The life of a hardworking mother was celebrated at Leloto, Leauva’a-uta last Saturday.
The occasion was Sāvali Sagato Fanene’s 70th birthday.
Bishop Nese Malautea of the Church of the Latter Day Saints at Leauva’a Uta conducted the service.
Attended by her children and friends, she was honored for her commitment to raise her children against all odds.
Sāvali has eight children with her late husband Fanene Sagato Fretton from Samatau. They are Pioi Lauata, Lina Faakomiti, Tupa’i Ana Finau, Mokeni, Sagato, A’ana Tavita, Matini and Meki Fanene.
She has twenty grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Looking back, Sāvali said she was a busy mother.
“When my husband passed away in 1988 my youngest son was just a year old at the time,” she said.
“My children were still young and we survived on whatever we had in our plantation. I wasn’t able to work because there was nobody to look after my children but we had never gone hungry.
“I did whatever I could to make sure my children had a good life I manage to put them through school and today I have seen the fruits of my hard work.”
At her celebration she said: “Today, I want to thank all of you who have made it,” she said.
“To my children, you have made me the happiest mother on earth.
“I am blessed and looking at each and every one of you working together to make sure everything goes well I silently thank God for His never ending blessing.”
One of her daughter’s Tupa’i Ana Finau describes their mother as a “warrior who never gave up on them.”
“She’s a hardworking and loving mother and she has had to be strong when our father passed away and that has been over 20 years now. We are who we are because of her.
“It has been more than 20 years since our father passed away and from that time until now mom never re-married she stayed true to our father and especially to us.
“That goes to show she loves us more than anything and today what we have done is nothing compare to all the sacrifices she made just so we can have better futures.
“We love you mom – and our prayers is that may the Lord add many more years to your life.
“With all the love in our hearts – from your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”