Great time to be in Samoa

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Mata'afa Keni Lesa

It’s an exciting weekend on the sunny shores of Samoa. 

There is no doubt about that. With hundreds of visitors congregating here for one reason or another, it’s great that there is something for everyone.

As we said yesterday, whether you’re looking for spiritual sustenance, some words of encouragement or simply a jolly good time, you’ve come to the right place at the right time.

The fun started yesterday afternoon on Beach Road where close to 1,000 guests – including our Polynesian cousins from French Polynesia – gathered for the opening of the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows. The weather – which had been rather gloomy of late – turned out quite pleasant, making the occasion an event to remember.  

The return of the grand old lady of the South Pacific is a testament to the value of hard work perseverance and a commitment to quality and excellence. It’s wonderful.

Speaking of excellence, another event where such a standard will be recognised and honoured is the S.A.S.N.O.C Samoa Sports Awards this evening at Gym 1 Tuana’imato. There are nine awards up for grabs for athletes, coaches and administrators. 

When it comes to rewarding sporting excellence, it’s true that it has been a long time between awards. 

Tonight’s event is the first one since 2007. That is indeed a long time but then as they say, better late than never. We certainly look forward to finding out who will be walking away at the end of the night with the top prizes. 

There is no doubt that each and everyone of the nominees deserve recognition one way or another. If only we could reward all of them. 

Unfortunately there can only be one winner in each category. That said, the evening will no doubt be a wonderful celebration for the sporting fraternity in Samoa, and hopefully the beginning of an event that will be held annually and go on to be Samoa’s answer to the Oscars.

Away from Tuanaimato, a party of a different kind is happening at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. It is where Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi will officially open the 20th Samoa International Game Fishing Tournament, scheduled to start on Monday. 

A record number of anglers – more than 200 we’ve been told – are raring to get out on Samoa’s open waters to pit their skills against each in the quest to hook the biggest fish. 

Before they do that though, tonight’s opening is an opportunity to reflect on the history of the tournament and the Samoa International Game Fishing Association (S.I.G.F.A). 

Twenty years is not a short time and the fact that the tournament continues – despite all the challenges – reflects a commitment by S.I.G.F.A and their sponsors to promote Samoa as a fishing destination to the rest of the world. 

And as if the challenges they continue to encounter are not enough, the nervous wait for the arrival of the 12 other boats tomorrow is the stuff that makes these tournaments all the more challenging to host. You can’t get angry though, it happens and all you can do is stay positive and hope for the best. We can hardly wait to see some of those catches next week.

In front of the government building this evening, another event promising plenty of hope and inspiration is the ‘God’s Grace Will Restore Concert,’ featuring Annie Tonumali’i and To’aletai David Tua. We don’t need to tell some of our readers about this.

 Suffice to say, both Annie and Toaletai have amazing stories to tell about how they have overcome their battles with depression and other life challenges. There will be music, plenty of laughter and lots of spiritual food to meditate upon for the next few days. You are invited.

Lastly, Samoa welcomed her newest female Supreme Court Justice, Tafaoimalo Leilani Tuala-Warren yesterday. Justice Tafaoimalo took her oath in front of the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi at Tuaefu. She becomes the second Samoan woman to be promoted to the role. It’s a wonderful achievement and we want to congratulate Justice Tafaoimalo on her new role. 

Have a fabulous weekend, enjoy and God bless!   

© Samoa Observer 2016

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