SUA COUNTY MOURNS LOSS OF SENATOR SUA VAIULI MATAUTIA
A moment of silence was observed yesterday at the beginning of the Senate session, in remembrance of the late Sen. Sua Vaiuli Matautia, one of two senators for Sua County. Sua was serving his first four-year term in office.
Sua's daughter, Epi Sua Timo told Samoa News yesterday that her father passed away peacefully around 11a.m. Sunday at her brother’s home in Waikele on Oahu Island in Hawai’i, at the age of 72. “My father turns 73 years old on his birthday on Aug. 28th this year,” she said softly through tears.
When the second session of the Fono convened two weeks ago, senators were informed by the Senate leadership that Sua was in Honolulu seeking medical attention but no other information was provided.
Mrs. Timo says she will always remember her father advising “us, his children, to always care for our families and serve our church, village and county… to always love and be good to people.”
At yesterday’s Senate session, Senate President ProTemp Nua Saoluaga made the official announcement of Sua’s passing in Hawai’i over the weekend saying that this sad news has brought a cloud of darkness over the Fono, the government and the territory.
He told senators to be strong as there is nothing anyone can do, as this is the wish of God, calling home one of his children. Nua then called for a moment of silence to remember and honor the late senator, who had been serving for about seven months in the Upper Chamber of the Legislature.
Nua later told Samoa News that he and the late senator knew each other very well over the years and are familiar with each other’s families. “Sua was a great, humble and honest person,” said Nua in an interview at his office. “And when I was told about his sudden passing, I felt so very sad, that I will no longer see Sua.”
Nua said he was first contacted by a member of Sua’s family about the death of the late senator and not long thereafter, it was Senate President Gaoteote Tofau Palaie who called from Honolulu, where he is undergoing a medical checkup, to relay the sad news.
Nua recalled that Sua is committed to the fa’aSamoa, or Samoan culture, and has full knowledge and understanding of the Samoan culture, which he shared with senators during his tenure in the Senate.
“It’s going to be very difficult for me to forget him. Perhaps the most saddest of all, I won’t see him again,” he said. “Our Heavenly Father has called him home while he was still working, serving in the Senate, the chamber of traditional leaders of American Samoa as well as serving his village, county, church and his people.”
Nua offered condolences to the late senator’s wife, family, village of Afono and Sua County. “Rest in peace my good friend and fellow Senator,” Nua said quietly.
Sua was chairman of the Senate Parks and Recreation Committee and vice chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which is set to hold a hearing today and is expected to be remembered by the committee. Sua, on whose office door hangs a wreath, is a member of other Senate standing committees.
Funeral services for the late senator are pending.
Samoa News extends its condolences to the grieving family.