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LBJ's “Celebrating You" one of three events celebrated last weekend

Lee Auditorium

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Lt. Gov. Talauega E.V. Ale in his capacity as acting governor last weekend attended three separate events before departing the territory Monday for an off-island trip, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office late Wednesday afternoon.

The first event was last week Friday at Gov. H. Rex. E. Lee Auditorium for the LBJ Medical Center’s Service Awards Banquet with the theme, “Celebrating You.”

“You all have played a critical role in ensuring the wellbeing of every life here in American Samoa by providing high-quality care,” Talauega said during his special remarks.

“We are here to celebrate all your efforts and hard work — no matter the circumstance, it has aided in the protection of our beloved people,” he said. “Our frontline healthcare heroes and your families deserve our deepest gratitude for all your sacrifices to fulfill this calling.”

The highlight of the evening was where all the employees that have served in the past thirty years, forty years, and fifty years were honored. Concluding the evening was the special award to Judith Payes, who has served the territory for the last fifty-five years, according to the release.

On Saturday last week, Talauega took part in the conclusion of the Department of Commerce’s Jubilee Celebration commemorating 50 years since the signing of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA).

In partnership with BlueSky American Samoa, a countdown event and dinner was held at the DDW Cafe Restaurant, recognizing the partnerships between ASG and private business owners, according to the news release.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak in our communities earlier in the year, along with Code Red restrictions and many other mitigation measures imposed at the time, the private sector was a critical factor in the defense of American Samoa,” Talauega said in his special remarks prior to the countdown of the fireworks, which was sponsored by BlueSky.

And Saturday night’s “event is a token of how much we have overcome together as a people,” he said.

Talauega also spoke about the Administration’s vision for the government-private sector relationship, saying that he and Gov. Lemanu P.S. Mauga “are committed to ensuring private businesses are able to operate and be successful in American Samoa.

Then on Sunday, Sept. 25, Talauega attended the Health Department’s “Women’s Health Island-Wide Campaign” church service at Ave Fetu Ao Methodist Church in Fagaima.

“During the Women’s Health Month, and the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month [in October], we stand with our mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, and we recognize all the Women’s Health services provided for American Samoa,” Talauega remarked.

“Women play a vital role as the foundation of our families, our communities, and our Territory,” he said. “Oftentimes the decisions and the well-being of our families are made by women however, oftentimes women do not give the same attention to their own health and needs.”

“This is an opportunity for women of all ages, ethnicities, and economic circumstances to take simple everyday steps to embrace healthier lifestyles,” he said.

(Samoa News notes that the current acting governor is Attorney General Fainu’ulelei Falefatu Alailima-Utu, while both Talauega and Lemanu are off island)