54th Independence open with thanksgiving service
God has guided Samoa throughout its 54 years of political independence.
Last night the country’s leaders came together for a thanksgiving service to acknowledge that guidance and provision for Samoa’s 180,000 people, prior to the country celebrating its independence at Tuanaimato this morning.
The thanksgiving service was held at the Methodist Church in Matafele.
The Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi and Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi were among a host of leaders at the event.
They were joined by VIP guests that included American Samoa Governor, Lolo Moliga, President of Tahiti, Tagaloa Edouard Fritch, government officials and members of the diplomatic corps.
The Chairman of the National Council of Churches, Rev. Kasiano Leaupepe led the service.
Other pastors from different church denominations also played a part in offering prayers.
In his message, Rev. Leaupepe said that Samoa has come a long way and reminded that God does discriminate between people. He urged the nation not to waver in their commitment to God, reminding that commitment to the church is showing the love of God.
Rev. Leaupepe also talked about the N.C.C. and their decision not to march this year.
He said since the venue has changed for the celebration it was best for the pastors not to march in Tuanaimato “in case someone gets hurt there.”
“We will wait until we return the celebration to Mulinu’u.”
The Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Tuitama thanked the guests for making time to attend the event. He also acknowledged the support of the church leaders and their prayers.
The official celebration kicks off at Tuanaimato this morning.