[photo: Fili Sagapolutele]

This large mural, seen Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012, hangs on the boundary of a warehouse next to the fuel dock and adjacent to the parking lot of the newly renovated Convention Center, which has since been renamed the Tauese P. F. Sunia Marine Ocean Center. It was officially dedicated Friday, Aug. 17.

The late Gov.  Tauese P.F. Sunia served as the territory’s chief executive from 1997 until his sudden passing in March, 2003. During Tauese’s administration, Togiola was lieutenant governor.

In his remarks at the dedication ceremony, Gov. Togiola Tulafono credited his wife, First Lady Mary Ann Tulafono “for suggesting” to Commerce Department deputy director Lelei Peau and Fletcher Construction general manager Dean Hudson, that they “put something together like this, so it compliments this [Marine Ocean] building, versus an ugly warehouse” next door.

“It is now a beautiful mural,” said Togiola, who pointed out that the local picture of the whale on the mural — with the tail up above the ocean - is “not a foreign picture” but instead “a local picture of the whale.”

“That’s what we see here on our islands, in our oceans, in our seas, in our reefs,” Togiola told the audience that included federal government officials, who took part in the dedication.

They are also here to attend the 28th Meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force that opens Monday Aug. 20 for two days.

“That’s a picture of our reefs. That’s a picture of our turtle. It did not come from any place else. This is the beauty that is in the oceans of American Samoa,” Togiola said proudly.

Samoa News was not able to immediately identify the artist of the mural, which compliments the new Tauese Ocean Center.






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