Happy 80th birthday, Umu Nia!

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Pastor Levao Iopu, Umu Nia Fa’ase’e Filipo and Mativa Ipu Iopu.

Pastor Levao Iopu, Umu Nia Fa’ase’e Filipo and Mativa Ipu Iopu. (Photo: Supplied )

The Filipo Family gathered at the Orator Hotel last week to celebrate Umu Nia Fa’ase’e Filipo’s 80th birthday. 

It was a day for the family to give thanks to God for the life of their mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Umu was born on July 29, 1938. She hails from the village of Levi, Saleimoa.

She married the late Fa’ase’e Filipo.

Together they have 10 children. Pastor Levao Iopu of the Mt. Roskil New Hope Church in Auckland New Zealand, conducted the church service.

He told the gathering that the secret behind Umu’s long life was happiness and living healthy.

Umu’s grandson, Josh Moana from New Zealand describes their grandmother as a humble lady and someone who loves music.

“This lady is very special to me because she gave me the gift of music,” he told the Samoa Observer. “She taught me the guitar at the age of 11, she taught me three chords, and that’s what started my love and passion for music especially the guitar.

Umu Nia Fa’ase’e making a silent wish as she blows the candles for her birthday cake.
Umu Nia Fa’ase’e making a silent wish as she blows the candles for her birthday cake.

“This surprise party was organised by me and my sister, and our first cousins on my mom’s side.”

Mr. Moana added his grandmother is the youngest of three children.

“Her brother and sister both got married and left the family but my nana stayed behind to look after her parents, their land, and raise her 10 children in Levi, Saleimoa. 

“She is still looking after our family right up until this very day. She is a woman of great faith, who fears nobody but God, and she is someone who would always put other people first before herself.”

“What we are doing today is nothing compared to all the things that she had done for all of us. 

“We owe her so much and for as long as she lives we will forever be grateful to God for giving her to us.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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