The annual thanksgiving service for members of Gatoaitele Savea Leulua’iali’i Tuivaiese II’s family was held yesterday at the village of Afega.
For over a hundred years, members of the family from Samoa and abroad have been gathering at the Maota o Tanumafili i le Tolotolo to give thanks.
Yesterday was no exception. More than a hundred members of the family came together to give thanks and offer praise to God for his guidance.
The service was conducted by Reverend Luapene Nepo, of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa at Afega.
“Another year has ended and we are starting a new year,” he said. “We applaud all the hard work that was done throughout last year but now we have to focus on 2019.
“In everything that we do, we must always give back the glory to God for everything that he has blessed us with. Keep in mind that whoever is rich with love, he or she will be blessed.
“Let God guide you all in any commitment in life that you have been called to do whether it is through work or education but bear in mind to carry it out with honesty and righteousness.”
Family member, Fata Maulolo Ueligitone Malifa, said the ceremony originated from their forefathers and they have continued the proud tradition.
“The service is a constant reminder for generations to come to always thank God for his love and blessings upon all our families,” he said.
“We give back the glory to the Almighty God for the gift of family. It is also a time to remember those that have departed this world to be with our heavenly father, many of them laid the foundation for this tradition.
“It also serves as an opportunity for the current generations to come together to familiarize with each other. It is significant for us to start every year with a prayer to thank for a year that came to an end and for another year that has begun.”
Fata added that the service is an opportunity to commit the family’s plans for this year to God in prayer.
“It brings great joy to see so many members of the family gather here who have travelled from Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and also those who are here locally.
“Our family has grown and in a way, we are scattered all over the world.”
The ceremony ended with a family feast, where everyone enjoyed each other’s company.