"We are entitled by history and culture to govern ourselves"
Sunday 16 October 2022: After 60-6 loss to England: Toa, Management and Toa Samoa Team. Thank you for the game that we watched with great interest. Some people would have been shocked and become depressed.
For us, we have been involved in the Samoa Rugby Union for years. I have been Chairman, President and have travelled the world with the teams. I am used to facing many challenges – the good times when we win; the not so good times with mediocre performance; and the miserable depressing times of loss and upset. However, whatever the outcomes, there is always a lesson to be learned. So long as there is harmony amongst your team members and within yourselves, the prospect of performing well is always inviting and possible.
Do not be weak in heart, avoid being touchy and grumpy. If we can identify and understand clearly the problems and the odds we face, we will be in a much better position to cope and do better. We will always remember you in our thoughts and prayers. Love to you all. Tupua, Filia and family.
2. Toa v Greece. Big Win 25 October 2022: We watched your game with joy and pride. You have shown by your skill and courage the relevance of the Samoan saying, The whitebait fish might be small but it can overcome the heights of the highest waterfalls.
It was a special treat to see the cooperation and calm amongst the team. So long as you have this harmony within yourselves and within your fellow players, the prospect of winning will improve. Be assured of our thoughts and prayers.
Nov 11 after American Samoa trip: It’s a wonderful experience to see and share the enthusiasm of Samoans wherever they are in your performance. We went to the installation of the new Catholic bishop of Tutuila and Manu’a. It was a wonderful sharing of enthusiasm with Samoans from Tutuila and Manu’a. There was no difference between Apia and Pago Pago. There was such a heavy movement of traffic on the roads and it was quite a chore for the Police to control the traffic – people dancing, waving flags etc. and cheering for Toa Samoa. All best for remaining games. Praying and meditating on your performance and welfare.
13 November 2022: Congratulations for bringing such high honour to Samoa and Samoans. We pray that you will continue to win high honors for Samoa. Congratulations to the Head Coach Matt Parish for your commitment and perseverance. The victory against England is one of the truly high points in the history of Samoan rugby.
14 November 2022: I would like to cite a quote from the Bible. Joel 2:28 The Day of the LORD - “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams.” The meaning of this passage is that there are times when God speaks to us through the elders and there are times when God speaks to us through the young. And this has come to pass because of the courage and determination of the young.
I believe that the Toa Samoa, in the way they played, their courage, the way they handled provocation, the way they coped with defeat and designed ways to achieve victory, have shown ample evidence of how God speaks to us through the young. When we consider the current problems confronted by government, families and villages, we can find a lot of leads by the courage, the determination, the patience to overcome problems in the experience of Toa Samoa.
For us the elders, if the solution is recommended by the wisdom, the focus and the determination of our children, then we should take our lead from the Bible; that God speaks to us through the elders but he also speaks to us through our children.
Our prayer: Dear God please grant the courage, the determination, the harmony of our young to lead us to not only the methodology but also the determination to seek and achieve our goals.
20 November 2022: We thank God and we thank and congratulate you as well. Who would have thought that Samoa would contest the finals with Australia after beating Tonga, France and England? Who would have thought that the Samoans throughout the world would rally and like ghosts from the grave, cheer you on in all the sporting fields of the world where you competed – that we can hold our own against the best. And for that, reiterate the vision of our forebears that we are entitled by history and culture to govern ourselves.
Given our small population and lack of resources, it’s amazing what you have achieved due to your commitment and sporting prowess. We remember the words of the song: O si o ta atunuu e le iloa i le faafanua a o lau taalo ua iloa ai ta’ua. In the world map Samoa is hardly visible but your sporting achievements have made Samoa very visible. We pray for you and Samoa. Alolofa atu. Tupua, Filia and family.
• This is a translation into English of words of encouragement to the Toa Samoa from Samoa's former Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. Samoa's national rugby league team visited the former Head of State at his residence in Vaimoso on Friday 30 December 2022 as part of their tour of Samoa, following their participation in the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) in England.
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