Air Pacific, Survivors and Moon Rocks

Dear Editor

Re: Much to like, much to learn

1) I enjoyed Marj Moore’s editorial, as to Fiji Airways track record and the new Samoa Airways. 

Just to clarify a little, the name Fiji Airways was the original name of the company from 1954 until the mid 1970’s. Indeed I first arrived in Samoa on a Fiji Airways Hawker Siddeley 748 in 1969 to build the first Faleolo Airport and road to Apia.

Once the airport was nearing completion Fiji began placing considerable pressure on the Samoan and Tongan governments to combine Polynesian and Tonga operators into one regional airline. Because of this they changed the name to Air Pacific to give a more regional character and indeed both countries took a small shareholding, but opted to continue separately with Polynesian. After all these years Air Pacific has now reverted back to its more national identity name of Fiji Airways.

2) I was startled to read the 28 July article “Australian Survivor survives Samoa’s weather conditions”. What a load of absolutely insulting rubbish (I hesitate to use a stronger word) which could be quite damaging to Samoa’s tourist industry! Apparently there was some minor earth tremor which I did not even notice and no threat of a Tsunami. What cyclone activity and the king tide must have been terrible forcing them to move slightly higher up the beach.

Seemingly through amazing fortitude they managed to survive this and bravely did not opt for emergency evacuation. During this time tourists were luxuriating on other beaches and perhaps having to retire to the nearby bar to shelter from the occasional shower. It was particularly tragic to hear the “glamorous plumber” bravely went on the show without a jumper! I haven’t had one of these since arriving in Samoa but have somehow managed to survive. I cannot but wonder how she gets on cleaning out a blocked sewer!

In 2006, I think, the first American Survivor series was filmed principally near Virgin Cove. They experienced extreme privation and suffering whilst suitably exposing their attractive bodies to the camera.

The local village people were watching the show at a discrete distance, whilst an army of support staff refreshed and catered for all their needs between shooting before rubbing some more mud onto them. Luckily it was made more survivable by the helicopter parked nearby picking them up at the day and flying them to Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort for a refreshing massage and a few drinks before retiring to their air-conditioned room!!

3) The article last week as to the auction sale of Neil Armstrong’s moon rock sample bag used on Apollo 11 brings back a reminder that in 1972 the U.S Government presented His Highness Malietoa with a moon rock sample, most likely collected in this bag.

I know it was kept for many years at his home in Fa’atoia but I have not heard any mention of its present whereabouts. It would seem apt for it to be in the local museum if indeed it still exists.


Michael Anderson 

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