AMERICAN SAMOA GOVERNMENT
Manulele Tausala Elementary School celebrates 50 years Golden Jubilee
The 50 year Golden Jubilee Celebration for “Lady Bird” or Manulele Tausala Elementary School in Nu'uuli was held on October 21st, 2016. The road leading to the campus as well as the school buildings and grounds were all festively decorated for the occasion which was attended by governmental, church and village dignitaries, business leaders, alumni of the school, present and past staff and students as well as many other special guests.
The program began with a musical hymn followed by a blessing by Reverend Dr. Eteuati Tuioti. The gathering was then welcomed by Principal Martha Sagapolutele before opening remarks by Manutafea Tanielu Taufete’e. A brief history of Manulele Tausala Elementary School was offered by Mrs. Mine Lilomaiava Taufete’e. As noted in the program, the Manulele Tausala Elementary School or “Ladybird” School was originally situated on Savusa family land at Mulinu’u (Coconut Point) and was known as Nu’uuli Village School. Due to size and location restraints, the school was relocated and became a consolidated school in the year 1966 - 1967. Coincidentally at that time, the 36th
President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson was here on a landmark visit, and his wife First Lady – Lady Bird Johnson dedicated the opening of the new school which was subsequently named in her honor. The translation of her name to Samoan is “manulele” which means bird, and “tausala” which means lady. It is noteworthy to add that President Lyndon Johnson is the only U.S. president to ever to visit the Territory of American Samoa.
Up next on the program was the keynote address which was delivered by former teacher Mrs. Nanatiifaleteleotamalii Savusa.
Representing the Lagafuaina family, whose patriarch, the late Senator Laisene Lagafuaina, donated the land on which the school was built, was Mrs. Solagaliua Solaita. She expressed her privilege to represent her grandfather who donated the six acre site 50 years ago. She explained that her grandfather donated the land to build the school for no monetary reimbursement, but out of his love for all the children of American Samoa.
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga next offered his special remarks to commemorate the occasion. The Governor reflected on the vibrant celebration, expressing his faith in a very bright future ahead. He acknowledged the wisdom of village leaders that planted the seeds which have realized benefits not only for the children of Nu’uuli village, but for all the children of American Samoa. He concluded with the adage, “It takes a village to raise a child”.
Next to speak on behalf of the village of Nu’uuli was High Chief Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono. In his remarks he thanked Governor Lolo and the leaders of government and church for their support of Manulele Tausala School.
The commemorative cake was cut and a memorial plaque was unveiled before the celebration culminated in a colorful parade and entertainment provided by staff and the 1,092 students enrolled at Manulele Tausala Elementary School. Congratulations!