Valuable records of Samoa presented to the Govt.

By Aruna Lolani ,

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SIGNIFICANT HISTORY: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints with the Minister of M.E.S.C, Loau Keneti Sio, and M.E.S.C officials.

SIGNIFICANT HISTORY: Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints with the Minister of M.E.S.C, Loau Keneti Sio, and M.E.S.C officials. (Photo: Aruna Lolani)

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints donated 307 microfilms to the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C.) yesterday.

The records date back to events in 1876 and before that, up until 1993. 

The Church Pacific Area Manager for Family History, Elder Michael Higgins, said the records are very significant.

 “In 1938, microfilm technology was developed and through the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, our organizations did extensive work through the Pacific Islands where we formed agreements with governments and we had the opportunity to microfilm many government records such as what we have here today,” he said.

“These records are an assortment of birth, death, marriage and others civil registrations and court records, so they are very significant.

“We brought a master copy of these records in our vault in just outside of Salt Lake City, it’s a purpose built vault where those records will last for hundreds of years.” 

Elder Higgins said his passion to help Samoa started when he first came here. Not only that but also the fact that his wife’s family is from Samoa. 

“I had a special feeling that I consider, that this is the home of my wife’s ancestors and so each time I come here, I feel that these records are of particular significance,” he said.

“By way of history, the organization that I work for is part of the church that’s called Family Search. It’s called family search because that is the name of our website which is a free website that people use from all over the world to help search their family history records.

“Prior to having a website, the organization was called the Genealogical Society of Utah and it was formed way back in 1894. 

“Since then, it’s always been fully sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints and the mission of our organization is to collect, preserve and share records of our genealogical significance to help people to connect with their ancestors.”

Elder Higgins added that the church is moving to digitise the records.

 “It would also be my attention to try and find a microfilm reader for you and we can gift to you as well.”

Minister of Education, Sports and Culture, Loau Keneti Sio acknowledged the L.D.S church on behalf of the government of Samoa for their donation. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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