02/12/2013 TALENI SEU AGAESE UNVEILING
Taleni Seu was a talented man, heroic and graceful adopted son of Hakupu-Atua says Village Elder Young Vivian at the family feast to honour the unveiling of his headstone.
He was one of us until the end, Mr Vivian remarks.
Taleni was remembered for putting the work of God first above his life and families. His full name, Taleni Seu Agaese hails from a chiefly lineage in his home village of Solosolo in Upolu, Samoa. But when it was his time to serve, he turned down the opportunity to become a ‘Matai’ to follow his sweet love Winnie Fereti to Niue. The rest was historyfor many years very much self-made mainly in the strange environment of Manunu District, the gateway to Hakupu.
Taleni passed away in September 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand and returned home for burial. During the time of passing his eldest son , Rev Sogalole Taleni was being anointed resident pastor of Lakepa Ekalesia. A loss still greatly felt by wife Winnie and their seven children.
Like every family on earth the family suffers after their Dad left. The grief remains visible in their faces during the brief unveiling ceremony at their residence in Manunu on Saturday 30 November. Families, friends and his congregation members from Toi parish gathered to pay tribute to the former citizen and missionary.
MC Taumalua Fereti-Jackson kept strictly to the programme that was help under the blazing sun. The devotion was conducted by the Rev Igatiatama Mokole.
Family Headman Maru Talagi says it was a pity Winnie Seu cannot make it to the occasion due to ill health.
Taleni presented his own awakening contribution to baseball, rugby, soccer, cricket , boxing and athletics of Hakupu over so many years. His love for physical sports and keeping fit shone like someone who had been educated in sports overseas. The passion he admired so much that during the first premiere in Hakupu of the late Bruce Lee movie ‘Fist of Fury in the 1970s, the man was a great fan and went on to to display his natural karate skills to the youth of Manunu in his free show theatre. Time when there was no TV nor DVD.
But probably what stood out prominent was his special and natural Samoan talent in music. He loved playing his piano sometimes late into the night when the neighbourhood were sleeping or trying to sleep from the weary noise.
His daughter Merali Seu related how their parents composed the famous Hakupu trademark ‘ Ka hoko mai a ko e ki Fuai’ song based on the Samoan version sung by his menfolk at Solosolo. Wife Winnie helped translate the words which stand as the Number 1 hit of Hakupu until today. And to prove her assertion she played the Samoan version CD at the Fineone Bar on the night. Sadly they were never paid a single cent for the song that is sung by the Hakupu generations including the Hakupu Rugby team tour to Rarotonga in 1968.
In later years the parents added many melodic songs to the list to register them as reckoning force and face of music songs and playing piano for the Hakupu church over many years. The church that Taleni himself helped to build.
Looking back Taleni served his family, village and adopted country Niue faithfully. His dedicated serving of the Toi Ekalesia for many years must be his best shot in life apart from the love he shared with his loving wife and children. Long before the Huvalu road was tar sealed in 2012 Taleni shed endless bumps on the pot holed road from Hakupu to Toi and back on his Suzuki Japanese made motor cycle. The peak of his career was being a Pastor of the Toi parish.
He really made a big difference beyond expectations. And his name rightly described the once humble immigrant and man of many talents (Taleni) and his selfless life.
27/08/2013 ONE YEAR AFTER-LIUTOSE SALEIMOA FREDDIE LIUVAIE
The unveiling of the late Liutose Saleimoa Freddie Liuvaie headstone on Saturday 24 August at the family homestead in Manunu shows mixed spiritual test of faith from the varying weather. In the comfort zone of their sweet home life returns to normality the moment they landed on Niue. The day was fully dedicated to a dear father and friend they call the hero, left-handed, tough andone whom lived a humble lifestyle. They wondered, laughed and peppered what might come for the day they dreamt of twelve months before. And sure do, God with their secret angel granted them the dream of life.
The Liuvaie clans from Wellinton and Palmerston North all came for the do, so as the Auckland based family and the Perth, Australia members. The clear goal to unveil the headstone and pay tribute after one year anniversary since Liutose was laid to rest directly opposite their residence. It was a momentous occasion as the extended family joined in remembrance of a dear father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend.
