Samoan Chief, teacher and friend will be missed

Labour is offering its sincere condolences to the family of Samoan high chief, le afioga Tofaeono Tanuvasa Tavale, who passed away in Samoa on Wednesday.

Tanuvasa was a good friend and a widely respected leader in the Samoan community,” Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio said.

“He was an expert teacher of the Samoan language and culture and was one of few accomplished practitioners of the old Samoan oratory language of symbolism, allegory and metaphors.

Tanuvasa taught in New Zealand and the Pacific for more than 46 years. He was also a dedicated and talented writer, publishing 20 books in Samoan.

In 2010, he received the Samoan Language Champion award, and in 2012 he was awarded the Queen’s Services Medal for services to education.

“Tanuvasa will be sorely missed by the Samoan community.

“His contribution to education was simply enormous. He leaves a legacy of hard work and tireless commitment to his language and his people.

“As President of the Auckland Samoan Catholic Association he presided over twenty-five Samoan Catholic congregations throughout the Auckland region for more than a decade. He advocated strongly for the youth and championed education, safety in the homes, and encouraged participation in local and central government elections.

“He served on the board of the Pasifika Education Centre since 2003 and has held various roles in advisory committees of government departments in New Zealand.

“The Auckland Samoan Catholic Association will hold a Memorial service for family and friends on Sunday 2 June at Malaeola Hall, Māngere at 1.30pm,” Su’a William Sio said.

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