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StarKist donating money, cases of tuna in honor of Flag Day

The StarKist Samoa group of 1,000 performers on the malae at Veterans Memorial Stadium during the siva and pese for 2014 Flag Day on Apr. 17.  [SN file photo / Barry Markowitz]
Employees will also walk during the Flag Day parade

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — StarKist Inc. will make not only a monetary donation but they will also donate cases of tuna in support of the Flag Day 2018 organizing committee — with StarKist Samoa employees taking only two days off next week to celebrate the 118 years since American Samoa became a US territory.

In past years, StarKist Samoa would usually shut down for one week during Flag Day week, with the cannery carrying out maintenance at the plant while its employees participate in the parade for the annual celebration.

However, Samoa News learned last week from representatives of businesses that serve the canneries, that StarKist Samoa will only be closed for two days — including Flag Day, Apr. 17th — instead of the whole week.

This is great news to the businesses that serve the canneries, as well as StarKist employees, who spoke with Samoa News.

Responding to a Samoa News request for comments, StarKist corporate spokesperson Michelle Faist said Wednesday the StarKist Samoa management and team will proudly participate in this year’s Flag Day festivities. “To show our full commitment, there will be no production on Monday, April 16, and Tuesday, April 17,” she said, in a company statement, adding, “StarKist will donate $5,000 in financial support, as well as cases of tuna, in honor of the celebration.”

“As a long-standing member of the American Samoa community, we are extremely proud of our deep roots and commitment to the territory,” she said.

“We recognize that StarKist’s success would not be possible without the hard work of our employees, or the support and leadership” of Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, his administration, the Fono, and Congresswoman Aumua Amata, according to the statement.

“American Samoa and its people are patriotic and proud of their heritage with the United States. We know this year’s celebration will be outstanding. Congratulations and wishing everyone a successful Flag Day celebration,” said StarKist, the largest private employer in the territory with some 2,000 workers.


In his Flag Day proclamation, the governor said the most important building block for the future is the “investment we make in our children today through education and providing a nurturing home and a supportive community that encourages their growth and development into motivated and successful young people.”

“While we can invest in the future well-being of our young people, only they have the ultimate power to seize the opportunity to make that future a bright one for all,” said the governor, who is calling on the government and people of American Samoa “to join in a better future for the territory by vigorously supporting the efforts of our youth to achieve their goals and desires."

The Flag Day ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tafuna on Tuesday, while this Sunday, Apr. 15, is the Flag Day church service at the Gov. Rex Lee Auditorium at 3p.m.

The official Flag Day program at the stadium should be available soon.