To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines.
Games opening ceremony best ever: Games President
First Published: 26 August 2007
The opening ceremony of XIIth South Pacific Games at Apia Park last night has been rated the best ever by South Pacific Games Council President, Vidya Lakhan.
Describing the atmosphere as “tremendous,” Lakhan said Samoa put on a show that has surpassed that of the 2003 SPG opening in Suva, Fiji.
“It was just tremendous,” he told the Sunday Samoan. “The atmosphere was tremendous and so different to anything I’ve felt before.”
The opening ceremony started with the Police Band performing the national anthem followed by an ava ceremony.
But what got the crowd excited was the Sina and Tuna dance and the performances by several siva afi dancers. “Those were just some of the highlights of the night,” Lakhan said.
“The whole ceremony was fantastic and it was like nothing I have ever seen in the Games.”
“Samoa has done a great job to deliver this and a lot of credit goes to the organising committee and the Government of Samoa for the big job they did.”
“If I was to compare this one to Fiji’s, I’d say Samoa’s was something different. It was because of the atmosphere.”
The Games atmosphere was so big, everybody was involved and that tells that the Games here in Samoa will be excellent.”
The opening ceremony closed with Commonwealth Games silver medallist Ofisa Ofisa making his way to the Games cauldron on a specially designed boat with the sail reading ‘Samoa’. Ofisa was only too much proud to hold the Games torch high with a packed Apia Park going wild. “Bravo to Samoa,” Mr Lakhan said.
“I’m sure everyone here today (last night) will have fond memories of this opening. I know I will.”.
Thousands of schools teachers and students were involved in the dances, part of SASNOC and SPGA’s plan of ensuring all are involved in the Games.