Grandson pays tribute to his idol

By Nefertiti Matatia ,

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ONE BIG FAMILY: The late Tuiloma Pule and Melini Lameko with their children, grandchildren and great grand children.

ONE BIG FAMILY: The late Tuiloma Pule and Melini Lameko with their children, grandchildren and great grand children.

Tuiloma Pule Alaimoana Unasa Lameko may have passed away, but his legacy lives on.

His grandson, Livingstone Lameko, 23, can testify to this. 

Livingstone is the second eldest grandchild of the late Tuiloma. He is the son of Tuiloma Vui Seinafolava Loau Tusa Sailimalo Lance and Louise Lameko.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, he said he has lost his golf partner.

“I am sad because he is not with us anymore, but we are happy that he is with our grandmother now,” he said. 

“My grandmother passed away last year on September 4th and it’s barely been a year and he wants to be with her already.”

This is his final year of studying Bachelor of Science in Maths and Stats at the University of Canterbury and he owes it all to his grandfather.

“One thing that he always talked to us kids about was to try hard in school. He always wanted his children to do well academically.

“He always advised us because he never got the chance to do that. He only did two years in Samoa College then he finished his education before he started working.

“From then on, he had the chance to travel the world.

 “He was the most humble person ever and he never talked about his achievements. We had a look at the programme that was given out to everyone today (Friday) and it had all his achievements, they are just amazing.

“We never knew because the only thing he ever talked about to us was church and his village. He never mentioned how he didn’t complete his studies but had gone far,” he said.

As Livingstone reminisces about the conversations he had with his grandfather, he now understands why his papa was strict on his children. 

“We had small talks of how he used to discipline his children and things like that. And when he had his grandkids, he told himself that he would never discipline us so much like he did his kids.

“It was his teachings that have made them the people they are today and people would never have thought that the Lameko side would actually achieve this much.”

Now that his grandfather is gone, there are things he wished he could undo.

“Most of the kids will miss massaging his legs. He would always come and tell us to massage his feet after a long day at work.

“Most of us kids played around back then and say that we are tired but now growing up that was actually our bonding time.

“We have regrets but we cannot do anything because it is all in the past.”

He described his hero as a person with a big heart.

“Our grandfather was a loving person. We never called him papa or anything like that. We called him Lameko or Meko. No Papa or grandfather.

“To us he acted young. Old at age but young at heart is what he was to us.

 “This is my final year of studying at the Canterbury University. I am I hoping to go back to engineering because my grandfather always wanted an engineer in our family.

“I just want to let everyone know that he was more than just a loving dad, a chief, a member in Parliament. He was an idol to all of us.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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