The crowd gathered around the vicinity praying for fine weather. Throughout the ceremony the family sang hymns and songs once loved by the late Liutose and sure flamboyant the weather turned out to be.
A long story and loving thoughts reduced to a short poetry. Two bunches of boutique stemmed from the colourful tiled concrete platform with the headstone erected right in the middle. Had he live this far he would resist the idea as he light-heartedly plead during fluid social sessions. The late Liutose disliked being in the limelight of photo sessions and seldom accepted the chance for a group snapshot. He kept a diary of personal experiences and enjoyed writing complimentary thoughts to those he loved and those who helped him.
His young brother Hakupu Uli Fereti and sister Taumalua Jackson stood nearby by their mother’s grave to reflect brother Liutose’s life and respect the headstone unveiling. Eldest daughter Birtha-Lisimoni Tongahai guided the programme.
Feeling quite blank, their faces revealed how the family have had little rest from the whole night labour to prepare for the unveiling. If ever there was a time to reflect it was not to be done in a single Saturday. They styled in special printed t-shirts with warm words dedicated to ‘da man’ they all missed with his photo beaming out.
The air of grief and pride may well be lost in the frenzy of time. But the dazzling words on the headstone sums up the dignity, love and charm from the family and crowd. The senior members of the community looked in awe, often pause to reflect and learn what the real feeling of the ceremony would be like.
Freelance photographers Bill Vakaafi a.k.a Kolu and Shanghai trained Jack Feleti captured the event for viewing later on. It is also the guarding reality for the family to marshal closely how shining the graveyard looks now and should be kept beyond years to come.
Here lies the challenge for them to keep the home of the father, planter, former teacher, agriculturalist, senior deacon, darts veteran and former national champion and athlete, tidy.
At Tuatea Primary School, the late Liutose loved to teach and endorsed the famous requiem of legendary Robert Louis Stevenson to his pupils: ‘Under the wide and starry sky’-Dig the grave and let me lie…..Here he lied where he longed to be…. And the hunter home from the hill’. His resting place positioned on flat land across from his home on higher ground not much a hill. Strangely he was born and brought up in Apia, Samoa like the man he adored for his writing and poetry. Those he taught at Tuatea Primary might remember his constant promotion of the famous poetry.
Rev Igasia Mokole blessed the event flanked by some of his senior deacons. Followed by the shaving of beards and growing hairs of brothers Randy and Anthony Liuvaie from Wellington and Gary Liuvaie, the family home resident. Layers of printed materials were soon unveiled by the village pastor, Liutose’s mainland siblings, family members and close buddies Fapoi Akesi and Oluolu Siohane.
Then the defining cultural moment of meal and speeches from all sides of the nuclear family to garner support to the family and their late friend. Taso Tukuniu and Michael Naea Jackson spoke on behalf of their niece and cousin Faatasiga Tatui-Liuvaie, wife of the late Liutose. Maru Talagi, Head of the Peautagi-Talagi family and friends who came to witness the function unfold. They watched, talked, grinned and left. Their friend was gone but memories remain steadfast in their minds. What a life this is, they must think.
It surely was a weekend of fond memories and unity. Perhaps less celebration as the date will keep graceful the funeral anniversary of tears and half-calm experience at the way of his send off. The late Liutose left a legacy of distinctive outlook in life, full of personal writing, sports, storyteller, dedicated father and individual approach to humanity.
Long is the man who loved life and spoke his mind everlasting! This article is dedicated to him, certainly not the last for ‘da man!
20/07/2012 The Traditional ‘Tu Po’ of Papa Isaia Talagi (pics by jack feleti)
An old tradition buried in the whisk of modern life ethics and the fast pace of globalization was revived at Mount Malakava on Friday 19 July. It is widely accepted practice after the tenth night of burial for the immediate family to host a banquet to honour their passing beloved.
Today, some customary practices like the ‘tu po’ gets disregarded as families rush to farewell returning relatives and envisage a better and quick turnaround to recover from losing a dear father and friend. Too much distraction on the monetary side of rituals as families compromise traditions with the current flow of life.
