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Samoa Briefs



Apia, SAMOA — Always one of the highlights of Samoa’s annual Teuila festival, the Miss Samoa Pageant will be coordinated this year by Samoa Events Inc. after the organization was awarded a three-year contract for the annual pageant.


Chairperson Laeimau Oketevi Tanuvasa, said that it will be an exciting, fun and a flourishing event. “Samoa Events Inc. is proud and very privileged to be given this opportunity to showcase our combined expertise and experience to manage, coordinate and implement this prestigious event in Samoa, with God’s guidance, support and love.”


The group comprises former Miss Samoa participants to doctors, CEOs, business entrepreneurs, media practitioners, church ministers and others who represent the community at large.


Samoa Events Inc. takes over from Manaia Events, which successfully coordinated the Miss Samoa Pageant for the past 3 years,” says the Samoa Tourism Authority and announced that this year’s Miss Samoa Pageant will be held on Friday Sept. 9 at Gymn1 in Tuanaimato, and is the finale to this year’s Annual Teuila Festival that runs Sept.4- 9.




Samoa’s Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi and his Cabinet witnessed the swearing-in of fourteen new citizens in Samoa Wednesday morning at the Cabinet Chambers. It was officiated by Cabinet Secretary Agafili Shem Leo as Samoa's newest citizens made their vows to serve Samoa.


Tuilaepa noted the importance of this milestone for newest Samoa citizens saying, “Today’s occasion is a living testament of your commitment to your families and to Samoa, in that you will no longer serve Samoa as temporary or permanent residents, but as citizens.”


Samoa's newest citizens are Sylvie Gabrielle Salanoa; Narendra Krishna Gounder; Vivienne Isobel Euini; Lican Chen; Mingfeng Chen; Lorraine Anne Esera; Cordt Wolfgang Steinsiek; Chen Hong, Chiyuan Liu; Youkai Fang; Varea Dawn Vaurasi-Lelevaga; Alfram Roy Nukuro, Jyothi Alex Abraham and Xiaohua Huang.


They all qualified under Section 9 of the Citizenship Act 2004, which grants citizenship by virtue of marriage, with many having already established strong family, community and business ties in Samoa.


Citizens in Samoa are entitled to purchase land, to vote in General Elections, have the right to obtain travel documentation, the ability to represent Samoa in sporting events, the right to claim a pension, the right to apply for educational scholarships and citizen rates for healthcare.




Cabinet has approved the appointment of Faimalomatumua Mathew Lemisio as Electoral Commissioner for the next three years. According to the statement issued by Samoa’s Press Secretariat, the vacancy was first advertised for public interest, and only Faimalomatumua submitted an application. The vacancy was advertised for the second time and no one applied. Hence the panel called Faimalomatumua for an interview based on Section 36 of the Public Service Act 2004.


“After an assessment by the panel, a recommendation was submitted before Cabinet for approval,” the press release said. Faimalomatumua has been Acting Electoral Commissioner since the position became vacant. He is a lawyer by profession and holds a Bachelor from the University of the South Pacific.


He is a former journalist and worked for the Samoa Observer from 2001 to 2004 and for the Savali Newspaper from 2000 until 2001. He is the Vice President of Nuanua o le Alofa and a member of the Marist St Joseph's Sports Committee. 


The new CEO is from the villages of Alafua, Saleaaumua, Lotofaga, Nofoalii, Saleimoa and Satupaite. He is married with two children and is a member of the Catholic church in Samoa.




It was a sad day for the media in Samoa this week when the news of the passing of one of the pillars of Samoa’s media family was made known. Tofilau Merita Huch, who was the editor for TV1, passed away Wednesday at the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital in Moto’otua after being hospitalized for some time. Her passing leaves a void in the media community as well as in her family.


There was an outpouring of messages from her colleagues, families and friends on her Facebook page.

A pillar in Samoa media, Merita Huch passed away this week. [courtesy photo]


According to TV1 Samoa’s Facebook page Hutch had been the TV1SAMOA News Editor for over ten years. “She has contributed immensely to the development and progress of Journalism Studies at the University of Samoa; has worked through all mediums of Newspaper, Radio and Television and is well known in her skillful experience in broadcasting.”


Senior journalist, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia told Samoa News that Huch leaves a huge void as she was like a “mother reporter” to all the young reporters in Samoa, as they confided in her, shared their problems and sought advise from Tofilau.


“She was a well respected journalist in Samoa, I am sad to find out today (yesterday). She leaves behind fond memories especially when we used to cover the court happenings at the old courthouse. We had some hard times with her, as she was the editor and at the end of the day, we had to come up with a great story and that’s where she comes in. She was a brilliant writer, with a great sense of humor,” said Auatagavaia.


Lagi Keresome another Senior Journalist in Samoa told Samoa News that Tofilau “never watered it down, she never wavered, she never wrote something that she did not believe was true. That is why her peers loved her, she was a fearless journalist who was widely respected for the passion and commitment she put into her journalism. Such was honest, clever, passionate, strong, funny, warm, ridiculously kind and fiercely loyal. She was the perfect friend to those who were lucky enough to have met her. I loved Merita’s honesty because it was so free from malice. She simply told it as she saw it. If you didn’t agree with her, that was fine. But what I loved most about her was her hatred of elitism and her desire to fight for the underdog.  As sad as I am that she has gone, I’m glad she is now free from pain. God bless you, Merita, a proper woman; a proper privilege to have known you. You will be sorely missed.”


She worked on national and local newspapers in Samoa for more than two decades.


Her husband, James and their four children survive her. Funeral services have yet to be decided and efforts to get comments from the family were unsuccessful, as of press time.


Samoa News expresses its deepest condolences to the mourning family. Tofilau worked for Samoa News for a short period of time, in the early 1990s, when Lewis Wolman was the owner-publisher of the American Samoa based newspaper.