Apia, 21 January 2016
|Staff of the Tokelau Apia Liaison Office (TALO), their families and Tokelauan students in Samoa, joined a Community Church Service at the EFKT Hall in Aleisa on Wednesday 20 January.
All gathered at the Hall of the Ekalesia Faapotopotoga Kerisiano Tokelau (EFKT) compound in Aleisa mid afternoon. They were welcomed there by the Hon Setefano Panapa Sakaria, Tokelau Minister for Support Services.
The Church Service that ensued was led by the Reverend Ahela Suka (General Secretary of EFKT). All joined in singing hymns in Samoan (“Fa’afetai i le Atua”) and Tokelau (“Iehu te tautai o te vasa”).
Some of the TALO staff and students present at the EFKT Hall in Aleisa on Wednesday, presided by the Reverend Ahela Suka, with Jewel Tuitama reading.
A prayer of thanksgiving was presented by Aleta Aleta (Director of Education), a prayer of forgiveness by Margaret Sapolu, and benedictions were asked by Mitimiti Ngau Chun, both of the Office of the Council for the Ongoing Government of Tokelau.
The Bible reading was Mathew 5: 43-48, presented in Tokelauan by Puka Teao and in English by Alowesi Suveinakama (both students) and in Samoan by Jewel Tuitama of the Ministry of Economic Development, Natural Resources and Environment.
Volunteers were called to share God’s love and to call for a blessed and productive 2016. A first-time participant was Statistics Adviser Iapi Jasperse, who stressed the importance of continuous learning whatever your age, and of sharing knowledge by good communication - to achieve good results in the year ahead.
Newly re-appointed General Manager, Apia (National Public Service) Joe Suveinakama thanked everyone for their support and recalled “Tokelau mo te Atua”: Tokelau is founded on God. He called for a fresh start based on the traditional concepts of Fakamaoni (honesty) and Alofa (love).
The Public Service will continue to make decisions in the way that family decisions are being made, he said. And he is keen to work closer with the Tokelau community in Samoa, New Zealand, Australia and American Samoa. All this is meant to achieve what is in the best interest of the people in Tokelau, and their quality of life over there in particular.
The closing prayer was followed by refreshments for all, after which Community member Lafu Solomona offered words of thanks. No doubt a good way to collectively tackle the working year that has just begun!