Falease’ela.
The M.P. thanked his constituency for their support in the past years and for being patient with him.
Speaking to the Speaker of the House, La’aulialemalietoa Leuatea Polataivao, Le Mamea reminded him he was still young.
He remembered that in the past, before La’auli entered Parliament, he used to be at the Legislative Assembly with his father, the late Polata’ivao Fosi.
Moving on to his fellow M.Ps, Le Mamea thanked the Prime Minister, his Cabinet as well as other members for the past five years.
He told Parliament he was honoured to be appointed as a Member of the Council of Deputies.
“I never thought you would because I was a leader of the Opposition,” said Le Mamea.
“That is why I believe that you are a man of God.
“We also talked about not running again in the last general election…but you are still strong.”
Le Mamea also had a message for the Opposition.
He told Opposition Leader, Palusalue Fa’apo II that Tuilaepa should continue as Prime Minister.
Turning to the deputy Leader, Aeau Peniamina Leavaise’eta, Le Mamea said although he should resign “I feel that he has a big heart to return.”
Before he returned the floor to the Speaker, Le Mamea had one reminder left for Tuilaepa.
“Samoa is founded on God and so are all those that believe in Christ,” said Le Mamea.
“That is why I advised many times in the past to never forget that. The prophecy says, let us not forget God.
“Israel was the chosen land and I believe that Samoa is the chosen land in the Pacific.”
Le Mamea said there are many things that have happened in other nations but Samoa still remains calm.
“Let us not forget about God,” he repeated.
“Because when you are weak you are strong. Prime Minister, do not feel weak, for problems in this world will not end but we depend on God’s spirit.”
He concluded his speech with the prayer of St. Francis.
Part of the prayer, reads, “Lord make me an instrument of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love, where there is injury pardon, where there is doubt faith…”