The family of the late Isaia Tavae Talagi humbly gathered at their residence at Malakava to reminisce their great loss and to realize 10 nights had gone by since their pillar father passed away. And to top it off, graceful Australian based brothers Murray Marvin Talagi and Lagaua Junior Talagi happily joined in the partly overlooked ritual. They arrived a few hours earlier to pay tribute to the greatness of man whom was their lively father. The family were certain to entertain Papa Isa’s final wishes and deep respect for the family and village traditions and protocols.
To lose a dear father is hurting to think of each moment and to be in a state of fatherless must be terrible. Heartbreaking memories and stories replayed of the audible and cheerful man once again recaptured the good and bad times. Above all, they did appreciate the heavenly call. Life will never be the same again and days to come will be different without the Ace.
They shared their love with close relatives and friends. At times laughter breaks out to liven some of the few jokes and bright times the late Papa Isa showered the family and friends with his clear humour.
The value of ‘tu Po’ was not in the food, drinks, assets and money but the cherished love and expression of thanksgiving to accept the fact he is gone, forever. Their evening and dawn star has fallen but not forgotten. Only time has the best medicine to help cure their pain.
Ofeila Talagi certainly found comfort in her children and grand and grand grand children surrounding her.
Rev Nukanuka Tauevihi blessed the mild chilly evening. There were series of life lessons and joyous moments to share and reflect. The Talagi-Peautagi family Head Maru Talagi regardless of his family and village obligations was also present to give support and encouraged the grieved family with warm words Nena Matalose Talagi was there to witness and honour the event.
Deacon colleague Jack Feleti recalled how he had to substitute ringing the afternoon church bell when his friend slept-over from a delicious lunch.
In laws Sione Leolahi and Yamaha Tanevesi smiled and approved of their adopted father to be a loving and humorous friend. There was not a moment of rust and boring they portrayed with humility.
If there was ever a time, it was right there with the moment and togetherness contributes to the healing process.
It makes love deeper for us that Dad is gone says San Juan Talagi.
For you Papa Isa, Happy ‘Tu Po’.
11/07/2013 Part 2 – Goodbye Papa Isa (Sai-The Ace)! ..pics by jack feleti
The burial of Papa Isaia Talagi on Wednesday 10 July 2013 at his permanent resting place right in front of the famous Hafonua The First grave at the Talagi-Peautagi cemetery in Uani serves as a useful reminder that we are just temporary species on this earth. His coffin draped with fabric and the Niue flag placed on top exterior later presented by the newly appointed Chie Of Police Tony Edwards to Ofeila and family on behalf of the police force. Uani District is the area where the Japanese Yasho Maru fishing boat wrecked at sea.
Early morning the FCW visited the family to pay tribute to their Deacon Shepherd Papa Isa and elder colleague Ofeila Talagi. They sang hymns and mourn silently. Words expressed at the big loss made some difference to the grief but didn’t bring back the Man.
By 10 am it was the Deacon Council turn to share grievance with the family. A devout and candid member had slept and his voice will never be heard again. Their Christian faith once more was tested putting aside to rest the basilica notes.
Next was the final goodbye part before the body was laid into the coffin. Young Topui persisted strokes on Papa Isa’s face as innocent tears fell refusing to surrender to the fact the power of law will triumph in burying the grandfather he loves. The family immersed with tears and numb with darkness while the body of their beloved liberator was lifted into the coffin.
In the village green vehicles were lining all over the place and transformed it to a rugby car park. On the second church bell the hearse moved slowly to the church where the police guard of honour awaits the white van that carried their old colleague Constable Isaia Tavae Talagi. The drum beats by the Boys Brigade serenades the background.
At this exacting time hurts the Deacon Council spirit whilst lifting the coffin of the passing Vice- Church Elder into the church. The mood in the packed cathedral froze as they stood gazing at the coffin high on the shoulders of the bereaved deacons before it was laid on the podium at the front of the church. By confession the village and the whole country froze. One of their champion citizens has truly bowed breathless. Each of them instantly assume a memory of the jovial victor during his prime days and surely too the identical offspring of great sports fusion that he left behind. Two of them present, sons San Juan Talagi and Isa tote (Junior) could only offer a hard watch two meters from the coffin where they sat on the tiled concrete floor, tears well shut and suffering inside.
