A former Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House, Leota Leulua’iali’i Ituau Ale, passed away yesterday.
He died at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital from a sudden illness. He was 75. Leota’s passing was confirmed by family member, Ale Vena Ale. He would not discuss the cause of death except to confirm that Leota was admitted on Sunday night.
Another family member who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity said Leota’s passing has taken them by surprise.
“He was very strong,” she said. “He wasn’t bed ridden or anything like that. He was very happy that he had reconciled with Solosolo.
“He was sad that he ran for the election but was unsuccessful but he didn’t show any signs that something like this was going to happen.”
At the beginning of the month, Leota reconciled with Solosolo after a lifetime ban on him and his family was lifted.
Leota had been banished for life by the village council but they unanimously decided to lift it.
A dispute between Leota and others in the village resulted in his guest-house being burnt in 2012 and family vehicles and houses wrecked.
There had been two separate orders from the Land and Titles Court for the village to end the ban but it failed to do so until last month.
A village matai says the change of heart was the result of reconciliation and forgiveness between the two sides to show the true spirit of Easter.
Leota became a Member of Parliament in 1970.
In 1976 to 1978, he became the youngest Speaker of the House.
It was the last election that also saw Leota contest the seat of Anoama’a West, running against the then Deputy Prime Minister, Fonotoe Pierre Lauofo.