Opening of Lotofaga church marks new chapter
More than 100 people turned up on Friday for the declaration service of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa in Lotofaga.
Those who attended included prominent leaders of Samoa, local villagers and members of the village who live abroad, who helped raise funds for the construction of the new church.
The formalities began on Thursday with members of village groups visiting from overseas making contributions, and the morning of the day after, there were traditional ceremonies before the service was held.
It was a happy moment for the congregation members as they celebrated the united efforts and the generous spirit of giving to ensure the project was completed.
Since 2012, the villagers have had to use the village hall for their church service, as Tropical Cyclone Evan had destroyed their church that year. The building project was also a humbling experience as despite many villagers being self-employed, they managed to pull it off after seven years of trying to gather sufficient funds and resources.
The celebration — which concluded with traditional formalities and lunch — attracted a number of high profile guests. They included the Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II and the Masiofo, Fa’amausili Leinafo, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and the Deputy Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa. Lotofaga families that currently live abroad and travelled to Samoa for the occasion included Sydney-based GP, Seagaitumua Dr. Paniani Patu and his wife Minerva.
The couple are part of the Mafutaga Lotofaga Sydney group that did fundraising in Sydney, Australia.