Fish sellers welcome Sunday market reopening

Two fish sellers have welcomed the new Government’s decision to amend state of emergency orders which would see the return of the Sunday morning markets.

But Talaleu Ah Kuoi and Corina Tofilau Henry say they will need to readjust to the changes, as they’ve grown accustomed to resting on Sunday and keeping it holy in line with their beliefs.

The two fish sellers have supplied and sold fish at the market for over five years for seven days, prior to the enforcement of the S.O.E. at the height of the pandemic in March last year. 

Talaleu told the Samoa Observer in an interview that they need to readjust to the Sunday morning sales, because since the S.O.E. prohibition they’ve got used to resting and preparing their families for service on Sunday.

“We are grateful for the state of emergency order which gives us the opportunity to regain our loss in sales as Sunday is always the best day of the whole week in sales,” she said.

“When the fish market was closed on Sunday, we lost a big amount of sales as people normally buy fish for their Sunday toonai during the early hours of Sundays. 

“I normally receive $2000 from 4am to 8am depending on the sales but when the S.O.E. restriction forced us to close the fish market on Sunday.

“It (Sunday closure) also allowed us a very good opportunity to rest and be with our families and put God first rather than money and our business by preparing ourselves to be at church early and we were able to have enough rest.”

Talaleu said she and other fish sellers learnt a lot about Sunday worship over the past 17 months of the ban on Sunday morning markets.

“We learned a good lesson of spending Sunday together with families and worshiping the Lord for what he provides us six days of the week,” she said.

“So I'm thankful to the new government for their kindness and the opportunity to regain our benefits but it’s up to the person to work on Sunday or keep it Holy by resting and going to church.”

Ms Henry expressed similar sentiments in her interview with this newspaper, saying they welcomed the news but it will need major readjusting after 17 months. 

“We are happy to hear that the fish market will be open on Sunday for us to sell our business and get more money,” she said. 

“I normally received $3000-plus per Sunday and it was a very good sale. But when it was closed, God was always providing for us when we commit more on Sunday churches and respect the holy day to rest and spend enough time with families and children. 

“So we are grateful for the support of the new Government but we need to readjust to the old routine like before.”

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