Gifts, but no Christmas cheer for families of measles victims
Gifts delivered to the Samuelu-Moors family of Vaitele by the N.R.L.'s Christmas Relief effort might be the closest the family get to celebrating the holiday this year.
The family were one of seven visited on Friday by the relief team, who brought gifts donated by people in Wellington and Sydney.
“We are not sure if we’re going to celebrate Christmas, my family is not happy, they miss the babies, they were too young," said Rachel Samuelu-Moors.
She was aunt to one-year-old Lologa Samuelu and his six-month old cousin Isaako Samuelu, who died of measles just two days apart in November.
“We are not forgetting our loved ones who passed away," Samuelu-Moors said.
“We miss them, they were the future of my family."
She said it was not easy to accept the donations, but recognised that the gift-giving showed people cared about her family.
“We’re happy but not really, it’s not the same, it doesn’t fill the hole. We need [our babies]," she said.
“We can’t forget them, all the time, every second, every minute we miss them.
“Especially the grandmother and grandfather, they looked after the children most of the time."
Grandmother Gafo Tafoe Moors said it was special for the family to receive the gifts from Samoans and others overseas, and to be thought of at this difficult time.
“I am very happy we received these things today, and I say thank you to God, and thank you to the people who brought them to us," she said.
Samoan All Blacks star Ma'a Nonu was on hand to deliver the donated gifts, and the family said it was special to have him there showing them support.