Flags lowered to half staff honoring Senator Seui
In a memorandum issued yesterday, Gov. Togiola Tulafono ordered all flags in the territory to be lowered to half staff beginning at sunrise today until sunset Feb. 17 “in remembrance” of the late Sen. Seui Laau Mautonu Sr.’s “outstanding public service and his dedication to building and leading our beloved territory.”
Seui, one of two senators for Ituau county, passed away peacefully at LBJ Medical Center on Jan. 26. He was 69 years old and his two-day funeral service begins today.
The governor also authorized the use of the American Samoa flag in Seui’s funeral services and the Department of Public Safety was directed “to present all appropriate honors and ceremony as authorized by Territorial protocol.”
“I ask the people of American Samoa to join me in honoring Sen. Seui Laau Mautonu. His service to his government and people will be forever remembered,” the governor said. “His commitment and leadership shall stand as a legacy for all to follow.”
According to a family funeral announcement, a brief service will be held at the LBJ chapel around 7 a.m. today before his remains are taken to the Fono Guest Fale, where he will lie in state for the government service, slated to begin around 8 a.m.
From the Fono compound, Seui’s remains will be taken to the Nu’uuli-CCCAS for the first church service at 11 a.m. followed by the wake service at the Seui Guest Fale. The following day starts at 10 a.m. with the final church service at the Nu’uuli-CCCAS and thereafter Seui will be laid to rest at his home in Nu’uuli.
This week both the Senate and House endorsed each other’s concurrent resolutions conveying the “deepest condolences and sympathies” of the Fono and people of American Samoa to Mrs. Palepa Milovale Gagau Sanitoa Seui and the Seui family on the passing of Seui. The resolution also pays tribute to Seui’s dedicated years of service.
“...cultural and family values were extremely important to... Seui, and he was assuredly outspoken to correct and admonish those who did not adhere to respecting the Samoan traditions,” the resolution states.
He was selected to the Senate in 2009, serving his first four-year term in office, where he was chairman of the Senate Government Operations Committee as well as being a member of other Senate committees. Prior to that, he served the ASG for 47 years, starting at the Department of Administrative Services. He went into the private sector, for a while working at StarKist Samoa.
He returned to ASG a few years later, starting at Public Works Department, then served as a Legislature fiscal analyst. From there, he want to the Procurement Office, where he later serviced as Chief Procurement Officer.
The resolution went on to describe his many years of service to his village of Nu’uuli and church commitments as well as to his family. In particular the resolution points out that “despite his outspoken nature on his stringent beliefs about issues or matters he felt were of importance to address, Senator Seui had a soft heart when it came to his grandchildren.”
And “although the Senator and his wife Palepa had individual daily duties that separated them for hours at a time, this was one couple who were often seen together, rarely leaving each other’s side,” according to the 5-page resolution, which will be read in full detail at today’s government service.
Seui is survived by his wife Palepa; four sons and one daughter; twenty-one grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.