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fili's friends gather

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — A group of Ms. Fili Sagapolutele’s friends, family and co-workers — old and recent — got together to celebrate her “Fili-ness” at the Flying Fox, last Saturday evening. Toasts were abundant as well as ‘talk stories’ and laughter — remembering her life with us.

 Fili passed away about two weeks ago, at her apartment. The date for her final service and memorial is still pending.

Robin Annesley Dalton, the Managing Director of Samoa News, who wasn’t able to be with us, from New Zealand told her story of “Fili-ness”:

I only got to know Fili during our 20+ years at Samoa News. I fired her during our first 2 years at the helm. She quietly accepted my reasons for firing her and left my office. The following morning I arrived to find she had moved her desk closer to the door out of my direct sight and we continued from there... no more needed to be said. I hope we came to respect each other in the end. (She was with us until she passed.)

I know I respected her steadfastness and breadth of knowledge of our government's workings, our community's secrets and personalities. I will miss her pointed comments, her stubbornness, her fidelity to the basic tenets of the newsroom and her kindness despite the gruff demeanor. I am consoled that Fili is at last in a place of no pain.

Rest in peace Fili. Samoa News will miss you. I know I will miss you.