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OCEANSIDE EVENT CELEBRATES POLYNESIAN CULTURE

Kahleo Faletoi, 17, lets out a yell as he and other members of the Oceanside Polynisian Group perform a war dance during the Wally Molifua Day Celebration at Oceanside High School on Friday. [HAYNE PALMOUR IV | hpalmour@nctimes.com]

Oceanside High School students and educators celebrated Polynesian culture and honored two graduates Friday at the annual Wally Molifua Day Celebration, which included a tribute to Junior Seau.

"Uncle Wally" Molifua was a beloved teacher at the school who coached Seau in the 1980s and started the Polynesian club there in the 1970s.

School employees and family members restarted the annual celebrations after Molifua's death in 2005 to pay tribute to him, share Polynesian culture and raise money for scholarships.

Both he and Seau were Samoan Americans and part of Oceanside's deep-rooted Samoan community.

"It's important to remember our culture and where we come from," said Grant Muagututia, the Polynesian club adviser. "By having events like this, it helps us not to forget."

This year's event was almost canceled after organizers heard about Seau's death Wednesday.



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