The Rev Igasia Mokole led the church order with charming hymns sung by the various Ekalesia; Hakupu, Alofi, Mutalau and the Samoan Community Choir.
Hon Billy Graham Talagi, young brother of the deceased delivered the main family eulogy snf genealogy of strong crossbreed Niuean and Samoan genetics. Joy Leolahi, daughter of Papa Isa continued with the immediate family genealogy followed by the grandchildren Inilesa , the eldest granddaughter, Vesekau Leolahi, eldest grandson, grandson Pola Talagi, son of San Juan and Sufane Touna and Elika Ahotaha.
Adopted son Elika Ahotaha described Papa Isaia Talagi as a man with a thick journal of achievements. His eloquent speech, short yet sweet merit praise from the Talagi-Peautagi family leader Maru Talagi who happened to be Elika’s private lawyer for many years now. On Page 47 of the virtual journal Elika described how Papa Isa on Wednesday early morning during his last few days asked to know where he was. The reason was perplexed, so Elika can dig his grave.
Namesake Ligimanogi Talagi-Mitikea represented the lineage genealogy of Papa Isa’s mother Ligimanogi.
The second part of eulogies began with Yamaha Tanevesti, husband of Kaye Vikoofa. Kaye and her daughter accompanied Papa Isa on the last journey home from New Zealand until the night he passed away.
Michael Naea Jackson, Secretary of Hakupu Ekalesia and Leader of Hakupu Sports enlightened about the counselling by Papa Isa and his dream for the 2013 national cricket championship match to be held in Hakupu.
Talagi- Peautagi Family Chief, Maru Talagi showed appreciation to the assembly for their support and assistance to Papa Isa.
Premier Toke Talagi spoke on behalf of the country and government.
In the packed church and 3 hours devotion, the congregation sat together patiently to pay tribute to a loving son of Hakupu which according to Village Elder Young Vivian, a son from the astute tribe of Mt Malakava. Unique Mt Malakava where the ancestors and descendant bred successful career sons and daughters from teachers, Pastors to academics and laypeople.
On the last chapter the police squad carried the coffin outside and the large motorcade headed to Uani where the police gun saluté was performed. The crowd stared and pause to honour reality and truth; Papa Isaia Tavae Talagi their best and entertaining friend has gone forever but not definitely forgotten.
The man of the house who liked to be audible but friendly and caring has left all of us behind to go to a better sacred place.
‘Thou Art In heaven, Our resting place where the lord has Prepared for us’ the crowd reluctantly sang in the weakest of tone before the workers on site, for the final time, took over .
Confused, alarmed and resolved that the temporary living journey march on to glory.
Farewell dear friend! You are Unique and will be missed! Thank you for your lively contributions to the ‘Tala Feki’ page of the Hakupu web site. https://www.hakupu-atua.nu/tau-tala-feki/
10/07/2013 ISAIA TAVAE TALAGI-HUMBLE MAN WITH BIG HEART TAKEN TOO SOON! Part one.
The family of Uncle, Dad, Brother, Papa, Husband of Ofeila and a great gentleman Isaia Talagi mourned his untimely passing tonight, Tuesday 9 July 2013. Importantly, the last legendary native tree of the Talagi-Peautagi clan at Malakava-One Tree Hill sadly passed away after battling illness since three months ago.
His life was one clearly visible, cherished and honoured. Losing a cheerful and active elder, all round veteran athlete is really hard to accept. It will leave the Hakupu family around the world devastated and shocked. His dedication and love of life in different spheres of life was amazing. The articulate voice and personal accent echoes in our lives as if he was still alive. Papa Isa was unique and a brand of his own natural lifestyle.
Such a vibrant mentor and straight communicator unusually envied by detractors as harrying and single-minded who always speak for the silence majority with candour and sincerity. He knew what and how family and village life should be served and guarded from the time of forefathers and died defending the revered values passed down from generations. Someone who was willing to give certain instructions to his children and followers and a trusted leader will be missed.
