Fono approves condolences for Ameko Pato’s family
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Fono approved on Wednesday a House Concurrent Resolution conveying the deepest condolences of the Legislature and the people of American Samoa to widow Dr. Rosevonne L. Makaiwi Pato and the entire Pato family on the passing of American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency director Ameko Pato.
The resolution, sponsored by Rep. Vailoata Eteuati Amituana’i, also pays tribute to Pato’s “extensive and loyal service to the people of American Samoa”.
The measure details Pato’s education and work background, including his enlistment in the US Army upon graduating from Farrington High School in Hawaii in 1976. Pato, 60, who passed away last month, served 8 years in the military.
“As a strong advocate for the environment, education, and health, Ameko worked hard to promote a healthy environment and placed a strong emphasis on the importance of education in attaining certification and degrees to build local capacity,” the resolution points out.
And as AS-EPA director, began an education initiative for staff to get a college degree. In his six years at the AS-EPA, the staff progressed from 10% of staff having college degrees to 90% who now hold a Bachelor or Master degree.
The resolution says Pato is “known as a man of conviction and someone who did not waiver from doing what is right. This included being vocal in government meetings as well as advocating the territory’s position when meeting with his counterparts on the federal level.”
“He was a community leader who was both fearless and compassionate and one who spent most of his life faithfully serving the people of American Samoa,” and he “will be missed and is honored by the territory,” said the resolution, which notes that Pato was given the chiefly title Solialofi in 1990 from the Lutu family.
According to a family announcement, final mass for Pato is set for 9a.m. today at the Catholic Church in Fagatogo, followed by his burial later today in Vaitogi.