The Congregational Church of Jesus Christ in Apia was full yesterday with hundreds of people who gathered to farewell the man known as one of “Samoa’s National Heroes.”
The life of the former Commissioner of the Fire and Emergency Service Authority (F.E.S.A), Seve Tony Hill was celebrated yesterday during his final service.
Seve went to our Heavenly Father after his battle with cancer on the 16th of August at the Middlemore Hospital in New Zealand.
He was 60-years old.
At his final service yesterday, Seve was described by his nieces as a unique, simple, loving, and a great inspiration to them all.
His son Raymond Hill remembered his dad as a person who was passionate about making Samoa safe. “My dad was one of a kind,” said Raymond.
“He taught us about how to live life properly through the things he did and how he lived his life.
“We became volunteers at a very young age, he said.
“We were not fire-fighters, but we looked after the trucks and helped him out with his work.”
Seve was also a loving and helpful person, said Raymond.
“He never turned his back on anyone, and I have never heard him say ‘No’ to whoever needed help.”
Seve’s wife, Monette Hill said her husband was a hard-working and simple man.
“I am sad because we can no longer hear Tony’s voice,” said Mrs. Hill.
“We never needed an alarm clock, because we had the loudest alarm clock and that was Tony.
“He would always say that time waits for no man.”
Seve had a big heart and passion for Samoa’s Fire and Emergency Service and for keeping Samoa safe, said Mrs Hill.
“He always used to say that his responsibility was to save the properties and lives of the people of Samoa.
“Tony never knew the meaning of the words, No, Can’t and Impossible. Only the words Yes, Can, Possible and Simple.
“Tony was an inspiration and was the greatest teacher of all.”
Mrs. Hill also said that her husband was a man of faith and courage. Even during his last days.
Mrs. Hill said, "Seve was ready to go and be with Jesus."
She recalled the time when the doctors informed them that there was nothing more they could do about his condition.
“He told me he was ready,” she said. “But when the children arrived, they asked him to wait and spend some time with them.”
“And he did,” said Mrs. Hill.
“However, on the 16th of August, the children told him that he could now go and be with our Heavenly Father. So he said goodbye to everyone and asked me to thank everyone who prayed for him and send them his love.”
Reverend Fiti Aloali’i also remembered the spiritual life of Seve Tony Hill as one of the dedicated, hard-working and committed deacons of their congregation.
He made reference to 2 Samuel 3:38, “Know ye not that there is a great man fallen this day in Israel?”
“Such words are appropriate for this day,” said Reverend Fiti.
“Seve had been a deacon in this congregation for so many years. Not only that, but he always had time to participate in many other church activities we had and offered his time whenever it was needed.”
He recalled the time when they were building the new parish hall in 1994.
“All the people that worked with him helped out with the work without any pay, because of Seve.
“He had a big heart and he was such a wonderful man.”
Moreover, Reverend Fiti remembered the time when the former Head of State of Samoa Malietoa Tanumafili II, passed away and Seve built a special vehicle to carry his coffin.
“Also, many pastors in Apia are enjoying free water supply of Vaitele spring water from Seve’s water business.
“He always did his best in all that he did. He was never selfish and he served and loved God to the best of his ability, and he also loved God’s people.
“He was a man of God and a humble person. And he fought a good battle, because he hung onto faith even during his final days.”
Seve Tony Hill was born on February 20, 1956 to his parents, Raymond Hill and Lina Lefu in Auckland New Zealand.
He married Monette Meredith-Hill in 1987, and they have six children, three boys and three girls.
He proudly served Samoa as a fire-fighter for over 20 years. He brought the Fire and Rescue Service to Samoa, built the first ever Fire and Emergency Service Facility in Samoa located in Apia and Faleata.