Samoa Briefs

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NOMINEES FOR INAUGURAL TOURISM AWARDS

Apia, SAMOA — The Samoa Tourism Authority (STA) has announced their nominees for the first ever Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards. The nominees were selected as part of the STA surveys and inspections carried out by the Tourism Standards Committee and the STA Research and Statistics team and its slated to be held next week Saturday at Taumeasina Island Resort.

According to STA three of each nominees have been selected for each of the 12 Awards categories, which reflect the various aspects of the Tourism Industry and Visitor Experience, such as best accommodation, best restaurant, best bar and hangout etc,.

According to STA 2017 is designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and the Samoa Tourism Excellence Awards will especially celebrate the outstanding performances of those businesses which have been nominated. The Awards have been judged by Visitors, who were surveyed throughout the year and the Tourism Standards Committee which conducted inspections during 2016. The survey and inspections were alluded to by the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi at the beginning of this year as part of the launch of Visit Samoa Year 2016.

HEAD OF STATE’S MESSAGE FOR CHRISTMAS

“This year our police force uncovered large supplies of hard drugs, drug paraphernalia and military guns. We must resist the presence of these things in our lives,” said Samoa’s Head of State His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamales Efi in his Christmas message last Saturday. He started with an ancient proverb says weave in faith and God will provide the thread. Our mothers are our most skillful weavers. Throughout history,they have woven the strong bonds of family through their unwavering faith.Samoan weaving is an art that carefully interlaces each strand to achieve balance, symmetry, harmony and correlation.

A mother who weaves with faith can find symmetry in the example of Mother Mary and her faith in the message of the Angel. Whatever trials Mary and Joseph faced, Mary was always calm and composed. It was her faith that gave her strength despite the doubts, envy and dangers that lurked around her as the mother of Jesus. There is a saying in Asau: Ua pa le fana a Tulia (meaning, “The rumblings of Tulia forewarns). The saying forewarns of something about to happen.” His Highness stated that this year Samoa’s police force uncovered large supplies of hard drugs, drug paraphernalia and military guns.

“We must resist the presence of these things in our lives. We must weave together in faith the kind of strong family and communal bonds that can withstand the power and fear they may hold over us. With faith, God will provide us with the thread we need.The master weaver is always concerned to achieve harmony and symmetry in both process and outcome. Skillful interlacing not only takes time and patience, but also lots of love. This is equally applicable when observing the process and art of becoming a mother.” His Highness further stated that in birthing a mother is separated from the child she carried for months in her womb.

“After the birth the umbilical cord and placenta are returned to Mother Earth in recognition of the sacred bond between people and the environment, between the generations, and, most importantly, between us and God. Achieving harmony in our interlacing requires also acknowledging the sacred bond between the wisdoms of the long and deep views; between our hearts, minds and souls; and between parents and their children. In my meditation, I asked myself: what is Christmas about?

What does it mean to me? For me it is about family and about faith.Mother Mary is the master weaver who weaves love, patience and compassion into the fabric of family. It is her unwavering faith in God that gives family its strength and durability. Christmas is about strengthening the interlacing of these bonds, the bonds of family and faith.I wish you and your families a safe and blessed Christmas.”

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