The life of a long serving public servant and former Electoral Commissioner, Tanuvasa Meleisea Matauitaua Isitolo Lemisio, was celebrated during his final service yesterday at St. Theresa Lepea Parish.
Tanuvasa passed away on 9 October 2017. He was 69.
Acting Prime Minister, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang, and other government officials were among the dignitaries who joined the family and friends to witness Tanuvasa’s farewell.
In his eulogy, Acting Prime Minister, Papali’i Niko Lee Hang paid tribute to Tanuvasa.
“Tanuvasa is an honest public servant, he was a hardworking person during his time in the government,” said Papali’i.
“I used to work with Tanuvasa at the Public Trust Office back in the days and I found him a very reliable person who loved serving the people of Samoa with honesty,” Papali’i said.
“At that time at the Public Trust, there was no lawyer so Tanuvasa was my legal advisor for estates issues.
“He was a trustworthy and humble person. You could hardly tell if something was wrong with Tanuvasa because he always turned up happy with cheerful smile on his face every day.
“People who know him that well will find it hard to forget Tanuvasa.
“Death is real and the truth is that we walk in the shadow of death every day. To my brother Tanuvasa, may you rest in peace!”
His wife, Silia Tanuvasa, described her husband as a loving and an ambitious father and grandfather.
“He’s a loving father to so many children and like any other father in the world; Tanuvasa loved and adored not only his children, but also his grandchildren and family.
“We miss you and we love you so much!”
Tanuvasa is survived by his wife, 14 children and eight grandchildren. Among them is his son and incumbent Electoral Commissioner, Faimalo Mathew Lemisio.
Tanuvasa Meleisea Matauitaua Isitolo Lemisio was born on the 4th of March 1948 to Le Mamea Tauti Pine Lemisio of Lefaga, Nofoali’i, Sale’imoa, Lotofaga, Vaie’e and Iulia Mareko Matalavea of Vailele.
He has seven siblings and is married to Silia Tanuvasa from Sale’aumua Aleipata.
He attended Marist Brothers School, Chanel College, St Patrick’s College Sliverstream, Wellington New Zealand and Flinders University Adelaide, South Australia.
He first worked as a News Editor for Radio 2AP from 1975-1976 before he became the Head of Clerk Station at the Legislative Assembly from 1976-1979.
He later worked as a Clerk of the Legislative Assembly from 1980-1988.
Tanuvasa was then employed as a reporter for Samoa News newspaper in American Samoa in 1989-1990 before being the Estates Manager for the Samoa Public Trust Office from 1991-1997.
In 1989-2000, he became a Press Secretariat at the Ministry of Prime Minister and Cabinet then Registrar of Electors and Voters from 2001-2002.
From 2003-2012, Tanuvasa worked as the Electoral Commissioner for Samoa.
He has roots in Lefaga, Nofoali’i, Saleimoa, Lotofaga, Vaie’e and Vailele.
To our dearest Papa!
To us you were many great things,
a husband who loved,
a father that deeply cared,
a friend and grandfather,
whose strength was beyond compared
When hardships dawned,
you remained strong and true,
We are and will always be
inspired by you
Although you had to leave us
we rejoice and are blessed,
to know that under God’s wings,
is where you finally rest.
Sommer Lemisio (granddaughter)