Class of ‘85 responds to FHS Alumni Call
Forget that it has been 35 years since the graduating class of 1985 of Fagaitua High School marched onward to the world leaving the hallowed halls of the Vikings to the cycle of generations to follow. When FHS organized their current alumni association to take on the most important project ever, coordinating the 50th Anniversary Celebration for the Eastern Star, it rolled out its fundraising calendar with the goal to engage every FHS alumni around the world, and the Class of ʻ85 responded in unity and celebration of their own.
The Class of ‘85 has never had a reunion since they graduated; and an estimated 98% of the graduates reside outside of American Samoa.
Heeding the Alumni call, class secretary Ielino Esau, now a resident of Hawai’i, took to social media to round up the Class of ʻ85 during the winter of 2016. The classmates on Facebook responded overwhelmingly, which ultimately led to the formation of 3 sub-groups consisting of Hawai’i, Northwest, and American Samoa.
As Esau explained, “We have not kept in touch with each other since we graduated. We didn’t have the convenience of social media. Most have gotten married, inheriting married surnames; some are single and some are now grandparents. We are all far apart from each other. I decided to best coordinate our efforts it would be best to establish subgroups in regions where most classmates reside, that way we can disseminate information and facilitate communication much better. So far we are able to manage a more cohesive structure on how we can best contribute to our overall alumni efforts.”
The Hawai’i subgroup was the first to establish itself, with its mini reunion held at Dukeʻs Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawai’i, in November 2016.
The Northwest subgroup held its mini reunion in February 2017, in Seattle, Washington. The Northwest subgroup has the most members of the class of ’85, who kicked off their reunion with an emotional vigil celebration as a tribute to all the classmates who have passed on.
American Samoa’s subgroup mini reunion is slated for March 10, 2017, in American Samoa.
Esau added, “The spirit of this class still stays with time. It is so strong and fresh, it’s as if we never stopped being 17 years old. It was never in the plans that our class would be able to come together with such closeness than we ever had. Responding to the Alumniʻs call triggered all this and we are forever grateful and fortunate that we still have each other and weʻre planning to attend our celebration in 2018, Home of the Vikings.”