Workforce Appreciation Day 2017

September 1, 2107

A variety of colorful uniforms along with ideal weather provided the backdrop for the 5th Annual Workforce Appreciation Day for the workers of American Samoa held at the Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Tafuna.  The day began with the arrival of the Honorable Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga, joined by First Lady Cynthia Moliga, Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga and dignitaries. The elderly citizens of TAOA filled the seats while a multitude of workers from the private sector and the crowded field by government agencies. The program started with traditional acknowledgements by Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua and a prayer by Reverend Lemmy Seumanu along with hymns provided by the Manumalo Baptist Church Choir.

The flags of the United States and American Samoa were hoisted by a local fisherman, farmer, and accompanied by Boy Scout representatives with the respective anthems sung by Aitulagi Wanda Lei Alofa and Dorvida Fuiava.

The recitation of the Workforce Day Proclamation was designated to the private sector and read in English by Talaleu Carolyn Tautolo Samuelu, General Manager of Operations for McDonald's in American Samoa, and in Samoan by Shirley Fruen Tanielu, General Manager of Nana's Inc..

First relating the diverse career of service culminating in his current position of Governor of American Samoa, Chief of Staff Saelua next introduced Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga for his special remarks.

The Governor first asked for a moment of silence from the gathering for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Governor Lolo then proceeded, by providing a history of the origins of the Workforce Day with the purpose of honoring all workers including those in the families, villages, businesses as well as in the government.

Governor Lolo reaffirmed the importance of observing this day and called for each individual to reflect on their own work, realizing their own calling and to rely on God to continue useful service to the country.

Governor Lolo next introduced the keynote speaker, CEO for the American Samoa Power Authority High Chief Utu Abe Malae. CEO Utu expressed his appreciation to all workers and encouraged them by stating “There is dignity in working.”  Utu urged for advanced education and training of our local workers to provide skilled workers locally, “relying on our own skills for our own needs”. CEO Utu stressed that along with continued focus on the Fisheries and Tourism Industries there should be focus as well to promote excellent Healthcare Services as a regional leader as well as to attract our retirees to return home. Utu also stated that Tuala-uta District requires attention and urged planners, civil engineers and political leaders to consider proper zoning and infrastructure in order to provide essential Emergency Services to the area.

Following the moving keynote address, a list of “lost souls” or workers that had passed in the past year was read by COS Fiu Saelua, followed by a gun salute and the playing of TAPS by officers of the Department of Public Safety.

The throng of activity and the festive atmosphere escalated as the workers collected into their respective affiliations and marched enthusiastically past Governor Lolo and First Lady Cynthia Moliga who stood waving from the dais. Floats and decorated vehicles also circled the Stadium as part of the parade.

Businesses who marched in the parade included McDonalds, Paramount Builders,  Nana’s, Tutuila Store , Manu’a Store and  Happy Trucking & Construction.

Following the parade, the workers assembled in the field for spirited contests including the popular tug-of-war. Entertainment was then provided by senior citizens of TAOA and employees of Nana’s Inc. to finalize the day’s activities.