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Thursday is Manu’a Day — a local government holiday

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga
Sources: ASG memorandum, Samoa News archives

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — This past Friday, July 10, Gov.Lolo Matalasi Moliga issued a memorandum declaring Thursday, July 16 a territorial holiday in observance of Manu’s Islands Cession Day, which many refer to as the Manu’a Flag Day.

This year marks 116 years since the Manu’a island group was ceded to the United States and became part of American Samoa. Although the treaty between Tui Manu’a Elisara and the United States was signed on July 16, 1904, the U.S. Congress did not ratify it until 1929.

This year as in the past all government offices will be closed and normal activities will be suspended.

 “Employees of ASG who are not required to perform essential services shall be excused from their duties, the governor wrote.  As is the usual case, employees required to perform duty on that day will receive holiday wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Federal employees and offices are usually not affected by the local holiday, while the local non-governmental bank, ANZ, has remained open in the past as have most businesses, as well as the local post office.

It’s unclear from the governor’s statement whether or not there will be a celebration this year in light of the COVID-19 emergency declaration. In past years large delegations of lawmakers and other dignitaries have trekked to Manu’a for the celebration.