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TAOA event honors Senior Citizens

“Senior Citizens Day is an opportunity to acknowledge the long-term contribution and dedication of older people, and to ensure that we’re doing our best to give something back to older people,” said Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga during the Territorial Administration On Aging (TAOA) event on Thursday commemorating Senior Citizens in the territory.


The celebration kicked off with a mini parade which was led by Lt Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga and his wife Pohakalani Mauga from Governor Rex Lee Auditorium to the Su’igaula ole Atuvasa in Utulei.


Members of Toe Afua Mai Matua (TAMMs) and American Samoa Organization on Aging (ASOA) were among those who participated in the mini parade. Also in attendance were members of the cabinet along with members of the public. The event started with opening prayer by CCCAS Utulei Reverend Ioane Evagelia which was followed by entertainment delivered b members of the elderly population themselves.


Prior to the opening prayer, Rev Ioane told the elderly population that “despite life’s challenges with sickness or old age, always maintain your focus on the Lord.”  


Governor Lolo in his remarks stated that from the beginning God created man in his own image and he created people with high spirits—noting that it's great to see the elderly population come together and celebrate their day.


“Happiness does not only come when there’s money, rather happiness comes when you seek it and at this stage of life, happiness is what should matter most to you" he said, adding, "Live happily, because growing old is a gift from God."


He said that all that has been achieved in the government and for all we continue to accomplish, we owe our senior citizens our thanks for their hard work —which is why we are where we are today, and they’ve cleared the way for us.


There were three special awards that were handed out as part of the event to acknowledge their long service to the government and community.


The first award was received by 90 year old Tuilaepa Tumama as the eldest registered citizen working at TAOA. Tuilaepa lives in Tafuna, and he came from Samoa to the territory in 1923 where he worked with a construction company and upon retiring he started working at the TAOA, where he has worked ever since. Tuilaepa’s award was presented to him from the Rotary Club of Pago Pago.


The second award, which came from the Lions Club, was presented to Aumoeualogo Te’o J. Fuavai for his long service to the government. Aumoeualogo started working for the government at the Customs office in1956, then he was selected as Representative from his county which he served in the House as Vice Speaker. He was also a  Senator at one time, as well as serving as the Commissioner of Public Safety,  Director for Parks and Recreation, Director of Administrative Services, and was also Port Director at one time.


The third award, from Congressman Eni Faleomavaega’s office, was given to 97 year old Fiatagata Tuisamatatele, who thanked the Congressman for the awards and for honoring her service at TAOA.


The governor and cabinet members received handicrafts as gifts from the senior citizens, and the event ended with a  luncheon hosted by First Lady Cynthia Moliga who has publicly announced her passion to serve the elderly population on several occasions.


Mrs Moliga has made it known that she is keen on raising awareness of supporting older people and recognizing their achievements.