Gaualofa needs "working bee" maintenance

The Samoa Voyaging Society will host a "working bee" session to carry out maintenance on the Polynesian sailing canoe Gaualofa while it is dry-docked at Faleula.

The Project Manager for the Samoa Voyaging Society, Dionne Fonoti, told the Samoa Observer in a telephone interview on Tuesday that they are inviting members of the public to join.

Ms. Fonoti explained that when the Gaualofa is dry-docked, it is their best opportunity to carry out maintenance that they do not normally have the chance to do when the canoe is in the water.

Certain maintenance and cleaning will be carried out which normally takes more than two people to do.

Ms. Fonoti stated that it is a great opportunity for the public to visit the Gaualofa and check it out in a different environment as well as to get a taste of what it is like to work on the Gaualofa.

The "working bee", according to the Project Manager, will garner public interest and she emphasised the Gaualofa is not only Samoa Voyaging Society's boat but it is owned by Samoa and is part of a legacy of navigation and voyaging.

She said she understands that majority of people have commitments on Saturdays but she says giving half an hour of their time to help is more than enough.

Ms. Fonoti is positive that the "working bee" session will gather new recruits for the Samoa Voyaging Society as activities like this are usually attended by friends and their family members.

There are 50-60 members of the Samoa Voyaging Society, and she said that the programme is also a great opportunity for their former crew to come as experienced sailors, and help train people who are interested in joining the society.

Ms. Fonoti acknowledged the members of the Samoa Voyaging Society and gave thanks to the Silva family as the Gaualofa is being dry-docked on the family's property.

She added that they are working on building networks with other voyaging societies in the Pacific, in order for Samoa to start to have more interest and community engagement in voyaging.

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