A veteran and historian of the village traditions, the environment and the sea, hunting coconut crabs who serves life with purpose and will be truly honoured. He was addicted to bush life the place most of his younger days that he spent at instead of an academic University. Papa Isa was brought up with the bush knife and axe being the traditional method of bulldozing land at Veve to as far as Ketuketu with old buddy High College Mitiepo.
The village have loss one of its heroic sons and are deeply sorry to see him left them behind and offer the family heartfelt and peaceful condolences.
Papa Isa had very little private time on his own except when he was grabbing an Italian siesta and sleeping at night. Life was divided among his family, village and the church. He was a confident Niuean warrior in everything he loved doing and promoting. In singing he was a superstar and a moderate guitarist. He was former Chairman and Councillor of the Hakupu Village Council. A seasoned deacon, Lay Preacher, former Sunday School Teacher and Acting Church Elder of the Hakupu Ekalesia Kerisiano Church. He was an Agriculturist, former Policeman, former Teacher, former Carpenter, Conservationist/ Herbalist, Village Historian, Farmer, Hunter, the list grows.
He loved making friends and meeting up with them for an audible chat. Age, colour, gender, size, stranger, old friend or foe, he must greet them alike. He enjoyed rugby, soccer, running but mostly cricket that he admired with pride and deserved the highest cricket post of the Hakupu cricket team- Noble Talagi. His sense of humour had special tenor and significance but often misread as factual allegation on a friend.
Often he honoured the deceased in his conversation and visualizes his own anticipated exit when the secret time comes. At the end of a spoof chat Papa Isa would laugh away to back up his once upon a time story. By which time it was his fourth beer, one more before he went home.
Now those left behind are in mourning at his departure and so small a time to see his physical face for the last time. But memories will flourish for the community idol and country man folk who lived with humility and fought gallantly to his last breath in his own homely bed at Malakava.
The Church Choir Master whom usually lead the hymn; ‘In Heaven lies our Real Haven and not in This World’ to farewell former colleagues and friends of Hakupu to their resting places. Today, he would sing no more, perhaps, smiling in spiritual form at the crowd, invisible and jolly at his corpse and coffin having left behind the Genesis curse.
Papa Isa was a character, brave and candid about life following in the name of the Lord who died on the Cross.
God Be With You!
02/06/2013 HUMILITY AND LOVE: NENA FEUAKITAGALOA VIVANI LEGACY ANDTOMBSTONEUNVEILING!!
Tears flowed both from joy and meek emotions as the Viviani family and friends gathered at Fuai Gateway for the unveiling of their beloved Nena, mother, aunty, friend and great mentor, the late Moka Feuakitagaloa Viviani’s headstone. Her grave laid closely to her husband the late Togiafavale Viviani’s grave.
The village and guests came together at the burial site and family homestead at Fuai overlooking the village green and church building. Fuai is the most prominent street in the village made popular by the favourite song ‘Ka hoko Mai a Koe ki Fuai’ where the treasured landmark stand. A charming namesake Miss Fuai Viviani, daughter of Ron and Mel Viviani was already here since April for the do.
Blessed with perfect weather guests sat in the tent for the devotion led by Rev Sogalole Taleni Seu.
Saturday 1st June 2013 shall live in the family’s memories as the commemoration of their adored role model and mentor. The event was held twelve months after she passed away, an ancient Jewish tradition that has steadily crept into the modern Niuean way of life. It was a brief ceremony brightened in spirit by the overseas guests.
It was fitting that the family commemorate her life in this meaningful way. The tombstone was covered with colourful embroidered blankets and lastly a valuable fine woven mat donated by the Sydney-Australian based The Reverend Liva and Rachel Tukutama family. Family representatives had turns to unveil a blanket and say a statement of acknowledgement.
Nena Feu’s adopted son, Cecil Teka Viviani and cousin Francis Mautama travelled especially from Australia for the grand dedication and to shave off Teka’s Arabian style beard kept growing natural since May 2012 in honour of the deceased. Feu’s twin daughter Ruth Akesi and sons Genaro Jacques, Toapuho Young and Tumaka also came for the occasion. Jazz Funaki, Izzy Togia Viviani and Toapuho’s partner and child accompanied the group. Nena Tulei Togiamana was among the guests flanked by her mainland peers Nena Matalose Talagi, Nena Esaena Tanaki, Nena Loto Kavetoa and Nena Ofeila Talagi. Current Miss Niue-Aotearoa, Eden Tapuosi and delegation were there as well for the gracious do.
