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Senator Galeai honored

[photo: Ausage Fausia]

Sen. Galeai M. Tu’ufuli (middle) receives a special award from Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga and first lady Cynthia (backs to camera) Friday (May 26) morning at Su’igaula o le Atuvasa at Utulei Beach during the closing ceremony for Senior Citizen Week in American Samoa.

Galeai was honored as the longest serving government employee, who is a senior citizen, or the ASG’s oldest employee award. Galeai, a very outspoken senator, had served many years in government including his tenure as police commission, Manu’a District Governor, and other senior posts.

Friday’s closing ceremony to end the week-long of activities spear headed by the Territorial Administration on Aging (TAOA), with the support of various ASG agencies, kicked off with a short-parade from in front of the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium in Utulei to Su’igaula park, where the community applauded the elders while the traffic on the main road was rerouted to the secondary road behind the Lee Auditorium.

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga used traditional Samoan salutations to express sincere appreciation to the territories senior citizens, saying that the elders has made tremendous contributions to countries and territories across the globe and this is the same case for American Samoa.

He says the elders lay the path for future generations to walk, in order for American Samoa or any other country to prosper.

Besides the award presented to Galeai, there were three other special awards presentations, such as the “oldest senior citizen” in American Samoa that was prepared by Congresswoman Aumua Amata. And it was presented to 98-year old Ioramo Ioramo.

The Rotary Club of Pago Pago sponsored the “oldest senior citizen and still employed” with the TAOA’s federally funded work program, and it was presented to 91-year old Hana Thompson. The senior citizen “community service” award sponsored by Lion’s Club of Pago Pago was presented to former senator, Pulefa’asisina Palauni Tuiasosopo.

In the award presented to Galeai, prepared by the governor and the Governor’s Chief of Staff, Fiu J. Saelua explained that Galeai’s government service began in 1960 when he was sworn in as a police officer. Galeai had served in various posts in government such as an instructor at the American Samoa Community College between 1976 and 1982, served as special assistant to then Gov. A.P. Lutali in 1985. He served as police commissioner in the later part of 1985 to 1992.

Galeai is currently serving his second-consecutive four-year term in the Senate representing Manu’a District #1, which is the same district he served in the Senate a few years ago.

Following the award ceremony were special remarks from TAOA director Evelyn Lili’o Satele, who thanked the government for their continued support of the territory’s senior citizens, including honoring them throughout one-week in May.

The closing ceremony ended with traditional siva Samoa, luncheon and fun.