We are back. Thank you for your patience, Samoa!
Everyone has a bad day at the office, that’s a given in this life regardless of what it is you do.
Here at the Samoa Observer News Group headquarters at Vaitele, that day was Thursday morning this week. This is why we were unable to provide you, our dearest readers, advertisers and all our business partners, with your printed copy of the Samoa Observer on Thursday and Friday.
Such an occurrence is a rarity in the history of this 40-year-old publication but then now and then, some things don’t always go according to plan. Which is precisely what happened. Let me explain.
You see, in the life of a daily newspaper, the operation is a never-ending circle, a 24-hour job cycle where people are constantly working. So having prepared Thursday’s edition, most staff members had gone home for the night except for Production Manager, Shane Ash, and his team who were working to print the paper.
They had gotten through the first couple of runs when trouble struck. Due to the unstable and fluctuating level of electricity, the DC Drive responsible for moving the motor to run the press was damaged. It happened at 1.30 Thursday morning and at that time, help was not easy to find.
But Mr. Ash was determined so he contacted the Publisher to notify her of the problem and our local electrical technician, Terry Bennett, immediately. It turned out that the issue was a lot bigger than suspected so the decision was made to wait until the morning to see if the problem could firstly be fixed and secondly whether it could be done so locally.
Mr. Bennett did his best. Unfortunately the problem could not be solved. While Mr. Bennett was working away, Mr. Ash had already been on the phone with Brandon Whitley, of Webco NZ Ltd, based in Tauranga. Webco installed and services the Samoa Observer’s press regularly.
Mr. Whitley couldn’t help with the electrical fault but he knew someone who could. That man was Greg Lovett, the Manager of Drives and Control NZ Ltd, based in Auckland. Still a solution was far from sight.
You see, electrical motor speeds are not only expensive, the worst part, especially when you are desperate, is that they are not always easy to come by on short notice.
Mr. Lovett used his contacts in New Zealand but there was none available. He persisted elsewhere and finally found one but it was in Sydney Australia, which presented another challenge. Mr. Lovett needed to quickly organise transporting the part to Auckland, all this in the space of a day. Thankfully that was done.
Hours after the part landed in Auckland, Mr. Lovett and his lovely wife, Alison were on their way to Samoa to help the Samoa Observer printing press move again.
The flight touched down at Faleolo International Airport at 9pm and about an hour later, Mr. Lovett and Mr. Ash were at Vaitele working away on the problem.
At about 2.30am on Saturday, the press was finally churning again so that the Weekend Observer was completely printed by 7am yesterday.
We all took a collective sigh of relief. Two days without being able to deliver you with your printed copy of the Samoa Observer felt like forever.
The only consolation is that in this day and age, the availability of internet technology meant we were still able to serve our online readers in Samoa and across the globe with all the news and updates from the biggest stories for those two days on www.samoaobserver.ws and our social media platforms.
The decision was also made to suspend our pay wall for all our online content until the press was running again.
The good news today is that we are back with your print edition. The pay wall will also remain suspended until tomorrow.
So we want to take this opportunity to firstly thank you, our dear readers, advertisers and business partners for being patient with us while we tried to rectify the problem. We appreciate all the well wishes, messages of support and prayers.
We also take this opportunity express our regrets for the inconvenience the problem might have caused. You see we live and we learn. We can definitely say that this has taught us many lessons we have taken on board to ensure we continue to provide you our dear readers with the best newspaper in Samoa.
At this point, we again want to acknowledge with gratitude Terry Bennett, Brandon Whitley, of Webco, Greg Lovett and Alison of Drives and Control NZ Ltd and everyone who assisted and prayed for us along the way.
Thank you. We wish you a wonderful and restful Sunday, God bless!