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Local “Prayer Service” for Faleomavaega set for today

Former Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin in a 2012 Samoa News file photo.
Tri-Marine officials pay tribute to a “fair and honest public servant”

A “Prayer Service” is set for late this afternoon for the late former Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Fa’auaa Hunkin, who is described as a “fair and honest public servant” by two top officials of Tri Marine International.

The two-hour service, which is also a memorial, will honor and celebrate Faleomavaega’s life of service, and is set to begin at 5p.m. today at the Gov. H. Rex Lee Auditorium. His family in American Samoa is hosting the service, which is open to the public.

Faleomavaega’s family has extended an invitation to Lt. Gov. Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga, who is also the acting governor, to attend today’s service.

Faleomavaega passed away Feb. 22 at his home in Provo, Utah, and a family announcement, about today’s prayer service, also says final services will be in Provo and includes a wake-service on Mar. 10 and church service on Mar. 11.

In a joint statement yesterday, Tri Marine president and chief executive officer Renato Curto and chief operating officer, Joe Hamby say the Tri Marine family was “saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend” Faleomavaega, who “was blessed in many ways.”

“Throughout his life, he was given incredible responsibilities and authority,” they said of the late Congressman. “He took his work and his role seriously, because he loved the people he worked for — people from all walks of life, from villages and cities and capitals far away.”

They described Faleomavaega as an effective representative, who not only seemed to know everyone, but also had an uncanny ability to know how to make them all laugh. “He was universally loved at home and in Washington, DC,” they say.

“A fair and honest public servant, he recognized the importance of the tuna industry to the Territory. That meant becoming a champion not only for Tri Marine but for StarKist, Samoa Tuna Processors and the American Samoa based fishing fleet,” the statement says.

“We will never forget the kindness and generosity he showed to us as a company and as individuals, and will always remember his fierce love for the people of American Samoa. He will always be remembered as a hardworking and honest figure, whose love of family, love of life and love of his people made him an indispensable leader and friend to all,” the Tri Marine officials say.

“We join thousands in mourning the loss of our dear friend and as we look back and remember his work on behalf of American Samoa, we are comforted in the knowledge that he is at peace, no longer in pain,” the says.

See Samoa News edition of Feb. 24 with story, which includes an official statement from StarKist president on Faleomavaega’s passing.