"Care for your parents happily": Leala

Monday’s session of Parliament started with a heartfelt tribute by Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi, who spoke of his late Mother’s influence in his life.

The Member for Faleata No.3 delivered his final speech for the current Parliamentary term on the first day of the fifth consecutive week of Parliament. 

“Care for your parents happily, that is my advice to the youth of Samoa,” he said.

He said it is the first time in his 15 years in Parliament to be speaking in the House without his mother tuning in to listen.

“It is the first thing I do ahead of my speeches, I visit or call her for her blessing before I make my way here,” Leala said.

“And after, I call to thank her.”

Leala likened his mother’s influence to the world renowned monument in New York, Lady Liberty.

 “When the carving of the Statue of Liberty and Light was first started by an artist from France, Bathholdi, they say the most beautiful women of France gathered to seek a face to the statue,” he said.

“But the man eventually chose his mother’s face. Remember this statue took 20 years to carve and he said, “Why would I choose another face when my mother’s face reflects goodness and love that remains with me every day?” 

“Mama has been and will always be my Statue of Liberty, enlightening my world forever; planting a seed of enlightenment in our spirits and minds.

“She taught us the life we needed to follow; a true reflection of a woman in leadership. From her humble beginnings and modest work, she built a stable and strong family. She was our strength and our shelter. 

“It is true what they say; we cannot see God’s face, but a mother’s true and loving face is indeed God’s face.” 

Leala said she has left a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come.

“Care for your parents happily, that is my advice to the youth of Samoa,” he said.

He then also took the opportunity to thank the Members of Parliament who contributed and attended his mother’s funeral, including those from the opposition. 

“This is the only funeral where almost the whole of Parliament attended, including the candidates of F.A.S.T. (Fa’atuatua i le Atua Samoa ua Tasi) and Tautua [Samoa] members,” said Leala.

“That is politics in Samoa. We might have different beliefs but we are all one. 

May we all have a blessed election ahead; she left happily knowing I won’t have to go to the polls.”

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