01/01/2014 MANATAU GALIKI REUNION COMMEMORATIONS
A brilliant all round festivity for the Galiki Clan around the globe has come and gone.
Demand for perfection in practising songs and dance actions for the Manatau Galiki Family reunion finally looms in the Tuhia horizon. Hours toiled on planning and meetings were put aside as the extended families enthral to greet the big day. Just like the way they embraced the returning families from abroad, with hugs, feasts, emotions and leis.
Families came as far as Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand for the great meet. Indeed amazing the mass of family members on the attendance list that include the Rev Malaetolu Salatielu, Rev Liva Tukutama, Rev Navy Salatielu and Pastor Mac Tavilitoga. They not only led the flock with superiority and dedication. But they socialised and mingled humbly with the crowd as ordinary citizens.
Brad Ikinepule, the NZ based leader travelled a week early to check the venue and official programme. Keeping on par with local protocols they imported frozen and dry food for the host families.tielu and Rev Liva Tukutama
The Niue hosts led by Colin Etuata steps into action switch to make sure things shine for the visitors. Wisdom Advisors Young Vivian and Nena Alapasa Nemaia were adamant the host group perform to expectation. And the efficient work of Treasurer Moka Ikitoemata-Heka and Secretary Patlin Tukitoga-Siligi ensured the set activities did no falter.
Taking the shortest road home isn’t a choice as there’s only Air New Zealand flights’ operating out of Auckland to Niue. Last minute sanitising action makes sure the big day marks down in their memories to be historical.
Awkwardly, the last Air Zealand flight to Niue with the final Galiki delegation almost turned bad when it was forced to return to Auckland for technical repair. Their flight eventually made it safely to Niue 5 hours overdue.
When the idea began ten years ago it was a bold attempt to revive the family genealogy of Galiki Manatau, a former village leader, former Parliamentarian, sports athlete and organizer and a respected traditional and religious head of the family.
It was Saturday, 28 December in Hakupu where the family reunion ceremony was held.
The day began with magical sunlight every so often blinded by the cool shades of overcast. An unfathomable dawn passed in the dry breeze deserving RSA dawn parade to mark and pay tribute to one of the highly distinguished Hakupu-Atua leaders of the neo-colonial era. But later in the day it was pure sunshine and below gusty breeze.
Each family representing the Galiki descendants displayed their booths of printed materials, books and mementoes to celebrate the heroic name.
Delegation members from abroad were accommodated at the Tuatea Community building, the Fine One Motel and many were billeted by their extended families. They all share a common goal to make the day memorable and meaningful experience.
More than a 100 family delegates flew home for the reunion. Their presence brought a sea of colours and warmth to their village called home. Time where to get square and fit for the long day for the past has been shrouded with uncertainty and hidden meaning.
The reunion gatherings usually took place in Auckland , New Zealand but now the decision to host it at home, where the man was born, raised and grew up a prominent leader was the right one.
Families met each other and grin like lost children. The smiles captured with digital cameras and modern telephone handsets quickly paint to keep memorable pictures of thousand words. Sub-family uniforms helps defines their genealogy lineage. There are numerous manifestation and lessons from the unifying meet.
Manatau Tumatagi Toloa Galiki was married to Veia Saili Kua’aumu from American Samoa and together was blessed with 15 children. Together their matrimonial descendants amass more than a 1000 offspring among the 5th or 6th generations to date.
The celebration was justified to mark the tale of two primary legends with special blessings from God. Galiki would be proud to be alive to see and salute the fruits of their bonding and everlasting love.
By early morning host families rushed to close their earthly ovens having tended to the traditional vigil during the night to prepare and cook food for the major event.
White and green tents installed as long as the Tuatea Community complex lay parallel in front of the lawn.
Two years passed as though the last reunion meet in Auckland was held just two weeks ago. Described as a day of family census to reclaim their birth right, Brad Ikinepule, of the visiting Galiki tribe from overseas seems meek to appreciate the warm welcome .
It appears much to unveil most families’ inter-relationship as unveiling the new headstone for the white-polished graveyard at Kalokalo District south of Hakupu. It enlightens the entire district in both height and renewed serenity.
At 10 am the mass family congregate by the graveyard to reminisce and honour the great man. Many of them did not meet their icon in real life but in spirit they marvel and express personal sentiments.
Tears shed with joy and partial regret their parents, the Galiki siblings has passed on but it gives profound significance to realize it’s their turn to take the golden baton and represent the Galiki heritage and legacy. The crowd in attendance paused voluntarily while reciting the family genealogy.
The life of Galiki was once at stake of being faded so the revival was opportune. Now it’s time to sustain the practice and build a new legacy.
From the graveyard the flock moved to the Tuatea Community venue for the entertainment, speeches and feasting. Families and friends celebrated in style and the outdoor ambience gives reason to indulge on the green grass inside the tents. With more performance to show the day meanwhile trots away the beautiful meeting. There was nothing complicated as they share the values and everyone builds a new legacy and memories difficult to erase in years to come. They happily add value to some of the activities but nothing can take away the elation of novelty from a commemoration so naturally consigned to succeed.
In the dusk of day and so as thought and human strength diminished from the vigorous exercise and abundance of laughter reclines for the next reunion.
It will be a magical treat for the whole family this summer and years to come.
On Sunday 29 December the Galiki family attended the Hakupu church service to praise God for the blessings. Dedications that include hymns and sermons presented by the Rev Malaetolu Salatielu and Rev Navy Salatielu. In dedication of the Galiki family legacy they donated $15,000.00 to the Hakupu Ekalesia Church and associated groups.
Afterwards the family resigns for light lunch at Tuatea and more evocative speeches to compliment the celebration.
Awesome effort and generational unity!