Myna Young celebrated her 90th birthday on Tuesday evening in the company of family and friends at the Le Manumea Hotel in Apia.
Born on October 9, 1928 to Scottish father Collin Mackintosh and Samoan mother Teuila, Myna grew up in Lano, Savai’i but later moved to Upolu and then left Samoa for New Zealand when she was 12 to attend school.
She returned to the island when she was 18 and met Lealaisalanoa Arthur Pa’u Young, whom she later married and became her life-long partner.
The couple had 10 children comprising six boys and four girls.
They were Arthur, Mark (deceased), Ian, Rex, Doris, April, Ashley, Terry, Vanesa (deceased) and Donna.
Their father passed away in 2011.
Her family has grown and today represent five generations. They are led by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, great great grandchildren, and great great great grandchildren.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, son Ashley Young said his mother used to work at Burns Phillips back in the days and later started a little shop in town called “M&D”, which stood for Myna and Doris’s mini-mart.
“And that is where she worked until my parents were of old age. Doris, who is my eldest sister, came up and started Myna’s store up at Vailima.
“My mother is a humble person, even though my dad was a very hard person but she was always so positive about everything.
“This is a phrase that bests describes how she is: ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’,” he said.
Mr Young said she always looks forward to a new day and was optimistic that tomorrow will be different.
Another of his mother’s qualities – which for him was unforgettable – was the respect that she had for her husband and not rebutting him.
“She always protected her kids, especially me cause I was more the trouble maker but she was always there for everyone. But in my own view, she has reached such a milestone in her life due to her faith.
“She is a prayer warrior, meaning she is always praying. The first Carmelite sisters that arrived in Samoa were her friends. I used to bring food up to them, but the funny thing about it is that she is not Catholic, she is Protestant. My mother has such a big heart, the heart of giving,” he said.
Her passion for music was epitomised in her love for the ukulele, a skill which she passed on to her half-brother Sione Aleki according to Mr Young.
“But her passion in life was music, she’s a musician because she used to be the best ukulele player, and she passed on most of her knowledge to her half-brother Sione Aleki – who is a famous ukulele player around America."
Mr Young said when their father passed away, his death was hard on his mother, but she pulled through with love and support from her family, which on top of her unwavering faith in God kept her going.