Parliament gifted with Tasmanian clock

The Parliament of Tasmania has gifted Samoa's Legislative Assembly a clock made from Huon pine, in commemoration of the opening of the new $25 million Maota Fono jointly funded by the Governments of Australia and Samoa.

The ceremony also included the graduation of Samoan Parliamentary staff who work with the Office of the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, who completed the University of Tasmania's Parliamentary Law Practice and Procedure Graduate Certificate Course.

Cabinet Minister and Members of Parliament were joined by family and friends of the graduating staff who also witnessed the unveiling of the clock. 

The clock was put on the wall at the entrance into the new Maota Fono and was unveiled by Speaker of the House of the Tasmanian Parliament, Sue Hickey. 

“Our gift is a clock made from Huon pine and it has been designed to fit in with your new building. Huon pine is a timber that is native to our home state Tasmania," she said. 

“It is one of Australia’s oldest lived species. While the clock itself will count the seconds, minutes and hours, the timber represents the relationship between our two islands. The timber is well known for its rich gold colour and strength; making it one of the most desirable furniture timbers.” 

According to Speaker Hickey, this timber is also used in boat building and it is a significant industry in Tasmania. 

“One of our unique features of the wood is its natural perfume,” she said. 

The Tasmanian Speaker said she hoped the gift will nurture the relationship between the two Parliaments, allowing it to "grow and be as strong and long lasting as the precious natural timber that the clock is made of.” 

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi thanked the Tasmania Parliament for the gift. 

He said the relationship with the Tasmania Parliament commenced in 2007 and was an initiative of the Commonwealth Parliament Association. 

“Through this arrangement Samoa has benefited immensely through several initiatives such as the reciprocal visits by Members of Parliament of the two Parliaments.

“This process has also seen some of those Samoa members participate as observers as part of those proceedings in the chambers and the Committee work in Parliament of Tasmania.” 

He said the clock tells the time but is also a reminder “time must be used wisely to serve who we promised to serve with integrity and humility". 

It is also a symbol of the monumental relationship between the two parties, he added. 

The Prime Minister said Samoa is also grateful to the Government of Australia for co-funding the building and their willingness to financially support the construction of the new office of Parliament. 

He also noted the replacement chairs for the Members of Parliament in the chamber “to accommodate our large [body] structure and weight to carry,” said Tuilaepa. 

He said the graduation ceremony following the gift exchange is evident of another achievement of the strong relationship between the two Parliaments. 

“The office of the Legislative Clerk will be presented with certificates to mark the condition of their study pertaining to the Parliamentary law,” said the Prime Minister. .

Tuilaepa congratulated the graduates who received their certificates. 

Prior to the graduation ceremony, Speaker Hickey who was accompanied by the President of the Tasmania Legislative Council, Craig Farrell were presented with traditional gifts by the Parliament of Samoa. 

During the graduation ceremony, Mr Farrell noted that Professor Richard Herr was unable to attend. However, he was asked to make special mention of the postgraduate dux of the class, Phaedra Lameko; honorable mention Olive Eneliko; undergraduate dux, Marcus Ofoia and honorable mention, Georgina Samasoni. 

Speaker Hickey and President Farrell presented the certificates to the graduates; Eteuati Aiomata, Eteuati Esau, Ioana Keipo, Leutu Leuluaiali’I, Lanuola Maoluma, Seira Nansen, Marcus Ofoia, Georgina Samasoni, Mele Vaega-Iosefa, Laine Alefosio, Olive Eneliko, Salesio Sam Enesi and Leuluulu Maufoe. 

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