June 1st 2022 will be etched in the history annals of the Samoa-Fiji bilateral relations when Samoa’s High Commission in Suva hosted at its premises the first-ever Flag Raising Ceremony to mark the 60th Independence anniversary of Samoa.
Master of Ceremony Taito Louis Lene welcomes the guests and members of the Samoan Community to the new Samoa High Commission chancery in Suva.
The opening sermon was conducted by Rev. Siu Vaifale of the Congregational Christion Church in Suva, where he also reflected on the struggles of our forefathers who paved the way for Samoa’s independence.
This was followed by the official raising of the flag by Dr Tauta Perise Maua McGraig, one of the senior member of the Samoan Community who has made Suva her permanent home.
It was an emotional moment for all Samoans in attendance especially while singing our “Vii o le Saolotoga” national anthem.
Samoa’s High Commissioner to Fiji Aliioaiga Feturi Elisaia provided remarks highlighting the significance of the Flag Raising Ceremony taking place for the first time at Samoa’s own office which coincided with the 60th independence anniversary.
He also shared some reflections on some of Samoa’s major milestone achievements in its 60 years journey as an independent and proud nation.
At the conclusion of the formalities, the High Commission hosted a morning tea reception inside the chancery.
Over 50 members of the Samoan community including some students from USP, FNU and PTC attended the ceremony. Amongst the attendees included Prof. Upolu Vaai, Dr. Rev Faafetai Aiava, Rev. Mefiposeta Tupou, Atoese Morgan Tuimalealiifano, Tiatia Dan Lobendahn, Lavea Iulai Lavea, Leiataualesa Aliki Lavea, Karen Mapusua, Tanuvasa Semy Siakimotu, Ferila Brown, Rumanusina Maua, Logotonu Meleisea and Anae Joel Nilon.
The Samoan community in Suva welcome the Flag raising ceremony as this is the first major community event, although small in scale, since the end of the lockdown in Fiji in the end of 2021.
It was also an opportunity for many to catch up for a talanoa and to visit the new High Commission chancery, which will be officially opened soon.