In the eyes of the Apia Maroons Sports Club, the late La’auli Alan Grey represents more than just a successful hotelier and their former rugby coach as well as fautasi captain.
La’auli was a fatherly figure, a mentor and provided the anti-dote of inspiration.
His impeccable involvement with the development of the Apia youth through rugby and fautasi racing in the 1970s and ‘80s was a god sends.
The brainchild behind the Kionasina fautasi longboat, the first local longboat to defeat the modernized design fautasi’s with their spoon like oars from American Samoa, La’auli resurrected pride into the youth.
For that La’auli was and will remain a legend.
La’auli also provided much needed employment for the youth of Apia and neighbouring villages who were not academically gifted through his family hotel business, Aggie Grey’s Hotel. And he also served as Counselor
“His (La’auli’s) unyielding strength of character became a beacon to hundreds of young people in many of the surrounding urban villages from Vaiala out to Apia and beyond.
Some were already straying towards the path of criminal lawlessness when he came along and hauled them back to the straight and narrow,” wrote the Newsline Newspaper.
“But this is only one of many more stories of an amazing man that he was known for and told by many who knew him or of him.
“He is gone. His passing is indeed a sad day for Samoa. He takes with him the love, respect and the gratitude of a grateful nation.
La’auli Alan Grey was truly one of a kind.
Manuia lau malaga Alan.”
Today, the Apia Maroons Sport Club with the blessings of the Village Council paid homage to their fatherly figure with Club President and Minister of Justice Faaolesa Katopau Ainu’u attending the funeral Mass for La’auli at the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Mulivai.