The Maeva String Band, which performs hugely popular dinner concerts at Return to Paradise Resort, returned to huge airport welcome at Faleolo yesterday after a very successful New Zealand tour.
The tour has given huge profile to Samoa.
Maeva Band’s performance at the House of Travel Awards Night was rated the highlight of the awards and received an unheard-of standing ovation by many attendees. They were so well received, that when the boys came down from the stage, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer both stood and hugged each of the boys in front of the entire crowd of 800 guests.
“The boys were amazing, they sang beautifully – they are naturals,” enthused House of Travel Short Haul Manager Natalie Von Dincklage. Managing Director Chris Paulsen said: “The Maeva Band concert at Return to Paradise was the best night’s Polynesian entertainment I have ever seen in 40 years in the Travel Industry.”
While in New Zealand, the band was very busy. They performed at two fundraising events to raise funds for the Marist Trust in Samoa that supports spinal injuries in their own homes and families.
The biggest event was the Gala Dinner hosted by Sir Michael Jones and Eric Rush.
Eric Rush was so impressed by the whole evening, that he has booked for his entire family to come to Return to Paradise later this year. He also has offered to host another dinner for the Maeva Band next year which he promises will be even bigger.
“These boys are talented – it was a great night for a great cause and I felt privileged to be a part of it,” says Eric.
Sir Michael Jones said that a whole host of rugby greats have offered to help in the future to fundraise for the Marist Trust. Sonny Bill Williams was so keen to help that he donated one of his own All Black playing jerseys which Eric and Michael live auctioned. It raised almost $8,000.
In his welcome, Sir Michael joked: “Barak Obama’s dinner is tonight as well. So, all the people who could not get into our Gala Dinner have gone there as a consolation.”
Both Miss Samoa and Miss Pacific Islands attended the Gala Night and performed the taualuga dance with the Maeva Band, Sir Michael Jones, and guests.
Among the many other performances by Maeva Band on their busy tour was the Otara Spinal Unit and Richmond Villas, Schools and Hospitals finishing off with a Fia Fia Night at Samoa House. They also took a day to load two containers of medical supplies at Auckland Hospital – one for the Marist Trust in Samoa, and one for the Viti Spinal Association of Fiji.
“This has been a wonderful tour and far exceeded our expectations,” says Resort General Manager Ramona Su’a Pale. The boys are talented, but their humility shone through which is why the audiences loved them even more. This tour could not have happened without the support of Samoa Airways, Samoa Tourism Authority, and our friends at House of Travel. We are so grateful to all of them.”
Today, it is back to reality. The boys will take up their tools and be back tending their gardens at Return to Paradise. The Maeva Band performs in Paradise Kitchen Restaurant every Saturday night
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