Sixty year old carpenter goes back to school
Age is only a number. Ask 60-year-old MacArthur Tasili of Vaipuna and he will tell you all about it.
The carpenter is a student at the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, courtesy of his employer, Fletcher Construction.
"I have been doing carpentry all my life," he said.
"I don't remember when I started. I have always followed my late father who was also a carpenter and I would go anywhere with him to help him with his work. And I think that is where my love for carpentry work started."
Mr. Tasili said he wanted to take his skills and passion to another level. He encourages other young people to do the same.
"I am happy and grateful to the Fletcher Construction for making my dreams come true," he said.
"I know I need to know more about carpentry work but I just couldn't afford the tuition so thankfully the management of Fletcher has helped me out.
"I am hoping to inspire the young generations who are taking their opportunities for granted. Not everyone is able to get a good education but as a person who wants to succeed we must never lose hope."
Mr. Tasili is working at one of Fletcher's construction projects at the Taumeasina Island Resort.
He had also worked for Cabella Construction.
"At my age I know that people will think that I should be staying home but I don't want to because I know that I can still work. My mind and body is still strong. I can do it," he said.
Time management is a challenge for Mr. Tasili between his work and his classes however he says that he can still do it and soon he will adjust well.
"My working hours and the time for my classes are okay but some time because I have to come early to work I will have less time to spend on my assignments. But I can still do it," he added.
Mr. Tasili is not married.
He is the only one pursuing his father's career choice.
Fletcher branch Manager, Geoffrey Hedge, said he was approached by Mr. Tasila in January for an opportunity to take up a carpentry course at the National University of Samoa.
"It was a difficult decision for me," he said. "MacArthur was a reliable worker, but I agreed after realizing that A.P.T.C. could only make him a better worker. He is a driven and down to earth employee of The Fletcher construction company who is known to everyone as Afa.
"Our management is in full support of this move and agreed on a schedule that would allow Afa to attend his classes while working."
One of Mr. Tasila's individual project that was considered his very best was the intricate traditionally carved panels running up the meeting room walls of the company. He has also done some other projects as well.
"The artwork and design of the Mini Portable Library Fletcher's had donated to Samoa Victim Support Group was also one of the projects Mr. Tasila had completed. Afa has shown so much talent and promise while working for Fletcher which was one of the major contributing factor to this agreement," he added.
Their main office in Vaitele which was under renovation in the early 2019, Mr. Tasila helped put a bit of Samoan touch on the final decorations.