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Last American Samoan Fita Fita Guard & World War II Veteran passes

Sualua Tui Masaniai, 1922-2019

Santa Ana, CALIFORNIA — On April 1, 2019 Sualua Tui Masaniai, 1922-2019, peacefully drew his last breath on earth in Santa Ana, CA.  He was welcomed into the loving arms of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ after being blessed with a long life of 97 years.   Sualua was the son of Tui Tuimaleali’ifano Lemeana’i Atualevao (Father) of the villages of Ili’ili & Falefa and Fa’anati Masaniai Alofaituli (Mother) of the villages of Aasu & Vatia.

Sualua was preceded to heaven by his dear wife of 62 years – Fesili Mata’u Penitusi Amituana’i Masaniai (1926-2010) of the villages of Fagaalu & Fitiuta. Together they were blessed with 79 direct blood descendants, 12 children, 26 grandchildren and 41 great grandchildren. 

Sualua’s Message To His Beloved Samoa 
Thank you for honoring our Christian heritage and protecting the free exercise of our religious freedoms not only in our private and village lives but also in the public square.  It has assured the continued covering and blessings of God on our people.

I leave behind an enduring appreciation for our ancestors who when faced with the uncertainty of a changing world in the 1900’s and the unpredictability of super powers in our region, they prayerfully made the right decision.  After 119 years, our islands still remain under the might and protection of the United States.

Thank you for the opportunity to protect you when the security of our tiny remote islands was endangered by the nearby Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Alongside 500 courageous Samoan warrior brothers, I was honored to be a member of the elite, first line of defense - Fita Fita Guard from 1941 – 1951.

Thank you for the proud support and the high hopes you placed in the Fita Fita Guard as you watched us sail to Hawaii in 1951 to join the bigger battle for the safety and security of our precious island home. 

 It was a great honor and source of pride to serve in the United States Navy as a son of my beloved Samoa.   No matter how far my travels took me in my 22 years of military service, 1941 – 1963, I held onto that deep sense of belonging, a sense of identity, a sense of purpose, and a warrior spirit that was passed down by our cherished ancestors. 

Thank you for the opportunity to assist in the launching of our ‘first ever’ KVZK Television Station on Mount Alava, 1964 – 1967, and later WVUV Radio in Leone, 1968 – 1974.   

Thanks for the chance to impart my Electronic Technician knowledge and skills into the students of Nu’uuli Poly Tech from 1980 to 1987.

Thank you that upon my return to Samoa with my family in 1964, my children learned how to do the Samoan slap dance with the mosquitos and the modern convenience of “having running water” simply meant that water was running somewhere on the island but not necessarily in your house.  They were introduced to the Samoan lawn mower – the “Pelu” which had an added bonus of building your biceps. A normal comfortable life in a Samoan home back then is what palagi’s would call – “roughing it”.

Thank you for instilling in me a culture that has at its core - respect and love for God & family, a heart of gratitude & reciprocation and a strong work ethic.

Thank you for enabling me to leave a spiritual legacy behind in the lives of many.  Serving alongside our spiritual leaders in church planting and kingdom building for many years had been my deepest passion.  It has produced eternal rewards beyond measure.    

Samoa e, YOU take the heart of me.  YOU are truly the “Pearl of the Pacific”.

III John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

 The Children of Sualua Tui Masaniai

Celebration of Life, Christ Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA on Saturday, May 4, 2019, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.