It’s the foresight of Senior Citizens that moves American Samoa forward
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Senior Citizens were celebrated this past Thursday, May 25, 2023, where a number of the treasured members of our society were called out for special recognition. Seniors are some of the most treasured members of American Samoa society serving as friends, mentors, teachers, essential workers, volunteers, and caregivers and are feted with an annual event.
The Territorial Administration on Aging (TAOA) recognized the oldest senior citizen, an award for community service excellence, and the oldest Senior Service Employment Program (SCSEP) employee. The awards ceremony is part of the National Older Americans week, whose theme this year is “Aging Unbound.”
“Senior citizens are the living embodiment of our history and heritage,” Gov Lemanu P. S. Mauga said in his special remarks. “They have witnessed and experienced the trials and triumphs of previous generations. Their stories, experiences, and knowledge are invaluable treasures that can provide us with a deeper understanding of our past. By listening to their stories and learning from their experiences, we can gain insights that can help shape a better future. It is because of their foresight that moves our American Samoa forward.”
TAOA director Evelyn Lili’o Satele, in her address highlighted the 35th international celebration of Senior Citizens Day and its 60th national celebration. “Age is just a number, not a factor,” Lili’o Satele shared. “This year’s theme, Aging Unbound, offers an opportunity to explore a wide range of aging experiences and to promote the importance of enjoying the fulfillment of paving our own paths as we age. With age, comes wisdom, which leads the way into life’s experiences, successes, and the failures we learn from. To our seniors being recognized here today, we congratulate you all. Be comforted in knowing that the community does not, nor will it ever forget the contributions made.”
Nalei Moors, a dance instructor and businesswoman, was presented the Oldest TAOA registered Senior Citizen Award by Dr. Uta Laloulu Tagoilelagi on behalf of the US Congresswoman Uifaatali Aumua Amata.
Ms. Lisa Tuatoo represented the Lion’s Club and presented the Community Service Award to Dr. Faofua Faatofe, chairwoman of the ASCC Business Department.
The Community Service Award was presented to Dr. Faofua Faatofe (2nd left), chairwoman of the ASCC Business Department by the Lions Club of Pago Pago. [ASG photo]
Dr. Matautu Peter Tinitali, on behalf of the Pago Pago Rotary Club, presented the Oldest SCSEP employee to Nalei Moors, Mr. Filia Alaia, and Mrs. Tofiga Lopesi.
A special presentation was also awarded to Grandma Joy Ryan and grandson Brad Ryan as the Senior and Junior National Park American Samoa Explorer.
Brad and his grandmother Joy set out on a journey to visit all 63 national parks seven and a half years ago. Last week they completed their goal when they arrived at the National Park of American Samoa.
“The National Park of American Samoa is the only U.S. national park south of the equator and our most remote park,” Ryan posted on his grandmother’s Instagram page created to document their travels. “It was a long road to get here, but we couldn’t have chosen a more epic place to conclude this epic chapter of Grandma Joy’s Road Trip!”
Brad Ryan and his grandmother Joy Ryan (flaking Gov. Lemanu left and right) completed their goal to visit all 63 national parks last week when they arrived at the National Park of American Samoa. They were presented a special award, as the Senior and Junior National Park American Samoa Explorer, at American Samoa’s Senior Citizens Day celebration this past Thursday. [ASG photo]