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By Lewis Wolman

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (March 17, 2000 – Samoa News)---Nothing is yet completely finalized, but the 2000 Centennial Flag Day (April 17 - 21) is shaping up in rough form.

The paragraphs that follow highlight the broad outlines, but there are many other activities (e.g., art exhibits and sporting events) not covered in this story.

The week before Flag Day is a busy one, filled with sporting events and evening entertainment at the Fagatogo malae.

Sunday (April 16) will be the Flag Day church service.

On Monday morning (April 17), the traditional Flag Day ceremonial program will be held at the Malae ole Talu in Fagatogo. HTC Mageo Malu Umaleava (Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs) will be the master of ceremonies (as he was last year), and a parade will be included.

After the morning program there will be a stamp unveiling ceremony and two fautasi races. Approximately ten fautasi are expected to race this year (seven local boats and three from Apia). Thus two pools will be created and both pool races will be held mid-day Monday (a very low tide occurs at 12 noon that day).

In the afternoon on Monday, the festivities shift to the Veterans Memorial Stadium, where virtually all of the rest of the week's activities takes place.

Monday afternoon will be set aside to recognize the military, past and present (and future no doubt), while Monday evening will be the Governor's Ball at Lee Auditorium.

The Grand Parade will open Tuesday's events, and the rest of the day will be spent in siva ma pese. The organizers will rotate various groups from the following categories: Savai‘i, Upolu, Sisifo, Sasa‘e, and Manu‘a.

Wednesday morning, the siva ma pese will pick up where it left off Tuesday afternoon, while the post-lunch program Tuesday calls for a Band Exhibition. Visiting bands include Samoa's Police Band and a U.S. Navy band.

Thursday is devoted to the championship rounds of the Samoan sporting events, as well as the consolation race for the fautasi that did not emerge as winners in their pools on Monday.

The championship fautasi race will be held Friday morning, to be followed by more siva ma pese, and a closing awards ceremony.

Government will be closed Monday through Friday, with Monday and Friday declared as official holidays in the territory. Holiday wages will be paid to ASG employees required to work on those days.

Government employees who do not take leave on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are required to participate in Centennial events, liberally defined.

There are 12 village malaga from Apia, not including various sports teams such as boxers and volleyballers, and cricketeers from Hawai‘i and the U.S.A.

The village malaga include one cricket team (the women of Tanugamanono), three fautasi teams, three performing groups from Savai‘i and four performing groups from Upolu.

Tanugamanono will be hosted by Mrs. Tulafono, who resides in Tafuna Petesa and is originally from Tanugamanono.

Of the three fautasi, only one has a confirmed host at this point: the Bluebird Ulale of Vaiala will stay with Afoa Moega Lutu's Utulei family. The Office of Samoan Affairs is still making arrangements for the Kionasina of Apia and the Aviivii of Toamua.

The villages are being hosted as follows:

Guest / Host

Iva / Atu'u Sagone / Aoluau Palauli / Aoa Fasitootai / Pagofie family of Pavaiai Falealili / Afono Sauluafata / Fagasa Lotofaga / Ta'u villagers of Tafuna

Items from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to

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