Happy New Year, Samoa!
Well here we are today on the last day of 2018 Samoa. What a year it has been.
As we reflect on the past 12 months, we rejoice in many gloriously wonderful moments, we remember with sadness the tough times and some extremely tragic events that have unfolded before us.
But that’s life, isn’t it? It goes without saying that wherever there are mountains, there will inevitably be valleys — for the simple reason that we cannot have mountains if it weren’t for the valleys, just as we cannot have victories without fights.
The good news is that in any situation, there will always be light at the end of the tunnel. Joy comes in the morning. Which means that as we are about to farewell 2018, the year that has been, we look back with a smile and maybe a few tears. Each and every one of us would have a story to tell about our journey this year. We will have memories to cherish, treasure and then some we want to forget. The good, the bad and the ugly.
What we must accept though is that all those experiences make us better and stronger. Perfect people – if there are any - simply cannot improve. They are already perfect. But people who accept faults, admit to them can learn and become better. That is the only way forward.
That said, in Samoa today, we are extremely grateful for so many things – especially the gift of life. We are thankful to the Almighty God for his guidance, protection, provision, mercies, forgiveness, eternal love and grace. Where would be without grace?
As a people and a nation, we are grateful for our leaders starting from the Church leaders, Head of State, Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, business leaders, village leaders and every individual family leader, fathers, mothers and guardians.
We embrace our faasamoa, our tender loving nature, our aiga spirit and the oneness that makes us stronger. We thank our families, friends and everyone – including our enemies - believe it or not - who in one way or another contributed to our development.
We acknowledge with appreciation the efforts of everyone who have and continue to work through the holidays to ensure safety and convenience. We are talking about Police officers, emergency workers, health workers, shopkeepers and many others. Thank you for the sacrifice.
On the pages of this newspaper today, we celebrate with great joy the work of individuals and groups who are highlighted in this special edition. As is our tradition at this time of the year, we choose a few people to highlight their work, and how they are making a difference. There are many more people who should be on that list, but we simply cannot have everyone. Each story is different, and inspiring in their own special way. From the highest ranked politician on the land, to a young girl healing others and an ordinary man who died saving another, they are all heroes in our eyes. They are stories of hard work, dedication and commitment that should inspire us all. As we read through them today, we here at the Samoa Observer want to extend a big thank you and fa’amalo to each and everyone.
We also accept that there are many more deserving individuals and groups – both here in Samoa and abroad - who are not on the list. Some are not on the list because we have highlighted their work in previous years. God knows who you are and we pray that you will be justly rewarded.
It would be remiss of us not to mention that this year we have lost so many great men and women who were called home by their Maker.
Flicking through the wrap up from pages 18 and more, we remember the legendary figure and a generous gentleman, La’auli Alan Grey. We mourn the passing of Tuiloma Pule, Lameko Dr. Ueta Solomona, Hans Joachim Keil, Geoffrey Marfleet and Maposua Rudolf Keil. We remember Manumea Schwalger, Mailo Ben Vai, So’oalo Roger Stanley, Tiumalu Dylan Mika, Sau Justina Sau, Laeimau Oketevi Tanuvasa and many others. And how can we forget our colleague, Ilia L. Likou. We’ve missed her a lot at Vaitele.
If anything, we should never take anything for granted. This includes our loved ones, friends, families and people who matter to us, for you never know when they will not be around. Make time for them – quality time at that.
In Samoa today, it’s encouraging to see the common drive by many people to improve this country’s prospects — both economically and socially.
Here at the Samoa Observer, we’ve had a wonderful time serving you. Our 40th Anniversary is behind us now, as we look to the future with some exciting plans in the pipeline to keep you, our dear readers, adequately informed.
Today on the verge of a new year, let us be thankful, let us think and be inspired by hope. Let’s not become weary of doing good. Let us, as a people, persevere, endure and continue to do our bit to make our families, villages, churches, communities, work places and ultimately this nation of ours a better place to live.
Have a happy and prosperous 2019 Samoa, God bless!