Like Cecil, Genaro and cousin Ramsey Ammo Viviani also grew their beard while Lupo Tukuitoga grew his afro hair which must have used up heaps of shampoo and soap to keep it tidy for a year. One hour later the shaving mob entertained the crowd by the sudden face change from the Bin la Den chic to gentle bald headed monks. The sacrifice was worthy and unique in remembrance once again the name of a kind lady. They were now free from conviction towards a just cause.
The tiled monument marks the grave of a great lady whom raised, mentored and influenced so many lives of her own generation right down to the youngest heredity inherited through to the final days of her precious life. Cecil Viviani bought the steel fence and gleaming tiles fromAustraliawhich will be mounted before he returns toSydney.
The late Feuakitagaloa will always be remembered as tall, beautiful and big woman full of compassion, humility, and tact and greatly influential. Her fame shone of skilled artwork and handcrafts, chef, lay preacher, women and community leader, traditional head and supporter of her husband the late Togiafavale Viviani.
A big traditional feast prepared at Itzy and Sautotes Tukuitoga, and Fapoi Akesi’s homes graced the celebration. The event was meant to be low key and no formal written invitations were issued. However word of mouth quickly echoes around the neighbourhood to prove a united community custom.
‘Thank you indeed for coming, for everything you have given us for this do. Forgive us for anything we have failed to satisfy your presence to commemorate our mourning for the loss of our mother during this moment last year. We will always remember our mother and mentor’ Young Vivian told the crowd.
‘Just as her legacy for us to love one another and live peacefully’ he concluded. Words that aptly sum up the party spirit to honour the late Nena Feu!
The pleasure to meet together in Fuai to commemorate Nena Feu’s unveiling of the headstone sets the hallmark to honour her life and eternal passing. From heaven she would be proud and grin for the generosity.
18/04.2013 OBITUARY: BELOVED TUPUNA NENA FALEMALO (PAULA) MONIGA MAUTAMA PASSED AWAY
A loving tupuna, mother, aunty, handcraft instructor and much cherished Nena Falemalo Moniga Fereti-Mautama passed away peacefully at the Geriatric Wing of Niue Foou Hospital on Sunday 14 April 2013. At 78 years, her final moment was naturally sad but much valued. During her last moment, she was surrounded by son William Salanoa, wife Dawn Ofa Mautama and nurses while the rest of the immediate family rushed halfway to the hospital and missed her peaceful exit by minutes.
During the previous night, families and friends gathered by her bedside to give support and pay tribute to a beloved lady. Her breathing had changed and slowed down, unconscious and in a state of despair for the family. It was tempted but difficult for her family to witness a loved one in the state of agony and remorseful woe.
Early Sunday morning, her breath seemed to get better as the fresh sunbeams lightened the room. But there was no mistake, Nena’s time was getting narrow and limited. The same Sunday was FCW day for fellowship to lead the worship in the congregations around Niue including her Hakupu FCW sisters in Christ and friends who were planning to visit her later in the day. Sadly it was not to be in life but for her funeral as she passed away at about 20 minutes to 11 o’clock just before lunch time.
Nena Falemalo had been ill for some time but kept it closely to herself in the comfort of the family home in Manunu. Only in the last couple of weeks she was too ill to resist the request of the Health Department and her children for the shift to the aged care unit of the hospital. She was known largely to her many friends by her fond name, Nena Paula.
Recently, her children from overseas had returned to be with her and to bid farewell during her confinement and struggle. Not long after they left, there was nothing on spare to save her illness and instant aging process. But it was a cherished moment to share, talk and touch her during the last days of her life.
Her body was taken home on Sunday evening for the final farewell blessing before transferred to her son Pacific and wife Kerry Mautama’s house opposite the road for the traditional Virgil. Hymns from the Hakupu and Vaiea choirs enlightened the whole Manunu District until midnight in honour of a cheerful and humble lady. The whole Manunu District halted, stared in awe and can only reflect on a precious life taken away, perhaps, sooner than expected.
