Rest in Peace, Sumeo!
Samoa will never be the same again. It has lost a great character whose legacy of love and his ability to make people happy will be sorely missed.
Today, Molio’o Leaegailesolo Sumeo Si’itia, the comedian and popular radio announcer, will be laid in his final resting place at Vaitele-fou.
Before that, hundreds are expected to attend his final service at Lotofaga this morning. Yesterday, memories of Molio’o brought tears, laughter and smiles. A crowd of close to 500 gathered at the EFKS Hall, Mulinu’u, to pay tribute to the man they affectionately called ‘Meo.’
Among them were Members of Parliament, members of the business community, members of the diplomatic corps, friends, families and hundreds of fans. Of more than 20 people who testified, they all agreed that ‘Meo’ was indeed “one in a million” and a “true gift from God for Samoa.”
“The sweetness of the tone of his voice meant you cannot say no to anything he asks,” said Father Neru, from Auckland. “He was unique, there was no one like Sumeo.” Best friend, Sam Aiono, agrees.
“I was married to Sumeo way before Lia’i,” he said. Lia’i is Molio’o’s widow. Mr Aiono said the memories of all the “stupid things” they did, as students of Leulumoega College, will be hard to forget.
“One day, we ended up stealing a whole box of bread that was supposed to be for the hostel. Sumeo ended up telling the late Reverend Elder Oka Fauolo and we got in trouble.” Every time Lia’i called, Molio’o will always tell her “I am with Sam”. “Five percent of those excuses are true. Ninety five per cent were lies.” Chief Executive Officer of the Samoa Tourism
Authority (STA), Papali’i Sonja Hunter was in tears when she spoke about her friend. “He was the backbone of our Teuila programmes,” she said about Molio’o’s role as the emcee of their programmes.
“He will be dearly missed during the Teuila Festival this year. Molio’o maybe gone but he will never be forgotten.”
Owner of Radio Polynesian, Mapusua Rudolf Keil, where Molio’o worked for 12 years, said Sumeo’s voice and personality would be dearly missed.