Savai’i to mark commemoration with parade

The Samoa National Health Service in Savai’i is hosting a thanksgiving service today in commemoration of the 100 years since the Influenza Epidemic occurred in Samoa. 

The Cabinet has approved today as a public holiday to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the Influenza Epidemic in Samoa.

In a statement issued by the National Health Service, there will be a parade at 8.00 am from the St Theresa School at Fusi Safotulafai to the Malietoa Tanumafili II Hospital, which will be led by the Tuasivi police.

Upon arrival, a short thanksgiving ceremony will be led by Reverend Elder, Ioane Viliamu of the Fogapoa Congregational Christian Church.

The theme for the day is: “Acknowledging God for 100 years of His love and protection over Samoa and its people that the 1918 Epidemic Influenza hasn’t repeated since”.

According to a report, an estimated total of 2,716 people from Savaii died as a result of the epidemic. The report of the Samoan Epidemic Commission, set up to enquire and report as to the circumstances and causes of the introduction of epidemic pneumonic- influenza into Samoa on or about the month of November 1918 and of its extension in those islands. 

The Commission, which consisted of’ Messrs George Elliott, Thomas Wilson,1 and W. H. Sefton Mobrehouse, also enquired into all matters connected with the departure of the vessel Talune from Auckland on or about October 30, 1918 and her voyage to the Islands.

And whether the introduction or extension of the epidemic was caused by any negligence or default on the part of any persons in the service of the Crown, whether in respect of the Executive Government of New Zealand or in respect of the administration of the islands of Western Samoa. 

According to the report, which available from the New Zealand government website, indicated that the the evidence goes to prove that there was no epidemic pneumonic influenza in the Islands of Western Samoa prior to the arrival of the Talune from Auckland.

 

OFFICIAL PROGRAM

COMMEMORATION AND THANKSGIVING SERVICE

OF THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1918 INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC IN SAMOA

 

9:50am   Guests to be seated

 

9:55am   Arrival of Their Highnesses, The Head of State & Masiofo

                 National Anthem of Samoa

 

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10:00am   Opening Prayer Service – National Council of Churches

 

10:10am   Keynote Address – Honourable Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi Prime Minister of Samoa

 

10:30am   Remarks by Mr. Nick Hurley

      Acting High Commissioner of New Zealand

 

10:38am   Minute Silence & Last Post Call

 

10:40am   Wreath Laying

1. His Highness Tuimalealiifano Vaaletoa Sualauvi II 

Head of State of Samoa

2. Honourable Prime Minister & NZ Acting High Commissioner

3. School Representatives

 

10:45am   Ground-breaking Ceremony

(Nurses Training Hall & Memorial Ground Vaimoso)

 

10:50am   Historical Photo Exhibition 

 

10:55am   Refreshments

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