House named after first speaker

To mark the 40th Anniversary of the Samoa Observer, a series of selected articles printed over the last 40 years will be re-published in the next two weeks, to show our readers the issues covered by this newspaper over the years and the personalities that made the headlines. 

First Published: 01 February 1998

The $266,000 new building for MP’s behind Parliament at Tiafau was officially opened last Friday. It is named after the first Speaker of Parliament, the late Luafatasaga Kalapu.

Luafatasaga became the first Speaker in 1957. He was appointed by the then High Commissioner of New Zealand, Sir Guy Bowles, and two “Fautuas”, Tupua Tamasese Meaole and Malietoa Tanumafili II.

Constructed in the Samoan architectural style fale, the new building was officially opened by Prime Minister Tofilau Eti Alesana. His Highness, Malietoa Tanumafili II, was present among many invited guests including the Members of the Council of Deputies, Members of Parliament, Heads of Government Departments, heads of businesses and heads of various Religious Denominations.

The Luafatasaga Kalapu building will be used as a common room by members of Parliament. It will also be used by the government for special occasions. In his keynote address, Tofilau said the completion of the building was a realisation of a long standing dream by some Prime Ministers and Deputy Speakers. He said even though Parliament was completed before the 10th anniversary of Samoa’s independence, something was still missing. This was a common room for members. 

The government made plans to fulfil the long standing dream finally realised on Friday. The building was built by L.D. Endermann Construction Company under Chief Builder, Tunufai Endermann. 

Tofilau said the original contract was to complete construction in four months and two weeks but it was completed three weeks earlier. The building was fully funded by the government at a cost of $266,000.

According to the Prime Minister, this is “proof of the growing economy of Samoa.”

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