The Fonotis honour their elders on Boxing Day
The children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the late Siliao Tuiavea Ilalio Fonoti and Mariana Fama Fonoti gathered in Afega for their unveiling on Thursday.
Reverend Mikaele Fonoti is the son of the late Siliao Tuiavea Ilalio Fonoti, who was a minister at the Vaimoso Catholic church.
“Our father was the first one to leave us and then our mother in 2012, and today we are having their unveiling. We are where we are today because of them, and to show our love for our parents we will celebrate it through their unveiling”, he said.
He recalled his parents as the people he and his siblings always looked up to and sought advice from.
“Now, we have our own families and I must say, we are living our best life and we owe it to them," he said.
"They have been great mentors for us; they’ve moulded us to become better people and to live our dreams."
The Fonotis had planned on having a family reunion but due to the measles outbreak and the state of emergency being extended they initially had to postpone their reunion.
“This was supposed to be a double celebration: unfortunately the state of emergency had made us cancel our other event”, said Rev. Fonoti.
Nonetheless, all of his siblings were ultimately able to attend the special family event.
Despite the measles outbreak, overseas members of the family were still able to come to be a part of the special milestone.
“There are ten of us; I have 8 brothers, one sister and myself. However, our youngest, who is my baby brother, he passed away in 2014”, he said.
For the effort they made for their parents, Rev. Fonoti said he felt grateful for his brothers and sister and for everything they continue to do for their family.