The last church service for Nena Falemalo was held on Monday 14th April and began at 11 am in the Hakupu Church about 24 hours later after she passed away. From Manunu, the Hakupu Ekalesia Kerisiano ranks, from the Permanent Pastor and colleagues, Church Elder and Deacon Council, the FCW, Girls and Boys Brigade, families and friends marched in slow motion to the church with the hearse in the middle order. The mood was pushing and imposing on the mourners, but with due nobility and honoured for the beloved Nena Falemalo who no longer had to suffer the pain of earthly life.
Pallbearers’ were the Mautama brothers and grandchildren of Nena Falemalo: Lanze Dinorl, Eugene Opo, Karl Suna and Stuey and their cousins Aytron Ratuisuva and Le’Roy Tatui. The church was packed and gracious with the presence of Premier Toke Talagi, wife Fifita, Cabinet Ministers, MPs, families and friends from around the whole country.
Rev Mokole led the dedication service. Rev Vili Kamupala Viviani read the scripture with Rev Sogalole Seu and Rev Nukanuka Tauevihi who led the prayers of thanksgiving and blessings. Nena’s eulogy was read and said among great granddaughter Maili Mautama, Dawn Ofa Mautama on behalf of the in-laws, granddaughter Ireena Mautama, Nena’s young sister Taumalua Fereti-Jackson, Talagi Peautagi Head of Family Maru Talagi, Senior Church Elder Young Vivian and son William Salanoa Mautama.
They talked and exclaim about a humble, hard working, talented and special lady Nena Falemalo who excelled in weaving, mentor and role model for her religious sisters, leader and Program Manager for the family that she raised with close friend and husband Tukutonu Mautama.
Great granddaughter Louina Maili Mautama delivered an emotive thank you speech dedicated to the good times that she shared with Nena Falemalo in the homestead. Ireenah Mautama followed with warm words of thanks and saying part of Nena’s immediate genealogy.
‘We will always miss you Nena’ Ireenah pled good bye to her Nena.
‘My sister had a unique singing voice different from others, her laughing just as sharp, audible and diverse. She taught me to weave a hat and the traditional traditional ‘umu’ basket but I never quite master the skill’ younger sister Taumalua shared with the congregation.
‘She didn’t show her illness and suffering until it was too late. I will miss you but…go in peace and see you there’ she added.
Falemalo was the daughter of Pepe Mesepa Talagi-Fereti and Kautau Fereti but adopted by the grandparents at Malakava. She and husband Tukutonu raised 9 beautiful children, Jimmy Little, William Salanoa, Francis Reed, Zosida Heather, Hamlyn Vikita, Fotu Kim, Anne, Pacifc Enterprise and Stuart, the majority whom current resides overseas in New Zealand and Australia.
Nena Falemalo lived a wonderful life, loved her cigarette, helped the sick and injured people among many talents of a strong mother whom strayed from her teenaged inspiration to be a nurse to raise a lovely family. Though she had small public profile she shone at home and community and went on to save many lives from her special skills of local herbal expert. She had a sharp voice and kind hearted.
During her early days, she spent time in Samoa with her adopted parents and learnt the language well enough to conceal privacy matters from her children by talking in Samoan with close friend Tonu most times we were around, said son William in church.
‘I am sorry there is very little to share with you all today. Thank you everyone for your time and respect for our dear mother and Nena. We are touched by your presence’ William remarked with visible emotion.
Summing up a person’s life is no easy task and would favour a balanced account. It was only eight months ago when her brother, the late Liuvaietama Liuvaie and brother in law, the late Taleni Seu passed away. To cry again within close period of time is disastrous for the families and community.
Her past was colourful, artistic and lively. She was kind, had capacity to smile and made good friends. Yet she held high standard of discipline and religious support for her children. The final goodbye brought grief mixed with celebration and hidden praise. Memories will forever remain with those she loved and helped raise in her own profile and capacity. A legacy which of course was different that just Nena Falemalo had and left for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to value and follow for many years ahead.
Nena Falemalo was laid to rest at the family traditional burial site in Uani.
Rest in Peace Nena Ula with lasting thoughts and love!